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Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatment – What’s The Difference?

ID-10034659An inpatient program requires the patient to live at a facility 24 hours a day. Outpatient programs generally entail treatment within a facility during the day and the patient returns home at night. How do you know which type of program you or a loved one would best benefit from?

To truly understand which type of program is most appropriate in any addiction situation, the person should complete an in-person diagnostic assessment with a qualified professional. But here is an overview that can help you get started as you navigate the road toward treatment.

Inpatient, or Residential Treatment Programs
Residential programs are safe, structured environments in which patients are removed from circumstances that promote their urge to use drugs or drink alcohol. The main characteristic of inpatient addiction treatment is that the addict is required to check into the facility and remain there for the entire length of the program, which can be as 28 days to 90 days or longer, depending on the patient’s specific needs. Intensive drug and alcohol treatment techniques form the majority of the patient’s daily activities.

Patients who will go through detoxification due to withdrawal can benefit from residential programs, where they will have medical personnel to monitor and treat any physical problems that may arise during this period. (For more information on our specialized detox services, visit our Horizon Village Terrace House webpages.)

Outpatient Treatment Programs
Outpatient programs share many similarities with residential treatment programs, but they provide patients with the ability to maintain a regular commitment to family, work, and educational responsibilities. Patients are required to check in with the addiction specialists at the treatment centers every day for medication and counseling, but because they can go home afterward, they won’t have to explain a 28-day absence to friends, coworkers or family members.

However, unlike inpatient programs, outpatient participants are not provided with the secure environment that isolates them from negative influences. They need to voluntarily abstain from drug or alcohol use, which requires a great amount of self-discipline. Outpatient drug and alcohol treatment does require a component of group therapy, so it still provides a strong support network for patients, between official support group meetings, individual counseling, and family counseling.

If you or someone you care about are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and are looking for the best help possible, contact an experienced counselor like the team at Horizon Health Services. We can help you make the best decision regarding your treatment.  Horizon offers a plethora of inpatient treatment options including Horizon Village, Freedom Village and Detox.  We also offer many different individual and family outpatient addiction services.  Call (716) 831-1800 and one of our knowledgeable team members can help you.