In Patient or Out Patient Treatment – Which Is Best for Me?

When you decide that you need help and are ready to treat your addiction, choosing the right health facility and program is the next step. Most rehab and recovery centers offer both inpatient and outpatient therapy options but a qualified health care professional is the only person who can recommend the proper treatment for your specific case.

Though there are benefits and disadvantages to both, usually the type of addiction that you suffer from, the length of your addiction as well as your support system, environment and surroundings, and history of your addiction determine whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is the best solution for your situation.

In-Patient Rehabilitation

Inpatient treatment programs tend to last a minimum of 30 days. Patients check into and stay at the facility around the clock so that they can detox, recover, heal and learn new ways of dealing with life outside of their addiction. For drug dependency and alcohol addiction, inpatient treatment is often the best path to a successful and sustainable recovery.

Inpatient therapy allows the patient to be removed from the drug or alcohol they have been using, as well as situations and people that might have been contributing to their addiction. Drug and alcohol rehab recovery includes cleansing your body of the substance being abused and often adds a holistic approach to help treat mind, body and spirit for a complete chance of recovery. An inpatient recovery program provides therapeutic counseling and support whenever the patient needs it – 24 hours a day.

The drawbacks to treatment where the patient is admitted are disruption of family, work or school life and the possibility of less anonymity. The life of the patient will be disrupted for between 30-90 days, based on the rehab program; therefore some people are just not able to do this and pause their life schedules. Due to the absence of the patient from their standard routine and lives for a time, keeping the recovery confidential may be quite difficult.

Out-Patient Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs vary widely based on the facility, the problems being addressed, and if this is during recovery or as continued care after treatment. Outpatient therapy includes psychotherapy, cognitive and behavioral treatment as well as Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotic Anonymous, Over Eaters Anonymous and Eating Disorders Anonymous.

In an outpatient setting, families can be integrated to assist with healing. The patient can meet with nutritionists to formulate a healthy diet and work with alternative healing options such as yoga. Outpatient treatment allows the patient to continue their work, school and family life simultaneously while attending therapy. Out patient therapy can be quite successful if the patient understands their addiction, is ready to make a life change, and is dedicated to their sobriety and recovery.

Choosing inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol rehab is optimally done in coordination with a health care professional to decide the best option based on the situation and individual. Seeking help and taking the steps to recovery is the most important choice that you can make towards a life free of addiction.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.