Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab (2023)

Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab (1)If you or a loved one are considering an alcohol or drug treatment program, you have many options to choose from, each with certain benefits and certain limitations. Alcohol and drug rehabs provide multiple types of programs and interventions to help people achieve and maintain abstinence. You can find rehab facilities providing evidence-based clinical treatment, inpatient/residential treatment, outpatient treatment, holistic treatment, faith-based treatment, and peer-support programs. To decide which rehab best fits your needs, you’ll need to consider such factors as cost, accessibility, types of treatment, and services offered. Finding the best match will increase the likelihood of your successful treatment.

Inpatient, or residential treatment, is where program participants live in the facility for the duration of their program and receive 24/7 care. It offers a controlled, safe environment, a specific routine, room and board, medication management, counseling, and peer support. The type of services vary, according to cost, amenities, length of stay, and other factors.

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, the average cost for inpatient rehab is the U.S. is about $6,000 per month.1 Programs are typically 28 days to 90 days in duration. For many people, inpatient treatment is not a viable option, not only because of the cost, but also because of the need to be absent from work, school, or family responsibilities. In such cases, outpatient alcohol or drug rehab is a good choice. Both inpatient and outpatient drug rehab programs typically include a combination of psychological counseling and group therapy in addition to drug abuse and relapse prevention education, and they often follow a 12-Step treatment model.3,4

What is Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab?

There are three types of outpatient treatment, all providing services during daytime hours, so program participants do not live at the facility while taking part in the program. This allows more flexibility to accommodate work, school, or family responsibilities.

(Video) How and When Outpatient Rehab Works Best

Standard Outpatient Treatment takes place in various settings, including hospitals, community mental health centers, and designated addiction rehab facilities. A typical treatment schedule is about 3-4 hours per day, 3-4 days per week, for an average of 10 weeks. Standard outpatient treatment allows the most flexibility but also puts more responsibility on the client to maintain sobriety. It is best for those with moderate, not severe, addiction.4

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) treatment is more structured and intense than standard outpatient and is best for those needing more care than standard outpatient treatment, but not requiring 24-hour management.4 IOP programs meet between 9 and 30 hours per week, over 3-5 days, and variations depend on client needs. Programs may last 2 months to 1 year.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) offer the highest intensity of outpatient treatment and seek to supply most of the services of inpatient treatment, without the need for an in-facility residency.4 PHP programs often have full day programs 4-5 days per week, generally lasting 8-12 weeks.

(Video) Intensive Outpatient Addiction Treatment at the Betty Ford Center

Goals for all types of outpatient treatment include:4

  • Achieve abstinence.
  • Learn new coping and problem-solving skills to support abstinence.
  • Address psychological and psycho-social problems that contributed to addiction.
  • Develop a positive support network.

What Therapies Are Used in Outpatient Rehab?

Therapies used in outpatient treatment vary according to the facility. Some offer specialized therapies such as Trauma Therapy, Holistic Therapy, Art Therapy, or Faith-based approaches. However, most facilities also offer some form of these standard psychological therapies:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most common psychological therapy used in outpatient treatment. It is often used in a group setting, but it can be used in individual therapy sessions as well. CBT teaches clients to recognize distorted thinking patterns and how they are causing problems. CBT strategies then help clients change their thinking toward more realistic and helpful ideas.
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a subset of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Whereas CBT focuses mainly on rational thinking, REBT emphasizes the need to understand and reflect on the emotions and beliefs that underlie irrational thoughts. The ABC method of cognitive behavioral therapy is then used to dispute and neutralize the negative or self-defeating emotion. (A = an Activating event or situation that triggers negative thoughts and emotions. B = Beliefs that the person holds about the activating event. C = consequences– the behavioral responses that result from the beliefs.)
  • Contingency Management is a method of increasing motivation for clients to avoid drug or alcohol use. As an example, upon a negative (clean) drug screen, a client may receive a reward of a prize or gift card.
  • Motivational Interviewing is a counseling method that addresses ambivalent feelings and insecurities and helps a client find the internal motivation to make life changes. It uses open-ended questions, active listening, empathy, and affirmative support to help clients increase their readiness for change.
  • Family and/or Couples Therapy involves family members in the treatment process. Family interaction increases client accountability for their actions, reinforces their commitment, and provides support from the most important people in their lives.

What Are the Benefits of Outpatient Rehab?

