Outpatient Vs. Inpatient Treatment: Which Rehab Program Is Best for You?

Rehab Program

There are approximately 22 million people throughout the United States who are in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. 

Are you hoping to join this group? If so, one of the first steps you need to take is to figure out which type of treatment program is right for you.

Two of the most popular addiction treatment options are inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

Inpatient Treatment Pros and Cons

Inpatient treatment is the type of treatment that most people are familiar with. It involves staying in a facility 24-7 for a specific period of time (usually between 30 and 90 days) with access to round the clock support and care.


One of the greatest benefits of this type of treatment is the amount of support you receive.

In inpatient programs, you’ll have access to doctors, nurses, and counselors throughout the day and night to help you through the ups and downs of detox and recovery.

You’ll also be free from temptation here and will have an opportunity to take a break from the people who may have given you access to your drug of choice or pressured you into using again.


On the other hand, inpatient programs can be more expensive. It also requires you to take an extended break from your regular life.

This can be tricky if you have children or others who depend on you, or if you can’t take an extended absence from work.

The transition back into the “real world” from an inpatient program can also be quite jarring and may be difficult for some people. There are programs in place to make this transition easier, but they sometimes aren’t sufficient.

Outpatient Treatment Pros and Cons

If you participate in outpatient treatment, you will continue living at home. However, you will visit the treatment facility on a regular basis to receive medication, work with counselors, and attend meetings with other individuals in recovery.


Outpatient rehab allows you to receive the support and care you need without taking a total break from your real life. 

You can still go to work, take your kids to school, and do the other things you like to do. You’ll just have to fit your treatment into your routine.

Outpatient treatment is also much more affordable. It allows you to maintain a sense of normalcy, too, and it makes it easier for you to transition out of other, more intensive treatments.


When you’re in outpatient treatment, you have to be better about avoiding triggers on your own.

Since you are still exposed to the stressors of everyday life, as well as people who may encourage you to use drugs, you’ll have to work hard to resist temptation and stick to your program.

This challenge can be too much for some people, especially if they have a long history of drug abuse and addiction. 

Which Treatment Is Right for You?

As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to both inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment.

Now that you know more about the pros and cons of each, do you know which one is the best fit for you?

If you need more guidance, consider checking out the Psychology & Sociology section of our site today. You’ll find lots of helpful resources there on addiction and addiction recovery, as well as other mental health matters.