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Tens of millions of Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Many of those people will never get the treatment they need to reclaim their lives.

If you’re struggling with substance abuse and are reading this post with the intention of inching towards treatment, good on you. As you research pathways to recovery, you’ll likely stumble onto the question of whether you should pursue inpatient addiction treatment or outpatient care.

Below, our team breaks down the quick pros and cons of inpatient vs. outpatient care, so you can make an educated decision on which is right for you.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient treatment takes place within a facility. Those that are receiving care do not leave the facility’s grounds until their program is complete.

Here are a few benefits and drawbacks of inpatient services.

Around the Clock Care

When you’re being treated at a facility, a doctor, nurse, and/or mental health professional is always within arm’s reach. That can have a tremendous impact on your health outcomes, particularly during the early stages of treatment.

A Focus on Recovery

All you have to worry about when receiving inpatient care is getting better. There’s no stressing out about going to work, dropping kids off at school, etc.

Inpatient addiction treatment is all about getting you on the quickest pathway towards being healthy again.


Having access to medical professionals and being able to eat and sleep at your treatment facility comes at a price. Inpatient facilities can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, some insurance providers can help shoulder that expense.


If you lead a busy life, taking a break from it for inpatient care can be tough. Of course, you have to ask yourself how productive you really are today as you move through your routine under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

From that perspective, taking time off for recovery is an investment that’ll net you returns over time.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient treatment is a service that lets you go home at the end of the day. This means of betterment is a popular choice among addicts, given its flexibility.

Here’s what you need to know about outpatient services.

It’s Cheaper

Going home at the end of the day means much more affordable treatment. If money is an issue or you don’t have insurance, that can make outpatient services the obvious choice.

Proven Effective

People might look at an outpatient drug rehab center and assume it’s not as effective as an inpatient treatment center. However, outpatient treatment has proven itself to be effective for millions.

While some people may benefit from inpatient services, make no mistake that outpatient treatment is more than capable of delivering results.

No Leaving Your Unhealthy Environment

One of the key contributors to addiction issues is the bad environment that addicts live in. Inpatient treatment allows addicts to step outside of that environment. Outpatient treatment does not.

For some, that could serve as a big barrier to getting better.

Only You Can Decide Which Treatment Is Best for You

We’ve walked you through the basics of what an inpatient addiction treatment center and an outpatient center have going for them. Now, it’s up to you to decide what might best serve your needs.

Our team wishes you the best as you consider researching this big question and welcomes you to browse more content on our blog for additional guidance.

Adam Legas

Adam Legas

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