What to Expect from Outpatient Rehab

Physical therapist (20s) working with patient (50s), gait training on parallel bars. Doctors in background.

If you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may feel like you’ve destroyed your life. You may have lost your job, your home, as well as many of your friends and family members. However, it’s not the end of the world. You can turn your life around, and you can even rebuild those relationships that once seemed to be beyond repair. In order to do this, though, you must to go to rehab. Many people find that inpatient rehab is too much for them, especially if they still hold a job and functioning lifestyle. Outpatient rehab, though, may be the perfect fit.

A Medical Assessment

The first thing that you’ll do once you accept the fact that you need help and want to go through rehab is to have a medical assessment. This will help you and your treatment team determine what your needs are. You’ll need to be completely honest about your drug habits and how you feel about using those vices. If you aren’t open about your habits and your life, your treatment team won’t be able to put together a course of action that will address all of your needs.


One of the scariest part of going through rehab is the detox phase. If you’ve been using drugs for quite some time, your body will have become used to operating with drugs flowing through its veins. When you stop using drugs, your body feels as though it’s missing something. It essentially doesn’t know how to function properly without the drug. This leads to symptoms of withdrawal. No drug addiction can end until you go through this period of withdrawal and allow your body to get used to functioning without drugs.

It’s important that you have professional help while going through detox. It’s true that some people only experience symptoms that are similar to the flu, but that isn’t always the case. Depending on the drug you’re using, how long you’ve used, and how large of a dose you’ve been taking, your withdrawal effects can be much worse. You may even experience seizures and other life-threatening withdrawal effects. Always seek professional help when going through detox, as this is the phase during which many people either get discouraged or give up completely.


Once you’ve completed detox, it’s time to start your actual treatment plan. Your plan will be created to deal with your specific addiction, as well as to provide you the help you need to get sober and to remain so. You’ll see a therapist on a regular basis when you can fit it into your schedule. Unlike inpatient treatment, you’ll be able to create your own schedule, although you may be required to meet with your therapist or to do other specific tasks on a weekly basis. It all depends on what you have going on in your life. If you are employed, for example, your plan will take that into consideration.


Once you’re done with your outpatient treatment, the programme isn’t necessarily over. Without post-treatment assistance and the all-too-important transition phase, you will probably relapse very quickly. Instead, you’ll get all the help you need in order to continue moving forward in your life with aftercare treatment. You’ll still have access to your therapist; you can get help when you need it, and you’ll receive aftercare resources that will help you identify/quell cravings. With these tools, you can go forward with your life and avoid relapse.