Outpatient Treatment Centers

If you are deciding between Residential vs Outpatient treatment, there are many things to consider. An outpatient treatment center allows the client to live at home while they go through treatment for their addiction issues, and visit a location for therapy work. Some of these programs may have a set schedule for you to progress through, as well as regular group meetings with times that cannot be adjusted. Other programs can be appointment-based, which will help to alleviate schedule conflicts like childcare and work commitments.

The model for outpatient care offers more convenience. It is best suited for people who don’t want to go out of their homes and forgo all their responsibilities while they progress through their treatment.

Outpatient treatment works best for people with a less severe addiction, as well as people who have already been to a residential treatment program who would now like ongoing care. It is also great for people with a strong support system to help keep them accountable, and for those who don’t need a more intensive residential treatment.

Pros & Cons


  • Convenience. The client can stay at home in familiar place and not have to put responsibilities on hold.
    The overall costs. An inpatient program can be extraordinarily costly, and in some cases might not be covered by insurance plans. Outpatient treatment centers are typically less expensive and often covered by your health insurance.
  • Duration/Length of Treatment. Many studies have concluded that having a year of sobriety can drastically increase the odds of staying sober for the long term. By slowly becoming less intense over time, the outpatient program allows for this longer treatment.
  • Support of Friends and Family. Having the support of friends and family while going through the levels of treatment, allowing for you to interact and knowing you have team support of those close to you.
  • The building of a community. While participating in an outpatient program, you’ll also be able to build meaningful relationships. These are members of your community, so you can begin a sober support network in your home base.


  • The lack of medical detox. If a person requires a higher level of care with medicated detoxification, they would not be able to receive this in an outpatient setting. Withdrawal symptoms may prove to be too uncomfortable, and the ability to slip into relapse is much easier. A residential treatment program with inpatient care can be a better option for those needing help with that detox process.
  • No 24 hour supervision and maintenance of care. A person who is ambivalent to care may find it easier to slip back into substance abuse without 24 hour supervision and support.
  • The requirement of family support and involvement. An outpatient program will typically want involvement of the whole family system. This will require effort from others in the family, and drumming up support amongst them. If someone does not have a support system yet, this can prove to be difficult.

Residential Treatment Centers

A residential treatment center is a facility where you live full-time during your recovery. It’s often recommended for people with a more severe addiction, a long history of addiction or people who have tried outpatient care before but didn’t find success.

It’s a more focused and committed approach to recovery. With 24 hour care and a variety of treatment programs and activities, all of it is individually custom and designed to help you reach your goal of recovery and lifelong sobriety.

Pros & Cons


  • Structured environment free of temptations. Being able to get away from triggers and situations that might cause a relapse is one of the biggest benefits of residential treatment. You will learn how to overcome triggers before you return home to them, so that you are able to cope with them in a healthier way.
  • Greater success for people with more severe addictions. Making recovery a 24 hour a day commitment will help you take it more seriously. Studies have shown that from different forms of treatment programs, residential treatment programs most likely result in the higher rates of continued sobriety.
  • Sober environment. Being around other sober people, as well as mentors and counselors who have walked in your shoes, allows you to relearn how to live without drugs and alcohol. You’ll also learn the skills back to function in regular life and gain valuable advice.
  • Temporary escape from distractions. This can mean work, family, other stressful or fractured relationships as well as breaking free from negative influencers.
  • Round the clock care and support. This includes medical supervision, as well as mentors and counselors ready to talk to you, offer support and give you advice.
  • Supervised detoxification. A 24-hour care staff of nurses will allow you to safely and more humanely get off of your chemical addition. You will also have access to medication to help you kick cravings. At the onset of care in a residential facility, you’ll most likely receive a medically assisted detox. This will help with the symptoms of withdrawal, as your body flushes out the toxins and relieves its chemical dependence on the drugs and alcohol being abused. Once completion of detox, your schedule will be filled with activities focused on getting you healthy and staying sober. These activities can include individual and group therapy, as well as more holistic activities like yoga and equine therapy.


  • Logistics of being away from family and work. There are lots of logistics to work out such as taking time off work or family, especially if you have kids. Admissions specialists are available 24/7 for a confidential discussion to work these things out.
  • Costs are greater than outpatient. Residential treatment can prove to be expensive, especially not knowing if your health insurance can cover the costs of care. Admissions specialists are available 24/7 for a confidential discussion to work this out, and they work closely with insurance companies to work out the best rate possible for you.

About Cliffside Malibu

Deciding between Residential vs Outpatient depends on your addiction and it’s severity. Whichever treatment method you find is the right option for you, give us a call.

Each patient is then matched with one of these five stages of the Transtheoretical Model: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance. An individualized treatment plan is created based on their current stage of change. This process is in place to ensure that all our patients receive the best treatment path possible for their own specific need. Our goal is to move individuals through their treatment by assessing their readiness for change and formulating stage-matched interventions in order to move them through their respective stage.

It is the policy of Cliffside Malibu to ensure that all individuals who present with chemical dependency issues are assessed for the appropriate level of care. We strive to provide continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment and outpatient services. Services are provided to individuals with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction. Individuals seeking treatment are assessed by qualified staff to ensure program criteria are met and that each individual admitted is placed in the appropriate level of care for treatment. The program is designed and structured for individuals who are in need of a supportive environment in order to maintain Sobriety.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com