Lantana Recovery
A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

What is An Outpatient Drug-free Treatment – Everything You Need To Know

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Key takeaways:

  • Drug and substance abuse is increasing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 40 million Americans have some form of substance use disorder.
  • South Carolina has some of the best rehabs for those struggling with addiction.
  • Two types of treatment programs: inpatient and outpatient drug-free recovery.
  • Outpatient drug-free treatment is ideal for motivated individuals who want treatment to work around their work schedules.
  • Three types of outpatient drug rehab: Day Programs, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Continuing Care.
  • Outpatient rehab offers various therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), The Matrix Model, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and Contingency Management (CA).
  • The goals of outpatient drug-free treatment focus on behavioral changes and achieving psychosocial and legal goals.
  • Benefits of outpatient drug-free treatment include lower costs, privacy, and support from loved ones.
  • Outpatient drug treatment can be effective if individuals are motivated to put in the work.
  • The cost of outpatient drug-free treatment is generally lower than inpatient treatment.
  • Outpatient treatment programs may vary in length, but the average lasts about ten weeks.
  • Outpatient drug-free treatment can be enough for recovery, but continued support through AA meetings, NA meetings, or individual therapy is recommended for long-term success.

The problem of drugs and substance abuse is on the rise, especially during the covid-19 pandemic. According to the Centre of Addiction, 40 million Americans which is 1 in 7 people in the united states have some sort of substance use disorder be it alcohol addiction, drugs, or other possible substances. If you’re struggling with addiction in the state of South Carolina, here is the list of the best rehabs in South Carolina.

There are several types of treatment programs for individuals to get help with their substance abuse problem. Usually, there are -two types, inpatient treatment centers, and outpatient drug-free recovery programs. Inpatient rehab centers are not always an option for individuals because of their several limitations, while the outpatient facility is feasible for most. Let’s look at what services outpatient treatment provides.

Who is outpatient drug-free treatment for?

Outpatient drug-free treatment is a practical and ideal option for those patients who are motivated to change their situation and would want the treatment to work around their current work schedules. ‘“Drug-free” outpatient programs deliver treatment to the largest number of patients of all treatment modalities in the U.S., providing a significant opportunity to expand access to medication treatments for substance use disorders.

The decision to go for inpatient programs or outpatient drug-free treatment programs depends upon several factors such as affordability, work schedules, internal motivation, health insurance, etc. Among other things, individuals with strong family support systems and mild addiction are some of the things that are looked at before recommending outpatient over inpatient rehab. Moreover, this treatment option gives patients the freedom to stay in touch and in the care of their family members, friends, and other loved ones.

Treatment providers often have free consultation services to know which rehab is better for you. You may ask for an expert consult whichever treatment center you might visit.

Types of Outpatient Drug Rehab

Treatment programs vary according to the treatment provider as well as the form and severity of addiction the person has developed. The stage of recovery is also a factor in the treatment. For outpatient, there are three kinds of treatments available.

1. Day Programs

This program provides the highest level of care and support to the patient. The patient has to commit to attending therapy sessions at the treatment center five to seven days a week for some hours. The day programs do not require you to stay but this demands a lot of commitment which leaves little to no room for work or school

2. Intensive Outpatient Program ( IOP)

IOP is the establishment of a drug-free therapy plan with an expert who has defined goals. “IOPs are alternatives to inpatient and residential treatment. They are designed to establish psychosocial supports and facilitate relapse management and coping strategies” (Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence, McCarthy et al., 2014.) As the milestones are being achieved, the time committed to the therapies reduces. This program is suitable for people who can’t drop work or school but still want to get rid of their addiction. IOP requires several hours a week for therapies.

Outpatient Drug-free Treatment

3. Continuing Care

The treatment center holds AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings to provide ongoing support for the recovering addict. The groups are facilitated by a licensed therapist and weekly sessions are arranged. To make it easier for people to feel relaxed and trust their peers, some groups are age and gender-specific as well. These groups are open to people, you can look for recommendations

Therapies offered by Outpatient Rehab

Besides the usual AA and NA meetings or other group therapies, rehab centers like Lantana requires the recovering addict to go through all or a combination of the therapies mentioned below to provide support through group therapies but to also teach them important life-tackling techniques. These include tackling trauma and challenges in a healthier manner

1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is one of the best therapies to avoid relapse. It takes you through a journey of understanding the positive and negative consequences of drug abuse. With this therapy, it becomes easier to identify triggers in your own body and how to avoid them.

