ClickCease Inpatient Rehab vs. Outpatient Rehab - Granite Recovery Centers

Inpatient Rehab vs. Outpatient Rehab

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The first step towards recovery is admitting to yourself that your substance use has become unmanageable and deciding to take back control. Following this acceptance comes the difficult question: do I need professional substance use treatment? Unfortunately, the answer is yes for many, which leads to another question: what kind of treatment is best for me? While many effective therapies and approaches exist, substance use treatment programs generally fall under two categories: inpatient or outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab refers to full-time live-in substance use treatment programs. Outpatient rehab programs involve attending scheduled substance use treatment while still living at home or in a sober living facility.



While inpatient and outpatient rehabs focus on substance use treatment and recovery, each option offers unique attributes and benefits. It is essential to recognize that one option is not quantifiably better than the other. The choice depends on multiple factors and the general nature of the situation. Exploring and understanding the differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab is the best way to determine which option is right for you or your loved one.


What Is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab is more commonly referred to as residential treatment because you live at the treatment facility throughout your substance use treatment. Inpatient rehab is usually the preferred option for individuals with more severe dependency on alcohol or drugs. Additionally, many of these facilities can treat people who suffer from co-occurring mental disorders, which could be contributing to substance use disorder.


Inpatient rehab programs are designed to help clients avoid the influences and temptations that could be triggers for substance use. A drug-free environment can be more conducive to the treatment process. Inpatient facilities tend to offer intensive care and 24-hour support from clinical and medical professionals.


Ideally, inpatient rehab programs offer support throughout each stage of treatment. Beginning with initial detoxification and continuing with treatments and therapies designed to teach clients how to manage substance use disorder. In addition, residential treatment programs aim to assist clients in leading drug- and alcohol-free lives following treatment.


Inpatient rehab programs can span anywhere from 30 days to 6 months or longer. Short-term residential treatment programs are generally 28 to 30 days. While long-term residential rehabs usually offer 3 to 6 months of treatment.


What to Expect During Inpatient Rehab


Inpatient rehab facilities provide around-the-clock care, meaning you will never be or feel alone while learning to lead a drug-free life. Residential treatment programs generally follow a structured daily schedule consisting of individual and group therapy sessions, physical exercise, chores, and study materials focused on every facet of substance use and co-occurring disorders.


Inpatient treatment programs typically treat substance use disorder’s physical and psychological effects. In residential treatment, medical attention is always available, which can be especially important for clients with co-occurring mental health disorders or conditions that may have contributed to their substance abuse.


Because residential treatment clients must live in the facility, inpatient rehab tends to involve a more substantial commitment than outpatient rehab programs.


What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehab usually involves daily treatment through counseling, therapy, and group sessions at a facility or clinic. In addition, clients in an outpatient treatment program can live at home or in a sober living facility while attending treatment, allowing them to continue working or attending school without disruption.


The main difference between outpatient and inpatient rehab is the support available. Outpatient rehab is usually less intensive than the alternative. For example, many outpatient programs offer group or individual counseling in a step-down approach to care, which means that sessions might become less frequent and intensive in the later stages of the treatment program.


What to Expect During Outpatient Rehab

As mentioned, many clients seek outpatient rehab because outpatient programs can be seen as less disruptive. While the level of treatment in an outpatient program can be less intensive than inpatient treatment, the types of therapy and counseling provided are the same. In addition, some outpatient programs also offer treatment for clients with co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders.


Appointments can also be made on the weekends or evenings to accommodate work or school schedules. However, it is crucial to remember that outpatient treatment does not guarantee a drug- and alcohol-free environment.


How Inpatient Rehab Differs from Outpatient Rehab

Entering an inpatient rehab program involves staying in a facility 24/7, which isn’t necessary with outpatient rehab. The length of your stay in an inpatient facility depends on the seriousness of your dependency on drugs or alcohol. Short-term treatment programs can be provided in skilled nursing facilities or stand-alone rehabilitation hospitals. Anyone who seeks treatment through these facilities can obtain comprehensive care from a wide range of medical and health service professionals, including:


  • Rehabilitative Specialists and Physicians
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Nursing Staff
  • Nutritionists
  • Care Coordinators


Being admitted to an inpatient program means intensive care will be provided for at least three hours daily. In addition, some inpatient facilities offer residents alternative health and wellness programs and resources, such as holistic healing, yoga, and meditation. Residential treatment facilities also provide healthy and well-balanced meals and some nutrition instruction programs.


Outpatient rehab, while less intensive, still offers professional support for those seeking recovery. Outpatient programs often have specific attendance requirements for individual and group therapy sessions, workshops, meetings, and other recovery support programming. Depending on the type of outpatient program, appointments will be scheduled from one to five days per week. Keep in mind that different types of therapy might require separate appointments. Your care providers will expect you to maintain your drug-free life while at home.


Identifying Which Type of Rehab Is Right for You


Now that you know everything about inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab, you should be able to determine which type of treatment is right for you and your specific situation. If you decide to attend outpatient treatment, you can go through the treatment process while still living at your own home and amidst your loved ones. Outpatient rehab programs are less intensive, which might be preferable for clients with less severe substance use disorders.


While attending outpatient rehab, taking care of your family, attending school, and maintaining your work responsibilities is possible. Therapy sessions tend to occur before or after work. Remember that you don’t have to continue living at home if you choose outpatient rehab. Sober-living homes are available in this scenario, which may make it easier for you to maintain a drug-free lifestyle as you go to treatment.


On the other hand, inpatient treatment programs may be right for you if you need to step away from your every day responsibilities to focus entirely on the treatment process. Self-care is essential to preventing relapse, which can be aided by inpatient rehab.


If you’re unsure of your ability to get through the treatment program alone, inpatient rehab places you in a facility with people experiencing the same issues. Having a supportive environment could be helpful during treatment. In addition, inpatient rehab facilities have trained staff on hand to ensure that everyone remains as comfortable as possible.


Some of the amenities that you could have access to during inpatient rehab include on-site laundry facilities, flat-screen HDTVs, and swimming pools. While considering all your options, it’s essential to understand that each individual has different needs. Some programs account for these differences by providing individualized care.


Care Provided at Granite Recovery Centers


At Granite Recovery Centers, we offer a variety of treatments and therapies to help you on your journey to sobriety. We know one size does not fit all. So, we tailor our treatment programs to meet the unique needs of our clients. Granite Recovery Centers treatment programs feature a full continuum of care, including medical detox, inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, partial hospitalization programs (PHP), medication-assisted treatment, intensive outpatient (IOP), and sober living.


You will find exceptional recovery support treatment teams at each of our facilities. Many of our staff members are living proof that recovery is possible. GRC facilities offer on-site kitchens that provide our clients with nutritious snacks and meals, individual and group counseling, and dual-diagnosis treatment solutions. In addition, our treatment centers offer a unique blend of evidence-based clinical therapies with a comprehensive 12-Step curriculum.


Whether you choose an outpatient or inpatient rehab program, both options will help you learn how to live free from alcohol or drugs. In addition, both treatment options can assist you in progressing through detox and changing your attitudes regarding the substances you’re currently dependent on. Finally, the treatment program you enter should also give you the skills to continue avoiding relapse and triggers once you’ve completed the program.