Outpatient Rehab for Drugs and Alcohol - Withdrawal

Outpatient Rehab for Drugs and Alcohol

outpatient treatment is a form of drug & alcohol abuse rehab where patients live at home and travel 2-3 times weekly for addiction therapy sessions


Takeaways from this article:

  • american addiction centers photo

    The differences between outpatient and inpatient rehab

  • american addiction centers photo

    When outpatient rehab is the right choice

  • american addiction centers photo

    How to find local outpatient rehabs


What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient treatment is a term used to define substance abuse therapy that takes place at an outpatient rehab clinic which does not require the patient to live on-site.

Outpatient treatment is focused on treating the addiction by teaching people a variety of skills, including coping with stressors and triggers, relapse prevention, communication, problem-solving, and stress management.1, 3 Outpatient treatment also usually occurs later on in the recovery process, after detox and inpatient treatment is complete.

Substance use disorders affect each person differently and a variety of treatment options are available to meet these different needs.1 As one progresses through substance abuse treatment, they’ll experience different types of treatment types. One of these treatment types is outpatient treatment.

While outpatient treatment can be an effective treatment method for many people, it is important to understand that it is not a replacement for detox.

Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment has an array of benefits. Flexibility is one of the primary benefits of outpatient treatment. Groups and individual sessions can be scheduled at times that are convenient for those in attendance.4 This means that treatment can be provided at various times, such as in the morning, afternoon, evening, or even on weekends in some cases.

The flexibility offered in scheduling allows patients to participate in their daily routine with limited or no interruption while still receiving effective treatment for a substance use disorder. This means that they can attend school or work and manage responsibilities at home while in treatment. This can also ease the transition process, as it helps patients learn to manage stressors at home, school, and work by allowing them to use the skills they learn in treatment.

In addition to flexibility, the length of outpatient treatment generally lasts longer than any other type of treatment.Studies have shown that spending a minimum of 90 days in treatment has a positive impact on sobriety, and longer periods of treatment are associated with better outcomes.1  Attending longer periods of outpatient treatment can lead to long-term sobriety.1 There are no set lengths for outpatient treatment. Generally, the length will vary depending on what an individual needs.

Paying for Outpatient Treatment

The final major benefit of outpatient rehab is it’s affordability. Paying for outpatient rehab is often more affordable than inpatient rehab or detox.  If you plan to pay for rehab without insurance, costs are more affordable because you are not paying for lodging or the more acute services offered in detox or inpatient rehab.1, 5 

Even better, if you have health insurance, you are guaranteed to have some level of coverage available to help with your outpatient rehab expenses. By law, addiction treatment is considered an essential benefit.  This means that those paying with insurance likely have some level of coverage for outpatient rehab or other forms of addiction treatment in their plan. For more information about how to pay for rehab with your insurance plan, select your provider from the list below for more details.

Finding Outpatient Rehab Centers Near Me

Because outpatient treatment allows you to live at home, finding the right outpatient rehab center is going to require you to search locally for treatment options. Luckily, there are many outpatient treatment centers to choose from. Some rehab providers like American Addiction Centers operate nationally, so there’s likely a local option available to you through our rehab locations. If you’d like more information on your local American Addiction Centers facility, you can call our confidential detox hotline anytime.  If you aren’t located close enough to one of our facilities, we’ve authored guides for each state to help you find a local outpatient rehab center which you’ll find listed below.

Is Outpatient Rehab Right for Me?

It can be a very personal decision to decide whether outpatient treatment is right for you. Consulting with your physician or a medical professional is a good idea before making any treatment decisions. They can assess the severity of your substance use disorder and help determine the right direction for your treatment. Here are some things that may indicate that outpatient treatment could be a good choice for you:

  • You have already gone through detox or have stopped using substances.
  • You have already attended inpatient treatment.
  • You aren’t in crisis.

Outpatient treatment can be especially helpful for certain types of people struggling with substance use disorders. These include:

  • People who have completed higher levels of care, such as inpatient rehab.5  Outpatient rehab clinics offer a step-down level of care that allows people to transition back into their home environment and usual routine while still receiving treatment and support as they adjust.
  • People who have substance use disorders that aren’t severe enough to require inpatient treatment, but who still require treatment and support to stay sober after detox.5  This also applies to people who may not be able to take the time to spend away from homes, such as single parents or those with jobs that they can’t take time away from.
  • People who have recently relapsed or are concerned about relapsing, especially after completing treatment recently.
  • Loved ones of people with substance use disorders, as they can also benefit from outpatient treatment. Many programs offer family counseling sessions and support groups. This can provide valuable information on how they can best help a loved one dealing with a substance use disorder.

Types of Outpatient Rehab Centers

There are three types of outpatient treatment available to meet the diverse needs of patients:

  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP).
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) or rehab day programs.
  • Traditional outpatient programs.

While these three treatment types fall under the umbrella term “outpatient,” they differ greatly in their intensity and methodology. It’s important to speak with a medical professional to determine which outpatient treatment type is right for you.

Intensive Outpatient & Partial Hospitalization

An intensive outpatient program, or an IOP for short, is the most involved form of outpatient treatment and is a step-down from inpatient care.5 Treatment is provided in a clinic or office setting and consists of an average of 10 to 12 hours of group and individual counseling over 3 to 4 weekly sessions.3, 4, 5

Partial hospitalization programs, also known as PHPs or rehab day programs, are a more intensive type IOP for people with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness.4, 5  These programs offer at least 20 hours of weekly therapy in 5 to 7 weekly sessions and offer an alternative to inpatient care.4, 5 These programs provide a bridge to step down to traditional outpatient care as participants progress through treatment.3, 5

Traditional Outpatient: Continuing Care

Traditional outpatient treatment is similar to an IOP but less rigorous.3, 4  Group and individual sessions are offered in an office or facility setting, although sessions take up less than 9 hours weekly.3, 4 Treatment aims to help patients strengthen the skills that they have learned in higher levels of care and allows them to practice these skills in real-world situations.