Addiction Recovery

Outpatient Rehab Program Vs. Inpatient Programs: Which Should You Choose

November 15, 2021

Should you choose an inpatient or outpatient rehab program? This post explores the basics of both rehab options so you can make an educated decision.

Choosing to go to rehab to deal with an addiction is one of the bravest steps towards healing and wellness. It’s not just that you’re not sure of what to expect, but also the fact that you must decide whether you’ll be signing up for an inpatient or outpatient rehab program can be daunting. As you’re probably aware, this is not something to decide on a whim. Whatever you choose, it will essentially define your rehabilitation experience. 

So yeah, no pressure at all. 

Admittedly, this decision can come easy to some people, but it would definitely help to understand the basics and scope of each rehab option so you can make the right choice. Here we go. 

inpatient program

What is Outpatient Drug Rehab?

Addiction to drugs ranges from mild to severe. In all cases, severe drug addiction requires in-patient treatments to help the patient recover mentally, physically, and psychologically. However, it’s possible that drug rehab won’t require confinement to a psychiatric facility or recovery center. With an outpatient drug rehabilitation program, you can recover from drug addiction through treatment sessions in a psychiatric and community setup (a.k.a. Support groups).

Not all drug addicts have severe cases of addiction. Through periodic treatments coupled with the patient’s determination to get better, an outpatient rehab setup can help patients get better without worrying about the psychological effects and financial impact of entering a psychiatric facility.

Outpatient programs differ in many aspects, such as intensity, frequency, and duration. However, outpatient treatments normally include scheduled counseling sessions, participation in group therapies or support groups, patient education about addiction, and cooperation of the patient’s close family members.

In summary, people who are determined to get over their addiction can enter outpatient drug treatments. Moreover, patients who have finished inpatient psychiatric treatment often attend outpatient rehab for continuous healing until full recovery.

How Long is Intensive Outpatient Rehab?

An intensive outpatient program is a treatment plan involving a long-term commitment to sobriety without sacrificing the ability to work, socialize, and perform responsibilities. Though the word “intensive” makes the whole term intimidating, an intensive outpatient rehab program is a treatment plan divided into milestones and goals.

As you progress in this program, your doctor will change the manner of treatment and constantly evaluate your progress every session. In other words, there’s no fixed time for this intensive rehab program. Once you enter this program, its duration depends solely on your progress and your willingness to get better.

Some treatments can take years, and some recovered patients even continually see their therapists. At the start of the treatment plan, you can expect your doctor to require frequent visits like two to three times a week. For heroin addicts, doctors might give prescriptions to counter the effects of heroin and to reduce their cravings. 

At the minimum, sessions for an intensive outpatient rehab program last for one hour. Considering that therapy entails a high cost per session, most patients can’t afford longer sessions. However, those who are financially stable or with insurance can afford longer treatments that can last for about two to three hours at max.‍

Your ability to finance your treatment, willingness to recover, and access to high-quality treatment are major factors that affect the duration of an intensive rehab program. Once your therapist sees signs of improvement, they may take you off prescription drugs  and reduce the frequency of sessions from two to three times a week to once a week.

outpatient rehab program
Source: Pexels

Looking for the Best Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Near Me

Your recovery also depends on the competence of your mental health treatment provider. If you or someone you know needs rehab, you should find the best treatment possible. In looking for one, you should consider the following tips:

Check first with your insurance, HMO, or PPO provider for mental health coverage

 If you have health insurance or benefits, you should contact your provider to ask about mental health coverage. When the US Congress passed the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, many health insurance providers started to include mental health coverage on their plans. Hence, it’s best to ask your provider for clarity.

Look for Expert Help

Addiction is a complex issue so it’s important to get the help you need from doctors and medical professionals who specialize in that particular area. 

Check for Government Aid Programs 

The US Government grants medical assistance to mental health patients who need financial assistance. Though the bureaucracy involved in asking for government assistance is tedious, you should try to exhaust all opportunities for your treatment. Visit for more information.

What’s Best for You: Inpatient VS Outpatient Rehab

Both options work, provided their success conditions are met. Whether you choose inpatient or outpatient, the end goal remains the same—to get better. In a nutshell, inpatient rehab may be ideal for patients who suffer from severe addiction and those posing life-threatening conditions. Outpatient programs are well-suited for patients with a mild or controllable addiction. 

In inpatient rehab treatment, you’ll be in a medical environment. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors will be in charge of your treatment 24/7 for the duration of the inpatient program that could last for 28 days to six months. For expert guidance, you can ask a mental health professional for expert recommendations on which treatment setup best suits you or someone you know.

addiction treatment Portland Oregon
Source: Freepik

Summing It Up

An outpatient rehab program is a ticket for addicts to get better without going through full-time inpatient treatment. It is also a way for people to continue living while seeking help and getting better. Outpatient programs can be intensive, which entails a long-term treatment plan, including prescription drugs for detox. However, the patient’s sheer will to bounce back is often the main determinant of the success and length of the treatment.

Everyone deserves a second chance at life. At Another Chance Rehab, we can help you find a new door for new possibilities. Contact us now at (503) 747-0404 to get your well-deserved second try at life.