Addiction Recovery - Treatment Professional

Outpatient Drug Rehab: How Outpatient Care Will Balance Your Life in Recovery

Outpatient drug rehab is a critical, effective stage of care for drug and alcohol addiction. Learn why PHP and IOP programs are effective in our blog!

Outpatient Drug Rehab: How Outpatient Care Will Balance Your Life in Recovery

Table of Contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

December 28, 2022

The Edge Treatment Center

Since 2015, the top cause on the list of injury-related deaths in the United States has been unintentional poisoning by drug overdose. This has led to over 40,000 deaths each year, and in 2020 drug overdose was responsible for the death of over an alarming 92,000 people! The number per day from 2020-2021 is estimated to be 265 on average, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Addiction is one of the biggest issues faced by the country, especially when it comes to the youth. Substance abuse, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction can lead to numerous diseases and health complications that can be fatal and even lead to death.

However, a survey conducted by SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, indicated that 90% of individuals who require rehabilitation and treatment do not receive it. That statistic makes it vital for each and every affected person to consider helping friends and loved ones. 

One of the most popular ways to help people overcome addiction is at an outpatient drug rehab.

What Is the Purpose of Drug Rehab?

The main purpose of drug rehabilitation is to set up programs and interventions to help those who recently decided to receive treatment for substance abuse disorder or addiction treatment. Drug rehab targets patients who still have an impulsive desire to consume drugs or alcohol. Using various techniques and plans to help subside these cravings and diverge patients onto a healthier life path, drug rehabilitation centers support individuals in maintaining a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle and eventually getting back to their lives.  

What Is Outpatient Drug Rehab? 

Various treatments and rehabilitation services are designed to help those impacted by drug abuse or substance abuse disorder. Still, before one decides what type of treatment one needs, it is a good idea to consider the intensity of the treatment plan. Whether they must go forward with a live-in style arrangement or want to visit the center only for treatment purposes should be discussed with a guidance counselor or medical treatment provider. 

Inpatient drug rehab encircles a setup where the patient remains in a home-like or hospital-like facility for the duration of their treatment so they can receive 24-hour attention. This is a good option if it is the beginning of a rehab journey. Outpatient rehab, on the other hand, is an arrangement where patients can visit the facility on the days of their treatment. This is a viable option for those who do not need intensive care compared to inpatients. In addition, outpatient rehab offers much more independence and flexibility. However, outpatient rehab typically comes after inpatient treatment, when patients are better in health or when they have been diagnosed fit to start at that particular level. This means it is usually prescribed to individuals with moderate addiction symptoms or those who have already undergone higher levels of treatment. 

Types of Outpatient Rehab Programs

There are four main types of programs that are offered to those who opt for or are prescribed outpatient treatment:

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

This outpatient program is considered to be the most intensive. Most residential plans offer PHP to local patients who find it easy to travel 5-6 days a week. Each treatment in a PHP program lasts approximately 5-6 hours and focuses on helping stabilize patient behavior and mitigate reactions to resurfacing cravings. Patients need to stay streamlined and focus only on their treatment during this stage of outpatient drug rehab care. Working is not recommended as it can be as time-consuming as any other 24-hour residential treatment. 

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Substantially more relaxed and flexible than the PHP program, an IOP program consists of 3-5-day treatments a week, with up to 3-hour long sittings per day. This lets patients slowly return to and start balancing other parts of their daily life. Readjusting back into the world becomes an easier transition with this plan.


Sometimes known as continuing care, aftercare is when patients from outpatient rehab continue receiving care, but after longer durations. This type of treatment consists of mutual support groups, group meetings, and counseling groups that ensure they keep providing a safe haven for patients on the path to recovery. In addition, these meetings and aftercare sessions are typically offered once a week and are overlooked by licensed professionals. 

Outpatient Treatment for Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

This outpatient rehab treatment can also be known as dual diagnosis. It entails mild help for those who are not only diagnosed with substance abuse disorders but also with mental health conditions. Mental health disorders can present a challenge to recovering from SUD and attaining sobriety. Treating such dual disorders can slow things down and require more intense treatment than any patient with one disease.

It is better to opt for outpatient treatment over inpatient treatment for patients with co-occurring mental health conditions in the following cases:

  • If appointments and meetings are assisted by psychiatrists or equally licensed professionals

  • If the outpatient treatment plan is intense enough to address both disorders and help the individual in the long run 

  • If both conditions show only mild to moderate symptoms 

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Would you like more information about outpatient drug rehab? Reach out today.

Treatment Plans Under Outpatient Drug Rehab

All types of rehabilitation programs have various treatment plans designed to aid and support patients who have already been in intensive treatment or suffer from mild substance abuse disorder. All rehab programs and treatments begin with a detox plan. Patients that suffer from withdrawal symptoms require a detox, and those with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms find outpatient detox a viable option. It is practical, safe, and much more flexible. The other vital components of outpatient rehab plans encompass therapy, medical care, medicated treatments, mental health counseling, and more.

