Outpatient Rehab for Opioid Addiction

Opioid abuse impacts millions of Americans every single year. Luckily, there are a number of rehabilitation options for Opioid addiction dedicated to helping individuals regain control of their lives, including outpatient rehab. Outpatient programs provide structured, educational, and supportive settings for individuals to address their addiction and identify potential problems that could interfere with the recovery process. With outpatient treatment, patients that have a mild to moderate Opioid abuse problem will better understand how their disorder has affected their lives and how to manage addiction in the future.

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehab is a rehabilitation program that offers Opioid addiction treatment sessions that can be scheduled throughout the week. Compared to an inpatient program that is intensive and residential, the outpatient schedule is much more flexible and accommodating. Outpatient rehab allows patients to continue with their regular responsibilities and live at home, as it is non-residential. However, many outpatient treatment programs offer sober living homes for clients to reside in if they need a more structured living environment to assist with transitioning back into the community as a sober person in early recovery.

Patients are required to follow an outpatient treatment schedule that involves group therapy  to 6 days per week depending on the program. They also are required to commit to an individual therapy session with their primary therapist once per week. Most outpatient treatment programs do not offer medical assistance with doctors. They may have a licensed nurse practitioner available for prescription refills, but most have case managers who will provide a list of physicians’ in the client’s insurance network that are available and refer them there.

Individuals with a strong will to succeed in recovery and who have a committed, disciplined approach will benefit from an outpatient treatment program. Programs typically range from a few months to over a year. There are a number of different types of outpatient programs, including standard outpatient (OP), intensive outpatient (IOP), and partial-hospitalization programs (PHP). OPs usually meet between 1-3 hours a week. IOPs typically meet between 3-10 hours per week. PHPs typically meet for 6-10 hours per day or 42-60 hours per week.

Types of Outpatient Rehab

The general types of outpatient rehab fall into the following three categories:

Day Programs

Outpatient day programs have the highest level of care and structure provided within an outpatient setting. In a day program, clients commit to meeting 5 to 7 days per week at an outpatient facility for multiple hours each day. During this time, patients will participate in ongoing therapy that focuses on over-all wellness, including group counseling, biofeedback, and other adjunct therapies, such as art or music therapy.

Patients may return home after each session, either to their families or a sober living home. Day programs require a considerable time commitment, which can limit an individual’s availability to work or go to school until the program is finished.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs establish a treatment plan with defined, measurable milestones in place to indicate progress. As these milestones are met, the time commitment required per each week decreases.

The Intensive Outpatient Program is a good option for those that are serious about abstaining from drugs and alcohol, but still need to be able to work and perform daily responsibilities. This program requires multiple sessions for a few hours each week that are usually in the evenings to conduct counseling sessions, group therapy, relapse prevention education, and attendance in a 12-step or similar recovery support group.

Continuing Care

Continuing care groups such as Narcotics Anonymous are ongoing support resources to help an individual solidify their commitment to sobriety. The groups are typically facilitated by a licensed therapist and meet weekly. Some continuing care groups may be gender-specific or age-specific, and others may focus on a particular aspect of recovery.

Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient Rehab Is Often An Ideal Choice For ParentsThere are many benefits to outpatient rehab. Here are some of the most advantageous.


One of the main benefits of outpatient rehab for Opioid addiction is the flexible structure of the programs. Outpatient programs can usually work around patients’ schedules, allowing them to keep family or work obligations.


Every rehab facility differs in pricing due to the different services and amenities that they. However, it is safe to say that outpatient rehab is typically substantially less costly than inpatient rehab since you are using fewer facilities, services, and amenities.On average, outpatient rehab costs around $5,000 for a three month program, while the average cost for a three month inpatient rehab program can range anywhere between $12,000 to $60,000.

Access to Family

Throughout the outpatient rehab program, family involvement and support is emphasized, as patients return home after treatment and have constant access to their loved ones. Family support is vital to encourage patients and ensure that they stay on the right path to sobriety.

Disadvantages of Outpatient Rehab

While there are many benefits to outpatient rehab, there are some disadvantages as well.


The ability to live at home while undergoing treatment may make some patients too comfortable and can distract them from their goal to get clean. Additionally, temptations are never far away, and some may find themselves vulnerable to give in to the urge to abuse Opioid drugs again.

Limited Access to Medical and Clinical Support

Whereas an inpatient program provides access to medical and clinical help 24/7, outpatient programs often only provide case managers that provide referrals. This can make it harder for individuals to communicate with his or her counselor, therapists, case managers, and doctors. Patients may not get all the support necessary to stay on track.

Finding A Treatment Program

The decision of which type of treatment program to choose is often a difficult one to make. Whether you decide that an outpatient rehab program or an alternative form of treatment is right for you, Opioid addiction is a serious problem and it’s important to take the first step toward getting help.

Author: Jena Hilliard – Last Edited: June 28, 2021

Clinically Reviewed by: Theresa Parisi – Last Reviewed: October 3, 2019

Our Clinical Reviewers are certified addiction professionals who verify the information on Opioid Help to make sure we provide the most accurate, correct, and updated information to our readers.

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O’Keefe Osborne, Corinne. (2019). Aspects of Outpatient Programs to Consider. Retrieved on 26th February 2019 from https://www.projectknow.com/rehab/outpatient-programs/

Weber, Lee. (2017). Rehab Heroin Addiction: When to Choose Inpatient Vs. Outpatient. Retrieved on 25th February 2019 from https://addictionblog.org/treatment/rehab-heroin-addiction-when-to-choose-inpatient-vs-outpatient/