Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which is Right for Your Loved One?

inpatient drug rehab in connecticut

Choosing the right drug treatment program for your loved one is not an easy nor clear-cut decision. There are many different types of rehab facilities out there – long-term vs. short-term treatment, one-to-one vs. group counseling, “luxury rehab” vs. evidence-based, inpatient vs. outpatient rehab – how can you possibly know that you are making the right choice?

Do not be overwhelmed. As a parent, your first step should be to research the different types of addiction treatment available to your son or daughter. Then, think about which rehab facility will provide the best possible path. Think about your child’s individual needs, his or her history of drug use, and about the setting in which he or she would thrive most.

Keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” model for drug rehab programs. There is no single formula that defines successful treatment. The right rehab center will be the one that tailors its program to your son or daughter’s needs. It is the one that can provide the right environment for your loved one, to learn a drug-free lifestyle and to achieve a lasting recovery. Where do you start?

Step one: you choose an inpatient or outpatient rehab program.

In general, there are two overarching types of addiction treatment: inpatient and outpatient. Both types are very effective in helping users overcome their drug and alcohol use. Both are designed to reduce the risk of relapse for those in recovery. However, they differ in their make-up. Inpatient rehab requires clients to live in the facility throughout the duration of treatment. Outpatient rehab enables clients to live at home, so that they can continue with day-to-day obligations while still receiving treatment.

The type of rehab program for your loved one will depend on his or her situation – Does your son or daughter have obligations at home that cannot be set aside? But, would your teen be surrounded by pressuring or partying peers if he or she stayed home? These are questions you should ask when deciding between inpatient vs. outpatient rehab.

Teens and young adults can benefit from either inpatient or outpatient rehab. However, for those who require a high-level of watchful care – particularly those who are battling addiction and mental health issues like depression or anxiety (i.e. co-occurring disorders) – long-term, inpatient rehab is advised.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: The Basics

Inpatient rehab is synonymous with residential treatment – clients live on a drug-free, sober-living campus, surrounded by others in recovery, nearby or in the same place they also receive care. Inpatient rehab gives youth the chance to escape toxic friend groups, people, or environments that have contributed to their drug use. They can find solace in a recovery setting that is completely substance-free, and can work towards their recovery with the highest level of care. Turnbridge is an example of a residential, or inpatient, treatment program. Here, clients are given the space and time needed to focus on their healing, as well as access to constant clinical care and support from our staff. Inpatient programs like Turnbridge enact a variety of treatment methods that allow clients to fully engage in their recovery, as well as build the skills and confidence needed for success.

Outpatient rehab consists of regular drug rehab meetings or sessions but allows clients to live at home. When delivered by trained clinicians, this type of care can be extremely effective. Outpatient rehab is typically recommended for those with mild-to-moderate addictions, who are still functioning well, and who have a supportive and completely-sober living environment at home.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: The Benefits

Inpatient Rehab: Inpatient treatment settings offer many advantages for those seeking help:

  • For one, inpatient rehab centers offer teens and young adults constant, 24-hour-a-day care. This allows clients to focus on their recovery and healing at all times, and to reach out for help whenever they need it.
  • Inpatient treatment is typically long-term – usually about 90 days. This length of time is associated with higher rates of success. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The minimal length of drug treatment depends on the type and extent of the adolescent’s problems, but studies show outcomes are better when a person stays in treatment for 3 months or more.”
  • Residential treatment allows clients to get away from their home town – the place where they likely initiated (and became engulfed by) drug use; the place that is likely rife with temptation and memories of previous partying days. In an inpatient setting, there is more structure and more opportunity to focus on the healing process, without outside distractions.
  • With that said, inpatient programs provide a healthy, sober environment to recover. There are no outside relapse triggers encouraging drug use. Rather, clients are surrounded by healthy peers of their same age and gender. They are encouraged to participate in recreational activities, exercise, cook their own meals, develop sober hobbies, and attend 12-step meetings.
  • Inpatient rehab programs also enact multiple treatment methods, including individualized, one-to-one counseling and behavioral therapy. These are very beneficial for those who need to develop the skills, motivation, and coping mechanisms to live sober.

Outpatient Rehab: While outpatient rehab programs do not provide that immersive, 24/7 care that inpatient programs do, there are many benefits for young users looking for a more convenient rehab:

  • Outpatient rehab enables clients to live at home while getting professional care.
  • This means they can still fulfill prior obligations, like working or going to school.
  • By living at home, your child can also stay close to you and your family, as well as any other supportive friends nearby.
  • He or she will still face outside pressures and run into relapse triggers, however, this provides the opportunity to apply one’s learnings to a real-life scenario. Because outpatient treatment happens regularly, but allows clients to carry out their day-to-day lives, it gives them the ability to immediately apply what they’ve learned in rehab to their daily life.
  • If you choose Turnbridge Outpatient Care, your loved one can also benefit from many of the clinical approaches used in our core residential programs, including individualized counseling and care.

The most notable drawback to outpatient rehab is that your loved one will not be removed from the everyday temptation to use. His or her environment may not always be drug- or alcohol-free. He or she will still go to school and work, will still have free roam, and may run into some challenges as a result. In an inpatient setting, there is much more structure.

Typically, inpatient drug treatment is associated with higher success rates. This is because clients are given the opportunity to thrive in a community that is fully dedicated to their healing and sobriety. Every therapy, every activity, every schedule is created with recovery in mind. This setting is very beneficial for those who are stuck amidst the addiction cycle, who require dual diagnosis treatment, and who will be most motivated, most successful, under 24/7 watchful care.

There are, however, some adolescents and young adults with mild-to-moderate substance use disorders. They are still functional at work, school, and home, and may not be able to take time away to commit to inpatient care. For some, outpatient rehab is the only practical option for recovery.

That is why Turnbridge offers both inpatient and outpatient treatment options for teens and young adults. Turnbridge is highly-acclaimed and well-known among the drug rehab community for our immersive, clinical, evidence-based dual diagnosis and drug rehab programs for young adults. Call us at 877-581-1793 to learn how we can help your loved one on the path towards recovery.