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Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

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 rehab and outpatient rehab. But which type of treatment is right for you? We compared inpatient vs. outpatient treatment options for those looking for residential rehab or outpatient treatment.

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

Residential treatment, also known as inpatient care, takes place in a recovery center. The center delivers focused, active, and intensive care to you, aiming to distance you from your drug of choice and interrupt harmful habits and routines that fuel addiction.

A controlled environment offers significant benefits, particularly if you’re battling a physical addiction. This environment provides increased safety, not only for you but also for your loved ones, who might not possess the necessary resources to help you through detoxification. The journey to recovery often starts tough. Within a residential treatment center, a structured schedule encompassing therapy and counseling sessions guides your days. These sessions enable you to understand your triggers and the fundamental causes of your addiction. With the constant support from doctors, counselors, and addiction specialists, an inpatient facility stands better prepared to assist you during this delicate period.

Who is Inpatient Rehab Designed For?

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. They 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. It’s recommended for newly sober individuals or anyone who needs extra support to help them stay on track in recovery. If you have a stable home environment and can successfully abstain from using drugs or alcohol, some cases may recommend outpatient rehab.

While in the program, you need to maintain a regular daily routine. This could be going to work or school, attending 12-step meetings, participating in group therapy sessions, engaging in one-on-one sessions, and attending 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 designs its outpatient program as a 10-week intensive course. However, depending on their progress and other mitigating factors, such as co-occurring conditions, some patients may undergo a quicker discharge.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment share the same goals, but their scope differs significantly. Research demonstrates that addicts considerably reduce their relapse risk when they follow up a stay in a residential treatment center with outpatient care. The more recovery tools you acquire, the stronger you become, aiming towards 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. We have Landmark Recovery locations all over the country, ready to help you with your residential drug rehab needs. 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.