  • Maintain employment / school commitments: With outpatient rehab you do not stay overnight at a facility. So, you can continue to take part in outside activities, such as work, school, caring for family, or other important responsibilities.
  • Lower cost than inpatient rehab: Outpatient rehab costs are significantly lower than inpatient treatment.
  • Treatment tailored to fit your schedule: Most outpatient treatment programs offer several levels of treatment and options, so that they can accommodate the differing needs of clients. Many times, a choice of day or evening sessions is available, and treatment plans may be tailored to help clients meet their obligations.
  • Maintaining positive, supportive relationships at home: The ability to be home each night can help you maintain family support and encourage you to be responsible and committed to your sobriety.
  • Build community with program peers who can become sober friends. Since you’ll need to break ties with former using friends, finding new friends with the common intention to remain sober will provide new friendships, support, and accountability partners.
  • Build upon the skills learned during residential treatment: If you attend outpatient after leaving an inpatient program, it will provide a good opportunity to practice and further develop the skills you learned there.

How Much Does Outpatient Treatment Cost?

Treatment costs for outpatient will vary, according to the type of program, the location of the facility, the duration of the program, and what level of care you need. If you need detox services, or if you have a co-occurring mental illness that requires medication management, you are more likely to be a candidate for inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization treatment, which are more costly. According to the National Drug Helpline, the current average costs for rehab are:2

(Video) What Is Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Like?

  • Detox /Residential Care: $250-$900 per day; or $5,300 -$80,000 depending on length of program (28-day, 60-day, 90-day)
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP): average 30 days – $3,100-$10,000
  • Outpatient (30 days, no overnights): $1,400-$11,000

If you have insurance, your policy will likely cover treatment for substance use disorder. You will need to check with your provider to determine how much of the cost your health plan covers, and how much your co-payment may be. You can also check with the facilities you are investigating to see if they provide aid in assessing your out-of-pocket costs.

Some low-cost and state-funded treatment programs are available, although there may be a waiting list for the program you choose. Information about such programs can be accessed at the SAMHSA National Helpline.5

Is Outpatient Rehab Right For You?

When deciding whether you should choose inpatient or outpatient treatment, you should consult with your doctor or counselor for advice, Also, consider the following questions:6

(Video) The Search: What Is Outpatient Treatment for Drugs and Alcohol

  • How severe is your substance use disorder? Do you need detox and/or medication?
  • Do you have a co-occurring mental health disorder?

(If you answer is “yes” to either of the questions above, you will more likely need the 24/7 support that inpatient treatment provides.)

  • How strong is your family support system? Is your home environment an asset?
  • Is your living situation stable? Do you have a safe, consistent place to live?
  • Are you transitioning out of inpatient treatment?

(If you answered “yes” to the above 3 questions, then outpatient treatment would be a viable option for you. But if your home environment would pose a risk to your sobriety, you might want to seek other options–either inpatient treatment or alterative housing for the duration of your treatment.)

  • You can’t or don’t want to quit work or take a leave of absence.
  • You want to be close to loved ones.
  • You are confident that you can avoid drugs or alcohol within your environment.
  • You’re seeking additional support outside of your family and current peer group.
  • You can’t afford an inpatient treatment program, but you want to take steps towards overcoming an addiction.

If your answer is “yes” to the final 5 questions above, then outpatient rehab treatment would likely be of benefit to you.

(Video) What does a typical day in rehab look like?


  1. National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. Drug Abuse Statistics https://drugabusestatistics.org/
  1. National Drug Helpline. Cost of Dug Rehab in 2023 https://drughelpline.org/rehab-cost/ Cost of Rehab in 2023
  2. National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine/ SAMHSA/CSAT. Treatment Improvement Protocols, Chapter 3: Intensive Outpatient Treatment and the Continuum of Care https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64088/
  3. National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine. Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152944/
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association. SAMSHA National Helpline https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
  5. Kaiser Permanente Health Encyclopedia. Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment for Substance Use Disorder Kaiser Permanente Health Encyclopedia https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/health-encyclopedia/he.inpatient-and-outpatient-treatment-for-substance-use-disorder.ad1101


What are the three P's in addiction recovery? ›

In eating disorder recovery it is essential to focus on the three P's: Passion, Power and Purpose.

