With the spread of substance and drug abuse problems worldwide, the demand for rehabilitation programs has also increased. Both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs are now sought-after, which leads to the question, how does outpatient rehab work?

Nowadays, substance and drug abuse are becoming widespread due to several factors. Some people may resort to drug use due to the euphoric feeling it can bring. While for others, alcohol abuse may be an escape from the stresses of work and relationships.

Keep in mind that drug or alcohol addiction is only a temporary escape from reality. Once you become addicted, it may be difficult to stop. Thus, it is important to know your limits and get help as soon as possible. This article will focus on outpatient rehab programs and the benefits they bring.

How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

The Importance of Rehabilitation

Before learning how rehab works, you must first understand its importance. Rehabilitation programs are not only a means of stopping alcohol and drug addiction. These programs are also a way to manage withdrawal symptoms and return to a healthy and productive life. Although challenging, rehab will lead an addict to the right path of recovery.

Rehabilitation is important because it can:

  • Help an addict stop using drugs or alcohol
  • Address the underlying causes of addiction
  • Reduce the risk of relapse
  • Improve an addict’s physical health
  • Help treat and manage mental health conditions
  • Restore an addict’s social life
  • Rebuild an addict’s relationship with family members and loved ones

How does rehab work?

Now that you know the importance of rehab, let us move on to how outpatient rehab works. Rehab programs, may it be for alcohol abuse or drug use, aims to put a stop to the excessive use of illicit substances. Aside from helping you stop the addiction, drug or alcohol rehab will also help you reintegrate into society.

For many people suffering from substance use disorders, the most challenging part is the first step – recognizing the need for addiction treatment. Once you have recognized this need, the goal is to select a rehab facility and treatment provider that best suits your situation.

Rehabilitation is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are many different treatment programs to choose from. Depending on the situation, you can choose an outpatient alcohol rehab, outpatient drug rehab, or an inpatient program for drug and alcohol rehab. If in doubt, you can always call a helpline for more information.

Once you successfully overcome the first hurdle, the next challenge is completing the rehab center program that you selected. This may be one of the hardest experiences in your life, but if you have a clear goal of getting back on track as a healthy and new you, you will be able to positively finish the treatment program and stop your addiction.

Benefits of Drug or Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs

Aside from getting your life back, rehab has several benefits that can motivate people with substance abuse problems to stop the addiction. Here are some of the benefits that you can experience from completing a rehabilitation program.

Understanding the Root Cause

Substance abuse can be caused by many factors. Throughout the substance abuse treatment, you will be able to understand the root causes of your alcohol or drug addiction. Diving deep into the cause of the addiction will help you understand it and eventually, break free from it.

Some underlying causes of addiction include can include a family history of addiction, mental health issues, traumatic experiences or post-traumatic stress disorder, and stressful life events.

Rehabilitation programs ask hard questions that only the person who is addicted can answer. Yes, it is difficult, but getting to the underlying cause of a drug or alcohol addiction will help set boundaries and address any unresolved matters to help prevent relapse when the program is completed.

Breaking the Cycle

Treatment centers provide a drug and alcohol-free environment. The care begins from the moment you decide that you need help with your addiction. The healthcare workers working in the treatment center will help you reach your goal of stopping the addiction.

Depending on the severity of the substance abuse, detoxification may be done first to flush out any remaining toxins in the body. After which, the more difficult part of the treatment begins- learning how to live without being dependent on these substances to break free of the cycle of abuse.

Establishing Boundaries

Rehabilitation programs not only help rid your body of toxic substances. These programs will also assist you in recognizing and establishing healthy boundaries in all your life roles.

Treatment programs will help identify triggers and unhealthy relationships in your life that may have caused the addiction to begin. Moving forward, you will learn how to identify patterns and set boundaries when unideal situations arise.

Reintegrating into Society

The ultimate goal of rehab programs is also its best benefit- getting back on your feet and reintegrating into society. After completing a treatment program, your physical and mental health will be stronger. This will help you create a better outlook on life and rebuild your relationship with your loved ones.

Drug Addiction Treatment Programs

Health Benefits of Rehab Programs

Drug abuse treatment has several health benefits. Treatment providers create programs that provide holistic benefits to their patients.

Physical Health Benefits

Substance abuse not only affects your mental state but also your physical well-being. After completing an outpatient drug rehab program, you will experience improved physical health. Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to many health problems such as liver damage, heart disease, and stroke.

In a survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it was found that people who completed drug rehab had improved physical health, regardless of whether they attended outpatient rehabs or inpatient rehabs. The participants who completed their rehabilitation program reported fewer medical problems.

Mental Health Benefits

Aside from the physical benefits, people who underwent treatment for substance abuse also reported improvements in their mental health. This was achieved through the provided therapies by treatment providers, including individual counseling, group sessions, and family therapy sessions. Some treatment providers also used motivational enhancement therapy to boost the mental health of the patients.

In the same survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, participants reported experiencing fewer depressive symptoms, a decrease in anxiety, improved self-esteem, and improved sleep quality.

Cognitive Benefits

Individuals who completed their program with a licensed treatment provider also showed several cognitive benefits. These include improved memory, improved decision-making skills, and the increased ability to think abstractly.

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Rehab

Generally, a person suffering from drug and alcohol addiction can choose between two types of rehab – inpatient or outpatient. There are several inpatient and outpatient treatment programs available across the country and throughout the world.

Knowing which specific treatment center is right for the person is the first step. You can find a brief explanation of the differences between each type of rehab below.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient treatment focuses on providing round-the-clock care in a structured environment. This is done through residential treatment programs that focus on severe drug abuse and alcohol treatment.

