Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: Recovery Options at rehabs


While deciding to change your life is an essential step towards recovery, the road back to yourself is long and arduous. However, you might be underplaying the issue or in denial of the problem. Some people may not want to leave their homes or the comfort of substance abuse, while others are scared of the stigma of rehab.

Asking someone for help and recognizing you have a problem could be the beginning of a long journey. But, it is vital to take the first step.

When does substance use turn into an addiction?

Unlike other diseases, doctors diagnose addiction on a spectrum. The grading system helps them differentiate between severities of abuse. Severe substance abuse makes leading a healthy life impossible. Comparatively, a mild addiction may transform into a severe one with time.

There are several criteria to measure the severity of substance abuse. Patients who meet all checkpoints have a severe problem compared to others. Following are the eleven criteria for substance abuse:

  1. Loss of control
  2. Unable to remain quiet even when you want to
  3. Change in routine
  4. Shakes, slurred speech, and tremors
  5. Changes in behavior
  6. Withdrawal symptoms
  7. Problems building relationships
  8. Financial issues
  9. Bloodshot eyes
  10. Changes in sleep and appetite
  11. Having trouble doing daily chores

But, substance abuse is a condition that warps our minds and affects behaviors. It is a chronic illness with long-term and short-term consequences for your health. You can aggravate these issues by quitting drugs on your own. So, quitting cold turkey is impossible. Therefore, users must get addiction treatment.

nately, you do not have to do this alone.

  • Several organizations offer high-quality care at drug rehabs in Florida to users looking to improve their lives. Most of them have branches in different areas. Some organizations like the Delphi Health Group provide comprehensive care at rehab facilities in five states.

However, there are two types of rehabs. Each type has its pros and cons. However, an initial evaluation will help your doctor determine which type of rehab works for you.

Outpatient Treatment:

Clients in outpatient programs do not have a restrictive life. Doctors schedule meetings at night or early morning to help people maintain their routine. Users spend an average of 10 to 12 hours every week at treatment centers. So, they can continue with their life outside of treatment hours. Patients can continue working and socializing with their close ones.

Doctors recommend outpatient rehab for people with mild addiction as a long-term treatment plan. Sometimes users transition to outpatient rehab after completing their time at the inpatient clinic. Patients may have to remain in outpatient drug rehab for 3 to 6 months.

These programs may vary in intensity, depending on your condition. However, they allow patients to keep a routine. Patients may come for group counseling, individual therapy, or a 12 step program. During these sessions, doctors focus on stress management, coping techniques, communication skills, and goal setting. They may also consult to manage withdrawal and cravings. Sometimes doctors administer medication to soothe anxiety or withdrawal symptoms.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are examples of outpatient treatment programs. These groups help participants stay off the wagon and build a support group.

Benefits of outpatient treatment:

  • You receive treatment while living at home
  • The cost of treatment is lower than in inpatient facilities
  • You can choose the level of intensity and the place
  • You can make appointments to accommodate your schedule
  • You can also get treatment for co-curing issues like bipolar disorder or PTSD
  • It helps patients practice relapse techniques in the real world

Disadvantages of outpatient treatment:

  • It does not work for people who have constant urges
  • You do not get 24-hour support
  • Risk of relapse for users living in an unstable environment
  • Some outpatient facilities cannot administer medications
  • Patients have to be motivated to seek treatment

Inpatient Treatment:

Patients live at the rehab facility in a structured environment. They get complete emotional and medical support from trained staff. It also helps users avoid temptation and negative influences. Users can enroll in short-term or long-term programs. Long-term programs last for 6 to 12 months, while short-term programs last between 3 to 6 weeks.

Doctors recommend inpatient rehab for patients with severe substance abuse issues and health conditions. Patients with limited support and an unstable home environment should opt for inpatient rehabilitation programs.

There are three phases of the treatment plans: detox, reflect and grow. These programs are intense, with support for emotional, mental, and physical issues. Patients learn how to live a substance-free lifestyle. Therefore, treatment may include individual therapy, group counseling, medical detox, skill-building activities, and management techniques. So, patients may step down from inpatient facilities to outpatient rehab.

Benefits of inpatient treatment:

 There are long-term and short-term programs to help patients detox and prepare for a life without substance abuse.

  • Residents get access to intensive care 24 hours a day in a non-hospital setting.
  • Patients do not have to face their demons alone. They have medical and psychiatric support during recovery and withdrawal.
  • It is a structured atmosphere.
  • It lowers the risk of relapse due to vigilant supervision.
  • Users can choose a luxury facility with better amenities.
  • Treatment focuses on every aspect of addiction, including social and psychological issues.
  • Patients with severe disorders have safe housing with medical attention.

Disadvantages of inpatient treatment:

  • Treatment requires more commitment than outpatient facilities.
  • Patients have to live without the support of loved ones.
  • Users may have to take a leave from school or work.
  • Patients cannot choose their schedules.
  • Some people might not adjust to a rigid lifestyle.
  • It is more expensive than outpatient rehab.

Choose whatever works for you:

 Getting help is vital to overcome addiction. However, choosing a treatment program can become overwhelming. You have to make the right choice. So, go for an option that works for you. Keep some questions in mind before committing to a facility. Ask the following questions:

  1. Do you have access to drugs or alcohol at home?
  2. Do your lifestyle and living environment support sobriety?
  3. Does someone around you use drugs?
  4. Does your school or workplace have a toxic and stressful environment?
  5. Can you commute to the clinic several times every week?
  6. Can you take a leave of absence from your school or work?
  7. Do you have any other health issues which require treatment?
  8. Does your insurance cover the treatment?


 Choosing to improve yourself is half the battle. Users struggling with alcohol or drugs should talk to their loved ones about the problem. Early treatment can help you avoid long-term health problems. Furthermore, it also makes users less likely to develop severe addiction. Reach out to get help with your substance abuse issue. Your next step is to choose the facility that fits your condition. People with severe addictions and those with dual diagnoses should consider clinics with 24-hour support. But, keep in mind that recovery is a lifelong process. Users have to develop skills to avoid a relapse.

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