Substance Use

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

If you or a loved one suffer from a substance use disorder (SUD), you know its toll on your physical and mental health. Stopping or controlling your dependence on drugs or alcohol is critical to reclaiming and protecting your health, relationships, and livelihood. Addiction is a complex disease, and breaking its hold on you is extremely difficult- but doing it alone is rarely successful. Support and treatment options are available when you are ready to recover from an alcohol or drug addiction.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs ensure every patient gets the treatment and care they need to overcome their addiction. Substance use treatment services include detoxification care, therapy sessions, medication-assisted treatments, and behavioral health interventions. No single treatment is appropriate for every patient, and the type and level of care you receive depends on your needs and circumstances.

What is an Inpatient Treatment Center?

Although there are licensing distinctions, inpatient and residential treatment are very similar (in this article, we use them synonymously). For more information and clarity on Caron’s programs, read more here.

For inpatient programs, patients reside at the facility they receive treatment. Patients benefit from an immersive, 24/7 living environment that removes the stressors of daily life and allows patients to focus entirely on their recovery. Residential treatment is especially effective for patients with long-term, severe addictions, those who have relapsed after previous attempts at recovery, or patients who lack the support system of close friends and family members. Residents live full-time at inpatient rehab anywhere from 30-days to six months or longer.

Inpatient treatment teams include physicians, therapists, nurses, and in some cases, clergy, who work together to keep patients safe and comfortable throughout their care. The care providers can prescribe medications to treat opioid and alcohol addiction and other medical conditions, manage co-occurring behavioral issues, such as depression and anxiety, and provide counseling and therapy.

Inpatient rehab facilities may also offer detoxification care. During detox, withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings can be dangerous and life-threatening, and around-the-clock medical care is essential. Administering FDA-approved medications can help relieve cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and improve the chances of a successful recovery.

After completing care at a residential center, patients transition to outpatient aftercare services. Aftercare services, or post-inpatient care, help patients return home and receive the ongoing support they need for addiction recovery and to help prevent a relapse.

A Word About Sober Living Homes

After inpatient care, patients may choose to transition to a sober living home, sometimes called a recovery house. Sober living homes give patients the independence they would have living in their own home, but they are in a safe, sober, supportive environment staffed with counselors. However, sober living homes do not offer formal treatment services and are not monitored by state licensing agencies.

Sober living homes are not replacements for residential treatment centers and are not often affiliated with credentialed residential centers. With the right residential drug and alcohol rehab program, patients can bypass a sober living home and sustain recovery through treatment from a licensed outpatient care facility.

Day/Night Programs

There are certain similarities between the clinical services provided in Florida and our clinic in Pennsylvania, even though Day/Night licensing varies by state. At Caron Florida, both Renaissance and Ocean Drive are licensed to provide day or night community housing, day or night programs, intensive outpatient (IOP), outpatient treatment, and aftercare services for patients. During the day, patients receive extensive outpatient treatment at clinical offices. At the end of each day in treatment, patients are driven back to their off-site living quarters, where they can live among their peers in a Caron-owned community. Patients can process and practice their learned skills by residing in a secure, drug-free environment. Day/night programs most closely resemble partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) with a community living component. For more information, call Caron today.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are additional outpatient options. PHPs are structured much like inpatient rehab, requiring hours-long on-site commitments five to seven days a week; and the patient either lives at home or resides in a recovery community. IOP treatment time commitments fall somewhere between outpatient care and PHPs. These can be used as step-downs, transitions from inpatient care to outpatient care, or to help patients avoid inpatient substance use treatment altogether.

What is an Outpatient Treatment Center?

What does it mean to be treated as an outpatient? With an outpatient substance abuse treatment program, the patient resides at home and receives counseling and care at a treatment facility or other care center. Outpatient treatment programs are seamlessly incorporated into the patients’ lives, allowing them the flexibility to continue their work and other daily activities.

Outpatient care patients attend regularly scheduled therapy and counseling sessions, check in with their care team, and lean on their support groups, friends, and family for love and encouragement. Outpatient treatment plans may include any combination of individual, family therapy, or group therapy.

Is Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab Best for You?

Ask yourself the following questions to help determine which treatment program will get you on the path to living in recovery.

  • How serious is your addiction? Have you or your family suffered harmful consequences due to your addiction? Are you often impaired? If you have a significant functional impairment or need a detox, a residential rehab program is appropriate. An outpatient program is suitable if you are high functioning and want to stop your addiction from progressing.
  • Do you have a support structure? An outpatient recovery program is a good choice if you can rely on your friends and family to help you. An inpatient setting is a better option if you live in a drug- or alcohol-filled environment that could sabotage your recovery efforts.
  • Do you have underlying physical or mental health conditions? Medical professionals should monitor any health conditions that could impair your recovery. Residential settings offer 24/7 healthcare services, but the right outpatient plan could also be appropriate.
  • What type of rehab can you afford? While you may feel that you can’t afford NOT to go, you need to know rehab costs and payment options. Find recovery centers offering financial assistance or free or low-cost addiction treatment services. Check with your insurance provider for coverage.

Have an open and honest conversation with your family and a medical professional before selecting any recovery program.

A Short Guide to Caron’s Licensing

The focus of this article is on inpatient and outpatient treatment, but we introduced a variety of other types of rehab. Here we explain the national and state accreditations and licensures Caron has obtained to adhere to the highest practice standards.

  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accreditation. CARF signifies our rehabilitation services are "clearly defined and internationally accepted standards" that ensure that our services remain among the elite for excellence.
  • Our Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia centers are licensed by their respective state’s drug and alcohol agencies. The states establish the care terms.
  • Florida care includes day or night with community housing, day or night program, intensive outpatient, outpatient treatment, and aftercare services. (Day or night with community housing is also referred to as inpatient or residential.)
  • Caron Florida is also licensed for detoxification and Residential Level 2 for its Older Adult and Ocean Drive residential programs at The Keele Center.
  • Georgia is licensed for outpatient drug abuse treatment and education.
  • Pennsylvania care includes inpatient non-hospital short-term detoxification services, inpatient non-hospital residential and rehabilitation services, partial hospitalization services, and outpatient services.
  • Virginia is licensed to provide partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient services.

See Licenses and Accreditations for a full disclosure of Caron’s licensing.

Caron Can Help

Seek help and get started on the road to recovery as soon as possible. There will be setbacks and bumps in the road on your journey, but finding the best treatment center for you can increase your chances of breaking free from your addiction. Let Caron help. Contact us today for more information.

Continue Learning About Inpatient or Outpatient? What to Consider When Seeking Help for Substance Use

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