In many ways, intensive outpatient rehab centers and inpatient treatment facilities are quite similar. For example, patients receive the medical care and structured support and guidance that they need so that they can learn how to beat their addiction in both types of treatment programs. However, there are several ways in which these two types of rehabilitation programs differ. Of course, the biggest difference between the two is the manner in which care is offered: at an inpatient setting, patients are required to reside at the facility throughout their treatment; at an intensive outpatient drug rehab center, those who are receiving treatment live at their own residence and attend the facility to receive counseling and therapy.
The length of time that treatment lasts for is another way in which intensive outpatient rehab and residential rehab differs. Generally, at an inpatient facility, patients will receive treatment for a predetermined amount of time; 1, 2, or 3 months, or even longer, depending on the unique needs of the individual. During that period of time, patients are required to reside at the treatment center and the only access they have to their family and friends is via pre-arranged visitations. With an intensive outpatient treatment program, the length of treatment will vary, and the length of time is based on the specific needs of the individual; for example, a patient may attend meetings, therapy, and counseling at the center every day, every other day, or a few times a week. Treatment sessions last for a few hours, and at the end of a session, patients are permitted to return back to their homes.