Sure, most people have their perceptions about addiction and recovery. But these two concepts are not as straightforward, or black and white as people think. These perceptions exist thanks to addiction stigma and stereotypes around addiction and recovery.

But despite the many misconceptions around what it means to struggle with addiction, recovery is far less understood. When you enter a rehab center, people just assume it’s for inpatient treatment. When in actual fact, there are a number of different ways to treat addiction.

So, what’s the difference between residential treatment and inpatient treatment? This blog explains it all.


Treating Addiction: Your Recovery Options

The point of all rehabilitation centers is to remove a person from a certain environment that could be triggering or enabling them. In a nutshell, rehabilitation offers a clean slate and a fresh start for a person to stabilize themselves.

It also allows them to get to the root of their addiction and recognize triggers. It also helps them to develop skills and patterns of thinking which aid in maintaining sobriety. When it comes to addiction rehabilitation today, two of the most popular primary care options include:


  • Inpatient rehab — you are hospitalized as part of the detox program. After that, you then go on to live at a rehab facility for a period of time with 24-hour care, observation, and medical attention
  • Residential rehab — this consists of a voluntary live-in treatment option at a rehab facility. It also includes therapy sessions, medical monitoring, and more

There’s also the option of outpatient treatment, although this is not as common. This type of rehabilitation best suits those looking for a more flexible option when treating an addiction. You can still reside at home (if the environment condones it). But you’ll still have to attend rehabilitation sessions over a set period of weeks.

Outpatient rehab is more of a short-term, non-urgent option for treating those with ”milder” forms of addiction. Or, it’s a great option for continued care after inpatient treatment.


Residential Treatment: How Does It Work?

When you sign up for residential treatment, this entails a commitment to longer-term rehabilitation. Hence the term, residential. It involves a live-in situation where you receive a number of different treatments to help you overcome addiction.

Generally, residential treatment lies outside the scope of the hospital system/environment. Although many residential centers still follow the detoxification process.

During your time there, you’ll receive treatment for underlying behavioral and psychological issues. Both of which relate to your addiction. Along with this, some of the other services offered at a residential rehab center include:


  • Group and individual therapy sessions
  • Skill development, i.e. re-socialization
  • Community-based rehabilitation
  • Training for future employment

Residential treatment programs tend to follow a structured schedule. This is to help instill a sense of routine in your day-to-day life, which helps many addicts find balance and purpose before they re-enter society.

The duration of your stay may vary depending on the severity of an addiction. However, many people stay in these types of rehab centers for several months. Some even stay for up to a year.


What Are the Differences Between Inpatient and Residential Rehab?

The main differences between these two types of treatment options are the services on offer. As well as the length of time a person chooses to commit to the center. Some other key variations include:


  • Most people tend to check into an inpatient center as the first step towards recovery
  • Inpatient centers focus on detoxification and acute medical care
  • Residential rehab focuses on long-term care and includes psychological and skill development
  • Depending on the type of medical insurance you have, this might determine which type of care you choose
  • The type of rehab you choose also depends on the length and severity of addiction
  • Residential rehab is best suited to those with co-occurring mental health disorders

The most important thing to note is that both treatment options have a valid place in addiction recovery. They’re both super important and beneficial in equal measures. Either option can help you on the right path to recovery and long-term sobriety.

In summary, there is a major difference in the intensity of care between these two options. Inpatient rehab is the more intense kind, and it’s also far shorter (30-90 days).

Residential care is a little less intense in terms of detoxification and medical care. However, from a psychological and emotional standpoint, it’s more intense.

Most of the time, people who successfully complete their stay at an inpatient center choose to move on to a residential center. In some cases, inpatient treatment might be enough.

But for those battling a serious, long-term addiction or for those with a history of repeated relapse, residential rehab is extremely beneficial. It’s the best option in terms of follow-up care after the intense physical detox process.


How To Choose the Right Program

What might suit one person in terms of addiction treatment, might not suit another. The road to recovery is very individual and it’s always best to choose the right program according to your own individual needs. There is no right or wrong way to recover from addiction, either.

But for the best possible chance at long-term sobriety, the withdrawal/detox process is absolutely key. Especially if you or a loved one struggles with long-term addiction. This is why inpatient rehab should be part of your recovery process.

However, once you’ve completed an inpatient stay, it’s completely up to you and what you’d prefer for the next part of your recovery journey. There are a number of follow-up treatments to choose from.

This includes partial hospitalization, outpatient care, outpatient rehab, or residential rehab. The type of continuing care you choose depends on your progress in recovery, as well as the state of your physical and mental health.


Addiction Recovery for Life With Sana Lake Recovery

Looking to change your life with residential treatment in the Kansas City region? Sana Lake recovery is here to help you find your way. Making the decision to commit to recovery is your first step in the right direction. But finding the best facility to help you through it is equally crucial.

Learn more about our residential treatment option here.