Entering treatment can be a daunting and overwhelming prospect. Once you’ve decided to seek help, how can you best choose the right program for your specific situation and needs? A thorough evaluation is generally necessary to select the appropriate care, and discussing your options with family, counselors, or psychologists is also useful. Here are some additional considerations to help guide your decision: The central difference between inpatient and outpatient programs is that inpatient treatment requires clients to live full-time at the treatment center. There are also intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization programs, which offer a more intensive treatment experience than a fully outpatient program, but don’t require clients to live full-time at the center. These programs often offer supportive off-site environments, like sober living homes.

Choosing a treatment center

Inpatient Residential Treatment

  • A round-the-clock safe and secure environment, free from pressures and temptation
  • Individuals who need to detox from alcohol or drugs can receive knowledgeable medical supervision throughout the process
  • Inpatient treatment generally lasts from one to three months, but occasionally some choose to extend their stays for as long as six months
  • Residential treatment centers offer an immersive routine, free from distractions. Inpatient is a full-time endeavor, usually involving 8-10 hours a day in activities like in counseling, group discussion, and other therapies
  • Inpatient care may be well-suited for those who haven’t had success with less intensive treatments
  • Living away from the rigors of daily life can offer perspective and give those trying to recover time and space to learn new skills, crucial for re-entering the world.

Outpatient treatment

Intensive Outpatient/partial hospitalization 

  • In this case, clients receive a more intense treatment experience than in a fully outpatient setup.
  • This is also known as day treatment, and is usually comprised of group sessions, one on one sessions, and some alternative treatment methods like yoga, neurofeedback, and others.
  • Intensive outpatient is very similar to full residential care, but is often covered by insurance policies that do not cover full-time residential inpatient treatments.
  • Many treatment centers offer supportive housing to clients while in partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs.

Outpatient Treatment

  • Outpatient care is often best suited to those who are unable to take long absences from work, family, or other commitments
  • Most outpatient programs require only several hours of attendance, three to five days a week
  • This option means the absence of a secure environment, as clients go home at night. As such, outpatient treatment tends to be better suited to those with supportive and safe living environments
  • People in outpatient programs are generally required to immediately connect with support communities, such as 12-step programs, which are highly beneficial for long-term recovery
  • Outpatient care is often a recommended following inpatient treatment.

Regardless of your situation, we can offer you advice and guidance if you need it. Call us to speak to a recovery advocate–we’ve been there, and are here to help you find what you need to recover.