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A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

What is Inpatient Treatment? How It Differs From Outpatient Treatment

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Key takeaways:

  • Inpatient treatment is a rehabilitative program for drug or alcohol addiction that provides counseling or detox within a treatment center like Lantana.
  • Inpatient care offers a higher success rate for detox, requires a significant time commitment, and allows a focus on recovery.
  • Outpatient treatment is another option that provides care during the day and allows patients to return home. It may include weekly therapy or counseling follow-ups.
  • Both inpatient and outpatient care may be needed, and it is important to consider co-occurring mental health disorders during addiction treatment.
  • Inpatient care is usually the best option for those dealing with both addiction and mental health disorders.
  • Factors to consider when choosing a rehab facility include the location, quality of professionals, treatment plans, and completion requirements.

Inpatient treatment is a type of rehabilitative program that provides assistance to those with a drug or alcohol addiction. Inpatient treatment centers like Lantana are designed to accommodate individuals with substance use disorders through counseling or detox.

What to Expect During Inpatient Treatment

Drug and alcohol treatment programs differ from facility to facility, as well as your addiction treatment needs. However, you can usually expect the following during inpatient care:

Family Therapy Sessions

Treatment of many substance disorders requires a family approach. Families can not only help patients with their recovery, but it can also be helpful for family members to understand the underlying factors that may contribute to someone’s drug or alcohol use. You and your substance abuse counselor may also determine a timely call schedule that allows you to keep in contact with your loved ones.

Support Groups

Support groups can be especially beneficial in the treatment of substance abuse disorders and mental health conditions. Groups can help patients develop important skills, as positive communication and empathy. It can also be helpful for patients to identify others who are in a similar place. Finally, groups can help patients develop a drug and alcohol-free support network as they navigate life after recovery.

Individual Therapy

Many inpatient addiction treatment programs include individual therapy. Mental health professionals can help patients during their program by identifying coping mechanisms or dealing with co-occurring mental health disorders.


Medication Management

A big risk during alcohol or drug detox is withdrawal. Medication may be needed to assist with this physical process. However, there is always the risk of transferring an addiction so it is important to have a medical professional oversee the process.


Many rehab programs include education on how addictions start, while also offering you specific techniques you can use to overcome the physical and emotional impacts of addiction.

Collection of Resources

Certain resources, like the 12-step recovery program and materials, can also assist in your recovery. Most individuals will leave treatment with a collection of resources to assist them with recovery.

What conditions benefit from inpatient Care?

Inpatient treatment is most common during the first few weeks of recovering from an addiction. It is typically ideal for anyone who is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. It is also beneficial for anyone who is concerned about their substance use patterns or mental health issues. An inpatient addiction treatment program can provide people with the support system they need during this time.

Disorders That Benefits From Inpatient Programs

Most substance use disorders benefit from an inpatient care option. Both programs can be beneficial for the treatment of:

You may willingly decide to go to an alcohol or drug addiction rehab center. A family member may also request that you go. In some cases, drug treatment may be court-ordered or as a recommendation by a lawyer or medical provider. Either way, the inclusive care available in an inpatient care program can help you overcome your addiction.

How do mental health disorders impact inpatient and outpatient care?

Whichever treatment center you choose, it is important to consider a diverse approach. While the main treatment option may be to overcome addiction, it is also important to consider co-occurring conditions. Psychological conditions often accompany substance disorders.

This may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

The presence of co-occurring disorders is another big difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab care. It is not uncommon for underlying psychological health disorders to show up during addiction treatment. “Patients with high psychiatric severity and/or a poor social support system are predicted to have a better outcome in inpatient treatment, while patients with low psychiatric severity and/or a good social support system may do well as outpatients without incurring the higher costs of inpatient treatment” (Inpatient vs outpatient treatment for substance dependence revisited, Pettinati et al., 1993). When dealing with both addiction and substance abuse, it is best to opt for inpatient care.

How does inpatient treatment differ from outpatient treatment?

Substance abuse treatment typically falls into inpatient or outpatient treatment. An inpatient treatment plan often requires the individual to stay in the center for a specific period of time. Their primary focus is on detoxing and getting through the first few weeks, or months, of treatment.

Outpatient treatment facilities focus on outpatient care. They provide outpatient treatment to individuals who have already detoxed from the substance and made it a few weeks in recovery. It may also include individuals who are unable to commit full-time to their treatment. Outpatient care may include weekly group therapy or individual counseling follow-ups.

Many people will transition from an inpatient option to outpatient care due to long waiting periods for outpatient psychotherapy and the high resource requirements of inpatient treatment, among other things. Inpatient vs outpatient rehab doesn’t have a better option. It depends more on where you are at in your treatment. Another big difference between the two is the ability to chat with a professional when you need it most. As an outpatient, you are limited to a phone call or visit with your medical professional. 

What to Expect From Inpatient Rehab Treatment Centers

In an inpatient treatment center:

  • The patient stays in the treatment facility during treatment.
  • Patients have a higher success rate of overcoming the initial detox process.
  • Requires more time commitment to complete the treatment program.
  • The overall treatment can be faster since the patient commits so much time to it upfront.

The time spent in inpatient recovery programs gives you the opportunity to focus completely on your recovery. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of an inpatient rehab addiction program versus outpatient is the resources available when going through withdrawal from addiction. Drug and alcohol rehab requires careful medical monitoring since substance use impacts the chemicals in the body. Many addiction treatment centers have the resources you need to ensure this process is safe and comfortable.

