Outpatient rehab is a form of alcohol or drug rehabilitation that allows patients to live at home (or in another safe and therapeutic environment, such as sober living) while still working or going to school. In outpatient rehab, patients typically visit a treatment center, hospital, mental health clinic, or behavioral counselor on a regular basis during specific hours and days of the week. Some outpatient rehab programs offer evening and weekend sessions, making it easier for patients to balance treatment needs with personal, family and professional responsibilities or obligations.
There are different levels of intensity of outpatient rehab programs. Outpatient treatment settings can also vary, and may take place in substance abuse treatment centers, community health clinics, mental health clinics, hospital-affiliated clinics, office settings, or residential facilities that provide outpatient clinics.
Addiction rehab treatment, regardless of whether delivered as inpatient or outpatient, takes into account an individual’s specific needs. Outpatient treatment may consist of several therapeutic interventions and support services, including group and individual counseling, family therapy, education sessions, occupational or recreational therapy, psychotherapy, family therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and other treatment services. Therapies are selected and scheduled based on program availability and the patients’ needs.
In general, outpatient drug or alcohol treatment for recovery from a substance use disorder can be preferable due to its flexibility and reduced expense, and it is generally as effective as the services provided on an inpatient basis. There are several situations where getting treatment as an outpatient may not be the preferred form of care initially, but most individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder will find that they eventually need to transition to outpatient treatment.