Inpatient vs Outpatient RehabPros & Cons to Help You Make the Right Decision
- The difference between inpatient & outpatient rehab
- Different levels of care for addiction treatment
- Outpatient rehabilitation programmes
- Pros & cons of outpatient rehab
- Inpatient recovery programmes
- Pros & cons of inpatient rehab
- Inpatient vs outpatient treatment success rates
- Is inpatient or outpatient rehab better?
- What you need to consider
What is the difference between inpatient & outpatient rehab?
Levels of care for addiction disorders
A side-by-side comparison of monastery rehab vs quality residential rehab can be illustrative of the different choices that these two disparate approaches represent.
|0.5||Early Intervention Services|
|II||Intensive Outpatient Services/ Partial Hospitalisation|
|III||Residential and Inpatient Treatment|
|IV||Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient Treatment|
What is outpatient rehab?
Day treatment includes full-day schedules 5 to 7 days per week and may treat patients with co-morbid mental illness. This type of treatment allows clients to receive focused, professional treatment even while living at home. It is intended for those who have already given up their addictive behaviour and gone through withdrawal. By using standard forms of evidence-based treatment, this type of outpatient care can move clients toward recovery without entirely separating them from their day-to-day lives.
Intensive Outpatient Programme (IOP)
IOPs ensure clients are given medical and psychological help during their recovery process. Clients only need to go to a rehab centre or hospital for treatment sessions, such as individual and group counselling, behavioural therapy, relapse prevention education, and additional treatments. IOPs generally require clients to attend a treatment facility for a minimum of nine hours per week, and tend to be more invasive than day treatment.
Who is best suited to outpatient rehab?
Pros of outpatient rehab
- Live at home while you receive treatment
- More affordable than inpatient treatment
- Immediate social support from your family and friends
- Being able to practice your recovery in a real-life situation
- Flexible treatment options
- No disruption to your everyday life
Cons of outpatient rehab
- Lack of continuous medical and emotional support
- Being in your usual environment can expose you to triggers, leading to a relapse
- Less chance of being able to identify and actively manage co-occurring mental health conditions
- The detox process can be more difficult
- Clients with a dual diagnosis likely need to coordinate their own care, as addiction and mental health treatments are undergone separately
- Have a less entrenched history of substance dependence
- Have no significant cognitive impairment
- Have less severe co-occurring mental disorders such as, depression or anxiety
- Have better psychosocial support
- Do not require medical detoxification or 24-hour supervision
What is inpatient treatment?
- Short-term residential treatment: typically lasts between 1 – 3 months and treatment often consists of medical detoxification in combination with behavioural therapy
- Long-term residential treatment: typically refers to treatment of 3 months or longer, and may last as long as 12 months
- Low-intensity residential treatment: refers to a secondary stage of treatment where clients live in a semi-controlled environment and continue to receive support
Who is best suited to inpatient rehab?
Pros of inpatient rehab
- Constant access to medical care and emotional support
- Specifically designed to treat serious addictions and co-morbid disorders
- Removal from environments that can trigger cravings and lead to relapse
- Supplementary activities that actively promote wellness and abstinence from harmful substances
- A sense of belonging and community, as the intimate setting provides an opportunity to bond with fellow clients and counsellors
Cons of inpatient rehab
- Higher costs due to the comprehensive nature of accommodation and treatment
- Inability to continue active employment during your treatment
- Cut off from the outside world, causing a disruption to everyday routine and making it more difficult to receive support from friends and family
- Some insurance companies are reluctant to pay costs for inpatient treatment programmes
- Are chronic drinkers with a high level of dependence and a long history of drinking
- Are long-term drug users and suffer significant harms from use
- Lack social support and whose social networks are conducive to continued drug use
- Have active mental disorders, such as unresolved anxiety or depression
- Have mental health symptoms that need overnight support and “as needed” medication
- Have used a large classes of drugs or abused substances at an early age
- Have experienced overdoses and had a high levels of suicidal ideation
- Have a history of failed attempts at inpatient or outpatient treatment, either for alcohol, drugs, or mental health treatment
Inpatient vs outpatient treatment success rates
- Dedicated health care services for both medical and emotional needs, that are available 24 hours per day in a safe, alcohol or drug-free environment
- Personalised treatment options that include the three steps of addiction treatment: detox, reflection, and growth
- Comprehensive and active treatment services in the form of individual counselling, group counselling, and referral to support networks
- A multidisciplinary clinical team that includes psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, social workers, as well as support and administrative staff
Is inpatient or outpatient rehab better?
What to consider
- Is the treatment programme affordable?
- Will insurance cover the full duration of treatment?
- Are there any extra costs that I should know about?
- Severity of condition
- How long has addiction been an issue for you?
- Are there any co-occurring disorders present?
- Does the severity of my condition warrant a higher level of care?
- Do I need access to 24-hour medical care and support?
- Support system
- Do I have a strong support system at home?
- How would I respond to treatment in a group setting?
- Would being away from my normal environment and its associated triggers be beneficial for me?
- What triggers my addiction? How can I remove myself from that situation?
- Treatment offerings
- Does my treatment provider care for my specific needs?
- Does the treatment facility have the necessary expertise and protocols to deal with medical emergencies?
- Does the treatment programme include relapse prevention strategies and continuing care?
- Does the treatment facility employ a multidisciplinary team who have had specialist training in managing addictive disorders?
- “What Are the ASAM Levels of Care?” ASAM Continuum, American Society of Addiction Medicine, 4 Nov. 2019, www.asamcontinuum.org/knowledgebase/what-are-the-asam-levels-of-care/.
- McCarty, Dennis et al. “Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence.” Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.) vol. 65,6 (2014): 718-26. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201300249
- Evans, Barry. “Drug and Alcohol Treatment Guidelines for Residential Settings.” 2007, NSW Department of Health.
- The Victorian Government. (2018). About Residential Rehabilitation. State of Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from www2.health.vic.gov.au/alcohol-and-drugs/aod-treatment-services/aod-residential-treatment
- Traditional, Alternative, or Complementary Therapies, in Addiction Treatment (TATAC) Report: National and State Profiles.National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, 2015, pp. 1–15,Traditional, Alternative, or Complementary Therapies, in Addiction Treatment (TATAC) Report: National and State Profiles.