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California Outpatient Rehabs

What Are Outpatient California Rehab Centers?

California outpatient rehabs are non-residential programs designed for clients who need professional addiction treatment while maintaining existing commitment.
Clients who choose outpatient rehab programs do not live in California rehab centers. Instead, these persons receive detox, therapy, counseling, and crisis intervention during scheduled sessions multiple days a week. Generally, this type of rehab is best for people with mild addiction history. Still, persons who have completed a short residential rehab program for severe addiction can benefit too.
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) oversees and licenses outpatient rehab centers in California through its Substance Use Disorder (SUD) division.

What Are the Types of Outpatient Addiction Treatment in California?

The three types of outpatient treatment in California are designed to accommodate the client’s commitments. These include day programs, intensive outpatient programs, and continuing care, with varying levels of professional support available.
Thus, the choice of program typically depends on a person’s schedule, family support, level of addiction, addiction treatment cost, and stage of recovery.

Day Programs

Outpatient day programs provide the highest level of structure and care for clients.
In this program, the person commits to five to seven days per week in an outpatient rehab center for rehabilitation treatment. Generally, sessions run for three hours, during which clients get personal therapy, group counseling, and other addiction treatment services and develop sobriety skills.
Once the activities for the day are done, clients may return to their homes or a sober living home. The following are some services offered in day programs:

  • Management of detox and withdrawal symptoms
  • Development of problem-solving, social, and daily living skills for post-rehab life
  • Family or support system counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Education on identifying triggers and stressors that cause addiction
  • Expressive therapy (art, dance, music therapy)
  • Support for existing mental health issues

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) also provide a high level of structure and care for clients over a short period, and taper as the client recovers and sobriety skills improve.
Generally, IOPs are best for individuals who have undergone an inpatient program or partial hospitalization. Most IOP addiction treatment plans start clients on a nine-hour per week program for three months and reduce the number of hours as treatment progresses.
The services offered at IOP drug and alcohol rehab centers in California differ based on individual needs, but persons in these programs can expect to receive the following services:

  • Personalized monitoring for alcohol and drug levels
  • Mental health treatment
  • Group & individual counseling
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Vocational training
  • 24-hour crisis support
  • Nutrition and fitness programs

Continuing Care

Continuing care is recommended for individuals who have completed California rehab but want to retain professional support, albeit less intense.
In this type of outpatient rehab, a licensed therapist meets with the client during weekly, biweekly, or monthly group meetings and personal sessions. Most continuing care programs are for clients who need mental health care and continual revisions of their sobriety skills.

Benefits of California Outpatient Rehab

In California, outpatient rehab programs offer multiple benefits to people dealing with a substance dependency problem. The following are some of these benefits:


Outpatient rehab programs let clients receive professional addiction treatment while working, schooling, or raising a family. Clients visit at the specified time to receive their medication, therapy, counseling, or detox (where applicable). This flexibility is possible because the recovery specialist and the client work out a convenient schedule for California rehab and adjust as necessary.


Outpatient California rehab centers also maintain the client’s privacy. Generally, the rehab sessions are scheduled in a way that does not require the individual to disclose the reason for taking time off or leaving work.

Solid reinforcement against relapse

Outpatient rehab helps strengthen the client’s commitment to sobriety, especially in care groups, which create a safe space to heal and recover.

Services Offered in Outpatient Addiction Treatment in California

The outpatient addiction treatment services offered in California rehab centers will depend on the abused substance and the person’s tendency to relapse. The following are some of the services offered in outpatient drug rehab centers in California:

Counseling and Expressive Therapy

In California, outpatient rehab programs provide supportive and individual counseling to clients and families. The programs also hold expressive therapy sessions, including art and dance therapy, as a way for clients to reflect on their emotional states or revive old interests as healthy coping strategies.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This therapy focuses on helping the client recognize the unhelpful and negative thoughts and behavior that may result in substance abuse and dependence. An outpatient rehab program can help individuals pinpoint how thoughts and emotions affect everyday life.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment comes in the form of drug screening, mental health care, and detoxification. The purpose of medication-assisted treatment is to administer drugs that will ease symptoms while also keeping an eye on vital signs.

Life Skill Development

Counselors, psychiatrists, and staff members in outpatient drug rehab centers can help people develop life skills. These life skills include managing social situations, empathy, and critical thinking.

Referral Services

Outpatient rehab programs offer people with substance abuse disorders several opportunities in educational and vocational training services. Generally, training focuses on practical measures to prevent relapse and handle social situations involving drugs and alcohol. Addiction treatment center recovery specialists also refer clients for expert care where necessary, especially if drug rehab centers offer more beneficial services.

How Long Does Outpatient California Rehab Last?

According to the 2019 SAMHSA Report, the average length of stay in outpatient California rehab programs is four months and two weeks.
Generally, the duration of stay is affected by the following factors:

The Nature of the Addiction

Individuals with a long history of addiction or those with complex addictions may relapse if the California rehab program is less than three months. The same applies to individuals addicted to multiple substances. So, for individuals with mild substance abuse issues, the length of stay is usually three months, with 3-hour sessions per day.

Dual Diagnosis

In certain situations, persons dealing with substance abuse problems also have mental illnesses. In such cases, the rehab center has to treat both problems. The typical length of treatment for such instances ranges from three to 12 months with two to five hours of sessions per day.

Type of Substance Abuse

The type of substance abuse by the client is also a factor determining the length of outpatient treatment. Generally, the SAMHSA report reveals that detoxification in California takes six days. However, the duration may be more or less depending on the type of drug. Of course, this timeline varies with the client’s addiction history.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab in California

Inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment share the same objective: to help persons with substance abuse dependency issues achieve and maintain sobriety. However, both alcohol and drug rehab programs operate in diverse ways and knowing the difference can help concerned persons make the correct decision.
Inpatient rehab treatment centers are residential drug rehab centers where people with substance abuse disorders live and receive care and supervision for a stipulated time. In addition, such rehab centers provide the client with feeding, housing, emotional support, recreational activities, and surveillance. Inpatient alcohol and drug rehab programs offer intensive, recovery-driven, focused addiction treatment services that may last up to one month.
On the other hand, California outpatient rehabs are non-residential. However, the quality of service, care, and supervision remain the same. In outpatient rehab, individuals are allowed to work and visit friends and family while they work on designing a recovery plan. Outpatient rehab offers flexibility and is cost-effective, especially because clients can practice what they learn in counseling and therapy when out in the real world.

Find Rehab Centers in California

Residents can get referrals for drug and alcohol rehab centers in California and services from the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) division of the DHCS. The state agency also provides County Access Lines to persons needing information on substance abuse disorders. You can locate and call a SUD county agency according to your location.
Alternatively, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) by calling (800) 662-4357. Individuals can also locate rehab centers in California with positive ratings and assessments from independent specialists on the SAMHSA website.