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Recovery can't wait

Outpatient Rehab: What Are the Benefits?

What is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehab is a form of treatment where individuals do not stay overnight in an inpatient treatment facility. It’s intended to allow people to recover from drug or alcohol abuse while still carrying on their daily lives.

Outpatient rehab provides a variety of treatments and programs to address the needs of the client.

These include:

  • Case management
  • treatment planning
  • individual and group counseling
  • family therapy
  • patient education
  • crisis intervention
  • recovery programs
  • discharge planning

A variety of different institutions may offer outpatient treatment, including hospitals, clinics, community health centers, private therapists, and government organizations.

Outpatient rehab treats a variety of substance use disorders, including those pertaining to:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Prescription Drugs: Misuse of opioids, sedatives, and stimulants.
  • Stimulants: Such as cocaine and methamphetamines.
  • Depressants: Including benzodiazepines and certain sleep medications.
  • Hallucinogens: Like LSD or PCP.
  • Cannabis: Addressing issues from excessive consumption or dependency.
  • Opioids: Both prescription opioids like OxyContin and illicit opioids like heroin.

Along with substance abuse, outpatient rehab can treat a variety of mental health issues, such as:

  • Depression: Characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in most activities.
  • Anxiety Disorders: Including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A condition that develops after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event.
  • Bipolar Disorder: A condition characterized by mood episodes ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Marked by unwanted repetitive thoughts and actions.
  • Schizophrenia: A disorder affecting a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave clearly.
  • Personality Disorders: Such as borderline personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder.

Outpatient rehab offers flexibility, but it requires a strong commitment from the person seeking treatment. It can be an effective option for those with milder forms of addiction or as a continuation of treatment after inpatient rehab.

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What Are the Different Kinds of Outpatient Treatment?

There are different levels of care within outpatient treatment, depending on a person’s needs.

The three kinds of outpatient rehab include:

1.   Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP

This offers the most intensive level of outpatient care. It’s designed for individuals who require structured treatment during the day but do not require 24-hour supervision.

Participants attend therapeutic sessions multiple days a week, often five to seven days. Treatment can includes therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and possibly other specialized therapies depending on the facility and the individual’s needs.

The length of daily sessions can vary but often run for about 4-6 hours. PHPs overall can last for several weeks, though the exact length will depend on individual progress and program specifics.

2.   Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

IOP is a step down in intensity from PHP but still offers a structured therapy environment. It’s meant for those who need more support than standard outpatient care but less than PHP.

During IOP sessions participants learn learn coping strategies, relapse prevention techniques, and other skills to maintain sobriety and mental health. There are usually several sessions per week, with each session lasting two to three hours.

Each session typically lasts two to three hours, and the program itself might meet 3-4 days a week. The total duration can vary but generally lasts several weeks to months, depending on individual needs and program design.

3.   Outpatient Care

Standard outpatient treatment offers the most flexibility. It’s best for individuals who need ongoing support but can manage their symptoms without intensive daily therapy.

Patients usually attend therapy sessions once a week, but the frequency can vary. Treatment might involve individual therapy, group sessions, medication management, or a combination thereof.

Sessions typically last about an hour, though it can vary. The overall duration of the treatment is highly individualized and might range from a few months to several years, depending on the person’s needs and progress.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Whether a person needs inpatient or outpatient rehab depends on the severity of their condition.

The main difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab is how restrictive the conditions of treatment are. When a person undergoes Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, they can expect to stay at a facility for between 30 to 90 days.

During this time, they are not allowed to leave the facility and are watched 24/7. The facility provides a structured environment that is typically free from substances and distractions.

Inpatient treatment is best for those with severe addictions or coexisting mental health disorders that require intensive intervention. If the home environment is unstable, unsupportive, or triggering, inpatient rehab may also be a good option.

The great advantage of outpatient rehab is it allows someone to maintain their daily responsibilities. The intensity can vary from daily sessions in PHPs to weekly sessions in standard outpatient care, but it’s less restrictive than inpatient treatment. This allows a person to meet work, school, and family obligations.

We are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

Outpatient Treatment at South Coast Behavioral Health

For those struggling with addiction, South Coast Behavioral Health offers compassionate and affordable addiction treatment.

The first step is going through a medical detox. Our medical detox program in California is staffed by caring and compassionate professionals who can provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms. 

At South Coast, we take pride in offering care that is closely tailored to specific issues. To that end, we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for men in Irvine, CA, and medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA.

After detoxing, proper treatment can begin.

Treatment for substance abuse takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum are various behavioral therapies, support groups, and the use of medically-assisted treatment (MAT).

These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:

Residential Treatment in California

After successfully completing medical detox, you’ll move to inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling.

We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.

In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.

Partial Hospitalization in California

Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.

A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for a number of hours each day, returning back to their homes in the evening.

This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California

For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.

With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.

This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility.

Get Started Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance addiction but wonder how long addiction counseling takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184 or contact us here. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea on what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, help verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have.

Pierce Willans
Kelly McIntyre
Medically Reviewed by Kelly McIntyre, MS, LMFT