In-Patient vs Out-Patient Addiction Treatment: Which is best?

Choosing to break out of your relationship with addiction is a major step. However, the procedure requires time and planning — one that an addiction treatment centre can support you through. Some substance abuse and addiction treatments include counselling, therapy, and detox. All of these can be put into the in-patient vs out-patient rehab categories. So, between in-patient vs out-patient addiction treatment, which one is right for you?

Generally, both are effective for addiction treatment. In-patient addiction treatment refers to a patient under treatment living in a private facility temporarily. However, out-patient rehab refers to a patient undergoing treatment at an addiction treatment centre while residing at home. Notably, both methods offer discrete advantages and disadvantages. 

As it is one of the most crucial decisions on your way to recovery, you must examine both options thoroughly before deciding. The primary players in your decision card are the severity of your addiction as well as cravings. These two must be put under consideration to help you determine which is right for you between in-patient vs out-patient addiction treatment. 

Both in-patient and out-patient rehab will help you quit substance abuse and reduce potential future cravings. In this article, we’ll compare in-patient vs out-patient addiction treatment. We’ll define the key points, explore the major differences and help you make a decision on which is best for you. 

What is In-patient Addiction Treatment?

In-patient Addiction Treatment

In-patient treatment is also referred to as residential treatment. Like you would guess, you reside at the treatment centre. In-patient addiction treatment can be helpful for those with severe alcohol or drug issues. In addition, it’s useful for those who struggle with specific mental challenges. 

Living in a rehab centre helps you avert the influence and temptation that provokes the daily use of substances. Essentially, living in a serene environment aids your recovery.

Licensed in-patient addiction facilities provide 24-hour intensive care and support. They also combine 3 stages of recovery into their rehab programs — growth, reflection, and detox. In-patient facilities are set up in the best way to teach you to adopt a substance-free life after recovery. This plan usually involves a step-down method to help your transition from in-patient care to group or individual counselling.

Furthermore, in-patient rehab includes both long-term and short-term programs. Usually, you can stay at the long-term private facilities from 6 months to a year. Whereas short-term rehab facilities only require you to stay for about three 3-6 weeks.

Related article: New Year: How To Choose The Best Addiction Treatment Sponsor

The Benefits of In-Patient Addiction Rehab

In-patient addiction treatment centres offer distinct benefits that make them the best choice for you:

  • In-patient facilities offer constant support, generally in non-hospital settings. You’ll never be alone during your addiction recovery journey.
  • Both long-term and short-term in-patient rehab schemes are structured to aid your detoxification. This will prepare you for a better post-addiction treatment lifestyle.
  • Also, treatment is hugely designed and aimed at all phases of addiction. This may include psychological and social factors such as personal experience or history, lifestyle or relationships.

In-patient or residential rehab requires a more significant commitment than the out-patient scheme. So, when deciding on which method is right for you between in-patient and out-patient rehab, consider the tips below:

  • Addiction treatment is highly strict and can be tasking. The rehab centre staff will decide on your schedule. Some people often find it difficult to adapt to the rigid program. In a way, it’s the severity of addiction treatment that makes in-patient rehab more effective.
  • In-patient rehab requires you to cut ties with your regular lifestyle. This means you may have to get daily care for your wards. You will probably need to take some weeks off work or school during addiction recovery.
  • Notably, in-patient rehab cost is usually higher than that of out-patient rehab.

group sessions

What is Out-patient Addiction Treatment?

Out-patient rehab refers to day-to-day care in a facility or clinic, such as group sessions, consultation, or therapy. People who prefer out-patient rehab can reside at home during recovery. However, they may have to report to the facility daily for recovery sessions and other treatment procedures.

This freedom will allow them time to take care of their children or family members while staying on track in school or keeping up with their jobs. Usually, out-patient treatment costs are less than in-patient treatment. However, the support level is usually less intensive, unlike in-patient rehab.

Furthermore, most out-patient addiction treatment programs involve group or individual sessions and use a step-down strategy. This means that treatment sessions often become less frequent and intensive as you progress during treatment. In a way, they are set up to help you overcome your alcohol or drug dependence and maintain recovery over a long period.

In-patient vs Out-patient Addiction Treatment: Which Should I Choose?

In-patient vs Out-patient Addiction Treatment

So, you want to choose between in-patient and out-patient rehab? Deciding between in-patient vs out-patient addiction treatment is dependent on how severe your addiction is. However, if you want long-term success in your addiction recovery journey, then in-patient treatment is the best for you.

In-patient addiction treatment eliminates temptations and distractions by immersing you in a healthy environment. If you or someone you love is in an in-patient addiction rehab facility, you’ll have no access to alcohol or drugs. You will mostly live with others in different stages of recovery without the usual everyday stressors.

Out-patient therapy requires you to report to the addiction treatment centre every weekday. This makes it more flexible if you have conflicting familial or work obligations. However, it does not help in fighting cravings and eliminating substance use from your life.

Between everyday stressors and balancing your daily lifestyle with recovery, your chances of facing constant temptation is high. You can easily lose concentration due to external pressures or temptations. Whereas, with in-patient addiction rehab, you will stay in a healthy environment with those who are ready to help your recovery process.


Addiction is an illness, and recovery is a long-term process. Be safe in the knowledge that any option between in-patient vs out-patient addiction treatment will enhance your recovery. In-patient treatment will help you stay away from any form of temptation or cravings and connect you to people with the same goal as you — beating addiction. However, out-patient treatment offers a freedom that may come with constant temptation from the outside world.

No matter what addiction treatment method you choose, it will prepare you on the path to lifelong recovery. Ultimately, both in-patient and out-patient addiction treatment options can help your detoxification. The two are also capable of altering your attitude and perceptions about the substances you use. Notably, both will provide you with the necessary skills to progress with recovery after rehab.

Remember, in-patient addiction treatment offers 24-hour medical support and supervision for individuals. The program is also scheduled to accommodate everyone dealing with addiction,  from the most severe to less difficult situations. 

Do you or your loved ones have an addiction problem? Are you ready to take up your recovery journey? 

Are you ready to break out of your relationship with addiction? Well, you’re one step away from getting started. Contact us today for in-patient addiction treatment in Vancouver. Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.

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