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Healing, Strengthening, and Advancing the Lives of LGBTQ People Seeking Recovery

What’s the Difference: Inpatient vs. Residential Treatment

group members in therapy session discussing what's the difference in inpatient vs residential treatment

Inpatient and residential are two terms in the addiction treatment space that often get used interchangeably. They share a lot of similarities. For starters, both treatment options have people stay on-site at a facility to receive treatment. But some nuances between inpatient vs. residential treatment make each a distinct approach to tackling addiction. Both treatment options are ideal for people who struggle with a severe addiction or a co-occurring disorder. Understanding inpatient vs. residential treatment can help you make an informed choice about which type of support to seek out.

Contact 844.956.3514 to learn more about La Fuente Hollywood’s residential addiction treatment options.

Inpatient vs. Residential Treatment

Distinguishing residential treatment vs. inpatient begins with defining each approach. First, residential treatment is when someone chooses to receive addiction treatment at a live-in facility. Each day is filled with therapy sessions, support groups, and a variety of other services that support recovery from addiction.

Meanwhile, inpatient care involves staying at a hospital or rehab facility to receive 24-hour care and medical attention. The beginning of inpatient care is often triggered by a drug emergency or a need for intensive detox. Inpatient treatment offers around-the-clock monitoring, which is best for people who require medical stabilization as they begin treatment. The following sections explore more of the nuance between each of these types of addiction treatment.

What Is Residential Treatment?

Residential treatment is offered outside of the hospital setting. The location and available amenities depend on the treatment center. Another factor differentiating residential vs. inpatient treatment is the length of time someone remains in treatment. Residential treatment is often much longer than inpatient options. People can remain in a residential treatment center for a few months or longer as their recovery process requires.

A few of the key services and supports people experience during residential treatment include:

  • Daily structure
  • Group and individual therapy
  • Support groups
  • Community activities
  • Life skills development
  • Education or employment support

What Is Inpatient Treatment?

As noted earlier, inpatient treatment is often shorter than a residential stay. The treatment itself is typically more intense and lasts a few weeks to 90 days at most. This option is primarily meant for stabilization and detoxification. Inpatient treatment often does not last long enough to comprehensively address a person’s full recovery needs. It will connect people to other forms of treatment that will carry them beyond the inpatient setting.

Other factors that distinguish inpatient vs. residential treatment are the setting and level of intensity. Inpatient treatment is often delivered in a hospital setting. It may not always be voluntary. Some people may have to enter inpatient treatment as part of criminal proceedings related to drug use or because they are medically in danger to the point where their life is in jeopardy. Inpatient treatment helps people stabilize and undergo detox.

After completing inpatient treatment, most people transition to another form of treatment, such as residential treatment, outpatient programming, or a partial hospitalization program.

Access High-Quality Treatment at La Fuente Hollywood

Many addiction treatment providers offer both inpatient and residential treatment. The time commitment, style of treatment, and setting are all factors that differentiate inpatient vs. residential treatment. Here are a few points that summarize the differences between these forms of addiction treatment:

  • Inpatient treatment is often a first step in the recovery process
  • Residential treatment lasts longer and focuses on life skills development and relearning healthy habits
  • Insurance often covers medically necessary inpatient treatment but may not cover residential treatment
  • Which form of treatment is best depends on the severity of an addiction, time commitment involved, and long-term goals

Discover high-quality addiction treatment options by calling 844.956.3514.