We know….

The question “Which type of rehab do I choose?” can be daunting. There are SO many facilities out there in the current market and all of them claiming to have the solution to your problem. Well, we at White Tree Medical are here to tell you that EVERY SINGLE person’s case is different and EVERY SINGLE person needs and wants different things in their recovery. In the end, it will ultimately be your decision and your success in rehab depends entirely on that one fact.

That you choose what is right for you!

That is why we have created this blog post. To help you make an informed decision as to which type of rehab YOU ultimately end up choosing.

So, to make things easy we have organized this post into a list for you.

This list contains different types of rehabs which are offered in the market and what each type of rehab offers. However, this list is in no way intended to rank each type from best to worse. That would be impossible, because like we said before, each person’s case is entirely different and each person needs different things.

Therefore, this list is categorized from the most recognized type of rehab to the least recognized type of rehab.

Shall we dig in?

1. Residential Rehab

inpatient rehab

A Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or Residential Rehab is the most common form of drug rehabilitation offered in the marketplace. This model of rehab has been used for over 50 years. Whenever we read about a celebrity, family or friend “entering” into rehab they are most likely entering into an RTC. Generally, RTC’s have their programs created with a 30 day – 12-month stay in mind. However, each program is different in their philosophies and methodologies, but there is one common thread in every RTC and that is…you live there.

Yes, you are there 24/7.

You usually receive your own room, but you may have to bunk with somebody. It all depends on the facility and level of care you are paying for. Do us a favor and think of your time in college or summer camp, it is kind of like that, but inside a big facility with no way to leave. Actually, for some people, this is exactly what they need. They need to be monitored 24/7 and they need to get away from where they live.

Also, if you pay good money then you will enter into a rehab that has an amazing chef on staff. Many post-RTC individuals can talk about how great the food was, but like I said IF you have the money for it.

Another component of an RTC is the quality of care. You will likely encounter master’s level clinical therapists and counselors who genuinely want to help you. They will hold focus sessions every day to help you acquire the new tools necessary to combat your current addictive behavior. In many RTC’s you will also find an on-staff medical professional, either a nurse practitioner or medical doctor. They are there to aid you in recovery by prescribing medication to help you with any mental complications. They are also there to help monitor your body as it adapts to a life of drug-free use.

With all of that said, let’s condense RTCs into a list of pros and cons.


  • 24/7 monitoring.
  • Away from your normal environment of life.
  • Quality staff on site whenever you need them.
  • Meet new people who are going through the same thing.
  • 24/7 dedication to combating your addiction.


  • Expensive! $20,000-$200,000 depending on the RTC.
  • 24/7 inpatient stay. You will have to find a way to get away from work and family.
  • The success rate isn’t very high. It usually takes multiple times going through rehab to have it work.*
  • You will be in a structured environment. They will dictate when you wake up, when you sleep, when to eat, etc.
  • Insurance may not cover any costs.

*On RTC websites, success most of the time means completion of the program. Or the percentage of successful completions of the program.


2. Outpatient Rehab/Outpatient Medical Treatment

outpatient rehab

For this section, we have grouped outpatient rehab/outpatient medical treatment together. We did this because outpatient rehabs and outpatient medical treatment facilities quite often work hand in hand. The outpatient rehab is centered around behavioral therapy and outpatient medical treatment facilities are medically based.

With this delineation, let’s dig right in!

First, Outpatient Rehab. The outpatient rehab programs which are widely available are a derivative of the RTC. They both offer professional behavioral counseling, the philosophies and methodologies are closely related and you are given tools to combat your addiction every day. However, the beauty of an outpatient rehab is that it is…ready…wait for it… outpatient! You can continue with work and family obligations without having to put your life on hold to enter rehab.

The quality of care offered in outpatient rehab rivals in quality with that of an RTC. Outpatient rehabs usually have masters level or Ph.D. level clinical directors who oversee the care and therapy methods. The therapists/counselors themselves always have a genuine love and care for each client and desires the client’s ultimate success.

Second, let’s discuss the outpatient medical treatment facilities. The outpatient medical treatment programs are becoming more common as news of substance abuse grows. New research is coming to fruition on the topic of substance abuse and how medicine can play a vital role in its success instead of being an enabler for poor prescribing habits. The biggest difference between an outpatient rehab and an outpatient medical treatment facility is that a medical facility hires doctors, nurses, and some behavioral professionals. Their main focus is to help the individual use modern medicine in order to relieve their acute health issues all while helping them recover from substance abuse. Modern research suggests that if an individual combines behavioral therapy with modern medicine they have a much higher success rate for sobriety then if they only use one or the other. And by success, we mean living a long and addiction-free life, not only successful completion of the program.

