Drug Recovery Programs for Lasting Change

Thanks to the lifting of social stigma and the help of the Affordable Care Act, outpatient programs are available to more people than ever before. There are several outpatient treatment therapies like partial hospitalization, day therapies, and more, with each treatment center preferring their favorite method.

There are many ways to treat drug addiction, from medical detox and long-term pharmacotherapy to standard behavioral and emotional counseling. Each treatment method has its unique pros and cons. Each can be applied to dedicated rehab programs including intensive outpatient rehab, residential inpatient treatment, or aftercare support systems.

Table of Content

  • Differences in Outpatient and Inpatient Drug Treatment Programs
  • Who is Right for Outpatient Rehab?
  • What Happens During Outpatient Drug Rehab Programs?
  • Family Program
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Aftercare / Follow Up Treatment
  • Outpatient Rehab at Discovery Transitions

Differences in Outpatient and Inpatient Drug Treatment Programs

Residential treatment programs can last for a couple of weeks up to a few months. The length of treatment depends on the addict and their history of abuse. Inpatient is often the first treatment to turn to when the addict might be in danger of harming themselves or others, if the patient has a history of relapse, or if the patient has a severe substance use disorder. Residential treatment is also the best choice for chemically dependent addicts in danger of suffering severe withdrawal symptoms and for anyone who requires special medication or medical attention.

Outpatient drug rehab, while intense, is much less disruptive than residential care. Outpatient care, also known as intensive outpatient rehab, involves the same intensive counseling and therapy of residential treatment, while still allowing the recovering individual to go home and attend to other matters. Intensive outpatient rehab is an excellent choice for many with a variety of programs like daily 8-hour intensive outpatient treatment sessions, evening treatment, or weekend rehab.

Who is Right for Outpatient Rehab?

The two best fits for outpatient rehab are patients making a transition from residential treatment into secondary treatment and addicts who don’t require residential care and support to learn the lessons of sobriety. An ideal candidate for outpatient normally:

  • Is not in immediate danger of a health, legal, or psychological crisis
  • Has not been diagnosed with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and drug addiction
  • Has already gone through or does not need a medical detox
  • Does not require medical supervision
  • Is devoted to attending all necessary outpatient programs
  • Wants to completely leave their drug or alcohol problem behind
  • Does not have time or resources for inpatient treatment

What Happens During Outpatient Drug Rehab Programs?

Many are hesitant to enroll in a drug treatment program due to misinformation or fear. The more someone knows about outpatient programs, the less likely they’ll be intimated by the process. So, what happens during an outpatient program?

Every outpatient client is different and will have their own unique treatment plan. However, there are components that everyone should expect in an outpatient program including:


There’s much more to drug addiction than meets the eye. Certified drug addiction counselors will lead the outpatient program with lectures on drug and alcohol addiction. These lectures will include factors that lead to addiction, why some get addicted and others don’t, and the subtleties on how different substance abuse affects the body and mind. Understanding addiction helps outpatient participants realize there’s nothing morally wrong with them. Instead, they are suffering from a manageable illness.


Flushing the drugs from your system and becoming physically sober is only a tiny portion of the drug counseling program. You can get sober with a physical detox but you’re unlikely to stay sober without proper counseling. Discovery Transitions uses clinically tested and proven counseling methods like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI). These are done on both a one-on-one and group setting to help outpatient participants change the way they think about their addiction.

Family Program

Discovery Transitions in Los Angeles hosts a family program for outpatient participants. Addiction is known as a family disease because it doesn’t just affect the addict, but everyone around them as well. During family programs, a certified drug counselor meets with the family to explain the science of addiction, what their loved one is going through, and how to properly communicate and work with the addict during the recovery process. Counselors also discuss negative family habits like enabling or codependency. In addition, they teach the family how to make healthy and smart choices. Consequently, anyone participating in outpatient programs is strongly encouraged to enroll their family in counseling too.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention is arguably the most rigorous and important part of outpatient drug rehab programs. There are many parts of relapse prevention. Each aspect of the program does its duty to keep clients on the path to lifelong sobriety. A proper relapse prevention program includes:


A recovering addict must reflect on daily gifts and appreciate life.

Building Resources

Relapse prevention involves building your own recovery network through group meetings, sponsors, aftercare programs, and more.

Behavioral Therapy

Discovery Transitions uses CBT to teach patients how to change negative thought patterns into positive outcomes. Behavioral therapies like CBT and MI can help addicts learn to make better decisions in all parts of their life.

Creating Boundaries

Addicts must create boundaries to stay on the straight and narrow. This includes not visiting certain places, talking to certain people, or letting their minds wander to dark places.

Aftercare / Follow Up Treatment

Outpatient drug treatment can last weeks or months, but aftercare and follow up treatment is encouraged for decades. The intense counseling and education of outpatient intensive outpatient treatment can give you the foundation for life-long sobriety. However, you must continuously add to that foundation with aftercare programs and sobriety resources. Discovery Transitions’ outpatient programs work directly with aftercare programs and other secondary forms of recovery like 12-step meetings, SMART Recovery, and sober homes.

Outpatient Rehab at Discovery Transitions

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, it’s best to get help before all is lost. Los Angeles based Discovery Transitions’ intensive outpatient treatment programs has the right counseling, expert staff, and resources to help many types of patients no matter the drug addiction. Don’t wait another day. Pick up the phone to learn more about our customized approach, unique therapies, who’s a good fit for outpatient programs, and more. Discovery Transitions is here for you today.

Step Onto The Path To Recovery Today!