The Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab

Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab

When seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one, you want to make the most informed decision possible about the treatment you find, the providers you put in charge, the therapy they take, and the location they visit. In the world of rehab, for any type of mental illness or addiction, there are two primary types of services: inpatient services and outpatient services. If you’ve never had to deal with rehab clinics or finding treatment and therapy for mental illnesses or addictions, how do you know the difference or which is better?

We’re going to break apart each type of service to help you decide on which is right for you or your loved one.

What Is a Rehab Clinic For?

A rehab clinic can help patients recover from major mental illnesses or addictions that are otherwise keeping them from living normal, productive, happy or healthy lives. In most of these situations, it’s not very easy for the individual to overcome their mental illness or addiction on their own and need professionally trained and educated assistance to help them through the process. For these individuals, having a support group dedicated to the field of recovery in these mental illnesses or addictions is what it takes to overcome them, rather than trying to work through them on their own.

A rehab clinic, depending on the institution will provide recovery and rehabilitation services for a variety of different mental illnesses and addictions, such as the following:

Many more types of mental illnesses or addictions may be treated, depending on the location. A simple call to the institution can provide you with a synopsis of services they provide or specialties that they focus on.

After you have decided that treatment is needed for a specific type of mental illness or addiction, you will then need to decide on the type of rehab service you want to go through. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, but will depend entirely on the individual receiving treatment. One option may be far more effective than the other, so it’s important to consider the severity of the situation and how the individual best receives treatment.

Inpatient Rehab Services

Inpatient rehab services is one of two primary rehab options for individuals who want to receive treatment through a professional rehab institution. Rehabilitation will take time and dedication in order for it to be effective. For some people, it’s not very easy to deal with the challenge of overcoming addictions and mental illnesses on their own, which is where these rehab services come into play.

For patients that need more dedicated rehabilitation services, an inpatient rehab service will be ideal. Inpatient services involve the patient staying at the rehabilitation center for a set amount of days, typically around 30 days, but may extend as far as 60 or 90 days, depending on the severity of the situation.

When an individual decides to be a patient in an inpatient service, they are committing themselves entirely to the program by living at the facility until they are ready to return to normal life. This option is recommended for patients who have a hard time focusing on their recovery in their normal life due to other obligations and distractions in life. By committing to an inpatient rehab service, they can focus exclusively on their recovery and let their body and mind reset itself.

Outpatient Rehab Services

Outpatient rehab services on the other hand are similar but with a significant difference. For patients that are working through their mental illnesses and addictions, but don’t have the freedom to devote an entire month (or multiple months) exclusively to recovery or have other obligations, outpatient services provide a better alternative.

Outpatient services are similar to inpatient services in that patients who participate will get very focused treatment specialized for them to help them through their unique situation. The major difference between inpatient and outpatient services is that for outpatients, individuals are free to return to their daily life after each visit and session. They do not live at the destination like inpatients, and typically return for treatment, group sessions, and other therapy multiple times a week.

Picking the Right Rehab Service

There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to picking between inpatient and outpatient services. Each type of service is ideal for different people and different medical scenarios. Inpatient services are ideal for individuals who have the flexibility of devoting up to a month or more to recovery, or are in a severe situation that requires 100% commitment to recovery. Outpatient services are ideal for the average person, where daily life is just as much of a priority as overcoming certain mental illnesses and addictions.


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