What to Know About Outpatient Rehab

Nzinga Harrison, MD
January 3, 2024

When it comes to addiction treatment programs, many people might think of 30-day inpatient rehabs, as seen in countless TV shows and movies. Some people can’t choose inpatient treatment because they can’t leave their jobs, homes, and loved ones for a long time. For those who need a more flexible option, outpatient recovery programs are a helpful alternative. If you or your loved one is interested in learning more about outpatient addiction treatment, here are the top factors you should know.

Services Offered in Outpatient Rehab

In general, the majority of services provided by inpatient programs are also available in an outpatient setting. These services include:

  • Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT): Medications are prescribed to help with withdrawal and prevent relapses in a supervised outpatient program for addiction treatment. For mental health conditions that occur alongside addiction, medication management can treat anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD or any other psychiatric symptoms.
  • Therapy and counseling: Outpatient programs provide individual or group therapy sessions, or a combination of both. These sessions can take place at the clinic or may even be available via video chat.
  • Peer network: Just like inpatient programs, outpatient treatment brings individuals with addiction together by building bonds.
  • Help for families and loved ones: Family members are important partners in the recovery process, especially for individuals living at home during their outpatient treatment. Many outpatient programs involve family members in therapy, either with the individual in treatment or through support groups for loved ones affected by addiction.
  • Support resources: Outpatient programs with community partnerships can assist with housing, employment, healthcare, childcare, legal services, wellness programs, and continuing education.

Rehab on Your Schedule

Not everyone feels comfortable starting their recovery by being removed from their daily life. Outpatient rehab helps people with addiction treatment while they continue working and taking care of their families. This means that the aspects of a treatment plan are structured around the needs and schedule of the individual. For people who need flexible timing, outpatient addiction treatment lets them attend their appointments and group meetings without disrupting their daily routines.

The main priority of outpatient programs is to provide the most effective, convenient addiction recovery services. Some may offer virtual mental health services via video chat or staff who can meet at whatever location is convenient for the individual. The goal is to ensure individuals have access to support resources that extend beyond the clinic walls, whenever needed.

Unlike inpatient programs that typically last between 30 and 90 days, there is no pre-determined length of treatment in outpatient programs. This means that individuals in outpatient recovery can engage with health services, therapy, peer groups, and support resources for as long as they seek them.

Who Benefits from Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs?

All types of people can benefit from outpatient treatment. It is common for some people to begin receiving treatment at an inpatient facility if they need specific rehabilitation services or close medical observation, and then transition to an outpatient program when they are more stable. Outpatient programs make it simple for people to continually engage in the lifelong recovery process, due to the open and flexible access to support.

Quality of Outpatient Programs

Addiction is an extremely personal disease, which means that no two people experience it the same way. This also means that the recovery journey differs from person to person. For some people, inpatient treatment is effective and for others, outpatient programs are better. Remember, the quality of a treatment program isn’t only based on whether it’s inpatient or outpatient.

Here are some important quality indicators of both types of treatment:

  • Accreditation by independent nonprofit organizations like The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF®)
  • Clinical staff credentials and licensures, such as LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor), LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), CAC (Certified Addictions Counselor) or CCDP (Certified Co-occurring Disorders Counselor)
  • A well-rounded treatment team of professionals from different disciplines
  • Use of evidence-based treatments that are proven by science and research to be effective in treating addiction

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of outpatient rehab?

The cost of outpatient rehab can vary based on factors such as location, services offered, and individualized treatment plans. We understand the importance of making mental health and addiction treatment services affordable, which is why we’ve partnered with many major insurance plans to facilitate easier access to care. 

To ensure accurate and detailed information regarding the cost of outpatient rehab and your insurance coverage, we recommend reaching out to us directly.

How do I find outpatient rehab near me?

To find outpatient rehab near you, you can contact us directly. We have locations in Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington. Alternatively, you can search online, use local directories, check with your insurance company, or consult with healthcare professionals for recommendations.

How long does outpatient rehab last?

Unlike inpatient programs with predetermined lengths, outpatient rehab doesn’t have a fixed duration. Individuals can engage in outpatient recovery services for as long as needed.

Does outpatient rehab work for all types of addiction?

Yes, outpatient rehab can be effective for various types of addiction. It provides flexibility for individuals to receive treatment while continuing with their daily lives. Whether someone is dealing with alcohol, opioid, or other substance use disorders, outpatient programs can offer support. 

What’s the difference between outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment?

Outpatient care allows individuals to receive addition treatment while staying in their daily routine. Inpatient rehabilitation typically involves residing at a facility for a fixed period of time. Outpatient offers flexibility, with appointments and group meetings structured around the individuals schedule. 

What role does family support play in outpatient addiction treatment?

Family support is crucial in outpatient addiction treatment. Many outpatient programs involve family members in therapy and support groups. This collaboration helps create a supportive environment for individuals in treatment, enhancing the overall recovery process.

How do I know if outpatient treatment is right for me?

The decision between inpatient and outpatient treatment depends on individual needs and circumstances. Seeking help for addiction is the first step. We emphasize that the choice is personal, and individuals can contact us to discuss if outpatient addiction treatment is the right fit. 

Can individuals maintain work or school commitments during outpatient treatment?

Yes, individuals can maintain work or school commitments during outpatient treatment. Outpatient rehab is designed to allow flexibility, enabling individuals to attend appointments and group meetings without disrupting their daily lives. The goal is to support recovery while integrating with everyday life. 

Choosing Outpatient Addiction Treatment – is it right for you?

Whether it’s inpatient or outpatient rehab, seeking help for addiction is the first important step in the right direction. Selecting a recovery program is a very personal decision that depends on an individual’s specific needs and circumstances. To learn if an outpatient addiction treatment program like Eleanor Health is the right fit for you or your loved one, contact us today.

If you need help with your substance use disorder, we are here to help you build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want. We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located in Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington.

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Nzinga Harrison, MD

Dr. Harrison serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Eleanor Health with more than 15 years experience practicing medicine. She is a double-board certified physician with specialties in general adult psychiatry and addiction medicine. Dr. Harrison has spent her career as a physician treating individuals from marginalized communities with substance use and other psychiatric disorders. As a physician executive, she has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer roles committed to creating and improving systems-based delivery of psychiatric and substance abuse care. She is a vocal advocate for stigma reduction, and is passionate about the necessity for whole-person care as individuals and communities seek to recover from and prevent substance use disorders.

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