Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Individuals who seek treatment for substance abuse problems have varying needs based on their specific circumstances. There are multiple treatment options available to those suffering from the disease of addiction. Casa Palmera offers three levels of care including Residential Treatment (RTC), Partial Hospitalization with or without board (PHP), and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Weekly continuing care is provided for people who successfully complete treatment. Typically the level of care that a person will admit to is dependent upon the substance they are using, frequency of use and consequences of use.


For instance, if a person has been drinking for years and is unable to stop on their own even for a short period of time, they most likely will require an inpatient or residential level of care. This might be a person who is not using to feel a sense of euphoria or “high” but rather using to feel normal. It is likely such a person will require a period of time to be safely titrated off the substance they are dependent on.


The level of care a person is appropriate for is determined by specific medical necessity criteria; determined by their pattern of use and what happens when they stop using; even for a short period. For instance, do they suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop using? This can create an unsafe environment for a person, and in order to guarantee their safety they need to be in a safe environment with nursing care.



For many, the first step to sobriety is detoxification. An inpatient facility is recommended, as this can at times be life threatening for the person. A medically supervised, inpatient facility offers a higher-level of safety and observation as the patient works through the process. Withdrawal symptoms can vary by intensity depending on the length of time and amount the person has been using. The onset of withdrawal symptoms can take place as early as two hours after the last drink and can go on for weeks or months as with opiate detoxification. The person may experience some of the following symptoms including vomiting, mild anxiety, shakiness, seizures, confusion, rapid heartbeat, fever, hallucinations, irregular heartbeats or delirium tremens (DTs).


Residential Treatment Program (RTC) or Inpatient

Many patients continue inpatient care at the same facility where they receive detox treatment. The recommended length of stay is 30 days in an environment designed to teach the patient about life changing tools that will help them during treatment and recovery. The patient will gain support and share with others who have experienced similar struggles.


Another benefit of inpatient care is that the person is removed from the current living environment that may influence their life threatening behavior. This may include access to the substance of choice, family or friends who themselves may not know how to support the person, as well as events or situations that may trigger the reckless behavior. A residential treatment setting allows the patient to fully focus all their efforts on recovery in a structured, medically supervised environment.


Casa Palmera’s program provides a 12-Step approach supported by evidence based, holistic treatment. As an inpatient, individual and group therapy is conducted by Master level clinicians. The groups provide an opportunity for patients to process their feelings and learn about tools to help achieve and maintain sobriety. The patient will gain knowledge about the disease of addiction, identify and cope with triggers, and be able to make choices that are focused on healthy living. The emotional support and steadfastness that comes with inpatient care through the clinical staff and the other patients is invaluable.


Partial Hospitalization (PHP) or Outpatient Treatment Programs

The Partial Hospitalization program for substance addiction is structured similarly to inpatient treatment but not as restrictive. The patient may live at home or in a sober living environment. Outpatient treatment is suitable for those patients who do not meet medical criteria for inpatient treatment. PHP offers more flexibility with daily schedules and operates Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. When the patient is not participating in outpatient sessions, they must voluntarily abstain from drugs and alcohol.

Those who receive outpatient care still have access to a support network and are not facing recovery alone. Outpatient care includes support groups, counseling sessions, and access to Narcotics Anonymous as well as Alcoholics Anonymous. The resources provided through the outpatient program, supports the patient who is transitioning home with the goal of maintaining long-term sobriety.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is designed for those who need minimal structure and do not need the medical support that the other levels of care offer. The person enrolled in the IOP program is empowered to live independently with the support of their family and community. IOP patients have the option of a day or evening program that meets three days a week. The IOP-AM program operates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:15am – 12:30pm. The IOP-PM program operates Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.


Continuing Care

After patients successfully complete treatment at Casa Palmera, they are invited to participate in the continuing care group. The cost of Continuing Care is included in your treatment cost for up to one year post-discharge. The group meets on Tuesday evenings between 6:00pm to 7:30 pm.


Seeking Treatment for Addiction

Addiction is a disease and requires the knowledge and support of dedicated professionals who can provide treatment in a safe environment. The clinical team at Casa Palmera will recommend a level of care based on the needs of the individual patient. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are proven methods to successfully help a person to stop using drugs and alcohol. With the proper support, relapse can be more readily avoided leading to a more promising future. For more information about our programs and levels of care, please visit our website at