What is the difference between Inpatient and Outpatient in Rehab?

This article was first written for a publication in Philadelphia, however the information contained is global and will help people all over.

Fighting drug addiction can be a grueling task with the addict attempting to defeat the intoxicating yet dangerous desires that consume a person’s life as well as everyone around them. However, the support and dedication of inpatient and outpatient rehab centers can be the guiding light through these dark times leading patients towards a brighter future.

The road to recovery is one with many setbacks that can be difficult to overcome, especially when dealing with the problem alone. Inpatient (and some outpatient) rehabilitation centers offers support 24 hours a day, so the patient never feels alone in the battle against their addiction.

This constant support is important in keeping the days highly structured, making recovery an easier and more controlled process. Structured days also mean that the patient is free from the stress that a hectic everyday lifestyle causes the type of stress that may have caused the drug addiction to begin with. This allows the patient to simply concentrate on a successful recovery that will continue to last in the long term.

First, you need to understand the basic difference between inpatient and outpatient before diving deeper into the topic.

Inpatient v/s Outpatient

The type of treatment is usually decided on the patient’s particular needs.

What is Inpatient?

Inpatient program serves well for the people whose condition and addiction are very serious. Usually, it’s more expensive due to the residential element.

  • Inpatient Treatment Sessions programs also provides various counseling sessions which are of various types. These sessions include private one to one basis discussions, which help the licensed counselors in getting a deeper view of how and why the victim goes to drug addiction.
  • Sessions– In the private discussion setting, the patient is open as well. There are other programs that throw light on nutrition and health.
  • Sessions – Group therapies are held as well in which there are people from the same boat who interact. It proves very vital for the inpatients since it helps them open up to society once again after retracted into their isolated dark world.
  • Importance of Friends and Family in Inpatient Treatment
  • In the case of inpatient programs, one has the option of getting family members or spouses to stay with them. Family programs are an important feature of inpatient drug rehab centers. Since at times, the family members get badly affected as well as seeing their loved ones suffer. Apart from that, family counseling helps in the betterment of estranged relations.
  • Location and Environment Matters
  • The location of the inpatient treatment also has a positive effect on the quality of recovery. By taking the patient out of their usual environment that is likely to be filled with unhelpful cues into their drug-taking the recuperation can be more successful.

What is Outpatient?

Outpatient programs serve well for the people whose condition and addiction are not on a very severe basis. Usually, outpatient programs work well for people who have not been dependent on the drug for a long time or not on a very serious level. However, cost should not be the primary criteria while deciding which program a patient needs to undertake since recovery and treatment is the main issue which is critical

  • Outpatient Treatment Session
  • case of outpatient programs as well counseling sessions are held; however, do not prove to be as intensive.
  • Importance of Friends and Family in Outpatient Treatment
  • In the case of outpatient treatment programs, usually, the severity of the problems for the patient are less; thus, family programs might not be the highlight.
  • Location and Environment
  • As mentioned above, this program targets people who have no serious drug addiction, and hence they can be treated at their homes by frequently paying a visit to rehab centers.


Thus both if inpatient and outpatient treatments are effective. It solely depends on the condition of the patient, the main aim being their comprehensive recovery.

For many, drug addictions can seem like a never-ending nightmare that is almost impossible to defeat on their own. This is why the support provided by rehab centers for the cleansing process. Luckily, in Philadelphia, skilled professionals offer affordable treatment without reducing the quality of the care given.