Outpatient Treatment Program (OP) Los Angeles

What is an Outpatient Treatment Program?

Outpatient treatment programs, or OPs, are an effective and very flexible kind of treatment program for those with substance use disorders. While individuals with extremely severe problems might need the more intensive support system of an inpatient or residential treatment program, outpatient programs have the advantage of allowing the recovering individual to continue living at home.

An outpatient treatment center works with individuals and their families to develop both a short and a long-term plan to deal with the substance abuse problem. Unlike intensive outpatient programs or partial hospitalization programs, basic outpatient programs have a low time commitment. Thus, patients can pursue recovery without sacrificing their work, school, or family commitments. This flexibility allows recovering individuals to achieve their sobriety goals and other personal goals simultaneously.

Outpatient treatment programs are usually held in a clinic, office or community mental health center and last for around two hours a day. While these programs are designed so that patients can sleep in their own homes at the end of the day, some do find it beneficial to enroll in a sober living home as well. This can make recovery far simpler, especially if home life is not conducive to recovery.

For those finishing a residential treatment program or an intensive outpatient program, an outpatient program can be a great way to transition to “real life.” It allows people to settle into a normal life routine while still getting crucial support for recovery and mental health.

Our Levels of Care

Partial Hospitalization

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) are a great option for individuals who want the intensity and structure of an inpatient treatment program with the flexibility of an outpatient program.

Intensive Outpatient

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) provide individuals with a thorough, daily regimen of group and individual therapy that newly sober individuals need in the first few months of recovery.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs are an effective and very flexible kind of treatment program for individuals struggling with addiction, mental health and impulse control disorders.

Aftercare Planning

Aftercare treatment programs are services that people who graduate from inpatient and outpatient programs are advised to make use of to facilitate long term sobriety after leaving treatment.

How Does an Outpatient Treatment Program Work?

Most patients enroll in outpatient programs after being sober for several months. It is most common for enrollees at an outpatient treatment program to attend the program for a short period only each day — often only 2 hours. Unlike a residential program, the entire day isn’t determined by the program. The rest of the day can be used freely, though many do choose to continue pursuing recovery activities, such as attending 12-step meetings.

Outpatient treatment centers vary widely in terms of treatment philosophies used. How a treatment plan is implemented partially depends on the patient’s history and state of mind. Most outpatient programs, however, make use of a variety of common practices and techniques. These include:

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is used by most treatment plans to address underlying psychological issues that led to the use of drugs and alcohol. The most prevalent and evidence-backed form of treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. Because CBT is extremely goal-oriented, counselors find it uniquely useful for treating recovery from substance addiction. CBT can also be used to help individuals identify triggers and dangerous thought patterns that might provoke a relapse.

Family Therapy

Trained counselors can help patients come to a better understanding of their family dynamic. While it is common for people to talk about addiction and mental illness as if they’re private individual problems, the reality is that family relationships are often an important factor when understanding the underlying issues behind a substance use disorder. Family circumstances that are abusive or relationships that are codependent can drive people to seek drugs and alcohol. Counselors can help by examining family dynamics and helping patients rethink their own role in the family. Doing so not only helps people with recovery, but it can help repair damage that they did when they were actively abusing drugs and alcohol.

Group Therapy

Group therapy allows patients to cooperate in developing new coping skills. Group therapy has varied purposes. In the context of outpatient treatment, it is often used for life skills training, learning meditation and mindfulness techniques, and learning specific relapse-prevention strategies. Group therapy also gives individuals the chance to begin nurturing a sober social support system that will continue to develop long after the treatment plan is over.

Psychiatric Evaluation

Outpatient programs enroll many patients with untreated mental health disorders. An initial assessment is used to determine the patient’s needs, after which a psychiatrist prescribes medication as needed to provide the patient with relief. Many individuals who have never had any relief from anxiety or depression before find medication crucial to their recovery from substance addiction. Many outpatient rehabs also have psychiatrists on hand to monitor withdrawal.

Skill Building Workshops

Outpatient programs are designed to aid patients in living their lives. As such, they operate on the assumption that most recovering individuals aren’t just struggling to stop using a substance — they’re struggling to live. Drug addiction causes many patients to neglect important life skills. Outpatient treatment programs offer a variety of skill building workshops that help recovering individuals rebuild their lives from the ground up.

Aftercare Planning

Before a patient is discharged from an outpatient treatment program, caseworkers and counselors work with them closely to develop an aftercare plan. If a patient needs medical care, the OP will help locate the services they need. Others might benefit from enrolling in a sober living home. Many recovering individuals move on to support groups and 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These programs have meetings throughout the United States and are a cost-free and widely accessible program of recovery and social support system.

Should I Go To Outpatient Treatment?

If you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from an addiction disorder or other mental health condition, our assessment may be a beneficial tool. Although the assessment can not be used as a definitive diagnosis, it can help to determine how suitable outpatient treatment may be to a person’s life.

The Benefits of an Outpatient Treatment Program

It Allows for a Flexible Schedule

Another huge advantage of outpatient treatment programs is that support groups at the treatment center happen for a limited period of time each day. This allows patients to get a sufficient level of care without having to postpone or rearrange work, family, school, or other life commitments. Full-time residential programs and IOPs can seem out of reach for people with children and families to take care of. Others risk losing their jobs if they commit to a full-time residential program. Each case varies widely. Of all the types of treatment facilities available, outpatient treatment programs allow the most flexibility.

