Outpatient Therapy and Day Care – An Alternative to Inpatient Rehab?

Treatment at day care centers or outpatient rehab clinics range from just one day to 7 days a week. You can have full access to many of the benefits of inpatient rehabilitation but is it an alternative to inpatient treatment?


How to decide which day care program is most appropriate

There are a few things to consider…

Day care programs can be tailored to an individuals personal circumstances, so you can access the service as often as you are willing and able to. You will generally receive the same level of support as someone participating in a residential program.

Day care can also form part of an inpatient rehabilitation aftercare service – helping to bridge the gap to normal living. You could for example complete a 1 month program of residential treatment, before engaging in post-treatment support that could consist of 3 days per week of day care. Over time, the level of day care could be reduced as part of a ‘step-down’ program that could begin at three times per week and ends up being just once per week.

Group of men and woman high-five addiction recovery

Day care treatment or something more?

Here’s when you should join a day care program…


  • When you have a rehab clinic close to your house that you can travel to easily.
  • When the day care program acts as an extension of your inpatient program, so that you can adjust back to your day-to-day life with ease.
  • When you have recently completed an inpatient program and are finding it hard to readjust to your daily routine.
  • When you are recovering from your addiction but are struggling with the rigors of day to day life.
  • When you have family commitments such as small children to support, and cannot easily spend time alone at an outpatient facility.
  • When you want all the benefits of an outpatient program but cannot afford to pay for the treatment.
  • When you have the support of family and friends behind you, who are fully committed to your treatment and recovery.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

When deciding whether to go for outpatient care, you must ask yourself why you don’t want to commit yourself to an inpatient program first. Make no mistake, regardless of how good a day care facility may be, it might not compare with an inpatient program.

Inpatient programs are regarded as the best and safest way to get treated for an addiction. They provide you with a structure, discipline and focus and ensure that you don’t get tempted by anything and minimize the risk of a potential relapse.

Sofa in therapy room painted white

When a day care program is probably not suitable


You should avoid joining a day care program in the following cases…

  • When you have no support at home for the addiction treatment.
  • When you have to travel very far, for over an hour at a time to get to the rehab facility every day.
  • When you don’t have a safe home environment and when you have a partner who drinks or takes drugs.
  • When you just want the easy way out.
  • When you have no structure at home, and no way of staying occupied.
  • When you have psychological problems.
  • When you are under a lot of stress because of work, family or relationships; or when you are under great financial pressure.

The Right Treatment for You

Find the right treatment isn’t always easy. Many people who contact Rehabs Asia are looking for the cheapest option available without considering the outcome of a rehabilitation program. Whilst it can be expensive, if you are in a financial position where you can afford treatment then choosing the right rehab should be the priority over choosing the cheapest rehab! If you need help finding treatment for addiction or mental health disorders in Asia, our team can help you and give you free and independent advice to help you make the best decision.

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