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


If you struggle with addiction, taking that first step to recovery seems overwhelming. You want to begin your journey to wellness, but where do you start?


Detox and inpatient treatment are often the first steps. Outpatient treatment follows, giving you the tools you need to stay on track while in recovery.


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 at an inpatient facility, such as a hospital or clinic. 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, the patient, but also for your loved ones, who may not be adequately equipped to support you through detoxification. 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.


Inpatient programs can be costly, but considering the level of care you receive, many 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. Some insurance plans cover the cost, at least partially, so speak to the intake department about your coverage.


At Landmark, our inpatient treatment starts with detox, if needed. From there, 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 care, 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.


While in the program, you will maintain your regular daily routine, whether that is going to work or school, attend 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.


In closing, inpatient and outpatient treatment are very different in scope. Studies show that addicts who access outpatient care following a stay as an inpatient reduce 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.

About the Author


Landmark Recovery Staff

This post was written by a Landmark Recovery staff member. If you have any questions, please contact us at 888-448-0302.

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