It’s Great for Transitioning from An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

After completing an intensive outpatient program or residential program, many are unsure of their next move. Research suggests that the longer a recovering individual follows a treatment plan, the lower their chances of relapse down the line. By enrolling in an outpatient program, patients can smooth out the transition to normal life. They can continue to develop their sober support network, repair relationships, and work on addiction recovery. There’s no need to pursue that in isolation just because one has graduated from one’s IOP.

It's Affordable

Outpatient treatment programs are by far the most affordable types of treatment. Unlike residential treatment programs where patients are required to pay for a bed and lodging, outpatient treatment facilities only require patients finance the services offered. Outpatient treatment programs also carry a smaller price tag than intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs, which are more expensive because they last for a longer period of time.

Outpatient Treatment Program for Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders

Outpatient treatment programs can be especially beneficial for patients who have a mental health disorder other than a substance abuse problem. Drug and alcohol problems can be insurmountable for this population of people because of the way substance use disorder interacts with other mental health disorders.


Patients who possess one or more mental health disorders in addition to substance use disorder are called “dual diagnosis” or “comorbid.” Comorbidity refers to the phenomenon whereby the disorders mutually exacerbate each other. As a result, dual diagnosis treatment involves a process called integrated treatment. This means that strategies for coping with mental illness are combined in the same package with treatments for substance use disorder.

Mental health disorders that are common in dual diagnosis patients:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorder
  • Mood disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder

Are You a Good Candidate for an Outpatient Treatment Program?

Outpatient treatment programs are a level of care that recognizes that individuals have broad and varied lives. The level of care is not as intense as that which residential or inpatient programs offer. However, it has the advantage of letting patients develop a strong social support system and program of recovery for drug or alcohol abuse without demanding they put their lives on hold. Outpatient treatment programs are appropriate for a diverse array of groups, including:

Those with work or school commitments
Recovering individuals who want treatment without breaking the bank
Recovering individuals transitioning out of inpatient treatment or IOPs
Recovering individuals who prefer to live at home for family reasons
Individuals whose addiction problems are not life threatening but demand attention

How Do I Find and Make Financial Arrangements for an Outpatient Treatment Program?

Outpatient treatment programs, or OPs, are an effective and very flexible kind of treatment program for those with substance use disorders. While individuals with extremely severe problems might need the more intensive support system of an inpatient or residential treatment program, outpatient programs have the advantage of allowing the recovering individual to continue living at home.

Find Outpatient Treatment Program Near Me

It is important to spend some time researching before selecting an outpatient program. If you are transitioning from an inpatient rehab or intensive outpatient treatment, your case worker can likely help recommend a program that suits your needs and goals. You can also use any of the following resources:
  • The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator offered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website
  • Create Recovery Center’s staff and resources
  • A recommendation from a friend or acquaintance from Alcoholics Anonymous who has graduated successfully from an OP
  • A referral from a psychologist, counselor, or doctor

How Much Does an Outpatient Treatment Program Cost?

Outpatient treatment programs take place for only a short period of time each day. Patients also do not need to pay for a bed each night, as they would at residential treatment programs. As such, outpatient treatment programs are affordable to most people seeking treatment. While quality varies and so does cost, another important factor to consider is length of treatment. However, despite its affordability, patients who are leaving rehab programs to enter an outpatient treatment rarely have much disposable income. Luckily there are numerous ways to finance one’s recovery, including:
  • Health insurance. Not all substance abuse treatment programs accept insurance, and likewise your insurance company might not cover certain OPs. But this is always a good first place to investigate.
  • A negotiated payment plan. Some programs make arrangements for people who are down on their luck.
  • Not everyone is able to ask for help from friends and family, but those who still have this kind of support can likely find resources here.
  • Taking out a personal loan. Taking out a personal loan is not as hard as it sounds. It may even be a good investment in your financial future, since your earnings will likely increase if you achieve sobriety after financing your recovery.

Does Your Insurance Cover an Outpatient Treatment Program?

There are countless health insurance plans available on the market. Hence, the only way to determine if your OP is covered is to speak to your insurance agent. Nonetheless, it is important to understand that the Affordable Care Act makes addiction treatment an essential health benefit. Thus, insurance companies are required to pay for some form of treatment, though whether the specific outpatient treatment program you want is covered is up to the company — and the directors of the program itself! The best way to answer this question is to reach out to both parties.

Outpatient Treatment Programs at Create Recovery Center

Create Recovery Center specializes in all levels of care for recovering individuals with a desire to get and stay sober. Create Recovery Center recognizes that substance use disorder is more than just a physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. True recovery involves making use of holistic services that treat the complete person and allow them to rebuild their lives again from the ground up. To that end, Create Recovery Center offers a variety of services as part of its outpatient program that include but are not limited to:

Case Management
Career & Educational Planning
Psychoeducation and Experiential Groups
Individual Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Family Therapy and Group Therapy
Spiritual Guidance through 12-step Groups and 12-Step Alternatives
Psychiatrist Consultations and Medication Monitoring
Peer Mentorship Programs
Life Skills Coaching
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about Create Recovery Center’s outpatient treatment program in Los Angeles, California. One of our staff will take however much time is needed to determine your unique needs and design an appropriate treatment plan conducive to your long-term sobriety.