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While residential treatment centers and inpatient treatment may seem like the same thing, they’re really not. Both offer the patient temporary accommodations so they can live on-site throughout the program.

When you talk to a patient, they will tell you that the main distinguishing factors between residential and inpatient treatment has to do with the environment that they’re in and the length of the program itself. With a residential program the accommodations typically feel more comfortable, like being at home. This is because the program will typically last for a longer duration – anywhere from 6 months – 18 months. On the other hand, most inpatient programs have more of a clinical or hospital environment and only last up to three months at most. These programs serve as a safe space in which to get a patient stabilized.

Residential programs typically don’t need to provide patients with intensive medical care throughout their stay. This is because patients are in a later stage of treatment during which such medical care should be unnecessary. Instead, a residential program’s curriculum usually consists of comprehensive treatment for both the body and the mind (e.g. psychoeducation, counseling, group therapy, holistic treatment modalities).

The main way for you to be able to distinguish between residential and inpatient care has to do with the type of monitoring that each is able to provide. This is something that’s very important to a lot of people because their need here will help determine what’s best for them. With residential programs you won’t receive as strict of monitoring and regulations since the program isn’t being offered by a licensed hospital. This doesn’t mean that residential programs don’t carry the same licensing as inpatient programs because they do. What it does mean though is that residential programs don’t have the accreditation to offer the medical care that inpatient programs at hospitals can provide.

For more information on the difference between treatment centers and inpatient therapy or for help deciding on which is best for you, contact us.