Residential vs. Outpatient Treatment

What is the most important thing about choosing between outpatient and residential addiction treatment? The fact that you are beginning your recovery. Whichever route you choose, once that life-changing decision has been made, the other decisions regarding rehab treatment are secondary. Still, it is essential to find the best option for your specific situation. Rest assured, both outpatient and residential treatment offer excellent opportunities for lasting health and sobriety. Evidence-based therapies and life skills education combined with peer and professional support are available to you in both.

If you are weighing outpatient vs. residential treatment options, reach out to Mile High Recovery Center to learn more. We can answer any questions, such as, “What is residential treatment?”, “What is outpatient treatment?”, “Which option is best for my needs?” and “How do I start my recovery journey?” Our staff is here to help. Use our online form or simply call 303-268-2144.

Residential vs. Outpatient Treatment

Once you have identified an addiction treatment center you like and want to trust with your treatment, a team of professionals will work with you to pinpoint the factors that indicate whether outpatient or residential rehab will be best for you. Once you make that choice, your treatment plan will be created, and you’ll be walked through the steps for enrolling in and beginning your treatment.

The factors that determine whether inpatient or outpatient is best for you include:

  • Severity of addiction
  • Years of substance use
  • Medical history
  • History of previous relapse
  • Polysubstance abuse
  • Co-occurring mental health disorder
  • Safety of home setting

Whether you qualify for residential treatment or find that outpatient rehab is ideal for you, starting addiction therapy in earnest will launch you onto a life of recovery and help you avoid relapse.

What Is Outpatient Treatment? – Benefits and Considerations

Many people engage in outpatient treatment (OPT) every year with great success. They can balance treatment with other responsibilities, receiving the benefits of proven therapies, peer support, and medical supervision while living at home.

There is variation in programs within the outpatient model, mainly relating to time commitment. Low-intensity treatment usually requires from six to ten hours weekly. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) involve more time, around 15 to 20 hours a week, and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) demand as much as 30 hours per week.

Benefits of OPTs

  • You can maintain commitments to work/school – often because you can attend rehab on weekends and in the evening
  • You get to live at home – requiring a supportive and trigger-free environment
  • There are choices regarding intensity and time commitment (OPT, IOP, PCP)
  • Costs are lower – no room and board reduces financial investment


Take honest stock of your unique situation by considering the following:

  • When detox is over, if the intensity of your cravings is still overwhelming, residential treatment for at least a while may be best for you.
  • Are you confident you can manage the outpatient schedule and get yourself to and from your rehab sessions? If it could pose a problem, you may want to try a residential program.
  • Do your family members or others you live with understand the importance of supporting your recovery by maintaining a safe space?
  • Consider residential treatment if you require dual diagnosis treatment for a co-occurring mental health challenge, as you will receive medical support round the clock until your recovery is well underway.

What Is Residential Treatment? – Benefits and Considerations

In residential addiction treatment, you receive the same evidence-based therapies as you would in an OPT, IOP, or PHP, but you are living round-the-clock in an addiction rehab facility. The full immersion intensifies and accelerates your treatment because you have many more hours in the day to engage in therapy, learning, and support groups.

Benefits of Residential Treatment

A setting that is substance-free and therefore minimizes external triggers for cravings

Medical and therapeutic staff are on-site and available to you 24/7

Convenient and easy management of co-occurring disorders

Easy, effortless access to all your scheduled therapies and other aspects of treatment


  • Are you able to leave your family and work responsibilities in order to invest in your recovery? Think about the network that might help you with childcare and whether you can push pause on schooling or work, which requires a conversation with your company/school to plan time away.
  • Does the idea of a highly structured rehab program comfort you or make you uneasy?
  • Think about costs and ensure you have the ability to manage any of your residential rehab expense that is not covered by insurance.

Outpatient and Residential Addiction Treatment Options at Mile High Recovery Center

As you debate residential vs. outpatient treatment, remember that both offer you a substantial leg up in your recovery. Also, remember, you can call Mile High Recovery Center at 303-268-2144 to ask our staff any questions you have about your options – or you can also use our online contact form. You deserve the highest quality recovery treatment available, and Mile High Recovery Center can help.

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Reach Out Today to See How Mile High Recovery Center Can Help You Heal

If you or a loved one are ready to regain autonomy over your lives and well-being, recovery starts here. Let us guide you toward sustainable wellness and sobriety through our personalized treatment plans tailored to your unique needs and experiences. We look forward to hearing from you!