What to Expect from Outpatient Treatment Centers

In an outpatient center:

  • The patient attends residential treatment during the day, then returns to their own home.
  • Detoxing is not always available as an outpatient.
  • People may be able to work or maintain their household while receiving treatment.
  • Outpatient rehab can take longer and progress may be limited due to changing schedules.

Outpatient programs like Lantana provide outpatient care to those who have usually completed an inpatient addiction treatment program. They may transition to an outpatient setting, completing a phone call with their counselor or following up with community outreaches. The main difference between inpatient and outpatient care is that the treatment is only a part of your life at the time versus focusing fully on your recovery.

Which is Better? Inpatient vs outpatient rehab?

It can be difficult to determine the best option for you between inpatient and outpatient rehab. Both offer pros and cons and it is important to consider your treatment needs. While outpatient rehab can give you the flexibility you need to work or manage your household while also receiving treatment, it can be harder to stick to a schedule and give yourself the focus you deserve.

When you choose a program from Lantana, your primary focus is on your treatment. You have easy access to a healthcare professional, as well as a variety of resources that can help you recover.

Rehab Near Me

If you or your loved one is looking for a nationally recognized and respected addiction treatment center in South Carolina, Lantana Recovery is a specialized addiction rehab in Charleston. Lantana Recovery provides part-hospitalization rehab services and outpatient rehab services to people struggling with addiction.  Lantana Recovery extends its addiction rehab services to Greenville residents and we extend their addiction rehab services to Columbia residents and surrounding towns.

How to Prepare for Inpatient Care

Making the decision to check in to inpatient care for the treatment of a drug or alcohol addiction is a big, rewarding decision. Preparing for this decision ahead of time can help you improve your chances of recovery. Here are a few things that we recommend before checking into the inpatient rehab facility centers.

Notify Your Loved Ones

It can be helpful to inform your loved ones ahead of time of your intentions. Not only will your loved one play an important role in overcoming your drug or alcohol addiction, but they can manage your household tasks, allowing you to focus completely on your care. You may also rely on your loved one for transportation to or from the inpatient or outpatient center. Your loved one is always a call away.

Notify Your Employer

It is also a good idea to notify your employer if you plan on checking into a rehab center. This gives them time to prepare for your leave. It is also a good opportunity to find out if your employer covers any inpatient or outpatient rehab costs.

Review the Requirements of the Rehab Center

Most inpatient rehab centers have a list of requirements that patients must follow. These requirements are in place to ensure you get the level of care you need to assist in your addiction recovery.

Here are a few things you may want to find out about the facilities you’re considering:

  • Length of stay requirements: Some programs require you to stay for the whole program.
  • Visitation schedules: It can also be helpful to find out early on if you can have visitors. This includes phone call schedules, so you know when you can reach out to family members.
  • Items you can bring: It is also a good idea to check what items you can bring, and what items may be prohibited.
  • Typical schedule: You might also ask ahead of time what you can expect your typical schedule in the center to be like.

It can also be helpful to consider the requirements of the outpatient program. Will the center request that you transition to outpatient or will your recovery be complete with the initial program?

How to Pay for Treatment

One of the biggest barriers to receiving treatment is determining how to pay for the cost of inpatient rehab. Inpatient addiction programs can be expensive and some patients may worry about their ability to pay. Some insurance companies may offer benefits that cover a rehab program. However, it is important to evaluate your benefits before relying on them.

Some health insurance companies may limit your inpatient treatment to a certain number of days, or times per year. Other insurance policies may limit treatment to that of an outpatient program.

If you don’t have health insurance that covers available programs, it can be beneficial to discuss payment options with the inpatient and outpatient centers. Some inpatient and outpatient treatment centers have options that can help people afford the treatment they need. Call ahead and ask to talk with a treatment consultant.


How to Choose the Right Inpatient Detox Center

In addition to choosing between inpatient vs outpatient treatment, choosing the right treatment centers is also important. Most programs provide both outpatient treatment and inpatient care.

When choosing the right rehab facilities, consider the following factors:

Location of the Rehab Facility

The location of the rehab facility may or may not be important to you. Decide if you want to choose a drug and alcohol treatment center within your own community, or if it will help you to choose a treatment facility in a different location. Be sure to consider your family’s therapy needs and their ability to travel to the rehab center.

Quality of the Professionals

Rehab programs rely on the quality of the professionals to provide treatment. Not only will you interact with other patients in groups, but you will also rely on the knowledge and education of the group facilitators, nursing staff, and rehab counselors to complete your residential treatment program. You will also rely on the center to create your personal plan.

Choose a center that prioritizes professionalism, respect, integrity, and dignity. These factors are crucial when choosing the right center.

Treatment Plans

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment require a careful plan. When seeking inpatient and outpatient rehab, the specific plans to overcome drug or alcohol addiction pave the way for your experience.

Completion of the Rehab Program

It can also be helpful to consider how the center manages the completion of the program. Will they release you once you have met all of the requirements of the addiction treatment program, or do they expect you to stay for a specific period of time? The successful treatment of addiction requires a careful treatment plan.


Alan Goodstat

Alan completed a postgraduate degree in social work from Columbia University in New York City and is a licensed clinical social worker in FL, NJ, NC and SC. Over the past 30 years he has worked in various leadership roles in privately held organizations and private equity portfolio companies.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.