Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which Is Best for Your Recovery?

Group of people in a drug rehabilitation program

Are you ready to begin rehab but don’t know where to start? The next step in your recovery journey is considering your options for treatment. At The Woods at Parkside, we offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs. Both options can be effective, but your unique situation will help determine what level of treatment you need.

Would you like to begin inpatient or outpatient rehab? If so, call The Woods at Parkside to begin treatment.

Basic Differences

Group of people in a drug rehabilitation program

Comparing inpatient and outpatient thoroughly requires understanding the differences between the two. Let’s start with the basics.


Inpatient rehab is a type of program you participate in at a rehabilitation center. You stay at the facility day and night for the recommended time. If you choose outpatient rehab, you go to therapy sessions during the day but go home after each day’s sessions.

Length of Treatment

One question you need to ask before comparing inpatient vs. outpatient rehab is how long the treatment lasts. The length of treatment varies depending on what facility you choose for rehab. At The Woods at Parkside, inpatient care, also called residential care, can last up to 45 days. Our outpatient rehab typically lasts up to 21 days.


Rehab costs can vary widely, depending on several factors. These include the length of your stay and, yes, the type of program you choose. Your insurance will tell you the out-of-pocket costs, which can be very different from each other depending on the type of insurance you carry. The best way to know is to contact your insurance representative and discuss it with the rehab’s billing department. Just remember: the cost of misusing substances is greater than the cost of treatment.


Another difference between inpatient vs. outpatient rehab is the environment you are in during treatment. With residential rehab, the environment is highly structured. You are in the facility around the clock, so you do not have the usual access to drugs and alcohol. If you have strong urges to use substances, inpatient gives you a safe place where you have more support and less exposure to the risk of relapse.

If you choose outpatient rehab, you are spending much of your day at home and work. You have the same temptations and the same stressors as you did before starting rehab. This can make it harder to stay sober during treatment. However, you will have daily support for sobriety, and you will have chances to learn and practice how to structure your post-rehab life.


Both inpatient and outpatient rehab have been shown effective. Although there hasn’t been enough research on this subject, the studies that have been done indicate that you can have effective treatment in both types of programs.

Daily Life

When you are in an inpatient rehabilitation program, your daily life is very structured. You attend individual and group therapy, 12-step programs, and other types of therapy, such as recreation therapy and music therapy. You learn life skills, and family education can help your loved ones know how to help you. You aren’t exposed to the usual work and family pressures. Much of your time may be spent on reflection and planning for your new, sober life.

When you are in outpatient rehab, you split your days between treatment and ordinary daily living. Our partial hospitalization program goes for eight hours a day, seven days a week. The rest of the time, you work on getting back to your family and social life, but with an emphasis on avoiding relapse.

We also offer intensive outpatient programs. There, you go in the morning or evening for three hours a day, three days a week. Because you are in treatment for less time, you may be able to go back to work. Thus, you can address things that happen at work or at home during treatment.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Rehab

Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Rehab: 5 Questions to Guide Your Choice Infographic

When you are choosing between inpatient vs. outpatient rehab, you need to consider some important factors. The facility offering the treatment can make an assessment and provide a recommendation. The following factors may play into your decision.

Medical Conditions

Sometimes, people going into rehab have underlying medical conditions. So, they may need special care that takes those illnesses or injuries into account. Inpatient treatment allows the medical staff to monitor your health. After all, getting off of certain drugs can present temporary health risks. Still, it’s important to remember that once you stop using, your health will likely improve dramatically.

Mental Health Conditions

Many people have both mental health disorders and substance use disorders. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and panic disorders often have substance abuse as well. If you have both, you need specialized care. The best way to get it is often by going to a residential dual-diagnosis program. Then, you get medical and mental health care all through your rehabilitation program.

With outpatient rehab, you may get some help with mental health problems, too. However, the main focus will be on substance use disorder therapy. Plus, you will be away from the treatment center for many hours a day without mental health help. Consider going to a residential dual-diagnosis program if you have both these challenges.

Severity of Addiction

Think about the severity of your drug or alcohol problems. If you have mild to moderate symptoms of a substance use disorder, you might get all the help you need from an outpatient program. Yet, if you have a severe addiction, inpatient care is almost always recommended. The reasons are that inpatient care takes away the likelihood of relapse. In addition, our medical team is available round the clock, and you are less likely to give up on your sobriety.

Support Systems

Whether you succeed in quitting substance abuse partly depends on the type of support system you have. If all your friends use substances regularly, they probably won’t be much help in your quest to stay sober. Family members that don’t understand what you’re going through and don’t want to may also hinder your work to quit using.

For this reason, it’s helpful to assess the kind of support you will have during treatment. It’s best to have a good support system if you choose outpatient care. However, if you don’t have any positive support from family and friends, inpatient may be a better option for you.

Step-Down Care

Some substance abuse rehab centers offer a kind of step-down care. In this situation, you might start with inpatient care and then step down to outpatient care like day hospital or intensive outpatient programs. This is especially helpful if you have severe alcohol or drug addiction.

Rehab at The Woods at Parkside

The Woods at Parkside rehab in Ohio offers all levels of rehab programs. Located in Gahanna, Ohio, our program helps people with substance use disorders in Columbus, across Ohio, and in nearby areas. We have a team of medical staff, therapists, and other specialists who provide expert care and support.

We provide an assessment and recommendations based on your condition, the severity of your addiction, and your personal circumstances. Then, you can choose between inpatient vs. outpatient rehab programs and begin treatment if you choose to do so. In the end, your commitment to sobriety and your willingness to follow our programs makes a huge difference in your outcome. Whichever program you choose, you will always get expert-level care at The Woods at Parkside.

Are you still unsure whether to get inpatient or outpatient rehab care? Contact us at The Woods at Parkside to learn more about our programs.

The post Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which Is Best for Your Recovery? appeared first on The Woods At Parkside.

Original Author: Beacon User

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