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Outpatient Heroin Detox & Rehab Centers

Once heroin addiction takes over a person’s life, which is typically the case in individuals who become addicted to the drug, tailored, timely addiction treatment is crucial for treatment effectiveness and long-term recovery.1

Outpatient treatment in a public or private program is a flexible solution available to individuals who are motivated to seek treatment but who need it to work around their schedule and enables them to continue living in their homes and communities.1

This type of substance abuse disorder (SUD) treatment is designed for individuals who do not meet the diagnostic criteria for higher-intensity treatment.2 Recovering individuals may also progress to outpatient treatment following a higher-intensity treatment program.2

Levels of SUD Treatment

Addiction treatment programs are classified into several types or modalities which continually evolve and diversify. Treatment approaches are adapted to individual treatment-seekers’s needs, but their purpose is the same: to produce lasting behavioral changes the person needs to make in order to achieve lasting recovery.1

According to ASAM, there is an early intervention level and four broad levels of service within the full continuum of care designed to cater to the recovering individuals’ changing needs. These levels of care vary in intensity:3

  • Early Intervention
  • Outpatient Services
  • Intensive Outpatient/Partial Hospitalization Services
    • Intensive Outpatient Services
    • Partial Hospitalization Services
  • Residential/Inpatient Services
    • Clinically Managed Low-Intensity Residential Services
    • Clinically Managed Population-Specific High-Intensity Residential Services
    • Clinically Managed High-Intensity Residential Services
    • Medically Monitored Intensive Inpatient Services
  • Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient Services

What to Expect at an Outpatient Heroin Rehab?

Medically managed withdrawal is a component of both inpatient and outpatient treatment.1

Upon detoxification and medically managed withdrawal, which are typically the first step in the treatment process, recovering individuals undergo assessment and referral to treatment that is expected to produce a desirable outcome.1

Types of Outpatient Heroin Rehab

Outpatient rehabs can take the following forms:2

  • Outpatient Programs (Level 1)
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment programs (IOT) (Level 2.1)
  • Day programs and Partial Hospitalization Services (Level 2.5)
  • Aftercare (continuing care)

Outpatient treatment

Outpatient treatment encompasses organized services that may be delivered in a wide variety of settings. This level of care consists of less than 9 hours of service/week for adults, or less than 6 hours a week for recovering adolescents. The focus is on recovery and motivational enhancement therapies and strategies.3

IOT, Day Programs and Partial Hospitalization Services

Intensive Outpatient Treatment programs, day hospital treatment, and Partial Hospitalization Services are typically involved in substance abuse treatment beyond the initial 4 to 12 weeks.2 

These levels of care address multidimensional instability and encompass services designed to meet the complex needs of individuals struggling with addiction and co-occurring conditions. The schedule of an IOT program is flexible and delivers services during the day, before or after work or school, and/or on weekends. It consists of 9 or more hours of service a week or 6 or more hours for both adults and adolescents.3

IOT programs have the following features:2

  • Contact hours: 6 to 30 hours on a weekly basis.
  • Stages: Step-down and step-up stages which vary in intensity and duration.
  • Duration: minimum of 90 days followed by continuing outpatient care.
  • Core services and features: 
    • Program orientation and intake
    • Comprehensive assessment
    • Individual treatment planning
    • Case management
    • 24-hour crisis coverage
    • Medical treatment
    • Medication management
    • Psychiatric evaluation and psychotherapy
    • Substance use screening and monitoring
    • Diverse forms of counseling
    • Support groups
    • Vocational and educational services
    • Transition management and discharge planning
  • Enhanced services (recreational activities, adjunctive therapies, training and education and other forms of support).

Partial Hospitalization Services offer 20 or more hours of service a week and they are suitable for individuals who do not require 24-hour care. Treatment services are delivered during the day as day treatment or partial hospitalization services.3

Outpatient Heroin Rehab Therapies

The following approaches used in outpatient rehab include and form the core of treatment for IOT programs:2

  • 12-Step facilitation
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
  • The Matrix model
  • Therapeutic community (e.g. family therapy)
  • Community reinforcement and contingency management

Cost of Outpatient Heroin Rehab

Different factors affect the cost of outpatient heroin rehab:2

  • Duration of program
  • Therapies included in the program
  • Core services and enhanced services tailored to individual needs

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Heroin Rehab

Whether inpatient or outpatient rehab is more suitable for a treatment-seeking individual and their changing needs depends on multiple factors which also illustrate the major differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab:2

  • Level of care
  • Length of treatment
  • Cost
  • Personal commitment to treatment and recovery

Inpatient treatment programs vary in intensity, but they typically offers 24-hour care, a broader range of services, last longer and cost more.3

Higher-intensity treatment programs do not need to be voluntary to be effective, but outpatient programs require personal commitment and the importance of responsibility to the program through regular attendance, compliance with program rules, active participation in support groups and other community activities, etc.2

A person may be transitioned to the IOT program from an inpatient or residential facility.2

Alternatively, an individual may begin SUD treatment in an outpatient setting but may need to transition into a more intensive level of care, such as intensive outpatient treatment or inpatient treatment.4

Outpatient Heroin Rehab Near Me

There are various outpatient treatment facilities and programs across the country, and individuals typically get into an outpatient heroin rehab facility that is closest to them.1 At American Addiction Centers, we can verify your insurance coverage for you so you can see immediately if you’re in network.

