Is Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment Right for Me?

Many people recognize they have a problem with drugs or alcohol but they’re unsure of how to go about getting help. Uncertainty is one of the many reasons people refrain from getting the help they desperately need. Understanding the differences in multiple levels of care can help give someone the confidence to seek treatment. 

After medical detox, in which a patient withdraws safely from the substances to which they’ve developed a physical dependency, patients typically transfer to an inpatient or outpatient treatment center. Deciding between these levels of care can be difficult for patients who don’t fully understand the differences and the pros and cons of each of them. 

Inpatient or Residential Treatment 

Some rehab facilities—like Recovery First—differentiate between residential and inpatient treatment. While both inpatient and residential treatment programs involve staying at the facility 24/7, inpatient care tends to be more intensive, for patients that require care in a hospital setting. Inpatient treatment is a good option for patients that have severe co-occurring disorders or continue to experience long-lasting withdrawal symptoms after detox and require more stringent monitoring. 

Residential treatment is less intensive and allows a little more freedom, though it is still highly structured. In Recovery First’s residential treatment program, patients live with 3 to 5 other guests in apartment-style housing. Throughout the day, patients attend various evidence-based and alternative therapy sessions and enjoy the amenities provided at the facility. 

Inpatient or residential treatment are both great options for people that may lack a supportive living environment and need a bit more of a structured approach to receive the help they need. These programs are ideal for people with co-occurring disorders or who are at a higher risk for relapse. 

Partial Hospitalization or Outpatient Treatment 

People with stable home environments and supportive friends and family may prefer less intensive options that enable them to return home daily. These options also make for an excellent “step-down” option, for people that complete inpatient or residential rehabilitation but still require more treatment. 

Both partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment allow patients to sleep at home, however partial hospitalization requires patients to visit the facility 5-7 days per week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sometimes this option is referred to as “day treatment.” 

With an intensive outpatient program, patients are only required to attend 3 evening therapy sessions per week for 3 hours each. Outpatient care is an excellent option for people that have to work or attend school during the day, as it allows them to balance their professional life with receiving addiction treatment.  

The added freedom these programs allow may not be appropriate for everyone, since patients are not being monitored as intently as they are in the inpatient or residential programs. Therefore, day treatment or outpatient programs aren’t recommended for people with a high probability of relapsing after detox. 

Getting Help 

Ultimately, the decision of what kind of treatment you should get depends on your unique situation. Addiction treatment is a highly individualized and what is right for some people is not right for others. 

If you or a loved one is considering addiction treatment, please reach out to one of our admissions navigators at . They can answer questions about Recovery First or other American Addiction Centers’ facilities and assist you with insurance verification.