Benefits of Outpatient Treatment Instead of Inpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment is when someone attends treatment during the day and comes home at night. Rehab or inpatient treatment is when someone lives at a rehab facility for an extended period.

Outpatient treatment is when someone attends treatment during the day and comes home every night. Rehab or inpatient treatment is when someone lives at a rehab facility for an extended period.

Outpatient treatment varies from facility to facility as far as the number of days you attend and the number of hours each day. Intensive Outpatient Treatment or IOP is usually 5 days a week or sometimes 20 hours spread over 3 days. Regular Outpatient treatment generally consists of 1 to 2 sessions a week for up to 3 hours each. At Absolute Awakenings, we have both treatment options available for your convenience.

Why Choose an Intensive Outpatient Program?

In Outpatient treatment, a person will focus on triggers and coping skills while attending group and individual counseling sessions. Group sessions are great for letting an individual share their experiences with others going through some of the same things and get feedback. Individual sessions allow the person to focus on their individual recovery needs.

An article published by the National Institutes of Health describes the intensive outpatient treatment as the following addiction care service:

Substance abuse intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are direct services for people with substance use disorders or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders who do not require medical detoxification or 24-hour supervision. IOPs are alternatives to inpatient and residential treatment. They are designed to establish psychosocial supports and facilitate relapse management and coping strategies. IOPs are an important part of the continuum of care for alcohol and drug use disorders. They are as effective as inpatient treatment for most individuals seeking care. Public and commercial health plans should consider IOP treatment as a covered health benefit. Standardization of the elements included in IOPs may improve their quality and effectiveness. (NIH)

Outpatient treatment programs have some benefits over traditional residential rehab or inpatient treatment programs. Let’s look at some of these benefits so that you or a loved one can make an informed decision about your recovery from addiction.

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment Instead of Rehab

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment has some benefits over rehab. Let us look at some of those benefits.

  • Maintaining Your Job – One of the biggest benefits of outpatient treatment instead of Inpatient rehab is the ability to maintain your job. People that are the sole providers of their family may not be able to afford to take time off to do Inpatient treatment, so they can still get help and recovery while continuing to work and support their family.
  • Cost of Outpatient Treatment – Generally, the cost of Outpatient treatment is much less than Inpatient rehab. Some Inpatient rehabs can cost up to $20,000 for a 30-day program, while Outpatient treatment may only cost around $5,000 for a 3-month program. Also, most Outpatient programs are covered under insurance; if they aren’t, it’s far less expensive and much more attainable.
  • Focus on Your Family – Going to an Outpatient program also allows an individual to continue being with their family during treatment. Most people who attend Outpatient treatment have more family support, so maintaining a close relationship with them may be more beneficial. They can also incorporate family therapy into their treatment which could help everyone involved.

Outpatient treatment is not for everyone. It is beneficial for those with mild to moderate addiction issues. However, it takes commitment because once you leave your program for the day, you have the freedom you do not have in rehab. For someone with severe addiction issues, rehab or Inpatient treatment is probably the better alternative.

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment for Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, you have options for treatment. Our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you with your needs. Absolute Awakenings is committed to helping you achieve long-term recovery. We understand that recovery isn’t a one size fits all approach, so we provide each client with an individualized experience. Give us a call today.


  1. McKay JR. Impact of Continuing Care on Recovery From Substance Use Disorder. Alcohol Res. 2021;41(1):01. doi:10.35946/arcr.v41.1.01
  2. McCarty D, Braude L, Lyman DR, et al. Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence. Psychiatr Serv. 2014;65(6):718-726. doi:10.1176/
  3. Average Cost of Drug Rehab [2023]: by Type, State & More. NCDAS. Accessed January 17, 2023.
Amanda Stevens, BS

Amanda Stevens, BS

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work. As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform. She writes for popular treatment centers such as Infinite RecoveryAscendant NY, The Heights Treatment, New Waters RecoveryGallus DetoxRecovery UnpluggedOcean RecoveryRefresh Recovery and adolescent mental health treatment center BasePoint Academy. In her spare time she loves learning about health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and enjoys being the a mother of a beautiful daughter.

Last medically reviewed January 17, 2023