Looking for Outpatient Heroin Rehabilitation Programs? Discuss your treatment options in absolute  privacy and confidence. 1-888-496-8059 Who Answers?

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Outpatient Drug Rehab?

Outpatient treatment varies in the intensity and types of services available to treatment-seeking individuals, depending on their specific characteristics and needs.1 The cost of this form of treatment is typically lower than the cost of the more intensive levels of treatment such as inpatient or residential treatment.

Certain low-intensity outpatient programs may focus on drug education alone, while high-intensity outpatient models such as intensive day treatment can be just as effective, systematic and comprehensive as inpatient or residential programs.1 What many of these programs have in common is that they put emphasis on group counseling.1

This treatment is considered to be suitable for individuals with jobs who cannot afford to be away from home for a long time, those who do not require extensive medical support or those who have a strong social support network.1

Outpatient programs, just like other addiction treatment programs, may adress medical or other mental health problems in addition to drug addiction itself.1

How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

The first step in heroin addiction treatment is typically detoxification which also serves to help the person overcome withdrawal.1 What happens next depends on whether the treatment-seeking individuals meet diagnostic criteria for residential or inpatient treatment.5

Some individuals are discharged from 24-hour care in an inpatient treatment facility and may then be ready to transition into an outpatient rehab program which offer ambulatory services and support.5

Recovering individuals can greatly benefit from services offered in outpatient treatment programs because they are provided in outpatient settings which which may facilitate and improve their adjustment to community life as they are not required to leave their homes and communities,.5

Does an Outpatient Rehab Center Treat Mental Health?

Some outpatient rehab centers have the resources to provide a vast range of services, including treatment of mental health disorders in addition to substance abuse treatment.2

This is an essential component of IOT programs, whereas traditional outpatient care may or may not address the mental health aspect.2

How Much Does Outpatient Heroin Rehab Cost?

As far as the cost of outpatient treatment goes, it depends on the duration of treatment and factors such as the scope of services included.2 

Standard outpatient programs’ treatment duration ranges from 45 to 60 days, while IOT programs typically last between 30 and 90 days.2 

Treatment-seeking individuals receive the initial recommendation for treatment duration during the initial assessment, but this is subject to change and dependent on factors such as the client’s clinical needs, support system, and psychiatric status.2 

It is generally considered that longer duration of care is related to better treatment outcomes, as well as that periodic follow-up sessions on a long-term basis may lead to a more favorable outcome.2 Treatment-seeking individuals can call specialized heroin addiction treatment hotlines to verify their insurance coverage and payment options for outpatient treatment, as well as to find other essential information.2

Are Outpatient Rehabs Effective?

Special adjustments to outpatient treatment may be needed to individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders or similar issues – the more comprehensive the treatment, the more effective it is likely to be.2

In terms of reducing the rate of drug use, outpatient rehab appears to be effective for moderate and heavy drug users.6 But individuals who leave outpatient treatment require appropriate aftercare such as continuing community care through support groups to help them maintain abstinence, avoid relapse, return to normal functioning and adopt a healthier lifestyle.2 

The duration of continuing community care depends on individual needs. Due to the chronic, relapsing nature of addiction to heroin and other forms of SUDs, recovering individuals may need to remain in treatment for many months or years.2

Those who relapse may need to either return to outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment or enter another form of treatment which is more in accordance with their changing needs in order to regain abstinence and return to continuing community care.2

Some recovering individuals in intensive outpatient or standard outpatient drug treatment programs may need to stay on medication-assisted treatment for a certain period of time, depending on their progress, to help them sustain long-term recovery.2

Need Help Finding Outpatient Rehab Centers Near You? Consult an admissions navigator to find out more about your options. 1-888-496-8059 Who Answers?


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Types of Treatment Programs
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). TIP 47: Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment.
  3. ASAM Continuum. (2015). What are the ASAM Levels of Care?
  4. Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program. (2017). Overview of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Care Clinical Guidelines: A Resource for States Developing SUD Delivery System Reforms.
  5. Dennis McCarty, Lisa Braude, D. Russell Lyman, Richard H. Dougherty, Allen S. Daniels, Sushmita Shoma Ghose, Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon. (2014). Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence.
  6. JSTOR. (2002). The Productivity of Outpatient Treatment for Substance Abuse.

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