When it comes to getting treatment for addiction, there are two main types of care that people can choose from inpatient and outpatient. Both have their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the difference between the two before making a decision about which type of care is right for you.

Inpatient Treatment vs. Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is when a person stays at a treatment facility for a certain period of time, usually anywhere from 30 days to 90 days. During that time, they will receive around-the-clock care from a team of professionals who will help them through every step of the recovery process.

Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, allows people to live at home while still receiving treatment for their addiction. They will typically meet with a therapist or counselor a few times per week and may also attend group meetings.

How Outpatient Treatment Works

Outpatient treatment usually takes place at a hospital or clinic. During treatment, you will meet with a therapist and/or psychiatrist on a regular basis. You will also participate in group therapy and may have other therapies, such as art therapy or occupational therapy. In addition to meeting with your therapist, you will also meet with a case manager who will help you coordinate your care and make sure that you are connected to community resources.

What to Expect from Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is most successful when it is part of a comprehensive care plan that includes medication, therapy, and support from family and friends. Treatment can last for a few weeks or months, depending on your needs. The goal of outpatient treatment is to help you manage your symptoms and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

There are many benefits to outpatient mental health treatment. One of the main benefits is that it allows you to stay connected to your support system of family and friends. It also allows you to continue working or going to school while you are in treatment. Outpatient treatment can be less expensive than inpatient care, and it can be customized to meet your individual needs.

Outpatient Treatment Statistics

  1. In 2014, there were almost 9 million outpatient visits for mental health and substance abuse treatment. This number has been steadily increasing over the past few years, as more and more people seek help for their disorders.
  1. Outpatient treatment is more than twice as effective as no treatment at all. For those who do not receive any treatment for their disorder, the relapse rate is almost 60%. However, for those who receive outpatient treatment, the relapse rate drops to 27%.
  1. Outpatient treatment is also more effective than inpatient treatment. In one study, it was found that those who received outpatient treatment were 50% less likely to relapse than those who received inpatient treatment.
  1. The majority of people who seek help for a substance abuse disorder will go to an outpatient program. In fact, of the 2.5 million people who seek help for a substance abuse disorder each year, only about 10% will go to an inpatient program.
  1. Research shows that outpatient treatment is just as effective as inpatient treatment when treating co-occurring disorders. This is important because many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from other mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety.


Ultimately, the decision about whether to choose inpatient or outpatient treatment comes down to what will best fit your needs. If you are considering mental health treatment, outpatient care is an option that you may want to consider. Outpatient care allows you to stay at home and participate in treatment during the day. It is a good option for people who need more support than what they can get from therapy alone but don’t need the around-the-clock care provided in an inpatient setting. If you think outpatient mental health treatment might be right for you, talk to your doctor or therapist about setting up a plan of care.