Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs offer many different levels of care to meet the needs of an individual seeking treatment. In general, outpatient treatment programs are designed to offer more flexibility than inpatient treatment, though they can also be intensive and  highly structured. They are an ideal option for someone seeking a treatment program that will work around their home, work, family and other life situations. 


Outpatient Rehab At A Glance

There are varying levels of care provided in outpatient treatment, ranging from Substance Abuse Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment (SACOT) to Intensive Outpatient (IOP) to outpatient. Depending on the specific programming and level of care in outpatient, a participating individual may share housing with others in the program, may live in a separate sober living house, or may live at home. SACOT programs offer high-level structure, supervision, and full-time immersion, while IOP and outpatient can provide a part-time yet intensive schedule while offering more freedom and flexibility to the individual. 


What To Ask When Comparing Outpatient Treatment Programs

  • What types of addiction does the program treat? 
  • Does the program treat co-occurring mental health issues and dual-diagnosis?
  • What types of therapy are available? 
  • What does the daily schedule look like? 
  • What are the facilities and amenities available? 
  • What are the aftercare options? 
  • What licensing and credentials does the program have? 
  • Does kind of approach to treatment does the program take? 
  • Are peer-support programs, such as 12-step programs, incorporated?
  • What are the payment options? 


Advantages of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs are generally more flexible than inpatient treatment, and can be more easily worked into an individual’s schedule. Outpatient programs are also often more financially accessible than inpatient treatment. Individuals can begin in a more frequent, more intensive level of outpatient and gradually make their way to fewer weekly sessions and ease their way into aftercare. This type of program gives people the opportunity to immediately apply what they are learning, in real life situations. 


Things to Consider with Outpatient Treatment 

Day programs, such as Intensive Outpatient (IOP), offer individuals much more freedom in their daily lives and in the world, which means there is a higher risk of being exposed to old influences and triggers, as well as exposure and access to drugs and alcohol. 

The intensive schedule and round-the-clock supervised structure of Substance Abuse Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment (SACOT), on the other hand, does much to limit engagement with daily life stressors and access to drugs and alcohol. It is important for someone seeking treatment to weigh all of their options while considering what type of treatment will best meet their needs in recovery.