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Outpatient Drug Rehab 

Outpatient rehab is a substance abuse program that allows patients to receive treatment from the comfort of their homes (or designated living area).

Although not as intense as inpatient programs, outpatient rehab is highly effective and best suited for patients in the advanced stages of recovery or those that are yet to be fully dependent on drugs. 

Curious to learn more about outpatient drug rehab and what it entails? If so, then you are in the right place. 

Read on as we take an in-depth look at the main types of outpatient addiction treatment programs and factors you should consider when enrolling in one. 

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What Is An Outpatient Drug Rehab

Outpatient rehab is a type of drug rehabilitation program that doesn’t restrict patient movement, meaning you (or a loved one) can receive treatment while living at home or in another safe environment like a sober living home.

The flexibility of outpatient rehab makes it a great fit for patients that want to maintain their normal work or school schedules while receiving addiction treatment. 

Treatment schedules usually vary depending on outpatient facilities as some offer evening and weekend sessions, while others have sessions running through the day. 

While most inpatient drug rehabs also offer outpatient programs, there are some facilities that exclusively administer outpatient services. 

And similar to inpatient facilities, outpatient programs also use various therapies to treat different types of addiction. 

Patients get to benefit from a variety of services like individual and group counseling, medication-assisted treatment, and experiential therapies (depending on facility).

Although outpatient treatment is not recommended for people at the start of their recovery journey, it’s a great way to step down from inpatient treatment and transition to normal life. 

You can also consider outpatient treatment if you want to overcome a mild drug problem before it gets out of hand. 

Types of Outpatient Rehabs

Outpatient rehabs come in different levels of intensity, with the partial hospitalization program (PHP) being the most intense, followed by the intensive outpatient program (IOP), and finally, the general outpatient program. 

Let’s take a quick look at the three main types of outpatient programs. 

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

The PHP is an intense type of outpatient treatment that is a step down from inpatient treatment. And while patients don’t receive 24-hour monitoring, they still get significant support (at least 20 hours a week) from a facility’s interdisciplinary team. 

This program is suitable for patients who still need a high level of assistance as they transition to normal lives. 

Under the PHP, patients get to participate in individual and group therapy sessions during the day before returning home or to a sober living home at the end of the day. 

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

The Intensive outpatient program is a step down from the PHP and is thus more suitable for patients in the advanced stages of recovery.

Patients usually receive between 10-20 hours of treatment every week as medical and clinical support reduce, depending on a patient’s progress. 

The focus gradually switches more towards group therapy than individual sessions with a therapist. However, the approach usually varies depending on a patient’s treatment needs and a facility’s treatment methods. 

General Outpatient Program (GOP)

The general outpatient program is a step down from the IOP and the least intensive type of outpatient care. This program is suitable for patients in the advanced stages of recovery who are able to overcome cravings and maintain sobriety without much external support. 

General outpatient sessions typically last for 60-90 minutes a day and are held 1-3 times a week. The program continues for an unspecified duration until the primary therapist determines that it’s no longer necessary. 

What To Consider When Looking For An Outpatient Program


When choosing an inpatient rehab, it’s crucial to consider the facility’s proximity to your home or place of residence. Ideally, your outpatient clinic should not be too far as distance can negatively affect your ability to attend sessions. 

Addictions Treated

Stand-alone outpatient clinics usually treat specific addictions. Therefore, if you plan to enroll in a facility that offers outpatient services exclusively, it’s best to inquire about the addictions treated well in advance. 

Approach To Treatment

Not all outpatient clinics are licensed to offer medically-assisted detox. Moreover, others don’t offer family therapy programs and might not be big on experiential therapies either. As a result, you should always inquire about the approach to treatment before settling for a particular outpatient rehab. 


Although cheaper than inpatient rehabs, outpatient clinics can also set you back a considerable amount, especially if you settle for a facility that doesn’t accept insurance. Be sure to inquire about payment options and whether there’s any financial assistance offered. 

Outpatient Drug Rehab Vs. Inpatient Rehab: Which Is Better?

Both outpatient and inpatient drug rehabs come with their pros and cons. However, Inpatient treatment is highly recommended for patients in the initial stages of recovery.

Inpatient rehab allows you to kickstart your recovery journey in a new environment away from all the triggers and, even more importantly, receive round-the-clock support from licensed professionals. 

Outpatient treatment is ideal if you want to receive addiction treatment without uprooting your life. However, it might not be the best option if you’re just getting started with treatment, as you’ll be in the same environment that exposes you to temptations and triggers. 

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

Where Can I Find Addiction Help?

While the thought of finding a reliable outpatient rehab can be daunting at first, you’ll be glad to learn there are hundreds of trusted facilities in the country. 

Some inpatient rehabs offer outpatient services to help patients transition to normal life gradually, while others focus solely on outpatient services. 

Whichever option you prefer, it is highly advisable to contact an addiction treatment center to learn more about the addictions treated and the main programs offered. 

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