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What is the Difference Between Residential and Outpatient Rehab?


Medically Reviewed by Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.

Identifying a patient’s needs is crucial for effective addiction treatment and long-term recovery. This is why options are important and are offered to meet each patient right where they are in their journey. Residential and outpatient rehab programs offer different treatment choices for people who need short-term or long-term help. 

What Are The Two Main Types of Rehab?

The two main types of rehab for substance use disorders are residential rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation. The success of rehab programs varies based on the patient’s needs and stage of recovery. Some patients may need a change in environment, while others have enough of a healthy support system at home.

Residential Rehabilitation

Residential care is a program that provides intensive treatment for patients in the early stages of recovery. It includes supervised detox and medical assistance if needed to ensure safety. Residential programs are helpful for people in unsafe or unproductive environments. They provide a safe space for patients to focus on healthy habits without distractions.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

An outpatient rehabilitation program is effective for those with a strong support system and a safe home environment conducive to addiction recovery. This is also a transitional step for those who have already been in residential rehabilitation.

What Are The Primary Differences Between Residential and Outpatient Rehab?

Residential and outpatient rehab programs have some similarities but also key differences to help different types of patients. Residential programs offer round-the-clock care for addiction, lasting from 30 days to 6 months. They provide support and amenities to help patients recover and improve their quality of life.

There are two types of outpatient rehabilitation programs: Partial Hospitalization Programming (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP).

Partial Hospitalization Programming (PHP)

PHP is a more intensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation program that is almost daily. This is the next step after finishing a residential recovery program for those with fewer needs in their recovery journey.

Our PHP program at Into Action Recovery includes:

  • Education
  • Counseling
  • Skill Building
  • Peer Support Groups
  • Ongoing Family Therapy

We provide structured therapy and peer support five days a week, each session including up to 4 hours of group psychotherapy, substance use education, and relapse prevention training. We also offer monthly individual counseling as well.

Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP)

IOP is a less intensive rehabilitation program that offers a more flexible schedule for patients. Our program offers three nights a week for 10-12 weeks, providing ongoing recovery treatment while maintaining the patient’s freedom to work throughout the week.

Our IOP program offers ongoing counseling, treatment, and resources for lasting sobriety. It also includes family involvement, helping promote a supportive environment for a healthier recovery, benefitting both clients and their families.

Is Professional Treatment Necessary for Addiction Treatment?

There are many factors that make addiction recovery extremely difficult, independent of professional treatment. The detox stage can be life-threatening for some, as withdrawal symptoms can lead to death. The patient’s environment is also important for long-term, effective addiction recovery, making it important to have proper care facilities that intentionally provide a safe place for reducing and even removing triggers for addictive behaviors.

Should I Choose Residential or Outpatient Rehab?

The choice between residential and outpatient rehab depends on the patient’s particular condition, circumstances, and addiction recovery needs. 

Consult an addiction recovery specialist for more information and for a professional assessment of which option is best.

Can I Do Outpatient For Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

Yes, outpatient treatment programs are common for those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, though it may be one stage of a patient’s journey to life-long recovery.

We provide outpatient treatment for many addictions, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Meth
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Benzos
  • Oxycontin
  • Vicodin
  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • Club Drugs
  • Marijuana
  • Hallucinogens
  • Molly
  • Fentanyl
  • Spice/K2
  • Dual Diagnosis

What Happens After Rehab Ends?

After-care is important to the longevity of a patient’s recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, which is why we make a concerted effort to offer ongoing treatment and services for those who have graduated from our rehabilitation programs, which we call our Alumni Program.

The Alumni Program

We believe that ongoing support for our patients after treatment is important and is absolutely encouraged to strengthen life-long recovery and minimize the risk of relapse. Into Action Recovery’s Alumni Program continually holds meetings for our alumni to stay connected and support each other throughout their lives outside our facility.

Start Your Recovery Journey Today With Into Action Recovery Centers

No matter where you or your loved one are on the journey to recovery, we offer a variety of treatment options covering the whole spectrum of drug and alcohol addiction, including residential and outpatient treatment programs.

Some of our recovery treatments and activities include:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques: Treatment for anxiety, personality, and substance disorders, etc.
  • Motivational Interviews: Normative-based feedback to evaluate motivation over the course of ongoing behavior change.
  • Relapse Prevention Education & Counseling: Training on relapse prevention activities.
  • Relationship Counseling: Identifying and managing or reconciling differences and negative patterns in the client’s relationships.
  • Life Skills Training: Training in skills that meet the demands and challenges of everyday life.
  • Coping Skills Education & Counseling: Training in coping skills for personal and interpersonal challenges, such as facing stressors or triggers.
  • Mindfulness Training: Training in mindfulness and stress reduction techniques.
  • Aftercare & Discharge Planning: Planning for treatment, housing, work, and self-care.

Call us today at 844-303-3969 to take the next important step for life-long recovery.

Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.

Dr. Saeed is a psychiatry specialist with over 40 years of experience in the medical field. He received training in General Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was selected as the Medical Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He currently serves as the medical director at Into Action Recovery Centers. Full Bio

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