What are the four components of an alcohol treatment program? ›

The four stages of treatment are:
  • Treatment initiation.
  • Early abstinence.
  • Maintaining abstinence.
  • Advanced recovery.
Feb 17, 2022

What are Samhsa's four key elements of recovery for addicts? ›

The four dimensions are a concept developed by SAMHSA to support life in recovery and guide individuals toward a more healthy, happy, fulfilling life, free of addiction. These dimensions include health, home, purpose, and community.

What are the possible solutions for drug abuse? ›

Structured treatment programs, substance abuse counseling, and 12-Step programs do help. While they are not the only sources of help, they are the most consistently effective, especially when combined in some systematic fashion. Treatment and counseling provide structure, support, and intervention.

What are the five rules of recovery? ›

Teaching clients these simple rules helps them understand that recovery is not complicated or beyond their control. It is based on a few simple rules that are easy to remember: 1) change your life; 2) be completely honest; 3) ask for help; 4) practice self-care; and 5) don't bend the rules.

What are the five pillars of recovery? ›

The Five Pillars of Recovery from Trauma and Addiction
  • Maintain rigorous honesty. In addiction, our lives were built upon lies and false narratives we told ourselves and others. ...
  • Expose your secrets. ...
  • Let go. ...
  • Remember you aren't alone. ...
  • Know you matter.
Oct 7, 2020

What are the 4 C's of the addiction cycle? ›

These four factors, compulsion, craving, consequences and control, are unique to addiction alone and are classified as the 4 C's. The behaviors of most addicts are very similar.

What is the most crucial step in the treatment of alcoholism? ›

The most crucial step for beginning treatment for alcoholic liver disorder (ALD is to quit drinking completely. Unfortunately, because the body has become dependent on alcohol, the sudden cessation of alcohol may cause painful withdrawal symptoms.

What is the most effective treatment for alcohol dependence? ›

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps to identify feelings and situations that can lead to heavy drinking and teaches coping skills and stress management techniques to change the thoughts that cause a desire to drink.

What are the 6 six principles of recovery? ›

It has often been said to be about: gaining and retaining hope, understanding of ones abilities and limitations, engagement in an active life, personal autonomy, social identity, meaning and purpose in life, and a positive sense of self.

What are the 6 principles of recovery? ›

From the perspective of the individual with mental illness, recovery means gaining and retaining hope, understanding of ones abilities and disabilities, engagement in an active life, personal autonomy, social identity, meaning and purpose in life, and a positive sense of self.

What are the 10 guiding principles of recovery? ›

The 10 fundamental components of mental health recovery include the following principles:
  • Self-Direction. ...
  • Individualized and Person-Centered. ...
  • Empowerment. ...
  • Holistic. ...
  • Non-Linear. ...
  • Strengths-Based. ...
  • Peer Support. ...
  • Respect.

What are the 3 types of drug prevention and control? ›

Based on a public health model, three types of strategies to prevent drug abuse can be discerned: primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.

What is the conclusion of drug addiction? ›

Conclusions. Drug use and addiction cause a lot of disease and disability in the world. Recent advances in neuroscience may help improve policies to reduce the harm that the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other psychoactive drugs impose on society.

Is alcohol abuse intentional overuse? ›

Alcohol abuse is the intentional overuse of alcohol, i.e., to the point of drunkenness. This includes occasional and celebratory over-drinking. Not all people who abuse alcohol develop AUD, but alcohol abuse by itself can have serious medical effects.

What are the 4 absolutes of recovery? ›

What are the four absolutes? The “Four Absolutes” of Alcoholics Anonymous were considered “yardsticks” in the earliest days of the recovery program —standards for determining appropriate behavior as measured through God's eyes. The Four Absolutes are Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love.

What are the 12 pillars of recovery? ›

The 12 spiritual principles of recovery are as follows: acceptance, hope, faith, courage, honesty, patience, humility, willingness, brotherly love, integrity, self-discipline, and service.

What are the 7 steps to recovery? ›

The 7 steps are: 1) awareness, 2) surrender, 3) readiness, 4) receptivity, 5) acceptance, 6) perspective, and 7) action.

What are the three priorities of recovery? ›

Keep It Simple.
  • Sobriety. Refraining from all substances always ranks as the first priority of each day. ...
  • Serenity. In order to stay sober today, maintaining a steady mindset and sense of calm is essential. ...
  • Self. Being sober coupled with a sense of calm helps with the 3rd priority of Self. ...
  • Family. ...
  • Job.
Nov 17, 2020

What are the three levels of recovery? ›

There are generally three stages in the recovery process for addiction: abstinence, repair, and growth.

