Outpatient Rehab: Non-Residental Treatment Option

Last Updated: June 4, 2020

An outpatient program is most suitable for independent thinkers with a strong will to recover and a responsible, committed approach. Severe addictions to drugs are generally best treated in an inpatient program to help keep withdrawal under control and manage detox, but a mild drug or alcohol dependency issue caught in its early phases can often be treated in an outpatient facility with great success.

Outpatient Facility Definition

An outpatient rehab program offers drug and alcohol addiction treatment sessions that can take place at various times throughout the week. This flexible schedule makes it possible for clients to continue with their regular everyday responsibilities and keep living at home. However, they have to check into treatment as scheduled to receive medication and counseling. Outpatient drug programs come in a variety of forms and varying levels of intensity, and provide an array of services with the main focus being on counseling, offering a support network, and education. They are a great option for people who are firmly committed to attaining sobriety and are looking for a flexible program that will be compatible with their schedules. The need for such programs is definitely on the rise – according to data of the Drug Abuse Warning Network for 2009, 2.1 million visits to emergency rooms across the US were connected with drug abuse.

Key Factors in Choosing Outpatient Treatment

Many of the key factors involved in choosing treatment are not specifically related to it. However, they are still highly significant, because they can make the difference between successful and unsuccessful treatment. Among them are:

  • Flexibility
  • Distance
  • Price
  • Support

Flexibility is the most important consideration because one’s treatment needs will change over the course of time. If a person isn’t responding well to a certain type of outpatient treatment, the facility should be able to change it quickly in order to ensure the best possible outcome. What is more, a lot of people seeking treatment for addiction don’t want anyone to know they’re getting help. This means that the outpatient program needs to have discreet treatment available when the person needs it most. Distance from home or work is also significant. Travel time impacts the effectiveness of treatment. The availability of transportation to get to the facility must be considered. A recovering addict needs to be close enough to their center of choice to be able to make a real difference. The facility should also be capable of offering 24/7 support for all of its outpatients.

Types of Outpatient Rehab

People with less severe addiction issues who hear about this type of rehab may wonder, “What is an outpatient?” This word is more than the sum of its parts – a “patient” who is “out” and free as opposed to “confined” does not suffice to describe his or her situation. Moreover, there are different varieties of outpatient rehab for substance abuse – outpatient alcohol rehab and outpatient drug rehab among others. The stage of recovery of the patient is also a factor. Generally, there are three types of rehab: day programs, IOPs, and so-called continuing care programs. Below is some more information about them.

Outpatient Day Programs

These programs provide the highest level of structure and care within an outpatient setting. Participants meet daily or every other day at an outpatient facility for several hours per session. They go home after each session, to a sober living home or their families or spouses. They take part in ongoing therapy, music or art therapy, and group counseling. As these programs require a significant commitment, the individual is often not able to work or go to school over the course of the program.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

IOPs set a treatment plan with specific, measurable goals in place to indicate progress. The frequency of sessions is reduced as these goals are achieved. These programs are a good option for people who are serious about getting sober long-term, but who still need to be able to work and perform other daily tasks. A program may require several sessions for a few hours per week to conduct group therapy, counseling sessions, and relapse prevention education. Attendance of a 12-step or non-12-step recovery support is also required.

Continuing Care

Finally, a continuing care group offers ongoing support to help a recovering addict solidify his or her resolve to become sober. Typical examples of these forms of outpatient treatment are Cocaine Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. The groups are usually led by a licensed therapist and meet once a week.

Outpatient Rehab Facilities

JourneyPure Knoxville

This outpatient drug rehab center in western Tennessee helps people struggling with substance abuse and comorbid mental health disorders. Its IOP program is flexible and evidence-based, with well-trained clinicians who help patients and their families with a holistic variety of forms of recovery support that focus on mental health and wellness. This facility’s personalized approach goes beyond the symptoms and tries to treat the root causes of substance dependence. Their services include recovery coaching, experiential therapies like art and music therapy, dual diagnosis treatment, group and/or individual therapy, drug testing and monitoring, peer support, drug and alcohol assessments, recovery coaching, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

Banyan Treatment Center

Banyan Treatment Center and Detox offers detoxification and treatment for addiction to a wide variety of substances. All of this center’s patients have unique problems surrounding their current addiction and require personalized care, which is taken into account. In most cases, the center offers supervised medical detox to avoid serious health complications in the wake of withdrawal, such as seizures. Indeed, medically monitored detox is seen as the first step toward recovery. The center also has a partial hospitalization program, which mirrors a secure and comfortable “real life” setting with the surroundings and environment necessary to ensure a successful therapy outcome. The next step is the intensive outpatient program, aimed at facilitating the client’s transition to becoming a more productive member of society.

