What Is Involved in Outpatient Drug Rehab?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 29 May 2018
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Outpatient drug rehab is a program designed to rehabilitate patients who are suffering from drug addiction. Unlike patients who receive treatment during an extended stay at a hospital or rehabilitation facility, outpatient drug rehab allows the patient to be treated in daily or weekly sessions that typically take an hour or two at a time. Outpatient drug rehab may involve therapy, counseling, or other methods to treat substance abuse. These sessions involve a series of office visits that may be ongoing over several weeks or months.

During outpatient drug rehab, sessions typically include individual therapy, which is one-on-one counseling with a certified therapist. In some cases, group therapy may involve several patients who interact and share their experiences. Outpatient drug rehab typically involves a treatment program that progresses in several steps or lessons.

Meetings and outreach support groups are often an integral part of outpatient drug rehab. By sharing experiences, patients can develop strategies to overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol, while offering support and encouragement to each other. Alternately, outpatient rehab may involve private counseling, therapy, and treatment options, for patients who wish to remain discreet or anonymous to other patients.


Many patients choose outpatient drug rehab because it does not require living in a facility during rehabilitation. Through special counseling sessions and instruction, patients can receive the tools to overcome addiction. The outpatient rehabilitation is generally a good choice for those who have advocates among their family and friends.

Outpatient rehab programs also allow patients to remain in school or keep their current employment. The ability to maintain responsibilities at home is another benefit of outpatient rehab. In addition, outpatient rehab services are generally less costly than living at a rehabilitation facility.

Before treatment can begin, the patient is generally evaluated by a professional who can determine the cause of addiction. In most cases, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Once these issues have been recognized, the patient may begin treatment. Treatments may include behavioral modification therapy or psychotherapy. Classes dedicated to educating patients on the effects of substance abuse may also be recommended.

Many outpatient drug rehab counselors work in coordination with a patient's primary care physician. This is to monitor the patient's physical health during the recovery process. If necessary, the patient's physician may prescribe nutritional supplements or medications during rehabilitation.



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