The In & Outs of Inpatient vs Outpatient Recovery Treatment

Inpatient vs Outpatient Recovery Treatment

Inpatient vs Outpatient Recovery Treatment

The decision to begin treatment may be one of the most difficult you’ll ever have to make. Compared to that, you might think that choosing an appropriate facility would be easy, but not so. Where you choose will much depend on your individual situation, preferences, and philosophies. One of the criteria will be whether you choose and inpatient or intensive outpatient program. Depending on you, each will have its own advantages and disadvantages.

Below is a list of the various features of inpatient and outpatient recovery treatment and their pros and cons.

The Advantages of Inpatient

  • Takes you out of an unstable environment and allows you to get away from temptations of using and helps you focus completely on getting sober
  • Around the clock supervision
  • Around the clock access to doctors and psychiatrists
  • No access to drugs or alcohol
  • Catered meals
  • Better suited for long-term treatment

The Disadvantages of Inpatient

  • Programs are expensive
  • Additional services available but come at a cost
  • You are required to remain at the facility for the duration of the treatment
  • Takes you away from work, school, and/or family
  • You are not free to come and go as you please
  • A structured environment that determines when you will get up, when you eat, etc.

The Advantages of Outpatient

  • Programs tend to cost less
  • You are able to live at home or a sober living facility
  • Not being sequestered makes it easier to remain employed and maintain relationships
  • You can retain access to friends and family who can offer support
  • Easier to learn how live as a sober person in the real world vs. being sequestered
  • Less time consuming than inpatient

The Disadvantages of Outpatient

  • Higher risk of relapse because access to substances not limited
  • Daily life distractions may make focusing on your recovery more difficult
  • Possible exposure to the same influences, risks, and triggers that may have pushed you towards substance abuse
  • More difficult to develop bonds with other clients as you spend less time with them
  • Access to counseling is more limited than at residential/inpatient facility
  • Five days a week programs only – no supervision or services on weekends

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