What to Look for in Outpatient Treatment

Many outpatient programs offer group and individual services and require client participation several days per week at anywhere from 6 to 12-plus hours in total. Outpatient programs allow the individual to attend to his or her daily affairs, such as work or school, and then participate in treatment at an appropriate facility in the morning or at the end of the day. Typically, outpatient treatment centers will also drug test clients on a bi-weekly or weekly basis to ensure that they have not relapsed.

Usually an outpatient program encourages active participation in a 12-step program in addition to the outpatient services. Formal outpatient programs are often more effective than individual therapy for chemical dependency or alcoholism.

On top of educating clients about their disease (addiction), most outpatient treatment centers will also address many other underlying issues addicts and alcoholics face, such as:

  • Past trauma
  • Codependency
  • Mental disorders
  • Unhealthy coping skills

Outpatient rehabilitation is sometimes used by HMOs as transitional treatment for patients just released from treatment in a psychiatric ward.