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Inpatient Rehab vs IOP: Comparing Levels of Care

According to an article by CNN, 1 in 6 people suffered from a substance use disorder in 2022.[1] Because addiction is so common, it’s important to be aware of your options for recovery. Due to each person having their own unique set of needs, there are various choices regarding the type of treatment you receive.

The two most popular types of addiction treatment programs are inpatient rehab and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). Inpatient rehab offers the highest level of care, requiring clients to live at a facility where they can receive 24/7 monitoring and support. On the other hand, IOPs offer similar treatment services as inpatient while allowing you to live in the comfort of your own home.

Choosing between inpatient and intensive outpatient programs can be difficult, however, by knowing the differences between these options you can make the right choice for your needs.

What is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab, also known as residential treatment, is an addiction recovery program that asks you to live at the facility throughout the entirety of your stay. These programs are ideal for people who need intensive and round-the-clock care to ensure they remain sober during the early stages of recovery.

During an inpatient rehab program, you will receive a variety of services that are intended to address the physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects of substance abuse. You might engage in psychoeducational support groups, one-on-one therapy, holistic treatment services, nutritional counseling, and relapse prevention planning.

Inpatient rehab centers offer highly structured days and might last anywhere from 30 to 90 days in total. The length of your treatment program will completely depend on your needs.

Who Should Attend Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment can work for anyone suffering from addiction, however, it is best suited for people who struggle with severe substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health conditions. Even though inpatient care is designed to tackle severe addiction issues, you can attend one of these programs even if your substance use disorder is mild.

If you relate to the following statements, inpatient treatment might be right for you:

Residential rehab is the most intensive level of care for addiction. Whether you know you are at risk of relapsing and need 24/7 supervision or simply want to take advantage of the intensive therapy offered during inpatient treatment, these programs will offer you everything you need to achieve long-lasting sobriety.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

Intensive outpatient programs offer similar services as inpatient treatment, however, you can live in the comfort of your own home. Additionally, IOPs offer more flexibility in scheduling, which might be ideal for someone who needs to work or care for personal responsibilities outside of treatment.

The services offered during an IOP include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Group and family therapy
  • Relapse prevention training
  • Holistic treatments like yoga and meditation
  • Medication management

Typically, IOPs will require you to attend treatment sessions 3 to 5 days per week depending on your needs. You will spend a few hours each day receiving individual therapy, group counseling, and more. While intensive outpatient programs can provide the tools and support you need to recover from addiction, they might not be ideal as a stand-alone treatment for people struggling with severe substance use disorders or co-occurring mental illnesses.

Who is IOP Intended For?

Intensive outpatient programs are best for people with mild to moderate substance use disorders or individuals who have already completed inpatient treatment. These programs can be used as a step-down program after you finish residential rehab. Additionally, if you need to work a part-time job but still require intensive addiction recovery services. IOP might be your best option.

If you relate to the following statements, IOP is right for you:

  • You have completed a higher level of care already or are highly motivated to recover
  • You do not require 24/7 monitoring or support
  • You have a healthy living situation to reside in during treatment
  • You do not have co-occurring mental health conditions that currently require intensive treatment
  • You have completed medical detox or do not require these services
  • You need to continue working or caring for outside responsibilities while you receive treatment
  • You cannot afford inpatient treatment and need a more affordable option

While intensive outpatient programs are highly effective, they might not be right for everyone. If you believe you are at risk of relapsing, you might want to try an inpatient program before transitioning into IOP.

Get Connected to a Top-Rated Addiction Treatment Center

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, it’s time to seek professional help. At Mandala Healing Center, we offer clinically proven and evidence-based addiction treatment services to ensure that each client receives the help they need.

The Mandala Healing Center is committed to treating each person as a whole, integrating a healthy lifestyle that will help our patients truly heal from the inside out. At the core of healing is exceptional clinical care. Our dynamic addiction treatment methods provide a foundation for life-long recovery by addressing the underlying causes of suffering in today’s families.

To learn more about our West Palm Beach addiction treatment program, contact us today.


  1. CNN Health: More than 1 in 6 US adults and adolescents had a substance use disorder in 2022, federal survey finds, Retrieved January 2024 From