Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the differences between inpatient vs outpatient rehab can help you determine the best level of care for you. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

October 4, 2023

With the huge number of resources and healthcare information available, getting treatment for alcohol and drug addiction has never been easier than it is now. A good addiction treatment program can set a path of recovery that allows enjoying a peaceful and wonderful life. You must determine which type of care will be most beneficial to you. This may involve getting inpatient vs outpatient care.

Depending on your situation, the level of care that a patient may receive differ significantly. Inpatient care is generally more thorough and costly as it involves more procedures and treatments.

Inpatient takes a high level of medical intervention while outpatient is typically less intensive and expensive. Outpatient care does not require the usage of other medical facilities that inpatient does and usually involves a consultation with a medical professional only.

Understanding the differences between inpatient vs outpatient rehab can help you determine the best level of care for you. Having the right amount of knowledge will allow you to easily identify specific concerns or challenges you may have.

This could be done by doing some self-evaluation or by seeking help from the trusted addiction specialists at Legends Recovery Center in Green Springs, Ohio.

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What is Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab refers to an intensive type of treatment where a patient would have to stay in the treatment facility for a specific period while getting treated. An Inpatient rehab offers round-the-clock care and support from trained medical and mental health professionals like doctors, nurses, and counselors. The duration and intensity depend on the individual needs; one can have a shorter stay while some may need longer treatment.

The main goal of an Inpatient rehab is to provide a place where an individual can safely detox from drugs and alcohol. It offers a safe and controlled environment that is free from distractions and triggers. Inpatient rehab provides patients with easy access to the tools and supports they need at the beginning of their recovery process. It is the best option, especially when an individual is fighting a severe addiction.

The Benefits of Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab provides several benefits for individuals with substance use disorders and these include the following:

  1. An Intensive and Structured Environment
  2. Medical Supervision and Support
  3. Group and Individual Therapy
  4. Educational Workshops and Activities
  5. Aftercare Planning
  6. Safety and Privacy

Inpatient Rehab Programs and Treatments

Inpatient rehab offers a more immersing treatment and can help to prevent reversion and ensure a stable recovery. Some of these inpatient rehab programs include the following:

  • Medical detox: Detoxification helps safely manage withdrawal symptoms and address specific issues with substance misuse.
  • Behavioral therapy: Addiction therapy helps individuals understand and change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to their addiction. This may include individual or group counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other forms of therapy.
  • Medication-assisted treatment: MAT utilizes medication to help a patient manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms during detox and in the early stages of recovery.
  • Recreational and other therapies: such as art therapy, yoga, exercise, and meditation help clients achieve their physical and mental well-being.
  • Aftercare planning: to help individuals transition back to their normal lives and prevent relapse once they leave the treatment facility.

While Inpatient treatment is a good choice to acquire knowledge and abilities for sustaining long-term sobriety, there are also outpatient programs that one can opt for to help them with their addiction.

What is Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

inpatient and outpatient rehab program

An outpatient rehab program is a type of addiction treatment program that allows individuals to receive therapy, counseling, and other types of treatment on a regular schedule. It allows an individual to be able to live at home and maintain their daily responsibilities.

Outpatient programs typically involve attending therapy sessions, support groups several, and a variety of evidence-based treatments several times a week. The duration and frequency will depend on the specific program and the needs of the individual.

This level of care tends to be less intensive than inpatient programs. The only downside is that one may encounter triggers and distractions along the treatment that can complicate the recovery process.

The Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab provides several benefits for individuals with substance use disorders and it includes the following:


Flexibility is one of the main advantages of outpatient rehab. It allows individuals to continue living in their own houses and carry out their regular everyday routines. It is very beneficial to those who have obligations to their families or work that they cannot put on hold. Outpatient rehab allows individuals to maintain a sense of normalcy which can be important for their overall well-being.


Outpatient rehab is generally less expensive than inpatient rehab, as individuals do not need to pay for room and board. This can make it a more accessible option for some individuals.

Less Restrictive

Outpatient rehab is generally less restrictive than inpatient rehab, which can make it a better option for some individuals.

Continuity of Care

For people who have already finished an inpatient rehab program and want to continue getting support and counseling, outpatient rehab is a great choice.

Easy Access to Support Groups and Community Resources

Outpatient rehab can provide access to support groups and community resources that can be beneficial for recovery.


Outpatient rehab can be tailored to an individual’s specific needs and can be adjusted as the individual’s situation and progress change. This allows for a more personalized approach to treatment.

Outpatient Rehab Programs and Treatments

An outpatient rehab program typically includes a range of addiction treatment services that are provided on a scheduled basis.  These services may include:

  • Individual therapy: a one-on-one talk with a therapist or counselor about their addiction and the issues that led to it.
  • Group therapy: a session that brings together patients who are struggling with similar issues. It allows each individual to share their experiences and support each other in their recovery.
  • Behavioral therapy: such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients understand and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their addiction.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): the use of FDA-approved medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies.
  • Education and Skills Training: a recovery program for outpatients that assists in acquiring the skills and information necessary to lead drug-free lives.
  • Family therapy: a therapy session that can help repair and strengthen relationships between the patient and their family members. Family therapy is very essential in maintaining recovery.
  • Recovery support services: like the 12-step programs, Self-help groups, and mutual-support groups which can provide continued support and accountability.

Knowing the Right Program to Choose: Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab

Recovery from drug or alcohol abuse is a process. Each individual and case may differ from one another. Regardless of the treatment program you choose, you must know the difference between an inpatient vs. outpatient rehab.

Inpatient is an ideal option for individuals with more severe substance use disorders, those who have struggled with addiction for a long period, or those who have failed to achieve lasting recovery through outpatient treatment.

Outpatient rehab programs, on the other hand, may be recommended for individuals with less severe substance use disorders. It is ideal for those who have a strong support system in place. It’s a good option for those unable to take time off work or school to participate in an inpatient program. Additionally, outpatient rehab is more cost-effective.

Evaluate the programs before even making the decision. Consider the severity of your disorder, the presence of any co-occurring mental health conditions, your personal and professional responsibilities, and your financial situation. Remember that one type of care isn’t an outright better option over the other. Discipline and commitment are vital to complete the program and being able to benefit from it.

Received the Treatment You Need at Legends Recovery Ohio

Both types of rehab have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to note that choosing the type of rehab that will work best for you should be made in assistance with an addiction specialist. Contact us today and received the most appropriate level of care for your needs!

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