An Introduction to Outpatient Rehab

When most people hear the word ‘rehab’, they think of a 28-day inpatient treatment program.  However, there are many different treatment options available for those seeking help with a substance use issue.  If you’re having trouble stopping or controlling your use, you may be considering different treatment options.  In addition to inpatient treatment, many facilities also offer outpatient programming.  Outpatient treatment offers participants the opportunity to attend treatment while maintaining their regular responsibilities. 

What is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehab involves regularly scheduled therapeutic sessions at a clinic or facility. The frequency and duration of outpatient sessions varies based on the provider and the individual’s needs. Outpatient treatment usually consists of a combination of group therapy, individual counseling sessions, family therapy, peer support groups, and medication management when indicated.

 Outpatient programs are generally less restrictive than inpatient programs and allow participants to attend treatment while continuing to work, go to school, or manage other aspects of their daily lives. Individuals in outpatient treatment can continue to live at home as they recover or may choose to live in an alternative sober living environment. 

How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

Outpatient rehab focuses on providing participants with the skills necessary to begin or maintain their lives in recovery.  Sessions often include a combination of therapeutic and educational interventions designed to bolster coping skills and reduce the risk of relapse.  Outpatient programs can be a good stand-alone option for individuals with a mild to moderate substance use disorder who do not require detox. They are also a recommended step-down option for individuals who have completed detox or inpatient treatment. 

Outpatient treatment programs offer flexible schedules, with many programs offering full-day, morning, or evening hours.  Average length of stay in an outpatient program can range from two months to four months.  Many programs will also offer continuing care to those that have successfully completed their program. 

Outpatient programs vary in schedule and intensity.  There are three main forms of outpatient treatment available in most areas.  These include:

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): This level of care typically meets for a minimum of 20 treatment hours per week.  Sessions are usually held four to five days a week and last around 6 hours.  PHP programs provide the highest level of structure, support, and therapeutic interventions of all outpatient programs

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP):  This level of care offers between 9 and 19 treatment hours per week.  Sessions usually take place three to five times each week, with sessions lasting four approximately three to four hours.

Standard Outpatient Program: This level of care generally meets one to two times per week, with sessions lasting anywhere from one to three hours.  The format of a standard outpatient program varies based on provider and can be held in either a group or individual session.

Who is a Candidate for Outpatient Treatment?

It is important to complete a full assessment with a qualified clinician before entering an outpatient treatment program.  The assessment will help you determine if outpatient treatment will fit your needs.  While most people will benefit from outpatient programming, some individuals require a higher level of care than outpatient programs can provide. 

The flexible schedule and ability to remain at home while attending treatment make outpatient an attractive option for many people. However, outpatient programs are unable to provide 24 hour care and are not ideal for individuals needing medically monitored detox services or other types of acute care.  Additionally, attendance is a requirement for most programs.  This means if you have unreliable transportation, difficulty making appointments, or other physical barriers to treatment – outpatient may not be the best fit.  Finally, outpatient may not be the best option for those struggling with intense cravings/urges or for individuals without a stable living environment. 

The ideal candidate for outpatient treatment will have some familial, therapeutic, or social supports outside of treatment.  They will also need to be considered at low risk for withdrawal and display some ability to maintain stability outside of a structured environment.  

Discuss Outpatient Treatment with Greenbriar Treatment Center

No matter what treatment option you choose, entering rehab will change your life. If you are ready to enter a treatment program, contact Greenbriar Treatment Center to discuss our comprehensive treatment options. Greenbriar offers a full continuum of care, from medically monitored detox to intensive outpatient programming.  

Admission to all programs at Greenbriar begins with a confidential assessment, where our qualified admission counselors will evaluate your unique needs and guide you to the treatment program that will help you meet your recovery goals. Take your first step towards recovery and contact Greenbriar Treatment Center today.