2. The Matrix Model

This model combines several techniques such as 12-step meetings, family therapy, drug education, and drug testing.

3. Motivational Enhancement Therapy

This therapy is helpful for patients who have been mandated by the court or by their loved ones to get into rehab. The therapist helps the patient find the positive motivation to leave drugs and break the resistance to treatment. This therapy includes assessments followed by 2-4 individual therapy sessions. After this, the patient is properly enrolled in outpatient recovery programs.

4. Contingency Management (CA)

This is the least taken path as there is an award or incentive attached to changed behavior by the addict. Governments usually take this initiative to control drug abuse and encourage treatments.

What are the goals of outpatient drug-free treatment?

Outpatient drug-free treatment focuses more on the behavioral part of the drug use problem. This is a therapy-based program including behavioral pattern treatment, group therapy, family therapy, etc.

The person is required to meet the level of participation that will be set according to their need such as x number of visits per day or per week for x hours.

Once the commitment and need of the substance addiction are identified, some possible goals that the treatment facility aims at not only helping the individual get rid of their drug, alcohol, or any other addiction but also helping them create social and psychological changes in their behaviors. These include employability, psychosocial and legal goals as well.

What are the benefits of outpatient drug-free treatment?

An outpatient drug-free treatment program while it’s not for everyone and relies heavily on the patient’s own motivation, it is a treatment option for individuals who can meet the required commitment. Some of the benefits of outpatient drug-free treatment centers include lower costs, privacy, and help from loved ones. Inpatient treatment facilities cost around 40,000$ and outpatient treatment will go for as low as 3000$. One of the biggest roadblocks in rehab programs is shame and embarrassment faced by the patients, to counter this, an outpatient drug rehab center is a better option. Furthermore, many individuals can’t pick up their lives and move to inpatient treatment programs but have to work to provide for themselves and their families. Furthermore it becomes easier when you have the support and care of your loved ones to deal with your withdrawal symptoms while on treatment.

Addiction Treatment Center in South Carolina

If you or your loved one is looking for a nationally recognized and respected addiction treatment center in South Carolina, Lantana Recovery is a specialized drug rehab in Charleston. Lantana Recovery provides part-hospitalization rehab services and outpatient rehab services to people struggling with addiction.  We extend our drug rehab services to Greenville residents and our drug rehab services to Columbia residents and surrounding towns.

Does outpatient drug treatment actually work?

Outpatient programs are usually taken by people who are willing to put in the work to fight their addiction. American addiction centers as a result of research say 40% of people who go for outpatient treatments rarely relapse. The reason is that not only are they treated on a more behavioral and psychological level but also get to practice the skills in their daily life that they have learned during their counseling.

Another study suggests that those who complete outpatient drug treatment after being in an inpatient program are less likely to relapse, this is particularly for alcohol and marijuana.

How much does outpatient drug-free treatment cost

Inpatient treatment centers include drug testing, accommodation, patient care 24/7, and other recreational activities as well. Outpatient drug treatment is often lower cost and affordable for most houses in the US as it doesn’t include the cost of accommodation and use of recreational activities by the patient. Moreover, the treatment facility also has several sponsors such as Medicaid, Medicare, and various other government resources.

How long does outpatient treatment last?

Outpatient treatment programs may vary in length depending on the treatment providers. The average addiction treatment lasts about ten weeks. Some treatment centers go with the step-down approach. This drug rehab technique is comprised of cutting down the number of days or weeks of therapy sessions as the treatment progresses. So, the most intense sessions of the drug-free treatment program occur at the very start of the treatment.

Is outpatient drug-free treatment enough for recovery?

Addiction treatment which has spanned over years is very complex. Outpatient recoveries are used to treat alcohol and other substance abuse problems. Outpatient drug-free therapy work but the results need to be maintained by the individual after the therapies. The recommended path after the outpatient drug-free treatment is to go to AA meetings, NA meetings or continue individual therapy to keep the individual continuously improving.

We hope you come to a rightful conclusion for you or your loved ones regarding the kind of treatment they need with this article. Different forms of treatments are available for different needs, for expert advice or exploring treatment options, call our experts today.


Alan Goodstat

Alan completed a postgraduate degree in social work from Columbia University in New York City and is a licensed clinical social worker in FL, NJ, NC and SC. Over the past 30 years he has worked in various leadership roles in privately held organizations and private equity portfolio companies.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.