Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: What’s the Difference?

Woman holding a vintage suitcase

Jana van der Linde May 25, 2020

There are two ways someone can receive addiction treatment: through inpatient or outpatient rehab. An important step towards sobriety is deciding which one of these treatment approaches are best suited to a person’s needs and circumstances. 

Inpatient treatment is when a person is admitted to a rehab facility, and stays there for an extended period of time, to receive intense addiction treatment. It’s a live-in type of treatment.  

Outpatient, on the other hand, is a live-out type of treatment. At Silicon Beach Treatment Center we offer a range of outpatient tracks. This means our clients come to the center for a few hours on certain days – the amount and frequency depends on which track they are – to receive treatment. 

To better understand the difference between inpatient and outpatient, let’s take a look at the benefits of both these treatment types.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment 

Inpatient programs – also called residential treatment – are anything from 28 days to six months long. Benefits of an inpatient treatment approach include:

Comprehensive Care

People battling addiction benefit from comprehensive care. An inpatient approach to addiction requires a person to live in the rehab facility with daily participation in treatment sessions and activities. Depending on facility ethos and personal treatment plans, this can include intensive individual and group therapy, counseling, doctor’s appointments, and exercise activities. 

Around the Clock Medical and Emotional Support

An inpatient program affords participants with full-time care. This is especially beneficial to those with severe substance use disorders in need of 24/7 support. 

Sobriety Is The Sole Focus

Inpatient addiction treatment keeps a person focused on recovery. With a large amount of time spent on treatment each day, and no distractions from everyday life, inpatient treatment provides a very focused level of care.  

Despite its benefits, a drawback of inpatient treatment is that it separates a person from their life, family, and work. Serious addiction conditions wreak havoc with people’s lives and, for some, temporarily removing themselves from that life is the best course of action. 

For others, outpatient treatment is a better answer. 

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment 

For people battling a less severe form of addiction, outpatient treatment is often preferred. Here are a few benefits of an outpatient treatment approach.

Less Disruptive to Daily Life

Outpatient programs afford participants flexibility. The extent of disruption to a person’s work and family life is less when opting for an outpatient approach requiring a few hours a week, as opposed to full-time inpatient treatment. 

Immediate Real-Life Application of Treatment Outcomes

People in outpatient programs have the benefit of immediately applying the progress they make in treatment to their everyday life. Rebuilding life after addiction is no small feat. Outpatient treatment allows a person to address an addiction problem while at the same time, applying what they learn to help restore their life. 

Access to Family and Community Support

Outpatient treatment allows for greater participation from family or friends in recovery. This goes a long way in helping loved ones better understand the substance use disorder struggle and strengthens support networks. 

More Affordable

The cost of inpatient treatment is quite steep. Outpatient programs are generally more affordable making it a more accessible addiction treatment option.

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Which Approach Is More Effective?

The clincher is determining the rehab option best suited to a person’s particular context.

Research studies found that different types of treatment are effective in different contexts. The individualized nature of addiction treatment means an inpatient approach may be very meaningful to some people but less for others, while outpatient approaches work really well for some but not necessarily everyone. Both in- and outpatient treatments are effective. The clincher is determining the rehab option best suited to a person’s particular context. 

Los Angeles Rehab That Isn’t Like the Rest

At Silicon Beach Treatment Center we offer different outpatient addiction tracks all geared towards reconnecting you with your life while treating the addiction that separated you from it. Our treatment tracks include partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient (IOP), and outpatient (OP) options.  

If you’re looking for outpatient drug rehab in LA, look no further. Talk to the team at Silicon Beach about a rehab suited to your needs, today.

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