Sometimes, outpatient medical treatment facilities will include detoxification services. Most RTCs and outpatient rehabs require their clients detox before they are admitted into the program. The reason for this is the high risk involved in the detoxification process. In general, people will admit themselves into a hospital to detox from their substance. This is an inpatient process, that lasts at least 3-7 days and is costly. However, there is a new alternative method of detox; outpatient medical detox. Detoxing on an outpatient basis allows the individual to maintain their home obligations all while detoxing. However, each outpatient medical treatment facility does it differently, but some commonalities exist, such as the medicines used in order to prevent high-risk health situations from occurring while at home.

We recommend checking out how White Tree Medical does their outpatient detox.

They are after all the only facility in the state of Utah to be licensed.

Now, let’s condense what was stated into the pros and cons.


  • Outpatient allows the individual to maintain their current life obligations.
  • Cutting edge treatment modalities.
  • Access to both medicine and behavioral therapy.
  • Insurance usually covers the costs.
  • MUCH cheaper than residential rehab.
  • High success rate.


  • The individual is free to go home (for some this poses a difficulty).
  • Less strict environment (again some people may need this).
  • Access to drugs/alcohol.
  • Access to your therapists/doctor is limited to office visits.

3. IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program)


IOP or Intensive Outpatient Program is similar to outpatient rehab but is a bit more strict. As a client, you are allowed to go home and maintain your home obligations, but work time needs to be adjusted. With an IOP you are required to attend the facility at least 3 times a week and at a specific time for a set number of hours (usually 4 hours). This type of care is done with people who recently discharge from an RTC and still need a structured lifestyle.

IOPs are also done in a group setting. The IOP treatments are broken down into group classes where there is a behavioral therapist that conducts the classes. You will have the opportunity to meet new people who are going through the same things you are going through. In many cases people will seek out an IOP program for that very reason, they want the social interaction and group support. Also, people will be assigned an individual therapist which will allow them to meet one on one at least once a week to discuss treatment plans and any other issues that occur while going through IOP.

Another component of IOP is the setting. Usually, these are done in the same facility as an RTC. This allows the individual to continue their relationship with the therapist or counselor that helped them while they were receiving residential treatment. The IOP usually lasts a few months and can be costly. However, today most insurance companies will cover IOP, so make sure you check with your insurance carrier before seeking out IOP.

Let’s go over the pros and cons.


  • IOP allows you to maintain your family obligations.
  • More structured than outpatient rehab.
  • Insurance may cover the costs.
  • Usually done after RTC, you can still interact with the friends you made.


  • Costly if you don’t have insurance.
  • Cuts into work time.
  • Access to drugs/alcohol.
  • Usually not accompanied by medical care.

4. PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program)


PHP or Partial Hospitalization Program is the halfway between residential and outpatient. In PHP you spend most of your time at the facility, usually 6-8 hours a day. You are allowed to go home at night to sleep, but need to be back in therapy the next morning around 9 am. In order to be admitted into PHP, you will need a medical evaluation and psychological evaluation. They will usually test to see what risks you pose to yourself and others. They also search for any medical complications you currently have. PHPs are held at a hospital or residential treatment center.

The method of care at PHP is very similar to that of IOP. You will participate in daily group classes. Some of these classes are purely educational based. They will teach you about addiction, substances, life lessons, and how to maintain a life of sobriety. PHPs also offer food services and free time to spend at the facility. However, while in PHP you cannot leave the facility during therapy hours. Visitation from family and friends is limited. For some people who may not have the cash to enter an RTC, but still need the strict structure then PHP is a good option.

PHPs also have the same personnel as an RTC. You will encounter highly qualified behavioral therapists/counselors as well as medical professionals who can handle any health complications that occur while going through rehab. PHPs also require that you attend every day for at least 30 days. Most people who enter into PHP will need to fill out their FMLA form in order to leave work for an extended period of time. There are individuals in rare cases that need more structure than others. They will often enter into an RTC then go straight to PHP followed by IOP. In total their rehab process will take them at least 4 months.

The pros and cons of PHP:


  • Highly structured, similar to that of an RTC.
  • Daily monitoring.
  • Frequent testing to make sure you stay clean.
  • Meet others who are going through the same thing as you.


