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Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a serious problem, but it can be managed. The person affected can overcome their addiction with the help of family and friends. We often think of drug rehab inpatients, but there are also options for outpatient treatment. What is outpatient rehabilitation? What is it? What are the best options for outpatient drug rehabilitation?

What is outpatient rehabilitation?

Outpatient rehab is a nonresidential, therapy-based treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. This type of treatment is not like inpatient rehab. It does not include onsite housing or living arrangements. An individual with an addiction problem does not have to stay in a rehabilitation center for a specific period of time. This is usually three months. They can choose to live in their own homes and attend therapy according to the prescribed schedule.

There is a difference between outpatient and inpatient rehab

The main difference between outpatient and inpatient drug rehab is the way they are conceived. Inpatient rehab can last between 28 and 90 days. All of these require that a person remain in a rehabilitation center. Inpatient rehab is required for severe alcohol and drug addictions. It provides more technical and therapeutic support. Inpatient care provides a safe environment for a person to focus on their recovery and avoid any outside influences.

Outpatient rehabilitation allows the person to continue living at home and continues their normal life outside of treatment. Outpatient rehab is often used to treat mild addiction problems. Outpatient rehab is also available for severe addiction sufferers who have finished inpatient treatment but need additional support to get on the road of recovery. Despite being different, both types of treatment have distinct advantages and exceptional potential to aid people with addiction to drugs or alcohol.


  • Moderate to mild addiction
  • A strong support system of family and friends
  • Transport to counseling sessions frequently
  • Motivation to go to sessions and to stick with the treatment

What is outpatient rehab? What should you expect?

Outpatient rehab allows you to live at home while receiving treatment. The commitment required for these programs varies. Some programs require that you attend sessions for a limited time per week, while others may require that you stay for several hours each day. These programs can also provide medical care and prescriptions for medications.

A staff member meets with the person who has an addiction problem to create a treatment plan. To make therapy more effective, the plan will include goals. A staff member at a rehab facility will ask questions about your drug or alcohol use, medical history and medications. They may also ask about family problems, employment, and other relevant information.

After the treatment plan has been established, you will be informed about the rules that you must follow throughout the duration of the program. Many outpatient drug rehabilitation programs require regular drug testing to ensure that you are not abusing drugs or alcohol while receiving treatment. Outpatient rehab requires that all participants attend therapy sessions on a regular basis. You may be required to do some work outside of the therapy sessions.

Outpatient rehab has many benefits

There are many benefits to outpatient rehab, including the following:

  • You can keep your job
  • There is no need to leave your home and family behind
  • People on a limited budget can accept lower costs, inpatient care is more affordable and often covered by insurance.
  • Creates a supportive network
  • Psychiatric care
  • Offers outreach resources, such as contact information for support groups or sober friends.

Outpatient programs can vary in quality. The specific treatment depends on the person’s addiction and stage of recovery.

Day programs are the best form of outpatient care. This program requires that people suffering from addiction attend therapy sessions for at least five to seven hours per day, and more often than that, they must do so for several hours every day. These programs are very demanding and may restrict a person’s ability to go to school or work.

The intensive outpatient program (IOP), which establishes a treatment plan that includes defined milestones and measures to show progress. Each milestone is met, and the commitment to therapy time decreases. This outpatient treatment is better suited for those who are trying to overcome addictions and still need more time to be able to go to work, or do other daily tasks. A few hours per week may be required for an intensive outpatient program.

Continuing care includes support groups like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous that provide ongoing support to help you achieve a successful recovery. Sessions are held weekly and are led by licensed therapists. To make it easier for people feel more relaxed, trust and be able to share their experiences with others, some continuing care groups can be gender- or age-specific.

Outpatient rehabilitation therapies

Men and women are required to attend therapy sessions during their outpatient drug rehab. Sometimes, you might need to attend group therapy sessions that allow you to meet other people with the same problem and share the treatment. There are also individual sessions that can be tailored to you, which help you learn how to deal with life’s challenges and traumas in a more healthy way.

Although the exact treatments may differ from one facility or treatment to another, they all generally include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches coping skills that will help you avoid relapse. CBT offers the best way to understand the negative and positive consequences of drug abuse. It’s much easier to understand the reasons why treatment is important. CBT can also help you identify cravings and how to avoid them.
  • The Matrix model combines elements from several approaches, including 12-step meetings and relapse prevention, family therapy and drug education.
  • Contingency management (CA), which rewards positive behavior such as a negative urine drug screen, is an incentive or reward system.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy is a way to overcome resistance to drug abuse treatment. The therapist will help you find the motivation to make positive changes in your life and create a plan for making them happen. A thorough assessment is followed by two to four sessions of individual therapy.
  • Family therapy – Helps build a strong support network and helps family members work through their problems.

What is the average length of outpatient treatment?

Each treatment center may have a different length for the outpatient drug rehabilitation program. Ten weeks is the average length. Many programs offer a step down approach, where you can reduce the weekly therapy sessions as your treatment progresses. The beginning of a program is the best time to begin therapy and receive the most intense treatment.

People can overcome their addiction to drugs or alcohol through outpatient programs. However, it is not an easy road to recovery and you must maintain your progress. We recommend you join Crescent Moon Recovery. You’ll be able to work on yourself constantly. This can serve as motivation to continue working towards your happiness and health.

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Treatment of drug and alcohol addiction does not require an inpatient facility. There are also outpatient programs that allow patients to work from home and continue their therapy sessions.. Outpatient rehab has many benefits, including a better quality of life and lower costs. Each individual’s needs and severity of addiction are taken into consideration when determining the treatment plan. There are many options for treatment to help you recover.

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