Thus, patients check in to inpatient rehab centers to get 24/7 care from treatment providers. Typically, a patient stays for four weeks inside the treatment facility, but the inpatient rehab program may last as long as six months.

Inpatient treatment programs include detoxification, in-house support groups, individual therapy sessions, family therapy, group counseling, addiction medicine, and mental health services administration.

Aside from providing these treatments for the patient, an inpatient treatment facility helps the patient manage withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings for the substance. This type of program may be recommended for adults with a severe addiction or those who have relapsed after completing an outpatient program.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment is a form of drug and alcohol addiction treatment that involves receiving behavioral therapy, taking medication for addiction and withdrawal symptoms, and attending therapy sessions on an outpatient basis.

How does outpatient rehab work? Most treatment facilities have a standard outpatient program that includes weekly individual counseling, group therapy sessions, and family therapy.

Unlike inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab programs work by having a fixed schedule for participants to attend. Usually, the outpatient facilities will provide a set number of hours per week for the patient to attend treatment. The number of hours required for each outpatient program may differ from one treatment pto another.

Outpatient alcohol rehab or outpatient drug rehab are recommended for those with a mild to moderate addiction. These programs may also be more appropriate for adults who have responsibilities at home, such as work or childcare.

What are the key differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab?

When it comes to inpatient vs. outpatient rehab, there are several things to take into consideration. These key differences will help the person decide on which type of treatment facility to enter.


Outpatient rehab may be recommended for adults who are stable enough to participate in outpatient treatment. An individual’s stability is determined by a certified addiction professional and is based on the receptiveness to the program and the progress in the patient’s day-to-day life. On the other hand, inpatient treatment is more intensive and may be recommended for those with a severe addiction or those who have relapsed after completing an outpatient program.

Time Commitment

The second difference is the time commitment. Inpatient treatment typically requires a four-week minimum stay inside the facility. During this time, patients live within the facility. Depending on the treatment provider, individuals may have visitors during the program. Meanwhile, outpatient treatment can be done on a much lighter schedule. Most treatment facilities allow the patients to choose their schedules to avoid disrupting their personal lives.


Finally, the cost may also be a factor to consider when deciding between inpatient and outpatient rehab. Inpatient programs are typically more expensive than outpatient programs due to the living expenses that are integrated with the program cost. The good news is that both types of rehab can be covered by insurance.

All About Outpatient Rehab

There is now an increased demand for outpatient programs due to the flexibility that outpatient rehab treatment can bring. Here is some more information to help you understand how outpatient rehab works.

What is outpatient rehab?

Outpatient rehab is available to help those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. These programs provide care and support to help the person recover from addiction. Unlike inpatient programs that have residential treatment, an outpatient treatment program will still allow them to live at home and participate in their regular responsibilities.

How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

An outpatient treatment program typically lasts for 12 weeks, but some may go as long as six months. Depending on the severity of the addiction, the treatment facility may recommend a more intensive outpatient program, requiring a longer drug or alcohol rehab plan that can last up to a year.

Generally, an outpatient rehab program will focus on detoxification for mild to moderate withdrawal, individual and group therapy sessions, family therapy, and education on substance use. Continued support is also provided through support groups and health check-ups – both physical and mental – even outside of the treatment session.

Types of Outpatient Rehab

Individuals can choose an outpatient rehab program that will best fit their daily schedule. This can either be a day program, an intensive program, or a continued support program.

Day Program

Day programs are a good way to begin outpatient treatment. These programs work around the schedule of the person and are typically attended for at least 12 hours a week, split into two to four-hour sessions.

The following are usually provided during each session:

  • Therapy or counseling sessions
  • Professional treatment advice
  • Outpatient detox as needed
  • Mental health support

Time commitment is critical to making day programs a success. After each session, the individuals can then resume their regular activities.

Intensive program

An intensive outpatient program is more structured than a day program. These programs are best for those who need more support to recover from addiction but cannot commit to a full-time inpatient program.

The program is focused on creating realistic goals and milestones for the individual. Intensive outpatient treatment will require a time commitment and dedication to achieve the set goals. Intensive outpatient programs typically require attendance three to five times per week, lasting three to eight hours each session.

Continued Support

Continued support and care are popular choices for recovering individuals. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous for outpatient alcohol rehab and Narcotics Anonymous for outpatient drug rehab are widely-known venues to gain continuous support as a recovering addict.

How much does outpatient rehab cost?

The cost of outpatient alcohol or drug rehab can vary depending on the type of program, the length of stay, and the location. Location is an important factor when considering outpatient rehab as rural areas typically have lower costs than urban areas.

Outpatient detoxification may cost anywhere from $500 to $2000. Daily outpatient programs may cost $100 to $500 per day, while intensive outpatient programs may cost $200 to $800 per week.

How does unemployment work when you go to outpatient rehab?

The cost of treatment can be a barrier for some, but there are options available to help those in need. For example, many states have programs that offer free or low-cost outpatient rehab services to unemployed residents. Many treatment centers are also covered by insurance.


How does outpatient rehab work? Outpatient rehab works by providing counseling and support groups, taking medication, and attending therapy sessions.

There are different types of outpatient treatment, ranging from an intensive outpatient program to much lighter treatment. The outpatient care that best suits the individual will depend on the severity of the addiction.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, outpatient care may be the right choice for you. Contact a treatment provider today to learn more about how outpatient rehab can help you on the road to recovery.

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