What are the 8 domains of recovery? ›

1) Physical and mental health; 2) Family, social supports, and leisure activities; 3) Safe housing and healthy environments; 4) Peer-based support; 5) Employment and resolution of legal issues; 6) Vocational skills and educational development; 7) Community integration and cultural support; and 8) (Re)discovering ...

What are the 3 types of addiction? ›

However, in terms of substance addictions, some of the more common types of addiction include: Alcohol addiction. Prescription drug addiction. Drug addiction.

What are the four common symptoms of addiction? ›

What are the Four Cs of Addiction?
  • Have compulsive drug-seeking behavior;
  • Have drug cravings;
  • Continue using drugs in spite of the negative consequences;
  • Have lost control of their drug use and, as a result, are unable to cut back or stop using.
Jul 17, 2020

What are the three phase of addiction? ›

The Three Phases of Addiction

Binge and Intoxication – People begin to use a drug and experience a euphoric high as a result. Withdrawal and Negative Effects– Intoxication caused by use of a drug can lead to physical discomfort, anxiety, or distress when that drug is no longer present in a person's body.

Why do alcoholics sleep so much? ›

Alcohol may aid with sleep onset due to its sedative properties, allowing you to fall asleep more quickly. However, people who drink before bed often experience disruptions later in their sleep cycle as liver enzymes metabolize alcohol. This can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and other issues the following day.

Which behavior is most likely to indicate alcohol abuse? ›

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Misuse
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior.
  • Aggressiveness.
  • Mood changes.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Poor social functioning.
  • Problems driving or operating machinery.
Apr 4, 2023

Why do alcoholics lose weight? ›

People with alcohol use disorder lose weight because their calorie intake has dropped below their energy requirements for everyday life. This may be because: They are too preoccupied with drinking to be concerned with food. Their lives are too chaotic to enable them to shop, and cook, regularly or safely.

What drug is commonly used to treat alcoholism? ›

Three medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat alcohol use disorder: acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone.

Which 3 medications are used to treat alcohol use disorder severe? ›

  • There are 3 FDA-approved medications for.
  • the treatment of AUD:
  • disulfiram, acamprosate, naltrexone.

How long is treatment for alcohol dependence? ›

Patient's total length of stay in any of these programs vary based on individual factors and progress in treatment, but outpatient care typically lasts between 2 months and a year. It is common for patients to transfer to differing levels of care as their needs progress.

What is the most common mental disorder? ›

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 in every 5 Americans is currently living with a mental illness. Of those, the three most common diagnoses are anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What are the four steps to recovery in order? ›

The 4 Stages of Complete Rehabilitation
  • Rest and Protect the Injury. The first stage of recovery is all about minimising further damage and letting the body begin the healing process. ...
  • Recover Your Motion. ...
  • Recover Your Strength. ...
  • Recover Your Function.

What principles should you live by in recovery? ›

The 10 Principles of Recovery
  • Your recovery is self-directed. ...
  • Your path is based on your personal needs, likes, and experiences. ...
  • Your recovery empowers you. ...
  • Your recovery includes your mental, physical, and spiritual needs. ...
  • Your recovery will have ups and downs.

What are core beliefs in recovery? ›

Positive core beliefs can include believing that you're loved, and the world is safe, feeling like you are free and happy with the way you are, thinking that people understand you, or knowing that you're not worthless.

What is wrap recovery? ›

(WRAP) The Wellness Recovery Action Plan is a framework with which you can develop an effective approach to overcoming distressing symptoms, and unhelpful behaviour patterns. It is a tool with which you can get more control over your problems.

What are the core values of recovery? ›

Recovery core values consist of those deep-seated feelings–intimacy, loyalty, health, integrity, honesty, ambition, learning, and others–combined with your commitment to sobriety and self-healing.

What are the 9 drugs of abuse? ›

Other names that describe the test.
  • Amphetamines, Urine.
  • Barbiturates, Urine.
  • Benzodiazepines, Urine.
  • Cocaine, Urine.
  • Marijuana, Urine.
  • MDMA, Urine.
  • Methadone, Urine.
  • Opiates, Urine.

What are 10 types of substance abuse? ›

Substances frequently include:
  • Alcohol.
  • Marijuana.
  • Prescription medicines, such as pain pills, stimulants, or anxiety pills.
  • Methamphetamine.
  • Cocaine.
  • Opiates.
  • Hallucinogens.
  • Inhalants.

