Outpatient Rehab in Laguna Beach, CA

If you are struggling with addiction and looking to engage with treatment, outpatient rehabs are an affordable option that is also typically covered by health insurance. 

Outpatient rehab is often recommended for those with mild or moderate substance use disorders and stable home environments.

What is Outpatient Rehab?

Those requiring addiction treatment must choose between inpatient vs outpatient rehab. 

Inpatient rehab is also known as residential rehab. You spend from 30 to 90 days or more at a treatment facility, taking you from detox to discharge. 

Outpatient rehab offers you access to the same services and therapies as you find in residential rehab. The core difference is that you return home or to a sober living home between therapy sessions.

Article at a Glance:

You may be wondering, “Does rehab work?” Well outpatient rehab can be an effective intervention for those with milder alcohol use disorders and substance use disorders. Although outpatient rehabs provide a flexible and affordable alternative to inpatient treatment, the approach is not suitable for everyone. Today’s guide will help you establish whether outpatient treatment offers you sufficient support and structure for your recovery. 

If you engage with an outpatient program, you’ll attend scheduled weekday therapy sessions. During these sessions, you’ll address issues of alcohol dependence, substance abuse, or mental health disorders. This treatment delivery method allows you to remain anchored to your personal and professional commitments while actively pursuing your recovery.

How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

Whether you are considering outpatient alcohol rehab or outpatient drug rehab, you’ll first need to detox. 

The detoxification process takes from 5 to 10 days. During detox, you purge the toxins and toxic by-products of substance abuse from your system. In most cases, a medical detox is advisable. Around-the-clock clinical and emotional care along with medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings helps to streamline the withdrawal process. 

Once all toxins are flushed from your system, you’ll be ready to begin a rehab outpatient program.

The first choice you need to make when selecting an outpatient program involves the time commitment required. You have three main options: 

  • OP (outpatient program)
  • IOP (intensive outpatient program)
  • PHP (partial hospitalization program)

OP (Outpatient Program)

A regular outpatient program is the least intensive form of treatment according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s continuum of care. 

Many people with mild alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder choose an OP providing a few hours of weekly therapy to kickstart their recovery. 

For many grappling with more severe substance use issues, more intensive treatment is advisable.

IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program)

Despite the name, an IOP is not the most intensive form of outpatient treatment. 

Although programs vary from facility to facility, most IOPs will deliver from 12 to 15 hours of weekly therapy. Sessions are scheduled on weekdays at a treatment facility. 

As you hit your treatment goals, you may be able to reduce the intensity of therapy. All the best IOPs will be personalized. 

An intensive outpatient program helps you to create a robust framework for sustained recovery without needing to commit to the burden of a full-time outpatient program. Those in need of full-time outpatient programming should consider a PHP.

PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program)

A PHP (partial hospitalization program) is the most intensive form of treatment for addiction outside of residential rehab. 

PHPs offer highly structured therapy over 30 to 35 hours per week. You’ll attend sessions at a treatment facility during the day and then return home or to a sober living community.

As long as you can commit to such an intensive form of treatment, engaging with a PHP could mean the difference between recovery and relapse. 

What is involved in outpatient rehab, then?

What is Involved in Outpatient?

Regardless of the intensity of treatment, outpatient rehab offers access to the following therapies: 

Each time you attend the treatment center, you’ll engage with a personalized array of the above therapies.

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What Does a Day in Outpatient Rehab Look Like?

With so many variables, there is no fixed timescale to outpatient rehab. 

The core difference between the outpatient programs outlined above is the weekly time commitment required: 

  • OP: 2 to 4 hours of therapy per week
  • IOP: 12 to 15 hours of therapy per week
  • PHP: 30 to 35 hours of therapy per week 

You will attend a treatment center to engage with medication-assisted treatment, counseling, psychotherapy, and holistic therapies, usually on weekdays. Some rehabs also offer evening and weekend sessions, enabling you to pursue your recovery around your existing obligations. 

To illustrate days at outpatient rehabs unfold, we’ll expand upon the therapies and services offered.

Individual Counseling

Working one-to-one with a counselor or therapist, you’ll have a chance to explore the specifics of your addiction. 

Your counselor will help you to identify what triggers you to abuse substances and they will also help you to create healthier coping strategies to minimize your chances of relapse. 

These individual sessions also allow you to address any problems or obstacles you are facing in this phase of early recovery.

Group Therapy

Group counseling and therapy sessions form the backbone of most outpatient rehabs. A counselor will lead discussions on topics related to addiction and recovery. 

Although you won’t get the personal attention provided by face-to-face counseling, you should find support from peers in a similar situation.