This is what these programs look like in detail:

  • Therapy: There are different types of therapies that help with outpatient treatment. Therapy can be in a combination of group, family, or individual sessions. These sessions are designed to help identify and resolve addiction-related complexities by addressing them in detail and discussing how to help patients, along with what their loved ones can do for them. 

  • Medical Care: As addiction can have severe physical impacts on patients, it is logical that medical assistance and care are always available during outpatient rehab treatment. Medical professionals assess and check patient health during the recovery process. They make sure a specialist addresses any issue. 

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): Medication can be prescribed to patients during treatment to reduce and suppress cravings, an emerging therapy known as medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. They help maintain recovery and are most useful in recovery from opioids, nicotine, and alcohol. 

How Long Does Outpatient Drug Rehab Last?

Naturally, the length of any treatment depends primarily on the patient and the type of assistance and service they require. Outpatient rehab treatment acts on the same principle. Depending on how intense the addiction is and whether or not treatment has been received before, the duration of rehab can vary among a lot of other factors.

Outpatient drug rehabilitation can last one week, a few months long, or sometimes even longer. Ultimately, outpatient drug rehab lasts as long as it needs to. Patients are ready to leave an outpatient drug rehab when their needs are met and they’re comfortable returning to normal life.

The main factor to focus on is that outpatient rehab is typically given to those on the way to recovery. This means they can start returning to the life they had before and build it up to a happier and healthier tomorrow. Outpatient drug rehab can be balanced with work, social life, relationships, family, and more.

Who Needs Outpatient Drug Rehab? 

There is no black-and-white answer to who outpatient drug rehab is best for. It depends on the patient’s drug abuse or addiction history, the treatment they have already received, and the care and support they require. A licensed medical service provider commonly advises the appropriate intensity of care.

Outpatient treatment is a good option for:

  • Those who are surrounded by sober individuals and in a stable environment

  • Patients who will not be triggered by staying at home or going out 

  • Reasonably stable individuals, emotionally and physically 

  • People who have mild to moderate SUD and do not require intensive care 

  • Those who do not have extreme mental health concerns

  • Anyone who is affected but is willing and able to channel their energy into efforts to recovery 

It is always recommended to consult a qualified medical professional or clinical team to determine the sort of plan you need and what intensity of treatment you require. They will be able to guide you and make sure you are on the right track. 

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We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Do you have more questions about outpatient drug rehab? Reach out.

How Will Outpatient Drug Rehab Benefit Me? 

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health carried out by SAMHSA, 8.5% of the population in the USA aged 12 years or above, that is, 22.5 million people, needed treatment for drugs or alcohol abuse issues. Out of this, only 4.5 million received the necessary treatment that year. This shows the vitality of finding the proper treatment for those who need it. As discussed, the type of treatment required by individuals depends on many factors, and each treatment has its own benefits.

Outpatient treatment can be an excellent asset for the following reasons:

  • Increased flexibility and the space to schedule & design treatments according to personal preference and time

  • Staying at home becomes easy and lets patients continue engaging in day-to-day life endeavors while still being able to invest in an intensive plan, as per requirements

  • Outpatient rehab comes with much lower costs and expenses than inpatient rehab

  • Patients can go to work and school, spend time with family, attend gatherings, etc. 

  • It is easy to transition into everyday home life and environment after outpatient treatment

  • Outpatient rehab is effective in treating mild to moderate disorders 

Is Outpatient Rehab Expensive?

The cost of outpatient rehab is determined by a variety of factors. It’s best to talk to an outpatient drug rehab about the cost and affordability of their programs. Many outpatient drug rehabs accept most forms of insurance, including PPO insurance.

This is what paying for treatment looks like on average:

  • Insurance: The past ten years have seen a rise in the number of insurance companies and plans that offer insurance coverage for substance use disorder medical assistance and treatment. The actual amount these plans are willing to cover has also increased. 

  • Independent payment: Depending on the level of care, treatment, and support plans required, the out-of-pocket costs of outpatient drug rehab vary widely. This is always a discussion best had with an outpatient drug rehab admissions team.

The Edge Treatment Center Provides Effective Outpatient Drug Rehab Care for Drug & Alcohol Addiction

Outpatient drug rehab plans have been shown to provide positive results in those who have already received intensive treatment and those who are only moderately impacted by drug addiction and have been deemed fit to start at an outpatient level.

If you know someone in your friend circle or family who requires help, The Edge Treatment Center offers effective outpatient treatment plans and specializes in supporting people struggling with addiction. With a holistic approach, we provide outpatient drug rehab treatment to help patients transition smoothly into healthier lives. 

Want to learn more? Contact The Edge Treatment Center today.

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