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How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

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About 25.8% of adults report they’ve binge drinking in the past month. People who engage in this behavior are 70% more likely to visit the ER due to alcohol-related issues.

People who drink three times over the threshold are 93% more likely to visit the ER.

Instead of letting addiction win, consider outpatient rehab treatment. There are alcohol treatment centers in San Diego that can help.

What exactly is outpatient treatment, and how can it benefit your future? Keep reading to find out. After reading this guide, you can determine if outpatient treatment is right for you.

Read on to learn more. 

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

First, let’s answer the question that likely brought you here in the first place. What is outpatient rehab?

Outpatient treatment is less restrictive than inpatient rehab. With outpatient treatment, you’ll visit a facility 10 to 12 hours a week. You aren’t required to live on-site.

Instead, you can continue working or receiving your education on a daily basis. Then, you can visit alcohol treatment centers in San Diego for rehabilitation.

Your program might involve group or one-on-one counseling. These sessions can help you gain the tools you need to manage your addiction.

Most outpatient treatments last between three to six months. 

How It Works

When you first sign up, you’ll live at home and visit a San Diego alcohol rehabilitation center on a routine basis. Programs vary in terms of commitment. For example, you might need to attend sessions several hours a day.

In some cases, you’ll only need to schedule sessions a few hours a week.

Your program can offer you prescribed medications and medical care as needed.

Before you begin treatment, you’ll need to visit rehab centers in San Diego to find a program that works for you. You’ll work with an expert to develop a customized treatment plan. Developing a customized plan can ensure the program suits your needs and goals.

You’ll outline your specific goals for treatment. This process can help make outpatient rehab more effective.

During your initial consultation, a staff member will need to ask you questions about your substance abuse. You’ll also need to discuss your:

  • Medications
  • Medical history
  • Mental health issues
  • Employment
  • Family problems

These notes will help the staff better customize your treatment. Once they’ve outlined your plan, you’ll learn the rules. You’ll need to follow these rules for the length of your program.

For example, some alcohol treatment centers in San Diego require routine drug tests. The center will need to confirm you’re not drinking throughout your treatment. 

You’ll need to attend therapy sessions regularly. Some rehab centers in San Diego will require you to complete assignments outside of your sessions, too. 

Inpatient vs Outpatient

What exactly is the difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab?

With inpatient rehabilitation, you’ll remain in a controlled environment as you overcome your addiction. Remaining in a rehab center will ensure you receive emotional and medical support around the clock. 

With inpatient treatment, you’ll also need to get your affairs in order beforehand. For example, you might need to consider:

  • Talking to an employer
  • Determining how you’ll get to and from the center
  • What personal items you can bring
  • Living arrangements for family members

Treatment can last from 28 days to six months. The first step of inpatient treatment is medically assisted detox. Every day of your treatment is carefully scheduled.

You might benefit more from inpatient treatment if you’re struggling with an intense addiction. 

With outpatient rehab, on the other hand, you won’t have to worry about these concerns. Instead, you can receive treatment, then return to your daily life. Your treatment plan won’t have to disrupt your routine.

However, you might require outpatient rehab for three to six months. Some patients require treatment for over a year. 

How to Know You Need Help

Not sure if outpatient rehab is right for you? Consider seeking help if you have:

  • A mild to moderate alcohol addiction
  • Low risk of withdrawal or medical complications
  • The motivation to attend regular sessions
  • The motivation to stick with treatment
  • Transportation to attend sessions
  • Support from family and friends

If there’s a risk you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms, you’ll need to perform a detox in a supervised setting first.

If you have a poor support system, you might struggle with outpatient treatment. People with a history of relapsing are better off with inpatient treatment, too. 

The Benefits

Outpatient treatment is as effective as inpatient treatment for individuals seeking care. If you’re still on the fence about outpatient rehab, here are a few benefits to keep in mind. 

Access to Support

Outpatient rehab centers in San Diego can give you access to the support you need. For example, you can speak with therapists and psychiatrists. You can attend individual or group sessions, too.

The support you receive could help you find ways to maintain your sobriety long-term. 

Continued Care

Outpatient rehab can give you access to a continuum of care. You can develop a customized treatment plan based on your needs, too. 

The continuum of care can help ensure you don’t fall back on old habits. 


Attending sessions at alcohol treatment centers in San Diego can help you remain accountable.

If you’re struggling, you’ll have access to the support you need. You can attend AA sessions or visit a therapist. You can speak with other patients who require support, too.

Checking on a regular basis can help you remain accountable for your sobriety.

Ideal for Transitioning

You might find it’s easier to transition back into a new life with outpatient rehabilitation. Throughout your treatment, you’ll also attend work or school. You’ll see friends and family members on a regular basis, too.

Maintaining your regular routine might make it easier to maintain your sobriety within that routine, too. 

Alcohol Treatment Centers in San Diego: Find an Outpatient Rehab Facility

Don’t let your addiction get the better of you. Instead, consider looking into alcohol treatment centers in San Diego. An outpatient rehab facility can help you begin your road to recovery.

You can find the tools you need to maintain your sobriety. 

Eager to get started? We can’t wait to help.

Request your free consultation today.

Call Our Toll-Free Hotline 24/7 at 877.881.2689