Addiction Recovery - Dual Diagnosis

Residential vs Outpatient Drug Treatment

Residential and outpatient drug programs are both beneficial … but very different. Learn which one is your perfect fit. Call The Forge today for help!

Residential vs Outpatient Drug Treatment

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 6, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Knowing the differences between care models in addiction centers helps you decide which program is the best choice for you or your loved one. For example, determining if you need detox, mental health care services, different types of counseling, or all of them together, treatment facilities divide up the care programs into inpatient and outpatient options. 

With inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, there are differences in the stay, types of treatment, and levels of intensity offered. Learning about the breakdown and critical differences between the two helps you get closer to making a final decision on what path to take.

Concepts of Addiction Recovery

Primarily, addiction recovery provides a straightforward concept that reinforces options for you to receive substance use treatment. However, there are misconceptions and misinformation about navigating through the treatment process. These misconceptions can include various terms from inpatient, residential, outpatient, or sober living.

For example, when looking into inpatient treatment options, some facilities may refer to the type of care as residential so you can live in the facility for the duration of your treatment. There are differences, though, between residential and inpatient care, based on the intensity of the programs and how long each program lasts. Residential care often offers comfortable and casual accommodations versus an inpatient treatment program that provides a clinical or hospital-like atmosphere.

Inpatient treatment offers you a safe place to experience detoxification, which is a supervised detox process where you eliminate toxins from your body with a professional clinician. Once you leave detox or inpatient care, the option to go to residential or outpatient treatment provides more structure and long-term care options.

The spectrum of care goes from mild, moderate to intensive treatment options and can have a range of structure and focus. Therefore, it is vital to determine which one would best meet your needs and your loved ones' recovery goals.

Differences of Residential Drug Treatment and Inpatient Treatment

When mentioning addiction treatment, you may think of inpatient care. Inpatient care is a treatment that provides you with residential style live on-site clinical accommodations. Inpatient care is different from residential drug treatment because of various factors. These include the amount of curriculum offered in the program, the amounts of medical intervention, and alternative treatment options such as detox or holistic modalities.

Residential drug treatment will carry all the necessary licensing for substance use treatment but may not offer intensive medical care found in hospitals or inpatient care. Residential drug treatment is a casual, more comfortable addiction recovery option. Additionally, residential care is a treatment option to help you achieve a foundation in recovery after leaving medical detox or inpatient care.

By choosing residential drug treatment, you can focus on mastering the healing skills and continue in the following stages of the recovery journey without the need for complete hospitalization and intensive medical supervision. Residential drug treatment provides long-term live on-site options, specific applications, and a curriculum best suited for you.

Understanding Outpatient Drug Treatment

Outpatient drug treatment care is an option if you have undergone inpatient or residential drug treatment. Outpatient drug treatment offers you the ability to have continuum care without living at the facility 24/7. Outpatient programs allow you to continue living life in your own home (or a sober living community) and go to work or school while participating in the outpatient treatment program.

The treatment program builds a practical road to recovery that best meets your specific needs. Some outpatient drug treatment programs provide various curriculums requiring you to attend a particular number of days out of the week for a certain number of hours per day. In this way, you do not have to live on-site while receiving care.

Choosing outpatient drug treatment options allows you to gain greater freedom and less structure while maintaining your commitments and obligations of a sober lifestyle. Outpatient treatment sets you up for lasting recovery and helps build significant steps towards sustaining long-term abstinence. Some more intensive outpatient treatment options can include therapy programs and specialized therapy modalities to give you more structure for a few days of the week, a few hours at a time.

Outpatient treatment options let you live at home or choose a sober living environment while attending the program and participating in the outpatient sessions. Outpatient drug treatment care options do not require you to have medical support. You can live independently with the help of family or the community.

Residential Drug Treatment vs. Outpatient Drug Treatment

The critical differences between residential drug treatment and outpatient drug treatment are essentially where the program is located, and the intensity of the program needed. Residential drug treatments can offer a more structured recovery setting within a comfortable and casual environment while you live at the facility. Residential drug treatment helps you eliminate distractions in life and focus on your physical and mental health well-being.

This is excellent if you need dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders and addiction recovery treatment. Outpatient drug treatments will usually not offer full medical attention or accommodations as an inpatient or residential drug treatment might. Outpatient treatment options are great if you need more flexibility and do not need 24/7 supervision.

Residential & Outpatient Drug Treatment Are Both Beneficial

Many facilities offer quality counseling sessions and support groups, along with the resources and tools to provide each individual with the ability to transition into society while maintaining the goals of long-term sobriety. Both residential and outpatient drug treatment is beneficial on the road to recovery and choosing between the two can depend on your individual needs.

You can easily choose between the two based on affordability, amount of support, commitment, curriculum, and follow-up care services. However, the best way to choose between a residential drug treatment option versus an outpatient drug treatment is to contact The Forge.

Our qualified and compassionate team is here to help recommend the appropriate level of care. Based on your unique situation, you can have maximum support and pursue treatment in a safe environment according to your needs. For more information on residential drug treatment versus outpatient drug treatment, contact us today.

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