Inpatient vs. Outpatient: Which Option Is Right for You?

May 23, 2017|Treatment|
Hartgrove Hospital Inpatient Therapy

You’ve made the decision that you or a loved one needs help, but that can have you scrambling for information. Do they need to be admitted to take advantage of inpatient services or would an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) or Partial-hospitalization Program (PHP) be the right fit? What’s the difference and how do you know what’s right for your situation?

Fortunately, you don’t need to make that decision on your own. An assessment by a trained treatment professional will provide them with the information needed to make an informed recommendation. Still, it’s important for you to understand the differences in how various programs work and the components that comprise them.

Residential programs run ‘round the clock, 24 hours a day, with participants living on-site and eating meals at the facility. In contrast, outpatient programs traditionally offer morning, afternoon or evening options. The time commitment is less, with individuals who attend outpatient treatment programs usually setting aside 3-4 hours per day for treatment.

When it comes to making the right treatment choice, there is no one right answer that applies to every single situation. Both residential and outpatient treatment serve a specific purpose and offer quality, comprehensive programs. It’s all about finding the right fit for your particular set of circumstances.

Residential vs. Outpatient

Of course, more is usually better, so when it comes to addiction or mental health issues, residential treatment remains the most successful treatment method and is preferred in most cases. That’s not a fit for everyone, though. In some cases, residential treatment is simply not feasible. It may be that professional or family obligations make it impossible to leave daily life behind to seek treatment. In these instances, outpatient treatment can provide a flexible, feasible option near home.

While residential treatment offers more programming per day and the additional benefits of living with professionals on site as well as others going through the same thing, high-quality inpatient and outpatient programs include similar features:

  • A customized care plan focused on the unique needs of each individual
  • Physician-directed medication management
  • Primary therapy with a licensed mental health professional
  • Group sessions with peer interaction
  • Educational programs and lectures including Life Skills Training, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Stress Management and Relapse Prevention
  • Holistic programming which could include art therapy, equine therapy, yoga, adventure programs and more
  • Post-treatment recovery support for long-term success

Choosing Residential AND Outpatient

It’s not uncommon for someone to use residential and outpatient treatment in tandem, beginning with a residential program and then stepping down to outpatient treatment as a way to ease back into everyday life. This option provides the individual with the security and structure of treatment as they venture out into the world of recovery.

Individuals may also seek treatment at various points in their recovery journey. Some use outpatient treatment as a sort of “tune-up” as issues arise, addressing them before the problem becomes unmanageable. Or they may return to inpatient treatment as needed.

Get Help Now

Recovery is a life-long process, and the skills learned in treatment – whether in a residential or outpatient program – can make all the difference in your long-term success. To find the right fit for you or a loved one, call Hartgrove now. There are professionals available 24 hours a day, seven days a week who can provide information on treatment programs, schedule a free assessment, help with insurance and answer questions about the treatment process. They’ll take the time to gather information about your unique situation and match you or your loved one to the right program.

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