What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Addiction is a very complicated disease. It affects millions of people in the United States each year. It is a chronic disease that has no definitive cure, but it is treatable given the right programs and tools. The reason addiction can be so complicated is that it affects each individual differently depending on factors such as  the type of substance a person is using, the frequency of use, different life situations, co-occuring mental health issues, and even genetics. Since addiction in and of itself is complicated and affects individuals at varying degrees, the treatment for it isn’t the same for everyone. One of the best methods of treating addiction is outpatient rehab. 


For those who have no control of their substance use and see no way out, perhaps inpatient rehabilitation would be the best option. Inpatient rehabilitation treatment is designed for individuals who are severely impacted by their addiction. So much so that they need to check in to inpatient rehab and stay there throughout the course of their treatment, which is also why inpatient rehab is often referred to as residential treatment. Residential treatment allows patients to recover in a completely controlled environment with 24-hour medical and emotional support available at all times. But what happens if someone is looking for treatment for their substance use disorder, but doesn’t need the same intense level of care inpatient rehab offers? Their best bet would be to look for what is known as outpatient rehabilitation treatment.


Outpatient rehabilitation treatment is much less restrictive than its residential counterpart. Patients can expect the same level of care given at inpatient rehab, but aren’t required to live on the rehab clinic premises. It is designed for people who are at the earlier stages of addiction and have a noticily growing substance abuse problem, and want to find treatment sooner rather than later. Typically, inpatient rehab stays vary from 30, 60 or 90 days, and can sometimes be longer when and if necessary. 


Outpatient rehab is much less restrictive. Outpatient rehab patients are usually visiting their rehab center three to five times a week and sometimes as much as seven days. While not as intensive as inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab treatment is still a very effective method of treating addiction and provides long-term support. Outpatient rehab is structured in a much more flexible manner, allowing for many patients to continue living their lives with little to no interruption.


What Are The Elements of Outpatient Rehab?

What may be surprising to most is that the elements of outpatient rehab are remarkably similar to those of inpatient rehab. One major benefit of inpatient rehab that isn’t often associated with its outpatient counterpart is medically assisted detoxification. The first step of addiction treatment, whether it is inpatient or outpatient, is detoxification. This is when all trace elements of the substance(s) a patient is addicted to are removed from the body. Sounds simple enough, but those who are struggling with addiction or have in the past know that it is one of the most difficult parts of treatment. Many substances have severe withdrawal symptoms once the body stops ingesting the substance in question. 


At clinics such as Sunshine Behavioral Health’s rehab clinics, both inpatient and outpatient programs offer medically assisted detox. Medical professionals on staff are able to administer medications that help alleviate those debilitating withdrawal symptoms, ensuring the smoothest and most comfortable detox process possible. The only difference here is that outpatient patients will go home at the end of each day, including during the detox process. Since outpatient rehab is designed for those who are in the earlier stages of addiction, chances are their withdrawal symptoms will be more mild than those who are checked into inpatient rehab, which is why going home at the end of each day isn’t a major issue.


At Sunshine Behavioral Health’s Outpatient Rehab programs, patients can expect the same quality of care offered at their inpatient facilities. Outpatient rehab patients will still have a variety of recovery resources available to them such as educational classes, weekly one-on-one individual therapy sessions, as well as peer support group sessions. Since those participating in outpatient treatment will be staying at home, Sunshine Behavioral Health also offers family therapy and support sessions as a part of their outpatient treatment. This helps families understand their family members’ addiction better and allows them to better understand what types of triggers and environments should be avoided during treatment. This is important as patients will be returning home to their families at the end of every day. 


Relapse prevention training is a major aspect of Sunshine’s outpatient treatment programs. Sober living skills are also taught to patients throughout the course of their treatment. Living at home allows patients to practice these skills outside of the rehab environment every day. Finally, Sunshine Behavioral Health understands that not all these treatment plans work for everyone, so holistic treatment is also available to those who seek it.


For those who are still concerned with the idea of outpatient rehab treatment, there are many other benefits that should be noted. One of the major benefits of outpatient rehab compared to residential rehab treatment is the cost. As is expected, residential rehab costs more as room and board must be accounted for, as well as the 24/7 round the clock care. Outpatient rehab is much cheaper since patients will not be living on site and will not receive the 24/7 monitoring that comes with living on the premises. 


Another major benefit of outpatient rehab stems from the fact that patients are staying off site. This allows some people to maintain their employment. While Sunshine’s inpatient rehab is technology friendly and allows patients to work in the comfort of purpose built business offices, those who can’t work remotely will have time for work before and after their treatment each day. Finally, outpatient rehab treatment can be used as a form of aftercare to those who already completed inpatient rehab treatment. It allows patients to ease back into their old lives, with very similar support that was offered in their inpatient stay.


No matter if you are looking for outpatient rehabilitation or residential treatment, Sunshine Behavioral Health has you covered. With multiple locations located across the United States, addiction treatment is more accessible than you may think. Visit Sunshine Behavioral Health today and begin your road to lasting recovery today! 

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

Sunshine Behavioral Health Facilities


Chapters Capistrano


Monarch Shores


Mountain Springs


Willow Springs


Lincoln Recovery

Find out more about our admissions process