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Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Treatment Centers

Mixed-race teenager struggling with addiction talking to an outpatient treatment counselor

Published: September 8, 2023

Most kinds of drug and alcohol addiction treatment can be broken into two categories: inpatient and outpatient.

Though there are a number of differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment, the key difference is that participants in outpatient drug rehab reside at home during their recovery.

Here’s all you need to know about outpatient addiction treatment, including types of programs, duration, addictions treated, services, cost, and more.

About Outpatient Rehab Programs

Outpatient substance abuse treatment is a kind of treatment plan that treats less-severe addictions. This can include substances such as nicotine or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.

This type of treatment is used in a variety of different circumstances including:

  • Treatment for less severe addictions
  • As a step-down method of treatment for people who have completed an inpatient rehab program or detox (detoxification)
  • For continuing care in a person’s ongoing recovery journey

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs often require individuals to travel to a designated treatment center on certain days or at certain times each week to receive treatment.

Treatment may entail methods such as group therapy, family therapy, support groups, counseling, any necessary medical care, education about substance abuse, and more.

Types of Outpatient Drug Rehab Programs

Outpatient rehab programs can vary quite a bit based on the type of treatment you need. Read on to learn a bit about the several kinds of evidence-based outpatient care.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs are more structured than traditional outpatient programs. This kind of program is great for individuals who do not require round-the-clock care but need a bit more support.

Intensive outpatient treatment is also a great option for people who have completed inpatient treatment.

IOP is a regimented treatment offering that does not require individuals to stay at a rehab center for the duration of their program, but rather during active treatment. In other words, individuals will have scheduled treatments, but can go home in between these treatments.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

Partial hospitalization is a good option for people who may not need 24-hour supervision but are in need of a very structured treatment schedule.

Much like IOP, individuals in PHP are still not required to live in a facility, but rather are expected to be in the facility for scheduled treatment.

PHP typically lasts for several hours a day and up to five days a week. Treatment may include counseling, behavioral therapies, and more.

Outpatient Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT is a kind of treatment service that uses U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications to treat substance use disorder (SUD). MAT can help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with SUD.

MAT is available in both inpatient and outpatient formats. Inpatient MAT provides constant supervision and may be best for people who are just starting out their recovery journey.

On the other hand, outpatient MAT is usually available for people who are approved for take-home medication.

To be approved, most individuals will need to have shown significant progress in their recovery, enough to the point that they do not need medical supervision on a daily basis.

Methadone take-home doses, for example, can be offered during different stages of recovery on an outpatient basis for people in addiction treatment for opioids.

Dual Diagnosis Outpatient Treatment

Dual diagnosis outpatient programs are those that offer co-occurring disorder treatment. Co-occurring disorders are mental health disorders that often occur alongside addiction. Many times, these disorders are the root of addiction.

Dual diagnosis programs address SUD and mental health conditions simultaneously.

Treatment can include services such as:

  • Counseling
  • Antidepressant or anti-anxiety meds
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

The idea is to reframe one’s mindset and find healthier coping mechanisms as a means of relapse prevention.

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is a very common type of outpatient treatment as it’s easily tailored to individual needs.

Counseling may be used to help people work through any trauma or stressors in their lives that exacerbate their addiction, create healthier perspectives and behavioral patterns, and provide an outlet.

Support Groups

Support groups are groups of people who have SUD that meet on a regular basis to discuss their experience with addiction, successes, strategies, and even failures.

Offered during rehab programs and as an aftercare option, support groups provide a sense of comradery as well as an opportunity to connect with peers and be held accountable by others.

Aftercare & Continuing Care Outpatient Services

Aftercare and continuing care outpatient services are services people seek out after completing treatment.

These services can vary from individual to individual based on their needs, but common services include individual counseling, therapy sessions, group therapy, support groups, and educational programs.

Twelve-step programs are another common choice for people seeking continuing care. Common programs include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These are structured programs designed to help people work through addiction among a group of peers.

Alternative Outpatient Addiction Treatments

There are also several alternative outpatient addiction treatment options that may be offered in addition to the above services.

Common alternative treatments can include:

  • Yoga: Yoga therapy offers a healthy coping method to help people through the mental and behavioral challenges that may worsen their addiction.
  • Tai chi: Tai chi is another physical practice that can be really beneficial in helping people work through their emotions and mental health issues during addiction recovery.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices can help individuals stay present in the moment and work through thoughts or mindsets that may trigger relapse.
  • Music: Music therapy uses music as an expressive outlet to help people stop relying on substance abuse.
  • Animals: Animal therapy has been successful in helping people with SUD. Some people find it to be very healing and help them work through emotions and behaviors that exacerbate their substance dependence.

The great thing about alternative treatments is they are available on an outpatient basis. This means you can receive these treatments while in active recovery programs as well as after you complete your addiction treatment program.

Alternative treatments can help provide additional support for people who cannot attend inpatient programs, making outpatient programs even more effective.

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Drug Rehab: What’s The Difference?

The main difference between inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment is the frequency or level of care one receives.

Inpatient programs tend to offer round-the-clock care and supervision in a dedicated treatment facility while outpatient programs offer care on a regular intermittent schedule or as needed.

Outpatient rehab appeals primarily to people who cannot attend inpatient treatment, such as parents or those who cannot leave their job, or people who have already completed inpatient treatment.

However, it is essential to note that inpatient treatment may be necessary for certain individuals such as those who have severe, long-lasting addictions, multiple addictions, co-occurring mental health issues, or those who feel they need constant supervision.

Both kinds of treatment can have successful results, but knowing which is right for you is dependent on countless factors and your individual needs.

It’s incredibly important to discuss your needs with a trusted healthcare professional and family members or friends to make this decision.

Factors such as your location, your insurance, and your doctor’s referral may also play a role in this decision.

Benefits of Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

The benefits of outpatient substance abuse treatment are immeasurable. Taking the next step in your addiction recovery journey can lead to improvements in every area of your life.

Benefits of outpatient treatment may include:

  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental and behavioral health
  • Strengthened relationships, both personal and professional
  • Benefits in your social life
  • Being a part of new communities
  • Taking up new hobbies and interests

Addiction recovery is a challenging road to take, but the benefits are well worth the hard work.

Cost of Outpatient Rehab Programs

Payment options and the cost of outpatient rehab programs will vary based on where you live, your health insurance plan and provider, the kind of treatment you need, and the recovery center you choose.

However, here is a breakdown of the average cost of outpatient rehab treatment in the U.S.:

  • $2,228 for a non-methadone outpatient treatment program
  • $4,939 for an IOP
  • $3,278 for an adolescent outpatient program
  • $5,000 for a three-month outpatient program

Find Outpatient Drug Rehab Near You

Outpatient treatment can be a fantastic option for people continuing their recovery journey or those who simply cannot make inpatient treatment work with their lives.

If you or your loved one is ready to explore outpatient treatment options today, give our helpline a call now.

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