Inpatient Rehab Vs. Outpatient Therapy

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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If you find yourself among the millions of people who battle with addiction and want to stop, chances are you have questions as to where to start. We’re here to help.

Figuring out the ideal addiction treatment plan can seem overwhelming. With several types of treatments and rehabilitation centers, it’s essential to consider your options before deciding which is the best for you. You need to decide if inpatient rehab or outpatient therapy would be the most suitable choice. To aid you in making an informed decision, this article will look at both the benefits and drawbacks of inpatient and outpatient therapies.

What Is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab is one of the most comprehensive forms of recovery when it comes to substance abuse treatment. It requires individuals to remain at a facility for a predetermined period, typically 30-90 days. During this time, they will receive 24/7 supervision, medical care and counseling as part of their rehabilitation program.
Inpatient rehab also has various amenities to help make the recovery process more comfortable, such as private rooms and Common areas with recreational activities. The aim is to create an environment that helps clients focus on their recovery rather than on potential triggers or distractions they may encounter while living at home.
The ultimate goal of inpatient rehab is to ensure an individual has the resources and support they need to get clean and stay clean. The structure of inpatient rehab helps ensure this by removing them from their everyday environment and setting up a safe space to focus on mental and physical healing.

What Is Outpatient Therapy?

If you’re looking for help managing an addiction but don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, outpatient therapy may be the right choice. Outpatient therapy involves regular visits to a mental healthcare provider for individualized treatment. During these visits, you’ll work with them to design a personalized plan tailored to your needs.
Outpatient therapy is typically less intensive than inpatient rehab, with sessions occurring anywhere from once a week to multiple times a day, depending on your circumstances and needs. You can also fit Outpatient sessions into your everyday life around work or school. It’s specifically designed to be flexible and accommodate your lifestyle while allowing you to focus on recovery.
Outpatient therapy educates you on techniques and strategies to tackle your addiction and reduce the risk of relapse. Furthermore, these treatments provide access to support groups and activities that hold you accountable for your recovery.

Advantages Of Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab can be a beneficial choice for yourself or a loved one. This kind of treatment is beneficial due to the safe and supportive environment, which encourages healing and recovery.

24-Hour Care and Support

When you opt for inpatient rehab, you’ll have access to around-the-clock medical care and emotional support from trained professionals specializing in addiction recovery. You’ll also be removed from your usual environment where substance use is more easily accessible. This allows you to focus entirely on your recovery without distractions or temptations.

Detox and Medication Management

Inpatient rehab typically begins with a medical detoxification process to help manage withdrawal symptoms. This is often done under the supervision of experienced medical professionals who can provide medication management services to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. And if needed, medication can be used as maintenance treatment during rehabilitation.

Counseling & Support Groups

At Defining Wellness Center, we offer individual counseling sessions, group therapy, and support groups for our patients to take advantage of during their stay. In these settings, individuals can share their experiences with others going through similar struggles, which can be extremely helpful in providing a sense of comfort and community during difficult times.

Benefits of Outpatient Therapy

Outpatient therapy offers many benefits that you may not know about. It’s essential to be aware of them before you decide whether inpatient or outpatient therapy is best for you.


Outpatient therapy costs much less than an inpatient rehab program with its staying fees, meals, and treatments. This makes outpatient programs more cost-effective, allowing people to get quality treatment without disrupting their lives.

More Independence

Outpatient therapy allows patients to live their daily lives while attending therapy sessions, meaning they can keep up with their job and family obligations. Also, the greater independence helps them make a smoother transition back into society when their treatment is complete.

Tailored Programs

Often, Outpatient programs can be tailored to meet your specific needs and involve different types of therapies, including group sessions, individual counseling, and family counseling. The more tailored approach can also benefit people who want evidence-based treatments from a licensed mental health professional.

The Cost of Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Care

Another consideration when deciding between inpatient vs outpatient care is the cost. Inpatient treatment tends to be more expensive due to the round-the-clock necessary medical care. In contrast, outpatient treatments are typically less costly and offer more flexibility depending on the severity of your situation.
The cost for an inpatient will depend on the type of facility you choose for yourself or a loved one. Generally, luxury facilities with private rooms and onsite chef services are more expensive than basic ones, but all provide quality clinical care.
Outpatient treatment costs will vary based on the length and number of sessions needed per week. Most insurance companies cover at least part of the inpatient and outpatient services cost. However, you should always check with your insurance first to determine if pre-approval is needed for coverage before beginning treatment.
Ultimately, you or your loved one should weigh all the pros and cons of cost versus benefits when deciding between inpatient vs. outpatient care. With quality counseling, medication management, and other support services available at both levels of care, finding a program that best suits your needs is essential.

Questions to Ask Before Deciding Between Options

When deciding between inpatient rehab and outpatient therapy, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

What Is Your Situation?

Before deciding on the treatment options for your addiction, the first step is evaluating your addiction. It’s essential to ask yourself the following questions
What is the type of addiction you’re dealing with?
How long have you tried quitting with or without professional help?
Do you suffer from any mental health conditions?
Do you have people in your life who can provide emotional support?
Asking yourself these questions can help you decide if residential or outpatient treatment is right for you.

What Type of Treatment Offers the Most Success?

Look into the reviews, results, and success rates of each type of care to see which fits your situation better. Inpatient care typically provides a more structured and immersive experience that encourages sobriety without distractions, whereas outpatient programs offer more flexibility

Inpatient Vs. Outpatient, Rehabilitation-What Type of Care, Is The Most Convenient

Inpatient rehab is often more expensive than outpatient therapy, partly due to the intensive nature of inpatient programs. Additionally, many inpatient facilities are located away from home, so travel costs could be involved if needed. Outpatient treatments generally offer more convenience; they allow you to work, attend school, or maintain family obligations while getting treatment.
No matter what option you choose, ensure it’s right for you and your goals before taking the plunge!

Begin your Recovery Today

If you are ready to take the step towards a new life, call Defining Wellness today and learn more about how we can help you.