outpatient drug rehab

How Outpatient Drug Rehab Differs from Inpatient: Pros and Cons

When you are ready to commit to drug rehab, you’ll find many programs available, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient and aftercare. While having this many options can feel overwhelming, it’s important to look at treatment as a continuum. 

In the past, only the physical aspects of addiction were treated. Today, treatment centers understand the importance of providing more comprehensive care that addresses mental health. And since addiction can be mild or severe, there are also different levels of treatment. This way, you can find the level of care that is right for you. 

Awakenings Treatment Center is a holistic treatment center that offers intensive outpatient and standard outpatient treatment. We can also help connect you to additional resources, such as sober living and medical detox. Let’s review how outpatient drug rehab differs from inpatient rehab, and the pros and cons to be aware of. 

What is Outpatient Rehab? 

Outpatient drug rehab is a type of addiction treatment that allows clients to receive care while still living at home and maintaining some or all of their normal routines. This type of program typically involves regular counseling and therapy sessions, as well as other types of support and education. 

The only difference between intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment is the number of hours of support you receive. Intensive outpatient therapy can be as much as ten hours a week or more, while standard outpatient therapy is usually around two or three hours. 

Due to the extra hours, intensive outpatient programs are recommended for those who are ‘stepping down’ from an inpatient program, as well as those who need more structure and support. Standard outpatient rehab is a great fit for individuals who are ready to resume their normal activities, but need some support. 

The Pros of Outpatient Rehab 

If you have a mild to moderate addiction, a supportive home environment, and the ability to maintain your daily responsibilities, outpatient treatment is likely a great fit for you. Here are the benefits of this type of care: 

  • Flexibility. Outpatient drug rehab programs are often more flexible than inpatient programs. They allow clients to schedule appointments and therapy sessions around work, school and family obligations.
  • Cost effective. Since you don’t have to pay for room and board, outpatient programs are generally less expensive than inpatient programs. 
  • Support system. If you have a great support system at home, your recovery can benefit from staying close to them. And, loved ones can participate in family therapy with you.  
  • Practice skills. With outpatient treatment, you can start practicing the skills you learn in therapy in the real world. This way, you’ll be more prepared to live sober and manage triggers. 
  • Private. Many clients also like that outpatient therapy is more private. No one has to know that you are receiving this type of care, compared to inpatient care where there’s a noticeable absence. 

The Cons of Outpatient Drug Rehab 

While outpatient drug rehab offers many benefits, it’s not for everyone. It’s important to be honest about your needs and receive a full assessment before making a decision. Here are a few drawbacks to outpatient therapy. 

  • Limited monitoring. Clients in outpatient rehab do not have 24-hour medical and clinical monitoring. This can make it more challenging to manage withdrawal symptoms and other complications.
  • Temptation. Since you will be existing in the real world, you may be exposed to triggers and temptations that can make it more difficult to stay sober. 
  • Fewer resources. Though not always the case, outpatient drug rehab programs may not have the same access to resources and support. Fortunately, outpatient programs like Awakenings Treatment Center provide access to holistic therapies and specialized care

Which is Better: Outpatient or Inpatient Drug Rehab? 

When making a decision for yourself, which is better: a flexible outpatient program or a structured inpatient program? It all depends on your needs and what your assessment shows. 

If you have a severe addiction and co-occurring mental health problem, you’ll likely benefit from an inpatient program, especially if you haven’t gone through detox yet. You’ll greatly benefit from the continuous monitoring and support you will receive. 

Outpatient treatment is best for individuals with mild or moderate addiction and strong support at home. While you can enter outpatient treatment at most points in the recovery journey, it’s often best to follow an inpatient program. 

Learn More About Outpatient Drug Rehab 

Awakenings Treatment Center has an admissions department standing by to help you. We will provide you with a full assessment to determine where to place you. With our intensive outpatient and standard outpatient programs, as well as access to specialized care and alternative treatments, we are confident that we can help. Contact us today to start your journey.