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Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: What’s Right for You?

by Landmark Recovery

April 28, 2022
Individuals chatting at an outpatient program meeting

Should you choose Inpatient or Outpatient treatment for your addiction?

While there are many different types of programs for drug and alcohol addictions, there are essentially two types of treatment – inpatient and outpatient. But which type of treatment is right for you?

Either option can be effective in helping you begin the recovery process, but depending on your situation, one might be better than the other. The key to making a successful recovery from a substance use disorder is that you get the help you need. At Landmark Recovery we start the process with a full assessment, where an addiction expert examines your case, listens to your goals and prescribes the best treatment. Most people start their recovery by checking into a residential treatment center, where temptations are removed and they can focus on getting better. Then, after they’ve detoxed and gained the skills to deal with the stresses of life in a healthier way, outpatient treatment is the next step.

Let’s take a closer look at both options so you’ll know what to expect.

Inpatient Treatment

A stethoscope used by a doctor in an inpatient treatment facility

Inpatient care, also referred to as residential treatment, occurs in a recovery center. The care you receive is focused, active, and intensive. It is meant to put some distance between you and your drug of choice and disrupt destructive habits and routines that contribute to addiction.

A controlled environment is highly beneficial, especially if you’re struggling with a physical addition. It is safer not only for you, but also for your loved ones, who may not be adequately equipped to support you through detoxification. The first steps towards recovery can be hard. Inside a residential treatment center your days will be structured around therapy and counseling sessions where you learn about your triggers and the root causes of addiction. Because an inpatient facility offers round-the-clock support from doctors, counselors, and addiction specialists, it is better able to help you through this very fragile time.

Inpatient treatment is designed to give individuals who are struggling with addiction an alternative to their current lifestyles. Its purpose is to break patterns of behavior, identify and treat comorbidities, and offer the kind of positive social support that might be missing from your life. In essence you’re removing yourself from the outside world in order to refrain from using substances. At Landmark Recovery we believe that before you can help others you must first help yourself. You’ll meet other people who are dealing with substance abuse. Many of our staff members have broken free from the chains of addiction and have devoted their lives to helping others do the same. We’ll also ask your family to come in for some sessions so they can better understand what you’re going through and how to support you once you go home.

Inpatient programs can be costly, but considering the level of care you receive, most people who choose to enter inpatient treatment find it worthwhile. Inpatient care programs typically last between 28 days and six months, depending on the facility. Most insurance plans cover the cost, at least partially, so speak to the intake department about your coverage.

At Landmark, our inpatient treatment typically starts with detox. After completing recommended therapy and classes, patients move into our intensive outpatient program, which can be anywhere from 35 to 45 days.

Outpatient Treatment

Individuals chatting at an outpatient program meeting

Outpatient care has the same overall intention as inpatient rehab, though the approach relies on a lot of self-direction. Outpatient treatment is recommended for newly sober individuals or anyone who needs extra support to help them stay on track in recovery. In some cases, outpatient rehab could be recommended if you have a stable home environment and can successfully abstain form using drugs of alcohol.

While in the program, you should be able to maintain a regular daily routine, whether that is going to work or school while attending 12-step meetings, group therapy sessions, one-on-one sessions, and family therapy sessions. As an outpatient, your treatment plan is individualized according to your needs. You will have access to psychiatrists, nurses, doctors, and counselors while you are in the facility. When you are away, you always have access to on-call support to help you stay on track.

Landmark’s outpatient program is designed as a 10-week intensive outpatient program. However, some patients will be discharged more quickly, depending on their progress and other mitigating factors, such as co-occurring conditions.

Though the goals of inpatient and outpatient treatment are the same, they are very different in scope. Studies show that addicts who access outpatient care following a stay in a residential treatment center decrease their chances of relapse considerably. The more tools you have to help you in recovery, the stronger you will become, and that is the ultimate goal.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our inpatient and outpatient programs. All you need to do is call 888-448-0302. Our admissions team is available to talk day or night.

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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.