Opiate Addiction Treatment: Inpatient or Outpatient?

Opiate Addiction Treatment Programs: Inpatient or Outpatient Programs?

Opiate abuse has reached the levels of a national emergency with as many as 64,000 people dying from drug and alcohol abuse in 2016 – prescription opioids being one of the leading causes of deaths. Once a person becomes aware of an addiction they have to opiates, the next step is to look for suitable opiate addiction treatment programs that are able to fit in with the person’s recovery needs. The opiate treatment options make it possible to remain autonomous or to be taken from drug abusing environments so that they can focus on getting better.

In this article, we will explore the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment programs available at rehabs such as WhiteSands Treatment.

Differences in Length

In outpatient opiate addiction treatment, a patient can expect to be a part of the program for 10-16 weeks on average – a standard time frame for opiate abuse. In some cases, the person may continue with treatment for several months or years. A patent will typically go to the rehab center in the evenings and may also see a counselor during the week.

In the inpatient programs, the average length of stay is one month, but can last up to 90 days depending on the individual’s requirements. The opiate addiction treatment success rate is increased the longer the individual spends in rehab. Initially, the person is examined in an interview to determine the best treatment plan that they are to follow during their time at rehab.

The Difference in Residence

Outpatient refers to the fact that the person will not stay at the rehab but rather only come in when they have an appointment for therapy. While this does not provide a safe space for the person to recover away from outside influences, it does offer autonomy allowing activities such as work, school or childcare to continue unhindered.

An inpatient rehab program removes the individual from negative environments and houses them at the facility itself. This not only reduces the risk of relapse but it also provides the around-the-clock care that people going through addiction recovery need. While staying at the facility, a person is able to put all of their focus on recovery, and take part in medication therapy, medical detox and behavioral therapy. The opiate addiction treatment success rate is increased due to the intensity of treatment.

Difference in Cost

An outpatient program, as one of the opiate treatment options, is preferred in some cases due to its cost. Since the person does not stay at the rehab and because they have less therapy and recovery activities that they are a part of on a daily basis, the cost can be significantly lower than inpatient programs

Inpatient facilities are more expensive than outpatient programs because of the level of care they provide. Accommodation coupled with fully structured and planned days increase the cost of care.

Difference in Detox

Detoxification is an important time of any recovery process from substance abuse. Through an outpatient program, detox is available but some of the medications used may not be as available. It is only advised for less severe addictions.

Inpatient programs provide conclusive medical detox programs that make use of drugs such as methadone and naltrexone to help individuals through opiate withdrawal. Furthermore, detox can be a difficult process and without supervision, the risk of relapse and health problems becomes far higher.

Whether through inpatient or outpatient programs, addiction treatment is the way to go for opiate abuse. The WhiteSands Treatment centers are ready to assist you or a loved one through the steps of recovery.




If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.