Choosing the Best Rehab Program for You

Sometimes it can be difficult choosing the best rehabilitation option in the face of addiction because there are a number of programs you may have never heard before. Not knowing the pros and cons will put you at a disadvantage when choosing inpatient drug rehab centers vs outpatient treatment for yourself or a loved one.

Inpatient VS Outpatient Treatment

We’re going to get into the specifics of inpatient vs outpatient rehabilitation to answer your questions about each modality of treatments.

What Are Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers?

Inpatient rehab, sometimes referred to as residential rehab, is long term treatment for people in recovery. Those who check into inpatient rehabilitation are expected to stay in their treatment center from 30-90 days after undergoing detoxification.


During rehab, people in recovery will undergo extensive therapy to get beneath the belly of addiction and address the problems that lie underneath, learn critical life skills to survive in the real world (resume building, hygiene, cooking, etc.), participate in group therapy sessions, develop aftercare plans for eventual graduation, and learn to live without their substance of choice by changing their behaviors and thought patterns with cognitive behavioral therapy.

Inpatient rehabilitation is recommended for those who have suffered from long-term addiction or those who are not able to yet be on their own without the fear of relapse- which is often deadly.

In short, Inpatient Rehabilitation offers:

  • Intensive drug counseling
  • 24 hour medical/psychiatric monitoring
  • 30-90 day program
  • Treatment for those with long standing addictions
  • Reconstruction of the way one thinks and behaves

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient rehabilitation offers more freedom to people in recovery, and allows them to return home after each day of treatment. Depending upon the severity of one’s substance use disorder, patients will be required to attend their treatment facility from 3-5 times a week, where they will undergo continuing therapy as outlined previously in inpatient rehabilitation. Outpatient treatment is not an appropriate choice for those in the throes of active addiction; instead people in recovery who have already underwent inpatient treatment are ideal candidates for this program. Conversely, those who are admitted for the initial throes of substance abuse, which has yet manifest into chronic addiction may be suited for outpatient rehab.

The goal is to apply what you have learned in residential therapy to practical use in outpatient therapy as a step-down treatment, where you will remain in frequent contact with your rehabilitation center.

In a nutshell, Outpatient Rehabilitation offers:

  • Freedom & Therapy
  • The ability to begin living independently
  • Allows the attendance of work, school, and family commitments
  • Continue therapy 3-5 times weekly
  • Treatment for short term addictions, or budding substance abuse

How Should I Decide If Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers vs Outpatient Treatment Is Best?

The governing factors guiding your decision as to whether  inpatient vs outpatient is best suited for your particular circumstances, or that of a loved one, can be determined roughly by the following measures:

  • Severity of Addiction
  • Duration of Addiction
  • History of Past Treatment
  • Ability, or Inability, to Live Independently
  • Presence (or lack thereof) of Coping Skills
  • Psychological State of Mind
  • Do you require 24 hour monitoring?
  • Can you abstain from use while on your own?
  • Do you have a safe environment to return to?
  • Do you have a sober support system?