Other Features of Treatment

All good outpatient rehabs also offer the following treatments and therapies:  

  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment): MAT is a core component of treatment for many people grappling with alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, and heroin use disorder. There are several FDA-approved medications to streamline withdrawal and recovery from addiction to those substances. Although many people engaging with MAT find inpatient rehab is a better fit, you can still take advantage of medication-assisted treatment via outpatient rehabs. MAT is always most effective when combined with psychosocial and behavioral interventions.
  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy): CBT is a form of psychotherapy or talk therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy lets you explore the closely intertwined nature of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. A therapist will help you unpack your personal addiction triggers and help you to formulate robust coping mechanisms to better navigate life’s stressors without substance use.
  • DBT (dialectical behavior therapy): DBT was originally developed to treat the symptoms of BPD (borderline personality disorder) and is now used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. A therapist will help you to regulate your emotions, live in the moment, and improve your interpersonal relationships.
  • Family therapy: Addiction is a family disease impacting all family members. If you require assistance in mending relationships unraveled by the consequences of your addiction, many outpatient rehabs organize family therapy sessions alongside your treatment.

Relapse prevention and management: NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse) reports that from 40% to 60% of those in recovery from addiction will relapse at least once. As such, all good outpatient rehabs will focus on preventing and managing relapse after discharge.

Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

Studies show that intensive outpatient treatment is as effective as inpatient treatment for most addictions. 

Outpatient rehab is not a lesser version of inpatient rehab. You get access to the same therapies and treatments. 

The most crucial variable in the outcome of outpatient treatment is whether or not you are a suitable candidate for this form of rehab.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatment

If you engage with an inpatient rehab program, you’ll remain at the treatment center for the duration of the program. These are the most common forms of inpatient treatment: 

  • 30-day
  • 60-day
  • 90-day 

The optimum length of stay depends on the scope and severity of the addiction, as well as any co-occurring mental health disorders. 

You can find inpatient rehabs with basic shared rooms or upscale residential rehabs resembling luxurious hotels. The price of treatment varies considerably to reflect the quality of the accommodation and services offered. 

Expect highly structured days with healthy meals provided in a communal setting. 

Residential rehab has a proven success rate, but you should consider the pros and cons before committing to this form of treatment.

Benefits of inpatient rehab

  • Medically supervised detox for a safer and comfier detox
  • Continuous medical, clinical, and emotional support from detox to discharge
  • Highly structured programming
  • Encourages the formation of new, healthy habits
  • Complete nutritional support
  • Environment free of triggers and conducive to recovery

Drawbacks of inpatient rehab

  • Requires a month or more away from commitments at work and home
  • Not usually covered by health insurance
  • The most expensive form of addiction treatment
  • Often unnecessary for those with mild alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder
  • Outpatient rehab allows you to engage with the same addiction treatment as you would find in inpatient rehab in a non-residential capacity. 

Here are the chief benefits and drawbacks of outpatient rehabs.

Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

  • The most affordable form of addiction treatment
  • Typically covered by health insurance, per the ACA (Affordable Care Act)
  • Highly flexible programming allowing you to commit to recovery around your personal and professional commitments
  • Allows you to remain connected with your personal support network
  • Discreet route to recovery

Drawbacks of Outpatient Rehab

  • Offers insufficient support for more severe alcohol and drug addiction
  • Doesn’t include medically supervised detox
  • Not recommended for those with unstable or volatile home environments
  • Can be challenging for those not fully committed to recovery

Finding an Outpatient Rehab in California

Now you have a clear understanding of what to expect from inpatient and outpatient rehab, how can you find a suitable treatment facility? 

First, consider the following questions: 

  • How long have you been abusing the substance?
  • How much of the substance are you consuming?
  • Do you need a medical detox?
  • Are you using more than one substance?
  • Do you have a co-occurring mental health disorder?

If you have a milder addiction and stable home environment, you may determine that outpatient rehab offers you enough support and structure, start by asking your healthcare provider for recommendations. 

While California Detox doesn’t offer outpatient services, we do have a connections in the area that can help you with your recovery journey following a stay at our inpatient detox and residential rehab.

To get started right away, reach out to California Detox today at (949) 694-8305. Still wondering if you need rehab? Learn more here.


Cost will vary from person to person as insurance coverages are different as well as what facility you are seeking help from.

Current law in the United States requires insurance providers to cover substance abuse treatment, including outpatient rehab. That said, coverage is different for everyone, so please reach out to our team to determine what you qualify for.

The length of time at an outpatient rehab will vary from person to person. For some, a few weeks is all that’s needed. Others may need a few months. That said, following time at an outpatient rehab, clients should be set up with an aftercare and/or alumni program to keep them connected in a recovery community following discharge.


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