According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, once an addiction develops, willpower is rarely enough to end the addiction for the long-term. Treatment is almost always necessary, and depending on the severity of the addiction and a few other factors, outpatient rehab can be effective for ending an addiction once and for all. 

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab 

The two main types of addiction treatment are inpatient and outpatient rehab. While inpatient rehab generally offers the best possible outcomes, outpatient rehab can work, too.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab involves living at a residential treatment facility for the duration of treatment. Inpatient treatment is the best rehab choice for people who:

  • Have a long-lived addiction or a severe addiction.
  • Have gone through treatment before.
  • Have a co-occurring mental illness, such as depression or anxiety.
  • Have an unsafe or unstable home life.
  • Have little support at home or in the community.
  • Have little motivation to stop using drugs or alcohol.

The benefits of inpatient rehab include strong support and supervision and the ability to focus only on recovery for the duration of treatment. 

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab involves visiting an outpatient center each day for treatment. Outpatient rehab can work for people who:

  • Have a high level of intrinsic motivation to recover.
  • Have a lot of support at home and in the community.
  • Have a safe, stable place to live.
  • Prefer a high level of privacy, since an extended absence won’t need to be explained.

Benefits of outpatient rehab include a lower price tag than inpatient treatment and the ability to live at home and continue working, going to school or caring for the family while receiving treatment.

How Outpatient Rehab Works

Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use, even though using causes negative consequences. The result of changes in the functions and structures of the brain, addiction affects your thoughts and behaviors, leading to unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving. Addiction causes problems in your life, including relationship, financial, legal, and physical and mental health problems, and it almost always has underlying causes, such as chronic stress, a history of trauma or a co-occurring mental illness.

In order to successfully treat an addiction, the causes and effects of the addiction must be addressed. High-quality outpatient rehab involves a variety of traditional “talk” therapies and complementary therapies that offer a holistic approach that helps you restore your life on many fronts. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this holistic approach offers the best outcomes of treatment.

A holistic approach looks at a variety of problems from different angles. A variety of therapies helps you:

  • Identify and change unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving.
  • Address the underlying causes of the substance abuse.
  • Develop skills for handling relapse triggers like cravings and stress.
  • Repair the damage done to your life by the addiction.
  • Repair damaged relationships and restore function to the family system.
  • Learn to relax and have a good time without alcohol or drugs.
  • Find purpose and meaning in a life of sobriety.

An Individualized Treatment Plan is Essential

Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

Since there is no one treatment for addiction that works for every person, a high-quality outpatient rehab program will offer an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs, problems, and issues. How often you attend outpatient rehab programming will depend on a number of factors, including the level of support you need for success and how severe the addiction is. 

Outpatient rehab can help you recover from an addiction to drugs or alcohol for good. The more engaged you are in treatment, the better your chances of successful recovery for the long-term.