Every Outpatient Drug Treatment is Unique

Doctor talking to patients during therapyAs every addiction is unique, so is every treatment. When looking for a suitable rehab facility, one must always check whether it has experience with theirs. There are a lot of all-purpose facilities that help treat drug and alcohol addictions. The clinic doesn’t need to provide treatment for just one specific addiction, but at any rate, it is important to choose a drug treatment facility that has at least some specialized training with one’s substance of choice. There are quite a few reasons for this. Some symptoms of dependence and withdrawal are unique to certain drugs, while others are common to many different ones. Choosing rehab centers that focus on specific addiction treatment instead of a “one size fits all” strategy is most conducive to achieving a successful outcome. What is more, addictions to different substances impact the mind and body in different ways.

Specific Approach

The counselors and therapists have to be licensed and have experience in handling the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of the specific addiction their client is struggling to overcome. Sometimes only time can tell what the outcome will be. Other times, exceptionally specialized training is required to guarantee a successful one. The staff needs to have a good grasp of the specific type of addiction the client is battling in order to help him or her understand the recovery process. That’s why it’s crucial to find the right treatment facility from the start.

Outpatient Program Treatment Cost

The price of addiction treatment depends on the facility. At any rate, outpatient treatment always costs less than inpatient treatment. Some programs are free, while others can cost tens of thousands. There is always a good choice no matter the budget. The opportunity to heal is accessible to each and every addict as long as they are aware of the resources that can help them. Most outpatient rehab centers accept some form of insurance or provide financing options. Some even offer financial aid. Of course, one of the most common ways of paying for rehab is insurance. The treatment cost that is covered depends on the insurance provider and what the facility will accept.

The following types of insurance might help cover addiction treatment:

  1. State-financed health insurance
  2. Medicare
  3. Medicaid
  4. Private insurance
  5.  Military insurance

Not every recovering addict will have insurance, but there are still ways to find help. One option is looking into centers that offer financing options. Another is to look for a free or low-income treatment facility. The first option is better because free and low-income rehabs often have limited funding and very long waiting lists. The type of care a rehab offers affects the total price of getting and staying sober. Treatment modalities also vary depending on the addiction. Among the other factors that affect the price of rehab are amenities and medical care. The following estimates are based on prices reported by researchers and individual treatment facilities:


The cost of outpatient detox is $1,250 on average. The exact cost depends on the type of drug addiction. It will be higher if the patient is addicted to a drug with dangerous side effects, because this process will require very careful medical supervision. On average, outpatient rehab for mild to moderate addictions costs around $5,000 for 90 days. Of course, luxury facilities will charge more – for example, addiction treatment at Betty Ford will cost twice as much. The frequency and duration of visits to the facility will also factor into the end price.


Another factor that affects the cost is whether the individual will need medication. Medication is not always necessary. It is most often needed for outpatient alcohol treatment and can cost up to $10,000 a year. Methadone treatment for heroin addiction costs up to $5,000 per program, which typically runs over a year. Ultimately, the price of rehab is lower than that of unbridled drug and alcohol addiction. Alcohol and drug addicts are more likely to miss work and change jobs than non-addicts, which affects their income levels adversely. Legal troubles, the price of drugs, diminished work performance, and health problems all add up over time.

Approaches of the Best Outpatient Drug Programs

There are many excellent programs that help recovering addicts get sober. It is necessary to do in-depth research to find out more about their approaches. Some of the mandatory factors to ensure a positive outcome are counseling services, medication if needed, a person-centered (not addiction-centered) focus, flexibility and adaptability to the client’s changing needs, a focus on the health condition, and a solid mental health program designed to provide medical care and treatment for any existing comorbid disorders. One could also benefit from a brief stabilization program aimed at preventing relapse and guiding an individual back into successful recovery. Some outpatient rehabs will offer faith-based recovery treatment programs.

The more a person knows about the approach to treatment, the easier it will be to identify the best program. The reward? A life without addiction. That’s definitely worth the additional time and effort to ensure one has discovered the best possible facility for his or her outpatient treatment needs.

Page Sources

  1. https://www.datafiles.samhsa.gov/

Published on: August 31st, 2016

Updated on: June 4th, 2020


Leave a comment

  • Kendra Weedon
    I need help finding a drug program for an out patient program in my area… I was just wondering if you help with that, I used to abuse Suboxone & percocet. I have been court ordered to complete a program but I also want to do this for myself as well as my children…
  • allen jeffries
    I would like outpatient program. I have to be able to work everyday. I have a problem with opiates. I would prefer a drug assitted program.
  • Daniel Brady
    Look i believe, I need a group of professionals that ,CAN ANALYZE MY Character DEFICIENCIES, Psychological problems, and my addiction all at once . Im feeling all my problems have to be factored in and analyze in order to actually defeat this insanity that continues shakes my life into pieces. Thank for hearing me out and hopefully u understood me.I have communication problem so t expressing my self is a projectin its self!!! Thank whom, so much and GOD BLESS YOU. Respectfully Daniel Brady
  • J
    I’m looking for a couples addiction rehab or couples addiction therapy for me and my wife we live in south central pa
  • Lindsey
    I want to enroll in a out patient program. I have struggled addiction for Years and recently relapsed. I need and have to have this structure again. Thanks!