Inpatient or Outpatient: What is the Best Treatment for Alcohol Rehab?

October 14, 2016 - - 0 Comments Inpatient or Outpatient: What is the Best Treatment for Alcohol Rehab?

Most alcohol rehab centers use two general types of treatment programs – inpatient and outpatient.  If you want to overcome your alcohol addiction, you need to understand the differences between the two as well as their advantages and disadvantages.  This is the only way you can decide which one will best suit your needs.

Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

Here are the main differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment for alcohol abuse:

  • Inpatient

If you choose to undergo this type of treatment you will be required to check into a rehab center.  Your treatment will be provided at the inpatient alcohol rehab center throughout the entire program.

The period of treatment can range from one month to three months, depending on your requirements and your preference.  Initially, you will be required to undergo detoxification.  After that, you will be provided with therapy, either individually or together with a group, according to what your therapist will recommend.

  • Outpatient

In an outpatient setting, you will also be treated initially at the outpatient alcohol rehab center but you will be allowed to stay at home during the duration of the treatment.  However, you will still be required to report to the rehab center every day (or as scheduled) for therapeutic counseling and medication.

With regards to the modality of treatments at alcohol rehab centers, there is not much variance between the two.  The biggest difference though is that the treatment tends to be more intensive in the inpatient category than in the outpatient type.


There are certain advantages to both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.  Knowing them will help you decide which type of treatment will best suit your needs.

  • Inpatient
  1. Inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse has a higher success rate.
  2. This type of treatment enables you to get away from the environment that caused your alcohol addiction.  You will not be confronted with the usual temptations and will be more focused on your treatment.
  3. You will be in daily contact with those who can help you overcome your substance addiction.  Your therapists, physicians, and fellow patients will serve as our encouragements to complete your treatment.
  4. The treatment center can provide you with relevant education and skills training that will help you after the initial rehab program.
  • Outpatient
  1. You are allowed to stay at home while getting treatment from the outpatient alcohol rehab center.  There are a lot of advantages to this such as freedom of movement, time flexibility, and so forth.
  2. Your office or school work will not be disrupted.
  3. You have your family or your friends at your side which can give a lot of encouragement and help a lot in your recovery.
  4. You are also provided with the education and skills that you can use after the initial rehab program.


There are also certain disadvantages to both inpatient and outpatient programs.

  • Inpatient
  1. This treatment type tends to be more expensive because you have to pay for your stay in the rehab center for the duration of your treatment program.
  2. You don’t have close contact with your family and friends.
  3. Your life at the center will be strictly regulated with regards to how you eat and spend your time.
  • Outpatient
  1. You will still be in your usual environment which may have caused your alcoholism in the first place.
  2. There will be the usual temptations that will make your treatment a bit more difficult.


Studies have shown that inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse tends to be more successful because of the concentrated effort given in treating the problem.  Such is best for those who are already too deep in their substance abuse.

However, if your alcoholism is not as severe, the outpatient treatment program will also provide effective results.

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