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What is Outpatient Rehab?

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Outpatient rehab is focused on helping people transition from the controlled environment of inpatient rehab to normal lives. It involves attending individual or group appointments while living at home. Due to the lack of residential or hospital setting, outpatient rehab is most successfully used after detox or inpatient rehab treatment. If you have not accessed those levels of care first, you may want to consider our sobriety guide which outlines the typical steps of treatment.

Types of Outpatient Treatment

There are a few key options within outpatient treatment that you should consider. Because these treatment services are offered on an outpatient basis, you can continue to live at home and participate in your community, which may benefit your adjustment to living sober. Outpatient treatment options include intensive outpatient programs, traditional outpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) or day treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Programs, or IOPs, are designed to offer a higher level of care than traditional outpatient services. IOPs may be a good choice if you aren’t an appropriate candidate for inpatient treatment or if you have recently graduated from inpatient treatment but continue to need more than weekly or bi-weekly treatment to assist with recovery.2

Traditional Outpatient Treatment may be appropriate for you if you don’t need structured or intensive treatment but would still benefit from ongoing supportive services to facilitate and sustain recovery.3

Partial Hospitalization Programs are designed for people who need intensive treatment, structure, and support during the day, but are stable enough to not require medically intensive services and can live at home. 3

What is PHP (Partial Hospitalization)

PHPs or “day treatment” provide intensive services during the day, lasting for several hours from morning until early afternoon. Programs are designed to support the recovery process and help you progress into less intensive levels of care while supporting employment. People in a PHP may continue to need medication management for symptoms of withdrawal or non-life-threatening medical issues. In addition to these services, PHPs offer evidence-based, recovery-focused services to help you learn the necessary skills to become and stay drug-free.4

What is Intensive Outpatient?

Intensive outpatient treatment is the most involved form of outpatient treatment and can serve as a bridge between inpatient and traditional outpatient treatment. Intensive outpatient care is focused on helping you learn relapse management strategies and coping skills, develop social supports, and address specific symptoms and other needs. It offers the following in a structured format:1

  • 10-12 hours of structured programming each week.
  • Individual therapy.
  • Group therapy.
  • Family therapy.
  • Education about substance use and mental health.

Traditional Outpatient: Continuing Care

Traditional outpatient treatment focuses on continuation of care, helping people maintain the healthier habits and coping mechanisms they have developed in higher levels of care. Traditional treatment is a basic level of care with a low level of medical supervision. This type of care involves fewer hours of group and individual therapy, allowing for greater participation in work or community activities. Traditional care is primarily group-based, though additional services to support medication management or mental health care may be available. 3

Who Is Outpatient Rehab For?

Outpatient rehab is most beneficial for people who have just gone through a higher level of rehab such as inpatient or residential treatment, people who have recently relapsed, or those who are concerned about relapse but can manage addiction during non-rehab hours. Outpatient rehab can also help family members of people struggling with addiction who want to support their loved one’s recovery. 1

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

Though inpatient rehab can be an important beginning step in the process of recovery from addiction, outpatient rehab can provide many benefits, including:

  • Affordability. Generally, outpatient treatment is more affordable than inpatient care, , given that inpatient programs provide room and board.
  • Flexibility. There is a greater opportunity to continue living your life as you did before entering treatment, which allows you to continue participating in activities and enjoying hobbies to further benefit your adjustment to sobriety.
  • Access to family. Since outpatient treatment allows you to continue living at home, you can spend time with your family and friends while you continue to receive treatment, which can help if you have a strong support network.
  • Ability to work, which can be important to those who might be unable to take time off from work to attend treatment.

Though outpatient rehab is less intensive, treatment may continue for 3 months to a year, providing more time to adjust to life in recovery.1

Are You Looking For Outpatient Rehab?

Knowing when and where to look for help can be difficult, but seeking treatment is an important step to recovery from addiction. Consider the following questions to help you assess if outpatient rehab is right for you:

  • Are you or someone you love struggling with substance abuse?
  • Are drugs and alcohol taking over your life?
  • Are you in fear of relapse?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s likely time you ask for help.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) a leading provider of drug and alcohol addiction and dual diagnosis treatment nationwide. AAC is in network with many of the top insurance providers in the U.S. Use the form below to find out instantly if your insurance benefits cover some or all of the cost of treatment.

Finding The Best Outpatient Drug Rehab

As a leader among providers of addiction treatment in the United States, American Addiction Centers (AAC) is at the forefront of helping people reclaim their lives from addiction to drugs and alcohol. American Addiction Centers provides care that treats people as a whole, by offering evidence-based care focused on addressing the underlying causes that contribute to addiction, as well as physical and mental health disorders, and readjusting socially without the use of substances.

We offer all levels of care including outpatient treatment at our facilities. If you are considering treatment at any level, American Addiction Centers can help.

Our Treatment Program

We offer a full continuum of care that encompasses the primary types of treatment all the way from detox for those initially struggling to aftercare options like sober living, counseling sessions, and support groups for those simply maintaining their recovery.

Find Your Local Facility

American Addiction Centers has facilities across the nation so there’s always a local option available for you.

You can find out more about our facilities here. Want to speak to someone instead? You can call our free helpline 24/7 to speak to an admissions navigator. We can be reached at .

Telehealth – Online Addiction Treatment

Additionally, American Addiction Centers also offers addiction treatment through video calls. That’s right, you can access addiction treatment from the comfort of your home. 

For more information, you may visit our website,

Still Unsure About Seeking Treatment?

If you still have questions about treatment, don’t worry. We have plenty of additional resources that answer commonly asked questions.

Check the list below for some of our most-viewed resources.