How Do I Know if Outpatient Rehab is Right For Me?

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Making the decision to accept help for your addiction is a huge step towards recovery. The next steps you make, however, will determine your success in treatment. One of the first decisions you’ll have to make about your care is which level of rehab you want to participate in.

Outpatient rehab is very different from inpatient rehab. Outpatient programs do not require you to live at the treatment facility or remain under constant supervision. Instead, they provide you with privacy, flexibility, and affordability while helping you stay sober. But, how do you know if outpatient rehab is right for you? We can help you decide.

outpatient rehab programs

What is Outpatient Rehab Like?

Outpatient rehab programs are those that provide addiction treatment services on an ambulatory basis. Rather than living at the rehab facility as you would in inpatient rehab, you are allowed personal freedom and privacy.

Outpatient substance abuse treatment programs give you much more flexibility than inpatient ones do. They allow you to maintain your responsibilities at work, school, and home while providing you with adequate treatment for your addiction. Throughout your enrollment in outpatient rehab, you are able to live at home, tend to your obligations, and attend scheduled group and individual therapy sessions.

There are three main types of outpatient programs. These include:

  1. Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) – You attend therapy all day at the treatment facility but return home at night.
  2. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – You attend scheduled therapy sessions that last 2-3 hours each, 3-4 days per week.
  3. Outpatient Program (OP) – You attend scheduled therapy sessions that last 1-2 hours each, 2-3 days per week.

Therapy sessions cover a variety of topics ranging from relapse prevention and coping skills to psychoeducation and crisis management. Although all outpatient programs differ, most outpatient substance abuse treatment programs in New Jersey last 30-90 days.

The Pros and Cons of Choosing Outpatient Rehab

Before you can decide whether or not outpatient rehab is right for you, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of this kind of program.


The top two benefits of outpatient rehab are flexibility and affordability. Although residential treatment programs tend to have higher rates of success for people with serious addictions, not everyone affected by addiction needs inpatient care. And, many people are unable to take time away from work, school, or family to attend a residential program. These individuals can benefit from the flexible scheduling options offered by outpatient rehab programs in New Jersey.

Cost, on the other hand, is another influential factor to consider when choosing a treatment program. Outpatient programs are more affordable than inpatient ones because you are not responsible for costs associated with housing, meals, and medical care. Instead, outpatient programs only ask you to pay for your therapy sessions.


While flexibility and affordability can certainly be benefits, there are cons of outpatient programs, as well. For example, outpatient programs often do not provide medical detox services, and none of them provide 24/7 care. People with severe addictions may find themselves susceptible to relapse without these services. At the same time, too much flexibility too early in recovery can be a recipe for disaster, so outpatient services are best for those who have a strong support group to hold them accountable.

Assessing Your Individual Treatment Needs is Key

If you are wondering whether or not outpatient rehab is right for you, the best thing you can do is to evaluate your individual treatment needs. Try asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Is my addiction so severe that I need around-the-clock care? – If you have been addicted to drugs or alcohol for several years, experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using or have been unsuccessful in an outpatient program in the past, you may consider a residential treatment program, instead. If you don’t trust yourself to stay sober when you return home from therapy, outpatient rehab is not right for you.
  2. Do I have a supportive and sober home environment? – If you live with other people who abuse drugs and alcohol, or people who aren’t necessarily supportive of your recovery, you may want to reconsider outpatient services. You may be better off in a residential setting where you are in a safe, supportive, and sober environment.
  3. Do I struggle with an underlying mental or behavioral health condition that may require a higher level of care? – As a general rule of thumb, co-occurring health conditions are best addressed on an inpatient basis.

If you are unsure of your treatment needs, it is best to speak with a qualified addiction specialist who can conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine which level of care is right for you.

When Should I Consider Outpatient Rehab?

Since outpatient treatment is far less intensive and restrictive than inpatient rehab, it’s important that you meet certain qualifications so you don’t relapse. After all, outpatient rehab is most effective for people who are in good health and have access to a safe, sober, and stable living environment.

Outpatient rehab may be right for you if:

  • You are in the early stages of addiction and do not require things like medical detox or intensive care.
  • You have already completed inpatient rehab or a residential program and are looking for continued support.
  • Finances are a problem and you are unable to afford a higher level of care, but willing to take major steps to overcome your addiction.
  • You are unable to take time away from work, your children, or your education to go to an inpatient facility.

Find Out if Outpatient Rehab in New Jersey is Right For You

Choosing the right drug and alcohol treatment program depends on how severe your addiction is, your current support resources, and your individual treatment needs. When deciding whether or not outpatient rehab is right for you, it’s important to be honest with yourself and with an addiction specialist about these things–your success in treatment depends on it.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, our team at New Jersey Intervention is here to help. We can conduct an initial assessment to help you determine if you are a good candidate for outpatient rehab and connect you with the right rehab facility for you. Don’t wait any longer. Call today to begin your recovery journey.

Medically Reviewed: September 8, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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