  • Access to drugs/alcohol in the evenings.
  • Expensive.
  • A lot of time away from work and family.
  • Very strict environment during PHP hours.

5. Group Classes AA, NA (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous)

Group Therapy

About 30 years ago this method of drug rehab was very common. Most people who were struggling with drug or alcohol abuse would attend AA or NA meetings at least once a week. However, with the increase in modern methods of rehabilitation and insurance companies willing to pay for care, many people are entering into a more formal type of care.

AA/NA meetings are free. You can find them in every state across the U.S. They are usually government sponsored and meetings consist of group classes where everyone in attendance is struggling with similar problems. There is always a group discussion leader. Sometimes this person can be a counselor or therapist who has volunteered to provide their services. Other times it will be a life coach who conducts the meetings. Whatever the director’s background is, they are usually there with a strong desire to serve others. Their job in the group classes is to make sure the discussion follows certain guidelines of self respect, respect for others and respect to the director. This allows all attendees who want to share their thoughts and feelings a safe place to do so.

That about sums up AA/NA meetings.

Oh yeah one more thing.

Sometimes there is free coffee and doughnuts!

So, let’s list the pros and cons.


  • Free
  • Make new friends.
  • Associate with others who have similar struggles.
  • Learn new life skills.


  • Once a week isn’t much time for most people.
  • Access to drugs/alcohol.
  • Ever seen breaking bad when Jessie goes to NA? Yeah, that sometimes happens. People will bait others into using their drugs.
  • Loosely structured.
  • No access to medical care.

6. Sober Living (Halfway House)

Sober Living

A sober living home or halfway house is a facility that is used for individuals who have already completed a residential treatment program. These homes are structured around providing their tenants with a safe place to transition from their strict environment of the RTC into real life. For many people, these types of homes have increased the clients sobriety rates. Another component of a sober living home is that it has some form of structure. Obviously no drugs or alcohol is allowed while living there, and they do perform drug screens. You also have the option of continuing therapy while living in the halfway house.

For most sober living homes the stay is 90 days. However, if you have the money you could arrange to stay as long as you’d like. These facilities also offer the opportunity to begin your life outside of rehab without the worries of going straight home. For some people, this poses a real issue due to the fact that their addictive behaviors surfaced while at home. If you are reading this and are currently attending an RTC you might want to consider living in a halfway house for a few weeks, just to make sure your transition is as smooth as possible.

The pros and cons of a sober living:


  • A safe place to transition into the real world after residential treatment.
  • Semi-structured.
  • Obtaining drugs/alcohol is much more difficult.
  • Continue to see your therapist.


  • Expensive.
  • Insurance doesn’t cover the costs.
  • No formal treatment is enforced.
  • For those who need strict monitoring, this is not the place.

7. Apps


If you are still reading this… congratulations!

You made it to the end.

Let’s finish it off with the most convenient type of rehab.


Yes, our final contestant on our list are the apps available on your smartphone. Actually, for a lot of people these apps prove to be very helpful. They sometimes couple them with their formal type of rehab. In the link below you will find apps that help you break many forms of addictions such as drugs, alcohol, porn, videogaming, social media and yes even smartphone use. Having access to a constant reminder of how you are doing and how long you have been clean is a great way to receive personal motivation throughout your day. You can log on and check your progress on how many days you have been clean. You can also set up daily reminders to do certain activities. These apps also include little memos and motivational topics to help you through your journey. If you feel like you need a little extra something to keep you on the clean path then check out the app store. Both google and apple provide relatively the same apps for download.

There really isn’t much more to say about the apps. They are all different and are pretty self explanatory once you get into using them.

The pros and cons of apps.


  • Free
  • Convenient.
  • Change at your own pace with your own goals.
  • Easy to use.
  • Family time and work doesn’t have to be altered.


  • No professional help offered at all.
  • No structure outside of you following the prompts on the app.
  • Access to drugs/alcohol.
  • No change in your external environment aside from what you choose to do.


Now that you have learned about the top 7 forms of rehab you now have the knowledge to better understand what you are looking for. Like we said at the beginning of the post, every person’s case is different. Only you can know what you need and want to get out of rehab. We hope this article was helpful for you in learning a little bit about each form of rehab.

P.S. If you would like to share your thoughts, comments or even suggestions please do so. We love to hear from our readers!