Addiction Treatment Center
By BrightView
Published: September 12, 2023
Updated: February 21, 2024

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to your recovery


Choosing a type of addiction treatment for you or a loved one can be overwhelming. Even though the foundations of successful recovery from drug or alcohol use disorders are well-researched, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to an addiction treatment program.

The most common types of treatment programs are outpatient, inpatient, and virtual. There are also detox programs, partial hospitalization programs, and other specialty programs, but most addiction treatment programs fall within these three categories.



Inpatient Programs are the most intensive and disruptive type of treatment. They typically involve a four-week stay in a substance-free, residential facility. Inpatient programs provide a safe and structured environment where people can focus solely on their recovery.

Patients receive around-the-clock medical care and therapeutic support. Inpatient facilities offer a variety of services, such as individual and group therapy, medication assisted treatment, and holistic therapies.

It is recommended for people with a more severe addiction (often alcohol – which can be fatal without proper detox). It is also suitable for someone with a long-term substance use disorder or someone who has a co-occurring mental or behavioral illness.

Inpatient treatment is most suitable for people who have:

  • Dual diagnoses (SMI combined with an addiction)
  • Additional chronic diseases or bodily issues
  • Polysubstance use (more than one addiction)
  • Additional diseases such as
  • Long history of repeated attempts at outpatient treatment that haven’t worked
  • Unstable or unsafe home life (living in an environment where others use around them).



Outpatient Programs are less intensive than inpatient programs and designed to ensure patients can continue working and seeing their families. They typically involve attending treatment sessions on a regular basis, such as once or twice a week. Outpatient programs can be helpful for people who have a strong support system in place and who are able to commit to regular treatment.

Outpatient treatment does not require you to stay overnight or live onsite during your recovery. This type of treatment can be beneficial for people who:

  • Need to continue work, school, family/children obligations, and return home after appointments
  • Present mild to moderate symptoms of SUD
  • Live in an environment that is stable and drug-free
  • Has family/friends who support their decision to seek treatment
  • Are motivated to attend sessions regularly.



Virtual Treatment, the newest type of addiction treatment, involves receiving treatment online, typically through video conferencing.

Virtual treatment can be a good option for people who:

  • Live in rural areas or a long distance from on-site addiction treatment
  • Are immunocompromised
  • Are uncomfortable attending in-person treatment
  • Travel for work or have a constantly changing schedule
  • Have inconsistent access to transportation
  • Present mild symptoms of an SUD


Here’s an overview of each program and factors to consider when choosing an addiction treatment program.

Program Type

Length of Treatment


On-Site Stay

Addiction Type



90 days or more Generally low cost No, patients can continue fulfilling home, family, and work duties Less severe alcohol or substance use disorders Prescriptions are filled on site; suitable for patients who have attempted outpatient treatment multiple times


4 weeks or more Generally more expensive to cover 24/7 care, meals, cleaning, and facilities Yes, with around-the-clock support to prevent relapse and ensure safety; it’s good for some patients with comorbidities


More severe alcohol or substance use disorders require medically monitored detox and can be fatal


External triggers can be temporarily shut off; suitable for patients who cannot take time off work


90 days or more, but save time not having to travel to treatment Generally low cost No, but the need for online access makes it better for patients in large metros and tougher in rural areas


Less severe alcohol or substance use disorders Prescriptions filled through third-party pharmacies (which can be problematic); insurance coverage and availability vary from state to state; best suited for patients with a lack of transportation, unpredictable schedules, or jobs requiring frequent travel


Recovery is an ongoing process that doesn’t end
after the first steps of sobriety.

In addition to the chart above, here are some other factors to consider when choosing an addiction treatment program.

  • Focus Areas: An effective treatment program will consider the medical, psychological, and social factors of each patient to ensure they have the best possible chances of long-term success.
  • Insurance Coverage: Does Medicaid, Medicare, or my Insurance Plan cover this type of treatment?
  • Support: Do I have a strong support system of family and friends to rely on aa drug-free environment in which to live?
  • Location: Do I have dependable transportation to and from a treatment center 2-4 times a week or as needed?


Choose the Right Program…For You

It’s critical you choose a program that will best meet your individual needs and circumstances. And sometimes, your decision doesn’t need to be one or the other. In fact, upon completing inpatient treatment, it is usually recommended that people continue their recovery path in an outpatient setting. This allows them to hold themselves accountable for their sobriety with the help of trained, professional medical and behavioral health staff. This also allows patients to learn to adapt to their new lifestyle through individual and group counseling.

Recovery is an ongoing process that doesn’t end with the first steps of sobriety – regardless of which type you choose. Upon completing outpatient treatment at BrightView, every patient has an aftercare plan tailored to their individual needs to help them lay their foundation for future recovery to ensure that even years down the road they have the tools for relapse prevention.


Get Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment

Whichever path you choose, it is encouraged that you continue ongoing care in BrightView’s proven effective addiction treatment program. For more information and the location nearest you, contact us at 833.510.4357 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.