What are the 4 types of controlled drugs? ›

Controlled substances include opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids.

What is the main focus of addiction treatment? ›

Rehab services focus on helping you manage addiction long-term and live a healthier life. Therapy: Several types of therapy help people with addiction gain new perspectives and change their behavior. Your provider may recommend types of psychotherapy (talk therapy), like cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy.

What is drug addiction in easy words? ›

What is drug addiction? Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control.

What is the general statement of drug addiction? ›

Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease. It causes a person to take drugs repeatedly, despite the harm they cause. Repeated drug use can change the brain and lead to addiction. The brain changes from addiction can be lasting, so drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease.

What are the 4 types of drinker? ›

There are four types of drinker – which one are you?
  • Social drinking. To date, nearly all the research on drinking motives has been done on teens and young adults. ...
  • Drinking to conform. ...
  • Drinking for enhancement. ...
  • Drinking to cope.

How old do alcoholics live? ›

Conclusion. People hospitalized with alcohol use disorder have an average life expectancy of 47–53 years (men) and 50–58 years (women) and die 24–28 years earlier than people in the general population.

Can you be a heavy drinker and not an alcoholic? ›

A study published by the CDC based on data from 138,000 study participants (the largest study of its kind ever published), found that 90% of those who identified themselves as “excessive” or “heavy” drinkers were not alcoholics; i.e., did not meet established criteria for a diagnosis of Alcohol Dependence.

What are the three 3 types of recovery? ›

White defines three types of recovery capital:
  • Personal recovery capital. This includes an individual's physical and human capital. ...
  • Family/social recovery capital. ...
  • Community recovery capital. ...
  • Cultural capital.
Oct 8, 2019

What are the 3 rules of addiction? ›

Black addresses three major rules that exist within families when someone has a chemical dependency; don't talk, don't trust, and don't feel.

What is step 3 in recovery? ›

About Step Three in Alcoholics Anonymous

By accepting Step Three, you make a proactive choice, a decision, to surrender your recovery journey to your Higher Power. This step embodies the concept of “Let go and let God,” versus muscling your way through the recovery journey on your own volition.

What are the 4 R's of recovery? ›


Based on the available evidence, we have identified a mnemonic entitled the 4R's which stands for Rehydrate, Refuel, Repair, and Rest.

What are the 4 points recovery? ›

SMART Recovery's 4 Key Points

Point 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation. Point 2: Coping with Urges. Point 3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors. Point 4: Living a Balanced Life.

What techniques are commonly used during recovery? ›

Some of the most popular recovery techniques for athletes include hydrotherapy, active recovery, stretching, compression garments, massage, sleep and nutrition.

What is the 5 second rule addiction? ›

If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill it. The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the Rule.”

What is the 3 second rule addiction? ›

The way the three-second rule works is this: after recognizing an unwanted, objectifying thought or sexual fantasy, sex addicts give themselves a maximum of three seconds to turn away from the triggering thought and focus on something else.

What are the 10 stages of addiction? ›

Read on to learn more!
  • Stage 1: Denial. You should be proud of yourself during recovery. ...
  • Stage 2: Avoidance/Defensiveness. ...
  • Stage 3: Crisis Building. ...
  • Step 4: Immobilization. ...
  • Step 5: Confusion/Overreaction. ...
  • Stage 6: Depression. ...
  • Stage 7: Behavioral Loss of Control. ...
  • Stage 8: Recognition of Loss of Control.

What is step 4 in sobriety? ›

Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous encourages one to make, “A searching and fearless moral inventory” of themselves. In effect, this step is designed to help those struggling with addiction examine their character and behaviors.

What is step 11 on sobriety? ›

Step Eleven in Alcoholics Anonymous. Step 11: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

What does AA mean in recovery? ›

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to solve their drinking problem. It doesn't cost anything to attend A.A. meetings.


1. Outpatient Alcohol Detox Using the Coleman Method
(The Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine)
2. Common Questions About Rehab: What is Outpatient Treatment?
(American Addiction Centers)
3. The Difference Between Outpatient and Inpatient Drug Rehab
(Odyssey House of Utah)
4. Ashley Addiction Treatment - Outpatient Program
(Ashley Addiction Treatment – Main Campus)
5. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1
(ABC News)
6. Outpatient Rehab Treatment in St. Louis - Alcohol, Opiate, Heroin, Fentanyl Addiction
(INSynergy Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center)
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