Inpatient vs. Outpatient Opioid Treatment: Pros and Cons

Opioid addiction is a chronic brain disease where individuals are dependent on opioids—prescription and street drugs—to function.

Prolonged use of opioids can cause physical health issues, emotional distress, and social constraints, even harming your relationships with friends and family.

What is the solution?

Effective treatment programs help individuals recover from opioid addiction by using a range of interventions, including counseling and medication.

There are two types of centers—inpatient and outpatient—from which you can choose. Each offers distinctive experiences, all with the goal of helping you recover. However, if you choose inpatient rehab, it will be important that you have a good outpatient rehab set up to take you in once you finish with your inpatient stay.

Below, we will explore the pros and cons of inpatient vs. outpatient rehab so you can decide which works for you.

Inpatient Opioid Treatment Pros and Cons

Inpatient treatment involves a residential stay inside a rehabilitation facility. The length of stay depends on your diagnosis and situation, which should be discussed with a doctor. Many inpatient programs require strict abstinence. Abstinence as a goal is admirable, but as a method of treatment for patients struggling with active addiction, it is very dangerous and should be avoided. Reputable inpatient facilities utilize medication as a part of their treatment.


  • Inpatient treatment is an intensive, immersive experience that involves 24-hour supervision with therapists and trained professionals.
  • You can focus more on your recovery without the distractions of day-to-day life.  
  • You aren’t alone in your recovery. Other residents are going through the same thing you are, meaning you have continuous support during your residency.
  • More time in each day is focused on recovery, usually through group and individual counseling. Some facilities offer exercise and nutrition programs to improve physical health.


  • You cannot leave the facility whenever you would like. Rather, you are in a structured environment that dictates your schedule.
  • When you enter an inpatient facility, your professional and personal life are put on hold. You must arrange for childcare, take a leave from your job, and manage other obligations before entering treatment.
  • Inpatient treatment is usually more expensive because you have to pay for room and board, and you receive 24/7 support. Not all insurance plans will pay for all inpatient treatment centers.
  • Inpatient programs have a fixed end date (typically after 28 days). Regardless of where you are in your recovery, when the program ends, you will go home. It is critical that you have an outpatient program lined up before you leave so that you can continue your recovery in a structured way.

Outpatient Opioid Treatment Pros and Cons

Outpatient opioid treatment (MAT) combines prescribed opioid replacement medication and counseling. Patients visit the center for counseling sessions, visits with medical providers, and anything else they might need while still going about their daily life.


  • You can continue all of your daily activities, scheduling your outpatient appointments around personal obligations, such as work, and childcare.
  • You can take the medication in the privacy of your home and on a schedule that works for you.
  • A combination of medication and counseling allows you to recover from addiction while actively engaging in your everyday life.
  • Outpatient facilities are usually very proactive about communicating with patients. They are available every day of the week if you need to contact them.
  • After you are stabilized, you can expect continued progress assessments, meeting with your counselor or doctor at least once a month.
  • Outpatient treatment is ideal for patients who are independent and can be responsible for their day-to-day living.
  • Outpatient facilities are usually more affordable than inpatient treatment.
  • Outpatient facilities can be a good landing spot for patients leaving inpatient rehab.


  • Unless you cut off ties from your old social network, you may still be exposed to opioids and other drugs.
  • Your daily life could have distractions that make it difficult for you to focus on recovery.
  • While you have regularly scheduled sessions with your doctor and counselor and can communicate with them, the number of hours you spend in counseling on a daily basis will be more limited than in an inpatient center.

Are You Looking for Outpatient Opioid Treatment in Maryland?

MATClinics is an outpatient Suboxone clinic with locations around Maryland.

This outpatient rehab center pairs Medication Assisted Treatment with counseling to help individuals overcome the physical, social, and emotional barriers that could be interfering with your recovery.

MATClinics provides a truly personalized recovery experience. Rather than maintaining a strict environment that dictates what you can and cannot do, MATClinics has a unique culture that addresses your individual needs in your treatment.

To learn more about MATClinics, visit one of their Maryland locations or contact them today. Call or text anytime (410) 657-6607.

Speak to a member of our team to schedule a New Patient visit, or just to get more information.

Thank you for your inquiry, we will reach out to you soon. If you don’t want to wait, please call or text us at 410.220.0720.
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