What are the main differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab?

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What are the main differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab?

03 November, 2023Articles, News

Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab

Treatment facility programs generally fall into 1 of 2 categories; inpatient or outpatient. While both are equally focused on rehabilitation, each type has specific features and benefits to offer. Inpatient treatment programs are intensive and are designed to treat serious substance use disorders and addictions.

Outpatient treatment on the other hand are part-time programs that allow for some level of flexibility so a patient can attend treatment without missing work or school responsibilities.

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Detox and Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

When a physical dependency is not being fulfilled, the affected person undergoes withdrawal. Withdrawal is particularly severe for heavy users, and for users of alcohol, heroin, and benzos. This severity is dangerous not only to a person’s health, but to their recovery.

If a person undergoes withdrawal but has access to their substance of choice, the urge to relapse will be very strong. Withdrawal is the first, and perhaps the most difficult, block to your recovery.

Because withdrawal symptoms are so severe, doctors strongly recommend against going through withdrawal alone. Instead, doctors recommend that patients seek detox treatment at an inpatient treatment facility.

Detox is normally only offered in inpatient facilities because of the worry that withdrawal symptoms could harm patients once they leave an outpatient program for the day.

Inpatient Rehab Features

While inpatient programs can vary between facilities, many have some similar features, including:

  • An average length of 28 days
  • Individual, group and family therapy
  • Medication management, if deemed clinically necessary
  • Care for co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Participation in 12 step fellowships
  • Medically supervised detoxification period

Features of Outpatient Rehab

Like inpatient programs, the programs used during outpatient treatment can vary widely between facilities. However, most outpatient services include most or some of the following features:

  • An average length of 28 days
  • Individual therapy
  • Referrals for medication management
  • Participation in 12 step fellowship meetings

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