Facts About Inpatient Rehab Versus Outpatient Therapy


When you go for a drug or alcohol treatment, there are two categories, known as inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities. Both focus on rehab in different ways with unique attributes and benefits that help any alcoholic or drug addict to get better. Inpatient rehab is far more intensive than outpatient facilities and helps patients through intensive addiction issues.

Outpatients have a more relaxed routine in comparison to inpatient client facilities. However, how do you learn the difference between inpatient vs. outpatient therapy? As a patient, you must learn about all the options that will help your recovery. When you know what is in store for you, it leads to better decisions. The word rehab shouldn’t throw you off; and instead, you must associate it with recovery. So, to help you understand better. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

If you are struggling with a mild addiction, you can go for outpatient therapy. The reason is your addiction is in a manageable state so that the rehab center can go easy on you. You can attend mandatory sessions from home, as many outpatient options are available for you to explore and get help. Most sessions last no more than 10 hours a week, and you get to maintain a routine and receive adequate treatment for your time. There are also social support programs to help you recover. Your session in an outpatient rehab covers the following:

  • Drug Abuse Education. Studying and understanding the thought process behind consuming and indulging in drugs.
  • Individual and Group Counseling. A system that will help you navigate through your thoughts along with those who share your experience. A separate session will help you self-reflect better. 
  • You are coping Without Drugs. Your rehab center will subject you to detox programs to wean you off drugs. After which, it is essential to help you cope with the withdrawals and the loss of drugs. What Is Detoxing Like In Outpatient Programs?

Since you have mild to moderate drug addiction, your withdrawals will also appear accordingly. Outpatient facilities are ready to tackle your condition. The detox process is safe and effective. Counselors will work with your situation gently, getting all drugs out of your system. They will ensure you’re hydrated during the condition. You may get light trembles but nothing that would require serious medical intervention. The process is also much faster than inpatient rehabs. If a counselor feels you’re not looking well, they will connect you to a doctor. 

What Kind Of Social Support do I Get at an Outpatient Rehab?

Your treatment will start at home. However, your rehab center will advise you to have a support system for yourself at home. That doesn’t mean there isn’t help for you at the rehab center. The friends you make in your sessions will help you navigate through a life without drugs. But the support you will get from your loved ones is equally important. The approach is slightly holistic. The treatment is making use of your emotional health to help you overcome your addiction. You may attend AA meetings and even support groups to facilitate your recovery.

How Does Inpatient Rehab Differ?

Unlike outpatient rehab, inpatient rehab is vastly different. The kind of addiction that gets treated here is more severe. You will need to check into a facility and stay under strict supervision and make arrangements for yourself. You may need to tell your employers and friends about your recovery timeline. Unless the rehab center approves that you’re ready to leave, you need to stay and complete your time. These facilities are also much more expensive than outpatient facilities. You will go through a proper process of signing your consent and submitting adequate documents to get admitted. 

What Is Family Support In Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient facilities understand that family involvement is crucial for your recovery. So they will keep your family in the loop. You may receive counseling sessions with your family present. You may also get to meet them for one on one talking sessions. You will not get alienated from your family, but there will be some limitations. An inpatient facility wants you to get completely independent. For that, you need to heal as well emotionally. So while you see your family, your counseling is far more critical. 

What Is Life During Inpatient Rehab?

The purpose of you checking into an inpatient facility is to remove the distractions of daily life. So you’re focusing on completely getting better. Therefore the schedule you follow caters to your needs. You will need to maintain a steady diet, do exercise and attend your counseling sessions. You also need to meet multiple professionals as well as get detoxed during your stay. A typical inpatient facility runs about anything from a month to six months. You may go through the following:

  • Detoxing In The Facility 

In an inpatient facility, you will need to go through medically assisted detox. The withdrawal of coming down from heavy drugs is enough to shake you to the core. You may get violent tremors, sweat profusely, and even get severe body pain. Doctors may need to give you medicines to help you manage some of these symptoms. They also need to supervise you to keep you from relapsing and going back to old habits.

  • More Physical Activities

Your counselors will help you get more active. They won’t expect you to run marathons, but they want you to start rebuilding your stamina. So you may get mild to easy exercises. The stretches you do will help you manage your physical endurance and help you get more physically active. So when you leave rehab, you don’t fall back on older habits of lethargy and fatigue. 

  • Controlled Diet

The food you consume in an inpatient facility is not in your control. You will need to eat a diet that is easy to digest as you detox. You will get light meals throughout the day with minimal snacking. Some addicts may also gain weight during their addiction phase. So the counselors will help these people manage their weight and fix their diet. The result of a controlled diet is to be more mindful about what you eat. When you’re light on your feet, you are more aware of everything around you.

  • Mental Health Counseling 

Drug addiction is messy, leading you to feel isolated and depressed. Mental health conditions cannot get treated lightly. If they persist, they impact your whole body. You may start feeling suicidal and even have thoughts of harming yourself. 

Wrap Up

Outpatient and inpatient facilities differ from each other in terms of the services they provide. However, their mutual shared goal is to give you help. Outpatient facilities are slightly less invasive than inpatient facilities. You’re managing your addiction with regular life. It also attributes to the fact that your addiction is much milder, so you can continue your routine. The detox is also much more controlled and safer. Inpatient treatment is slightly different. The rehab facility requires you to get admitted and get treated under strict supervision. The purpose is to fix your stamina, diet, and your mental health.