Residential Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which One is Right For You?

inpatient vs outpatient rehab
Published in Addiction Treatment

Millions of people in the United States live with substance abuse or addiction, but very few seek the help they need. Without treatment, many may face worsening consequences to their mental and physical health and relationships.

There are many types of programs and several levels of care in addiction treatment. Many facilities offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs to meet people’s different needs. Understanding the differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab may help you make better decisions about your care.

If you or someone you love requires substance abuse treatment or needs help deciding which level of care is right for you, contact the caring addiction specialists at Sheer Recovery today.

How Do I Know If I Need Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab?

The level of care you need to treat your addiction depends on many factors. Things like physical and mental health, genetics, family history, and environment can play a role in substance abuse and addiction. Comprehensive addiction treatment programs address addiction’s physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects and help people achieve long-lasting recovery.

Before beginning treatment, a medical provider or addiction specialist will evaluate your treatment needs through an assessment. This assessment will include questions about your substance abuse, prior treatment programs, mental and physical health, and more. With this information, your treatment team can develop a program that will meet your unique needs.

There are many types of treatment programs in different levels of care. Inpatient rehab programs require people to live at the facility during treatment. Outpatient rehab offers high-quality treatment and allows people the freedom to continue living at home.

The length and severity of your addiction, environment, mental and physical health, and other factors will determine if you require inpatient rehab or an outpatient treatment program.

Inpatient Rehab at Sheer Recovery

The inpatient rehab program at Sheer Recovery provides a high level of care to people who require a residential program. Programs typically last 30, 60, or 90 days, including detox. However, treatment programs can be tailored to meet each person’s needs as they move through recovery.

During treatment, you will live with up to five other patients and participate in treatment activities throughout each day. Each patient has their own treatment program that includes evidence-based therapies, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Group therapy
  • Education
  • Stress and anger management
  • 12-step facilitation

The inpatient rehab program also incorporates holistic practices to support whole-person healing. These may include:

  • Yoga
  • Music and art therapy
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Massage
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Exercise

The inpatient rehab program at Sheer Recovery uses a 6-person model, meaning that there are no more than six patients in each treatment group. This allows a greater degree of personalization and accountability from each patient than a larger group treatment setting.

The support and structure of Sheer Recovery’s inpatient program can allow patients to address the roots of their addiction, overcome trauma, and improve their mental health and relationships. When people have the skills they need to cope with challenges, they are better able to manage them without returning to substance abuse.

Who is Inpatient Rehab For?

Anyone who struggles with addiction can benefit from a residential treatment program that offers medical detox, 24-hour support, and evidence-based therapy. However, some people can recover on an outpatient basis. Inpatient rehab is best for people who:

  • Have a severe substance use disorder
  • Struggle with co-occurring disorders
  • Have a mental health condition
  • Have been unsuccessful in staying sober in an outpatient program in the past

Outpatient Rehab at Sheer Recovery

Sheer Recovery offers a high-quality intensive outpatient program (IOP) for people living with substance abuse and addiction. An IOP offers more structure than a basic outpatient rehab program but is more flexible than a partial hospitalization program (PHP).

Many patients like the life balance an IOP can provide. Patients in the outpatient program spend several hours a day engaged in treatment activities three to five days per week. Treatment activities include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Life skills development
  • 12-step facilitation
  • Relapse prevention
  • Case management
  • Aftercare planning
  • Randomized drug testing

Outpatient rehab programs generally last 30 to 60 days. In the beginning, patients participate in frequent individual and group therapy sessions that help them identify beliefs, triggers, and behaviors that can prevent them from being successful. Therapy sessions may become less frequent throughout the outpatient program as the patient’s needs change.

Outside of time spent in treatment activities, patients can return home, socialize, work, attend school, care for family members, and participate in their daily lives as usual. If a patient meets the criteria for outpatient rehab but requires more support, they may choose to live in a sober living community while participating in outpatient rehab.

Outpatient treatment at Sheer Recovery addresses the roots of addiction. During therapy sessions, patients can identify triggers and learn how to avoid relapse in the future. Patients also receive support in finding housing and employment and handling legal issues. They learn the skills they need to adapt to living independently while practicing sobriety. Learning these skills and having the right support makes it possible for people to leave substance abuse behind and embrace a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Who is Outpatient Rehab For?

An outpatient rehab is a great option for people who cannot take time away from work, school, or their families to go to a residential program. This is because outpatient rehab is much more flexible and affordable than inpatient.

Outpatient rehab can also benefit those who:

  • Have a mild substance use disorder
  • Do not meet the criteria for inpatient care
  • Do not require medical detox services
  • Are seeking treatment in the beginning stages of an addiction
  • Have already completed inpatient rehab and are looking for continued support in recovery

Get Help Now

The best way to decide whether residential inpatient or outpatient rehab is right for you is to consult with an addiction specialist about your current situation and your treatment needs. If you or someone you love requires substance abuse treatment, reach out to the Sheer Recovery team today for a confidential, risk-free consultation.


Still have questions? Give us a call today.

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