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There are many types of addiction treatment, whether it be for prescription drug addiction, illicit drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and many more. Addiction can quickly ruin a person’s life, affecting relationships, finances, and of course, a person’s physical and mental health.

This is why drug and alcohol rehab is so important, and it’s imperative you receive the right addiction treatment for you. However, with so many options, it can be difficult to know what each entails. What is inpatient rehab? How is it different from outpatient rehab?

On this page, we are going to explore the similarities and differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment and give you an insight into a typical day at both forms of rehab treatment.

Read on to learn more about inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation, and to determine which may be the best choice for you.

What is Outpatient Treatment?

With outpatient care, you still have access to the same rehab facilities as inpatient rehab – however, you go home at the end of your sessions. You’ll travel to and from the clinic, and go about your day-to-day life.

You’ll take therapy sessions in the morning or in the afternoon to not only improve your mental health but to learn coping skills.

Addiction therapy can also help you to understand yourself and your addiction more – for example, you may discover things that trigger your addiction, or uncover any root causes of your addiction. Therapy isn’t just for people with mental health issues, but is an integral part of rehab treatment.

Outpatient programs may also involve holistic programs as well as extra-curricular activities that can improve your general well-being. You may also make the most out of rehab facilities such as education workshops.

Typically, you’ll attend rehab sessions at least once a week, and have access to your appointed addiction counsellor when needed. You may also be invited to attend courses that can improve various aspects of your life, as well as exercise programs.

Inpatient rehab is often recommended for severe cases of drug and alcohol addiction – however, if you have a mild addiction (for example, a mild cannabis addiction), then you may benefit more from outpatient rehab, as your life will be less disrupted.

With outpatient treatment, you’ll still have access to the right tools and support that can help you overcome your addiction. However, you won’t have a private room or bed, and meals aren’t included as part of an outpatient treatment plan.

Instead, you’ll source your own meals. With an outpatient program, you’ll be able to live your day-to-day life and even attend work if needed. This isn’t the case with inpatient treatment. Read on to learn more about residential rehab.

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What is Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment programs differ from outpatient treatment in several ways – the main being that you stay the night, or stay throughout rehab.

Inpatient rehabilitation can last anything from a few days up to three months, depending on factors such as the severity of your addiction, whether you’ve opted for private rehab or NHS rehab, and your personal preferences.

The general rule of thumb is that more serious addictions require a longer inpatient treatment program and recovery period. Check out this page to see how long rehab takes.

You’ll often receive therapy in the morning as well as the afternoon – whether it be talking therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), one-to-one counselling, group counselling, group therapies, or holistic therapies.

You’ll be able to enjoy extracurricular activities as well as exercise sessions and educational workshops.

Another thing included with inpatient treatment is your meals. You’ll be given a private room and meals throughout the day, as you’ll be residing in the facility for the remainder of your treatment plan.

Luxury rehab clinics will have more luxurious private rooms, often with beautiful views. Depending on the rehab clinic, you may also be put on a dietary plan.

You’ll usually get up early, and enjoy breakfast. You’ll then go into group therapy or regular therapy with a counsellor, or spend time in one of the many facilities available in private rehab. Once you’ve completed your morning rehab sessions, you’ll break for lunch, which of course, will be provided for you.

You may be wondering how people in residential rehab spend their evenings. Well, they may attend evening therapy sessions, or simply make the most of the facilities on offer.

For example, communal activities, sports facilities, or creative activities such as painting or music therapy.

There’s always something to do during a residential rehab program – the idea is to fill up your day with activities, as this can help to fight cravings.

Inpatient drug or alcohol rehab is a great choice if you have a severe addiction. You’ll be provided with a personalised treatment program that will match your needs.

It’s an effective form of treatment as it removes you from the temptations of your previous environment, giving you a chance to recover in a new space.

Now we’ve established what outpatient rehab is and what inpatient treatment entails, it’s time to find out which is the best choice for you. Read on to learn more.

Inpatient Rehab and Outpatient Rehab: Which Is Best?

So, which is best – inpatient or outpatient rehab? In terms of inpatient and outpatient success rates, residential rehab is one of the most successful types of rehab.

However, residential rehab doesn’t fit in with everyone’s lifestyle and may be inconvenient. If you attend inpatient rehab, you’ll likely have to take time off work and take a break from other responsibilities. However, outpatient rehab allows you to live your day-to-day life, only attending scheduled sessions a couple of times a week.

If you work full-time, have young children, or have other responsibilities such as caring for an elderly relative, then outpatient rehab will likely suit you best.

Both inpatient and outpatient rehab can vary in length, with 7-day rehab, 14-day rehab, and 28-day rehab options being available.

Inpatient and outpatient care can vary in cost, depending on a range of factors such as whether you choose private rehab, NHS rehab, the length of time, and the clinic you choose.

However, outpatient services tend to be cheaper as you’re not paying for accommodation or meals. That being said, outpatient services seem to stretch on for at least three times the length of a full-time residential rehab course.

Many people think inpatient services offer better value for money; you’re receiving full-time care, meals, and accommodation – and the plans are often shorter than outpatient rehab plans. The longer your recovery period is, the more you’ll be paying for rehab.

Residential rehab is also a better choice if you have a severe addiction. The general rule of thumb is that the more severe the addiction, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms.

In some cases of inpatient detox, you may be given a medically-assisted detox to help manage the withdrawal symptoms better. This can include detox medication, which can streamline the detoxification process and prevent relapse.

However, inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab aren’t the only options – another option you may benefit from is quasi-residential rehab.

What About Quasi-Residential Rehab?

Quasi-residential rehab is a mixture of both inpatient and outpatient rehab. You will live in one residential facility while travelling to another facility for your therapy sessions, whether it be group therapy, family therapy, or one-to-one therapy.

It’s an effective treatment option as, like with inpatient rehab, you’ll be removed from your previous environment, allowing you to recover from your addiction in peace. However, you’ll have the freedom of travelling to a new clinic for your sessions, ultimately breaking up the monotony.

How Help4Addiction Can Help You

Deciding whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is right for you can be complex, which is why our experts will guide you through the process.

At Help4Addiction, we are dedicated to helping people find the right rehab treatment plans to treat their addiction – we have years of experience matching alcohol and drug addicts to rehab clinics across England and Wales.

Our friendly team will talk you through your treatment options and help find the right rehab facility for you, including both inpatient and outpatient treatments. Nobody should go through addiction recovery alone – we’re here for you.

You can call us on 0203 955 7700 or complete an online consultation to get the ball rolling on your addiction treatment – and begin your recovery journey.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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