As addiction rates increase due to the ongoing opioid epidemic, the way that drug treatment works has had to evolve. With more and more drugs posing a deadly issue, addiction centers must adjust accordingly and offer different solutions and methods for addiction treatment.

One of the most common and effective ways to go about drug addiction treatment is by enrolling in an outpatient treatment program. Because different drugs require different treatments, it is important to know beforehand what kind of treatment is best suited for your specific case.

Having the proper resources and information is vital, so take the time to look into how outpatient treatment works.


Outpatient treatment programs would best be described by comparing them to other treatment programs that differ in levels of care. In contrast to detox and residential treatment, outpatient programs are effective in treating less-severe cases of addictions.

Being the common ground between residential and individual therapy, the level of care in outpatient services is a perfect balance between low-intensity and high-intensity treatment. Those who choose to undergo outpatient treatment programs will receive high-quality care and attention from a team of kind and professional nurses, doctors, and psychiatrists. However, the main difference between residential and outpatient is simply the fact that outpatient programs do not require living on-site during treatment.

By participating in outpatient treatment, a client will visit a facility or clinic by following a set schedule put in place by the professionals. At the end of each treatment session, the client will return back to his or her home and return at the next set schedule date.

Because addiction treatment varies from substance to substance, there are some modified versions of outpatient treatment that may be more or less intensive than the others. Generally, outpatient programs require a client to undergo treatment at the facility for three to five days a week, for up to nine hours each session. Depending on the severity of an individual’s past addiction, they will benefit most from one of the following forms of outpatient treatment:


Intensive outpatient programs are tailored towards treating people with co-occurring disorders or failure in staying sober after treatment. Though these cases generally consist of intensive care, those who are enrolled in intensive outpatient treatment do not require 24-7 monitoring.


Partial hospitalization programs are tailored towards those that have a severe addiction and serious medical conditions. While the conditions may be severe, it is a few steps below full hospitalization. While enrolled in a partial hospitalization program, a patient is required to attend several hours worth of treatment each day, usually from Monday to Friday. The length of PHP varies greatly, being as short as a week to as long as up to nine months.


After your outpatient program, you may believe that your addiction treatment is over and you can return to your normal, everyday life. While it is true that the hardest part is over, it is extremely important that you stay on your toes when it comes to relapse prevention. Relapse can easily lead to addiction again, so to strengthen your sobriety, we suggest partaking in aftercare programs to help you transition from rehab to your everyday life again.

Commonly used aftercare programs actually include the use of low-intensity outpatient programs. It may sound strange at first, but outpatient programs are a perfect example of what an aftercare program should be like. Visiting a treatment center maybe once or twice a week for group therapy can work wonders in relapse prevention. Seeing friends that you may have made in treatment post-recovery can easily provide the support you need in staying sober.


The services offered by outpatient treatment programs are very flexible, and the methods that are used in treatment can be adjusted to better fit the needs of the client. Substance abuse and addiction treatment in outpatient care can involve many or even all of the following:


CBT is a well-tested, successful method that is used to treat mental health conditions and disorders like anxiety and depression. As the most widely used, evidence-based treatment for mental health, CBT is the method of choice.


Relatively self-explanatory, educational classes in drug treatment are used to inform the patient about anything drug-related. Addiction, relapse, withdrawals, abuse, overdose, and many other things are covered in treatment educational classes.


Originating from an article by psychologist William R. Miller in Behavioral Psychotherapy, the term “motivational interviewing” was coined in 1983. Challenging the traditional model, the idea of motivational interviewing argues that the personality of someone will not single-handedly determine if they become addicted, and someone who undergoes MI can be influenced by their therapist to quit unhealthy behaviors.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy is used to help people that are affected by personalities disorders such as bipolar disorder, paranoia, and borderline personality disorder. DBT is a modified version of CBT, and instead of focusing on how someone’s emotions interact with each other to cause addiction like with CBT, DBT has a more laid-back approach that studies the social aspects of addiction.

It is important to note that, due to the flexibility of outpatient treatment, we could not list every single method used. These common four methods in conjunction with standard therapy (group, individual, and family) are what make up outpatient treatment.

On some occasions, your outpatient treatment program may include a form of detoxification. If so, the first session of outpatient treatment will include a physical exam to determine your overall health. If you are well enough, doctors and nurses may administer different medications to help you taper off of your previously-abused drug. For example, benzodiazepines are effective in treating insomnia and seizures and are commonly used in medical detoxification.

After a few hours of detox, doctors will continue to evaluate you and the severity of your withdrawal effects before they deem it safe to send you home. After your first detox visit, your doctors will devise a series of appointments that work around your schedule and that most benefit you.


You may wonder what the benefits of outpatient treatment actually are. Apart from the obvious extended freedom and flexibility offered in outpatient treatment programs, there are a number of other factors that may determine whether or not outpatient treatment will benefit you.

Outpatient programs can be (quite literally) life-saving for people that have responsibilities out of treatment. School, work, and family are just a few of the things that many people have to stay vigilant with. The lack of regular life disruption causes outpatient treatment programs to be extremely effective and helpful to those who must return home at the end of the day.

The benefits of outpatient treatment do not simply stop there. Apart from the removal of life disruption, outpatient care may benefit you in ways such as the following:

  • The similarities between inpatient and residential programs are strikingly similar. For this reason, outpatient treatment poses as a viable substitute for residential treatment, but at a much lower cost. Cost can be a huge barrier when it comes to seeking drug addiction treatment, so choosing the most cost-effective option is important.
  • A recovery center’s number one priority should be the patient’s safety and comfort. If a patient finds themselves to be uncomfortable, it will distract them from achieving the ultimate goal of sobriety. Outpatient care allows those who require privacy to live and have a life out of recovery while simultaneously still going through rehab.
  • Having to withdraw from society and undergo treatment full-time can be difficult for many people, especially those who have many friends. We understand that no one wants to be known as “the person who went to rehab.” The stigma against seeking drug treatment is very influential, and by enrolling in outpatient treatment, one can keep up their social life at the same time they are recovering.
  • Going through outpatient treatment helps to teach relapse prevention, as the responsibility of staying sober follows the patient home after treatment sessions. By quickly applying what they learn to the real world, patients have a much easier transition from treatment to everyday life.


If you or someone you know suffers from substance abuse and addiction, the time is now to seek help. When it comes to deciding whether or not outpatient treatment is right for you, you must ask yourself if you are ready to handle having that much freedom. Lack of 24-7 medical supervision can easily lead to relapse, so you must choose carefully.

If you do not think that outpatient treatment is right for you, you should not take risks when it comes to drug addiction; ask a medical professional. If you feel that temptations, triggers, and the freedom given to you during outpatient treatment may result in relapse and building of another addiction, you should very much consider an inpatient treatment program, such as low-intensity residential.

For those who require the extra support supplied by 12-step meetings and counseling services, most experts suggest outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment often times provides services that other treatment programs do not, and sometimes those services can be the difference in deciding whether or not someone will be successfully treated or not.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, then finding quality addiction treatment should be the highest priority. It doesn’t matter what kind of treatment your addiction needs, the dedicated professionals here at Maryland House Detox can connect you with help that is tailored to your situation.

At Maryland House Detox, we are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that your recovery story is a successful one. Call us today at (855) 928-0596 or contact us online to begin your journey back to a life of sobriety.

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