What is the difference between Inpatient rehab and Intensive Outpatient Treatment?


While the subject matter and treatment methods in intensive outpatient and inpatient rehab are very similar, there are many differences in terms of setting, rules and requirements,  and intensity of treatment. Both Inpatient Rehab and Intensive Outpatient Programs have been in practice for a considerable amount of time. There are scores of data to support the effectiveness of both.  Let’s explore the differences:


Inpatient Rehab

The defining characteristic of Inpatient Rehab is that the client or patient will  voluntarily check in and live on premises for the full duration of their treatment. The typical length of stay is anywhere from 21-90 days. This is the highest level of care available for the substance abuse population. In many cases a client or patient will go through a medically supervised detox for 5-10 days before moving the Inpatient Rehab level of care.

Inpatient Rehab is a relatively short but extremely intense recovery program. Intensive drug and alcohol treatment programming will be the focus of daily activities. This offers a safe structured environment in which the client or patient can begin the recovery process.


Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive Outpatient Programs are programs in which the clients are in treatment anywhere from 9-12 hours per week. The clients will not live on premise like they do in inpatient, instead they will live in their own home or in a structured sober living home in the community. The defining characteristic of Intensive Outpatient for the purposes of this comparison is that clients will NOT need to check in and live on the premises in order to complete treatment.



Which is better inpatient rehab or an intensive outpatient program? (H2)

It is important to note that the answer will not be the same for everyone. Addiction and Alcoholism affect people of all different walks of life. Not every client and or patient’s lifestyle will be the same. Therefore the best type of treatment will vary depending on a variety of different factors. It is a best practice to consult a treatment professional to help you determine which type of program will be best for you. For information pertaining to your individual situation please reach out to us to schedule an initial assessment at 855-698-3554 or click here.

Below we will summarize the benefits of each type of treatment to help give you an idea as to which would be more appropriate for you.


Why is inpatient better?

Inpatient treatment provides a safe, secure, and structured environment for the client or patient to begin their recovery journey. Access to drugs and or alcohol will be nearly non-existent which makes relapsing much more difficult. Inpatient rehabs are staffed 24/7 which means clients and or patients are supervised day and night and have access to a supportive professional at any time. To sum it up inpatient rehab is a totally immersive recovery experience which can be very beneficial for someone who has the ability to live on premises for the length of their treatment.


Why is an Intensive Outpatient Program better?

Intensive Outpatient Program, or IOP for short, provides clients with the opportunity to receive treatment services without totally uprooting their life. Clients receive 9-12 hours of treatment per week but have the ability to work, attend school, tend to their family, and do whatever else it is they need to do while they are not in treatment. In many cases clients or patients who attend Inpatient rehab will attend an IOP after they complete their Inpatient rehab to help transition them back into the community.


In conclusion both Inpatient Rehab and Intensive Outpatient Programs are viable and effective treatment solutions. Which program is best for you will largely depend on two sets of factors. The first being your family situation, career, educational responsibilities, and other general lifestyle considerations. The second being clinical factors such as length of use of substances, amount used, consequences of use, mental health factors and many more. Please reach out to us directly for specific information regarding your personal situation. We are more than happy to provide an initial assessment and then clinical recommendation for you. We can be reached at 855-698-3554 or by clicking here.