Sadly, only a small percentage of those individuals who need drug or alcohol addiction treatment ever get the professional help they need. For those fortunate enough to find an appropriate rehab center in their area, there is a choice to make: opt for inpatient or outpatient treatment?

Both these rehab program styles offer many of the same core elements, including counseling, detox and aftercare. But the manner in which they treat their patients while not taking part in these programs couldn’t be more different. Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab (or “residential” rehab) has the individual leaving home and moving into a treatment center full-time.

It is a totally immersive experience that gives the individual an opportunity to shut out the distractions of the outside world and focus solely on their recovery.

But inpatient residential rehab requires a time and financial commitment that many people, despite being in dire straights as a result of their addiction, may be unable to make. For these individuals, there is outpatient drug and alcohol rehab treatment. A large factor is the outpatient rehab costs, which you can read about here.

Outpatient Rehab Basics

What is It?

Outpatient rehab is any drug or alcoholism treatment program where the individual attends treatment during the day – and then returns home or to a sober living facility in the evening. These programs usually take place in a hospital-like setting along some may be hosted at a large home or treatment center.

How Long Does it Take?

The duration of an outpatient treatment program varies according to the philosophy of the facility as well as the specific needs of the individual. Most recovering addicts can expect to spend one to three months in outpatient care – while more serious cases may require a year or more of treatment. Long-term outpatient rehab is less common that residential programs of the same length if only because those who needed extended rehab are usually too great a risk for relapse to remain in their home environment during treatment.

What Types of Addictions?

An outpatient rehab fact, outpatient rehab generally treats a number of different addictions and conditions, including:

  • OxyContin addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Gambling addiction
  • Sex addiction
  • Those who are enrolled in outpatient care, may actually have more than one of the conditions listed above, making treatment even more challenging.

    What are the Benefits?

    Not everyone can afford a residential treatment program. Similarly, many people have too many personal responsibilities to simply drop everything and enter into an inpatient care center. Some of the chief outpatient rehab benefits are:

    • Freedom to continue your career. Although outpatient care does not leave extensive amounts of time to pursue outstanding activities, individuals will still have a chance to maintain a presence at work during their treatment. This is especially helpful if the individual runs their own business – or is able to set their own hours by working remotely from home.
    • Maintaining a Presence in the Household. Those individuals who are the head-of-household, or simply are the parent of young children, may find it difficult to leave their responsibilities behind and enter into a residential rehab program. Outpatient rehab programs solve this problem by allowing the individual to return home at the end of each day to look after the family. It helps to have a spouse or extended family member present during treatment, but the individual will at least have an opportunity to get well while watching out for their family.
    • Proximity to support. Some people need to get away from family and friends in order to focus solely on breaking the addiction cycle. Others, however, need those very people around them in order to achieve rehab success. Outpatient addiction treatment gives the individual a chance to be with their “support network” every evening when counseling is over.

    Who Should NOT Consider

    Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab is not for everyone. The following is a brief list of those individuals who would be better served in residential care in order to achieve their treatment goals.

    • History of relapse. Individuals who have a history of multiple relapses would be better served in residential treatment because of the lack of access to drugs or alcohol while they are undergoing treatment.
    • A destructive home environment. Many times, it is the stress of day-to-day life in one’s home environment that leads to drug and alcohol addiction. For these individuals, outpatient care is not the preferred method of treatment for the obvious reason that men and women must return to this environment at the end of every day.
    • A danger to yourself or others. If an individual’s addiction has gotten so bad that they have become a danger to herself or her loved one, she needs to be in a place where she can be safe. A residential rehab program provides that level of safety much more effectively than a residential program.

      What Types of Counseling are Available?

      Counseling is the bedrock of any addiction treatment program. During counseling/therapy, the individual gets a chance to address the root causes of their addiction, thus treating the condition at the source. There are three different types of counseling that dominate most outpatient addiction treatment programs: individual, group and family.

      • Individual counseling. The recovering addicts meets in private for one-on-one sessions with a therapist.
      • Group counseling. The individual meets with other recovering addicts in the program to share experiences and gain support from one another.
      • Family counseling. A chance for families of the addicted individual to heal broken relationships and learn how to communicate more effectively with the recovering addict.

      Each of these session types meets regularly, and takes up the lion’s share of the individual’s treatment schedule.