Is Outpatient Treatment Right for Me?

You’re a busy person—most of us are. You have a job, a family, a pet, a house to keep up with, and a long list of unchecked boxes on your bucket list. In short, you might not be able to take 30 or 60 days off from these responsibilities and pursuits to attend an inpatient rehabilitation program. If you’re in this boat, and you’re looking for addiction recovery help, outpatient treatment might be right for you.

Outpatient treatment is a form of clinical treatment that allows you to receive professional help from addiction specialists while maintaining your family and career responsibilities. Experts generally agree that inpatient treatment is more effective than outpatient, but if your schedule prevents you from attending an inpatient program, outpatient is probably your next best option.

The advantages of attending an intensive outpatient program (IOP) range from receiving professional help at an affordable price, to maintaining your responsibilities during the treatment process, to connecting with a dynamic community of recovering addicts. We spent some time putting together a list of some of the most compelling reasons to attend an IOP.


Meet Jenny.

Jenny struggles with drinking too much alcohol but has been able to maintain her job and most of her relationships while beginning to develop an addiction. Her doctor has recently recommended she get help. Jenny is married, has 3 kids, and works part-time as a secretary at the local elementary school. She loves to spend time with her family and friends and enjoys taking long walks with her neighbor when she has the time.

Jenny knows that she needs to get help for her progressing addiction, but she isn’t able to walk away from her job and family for a month to attend residential treatment. Outpatient programs were made for people like Jenny.

Most IOPs meet 2 to 4 times per week, for 2 or 3 hours each meeting. Many programs will even allow their patients to attend an occasional meeting or counseling session remotely using a video call. When you add up the meeting time, and time spent working on recovery assignments, attending an IOP is like taking on a 10 to 15 hours per week part-time job. Here’s how IOP integrates into Jenny’s schedule:

Attending an IOP will minimize the disruptions to Jenny’s daily routine, and allow her to maintain her job, and family life, all while getting professional help a few times a week.


Although outpatient programs don’t provide housing, meals, and other amenities you’ll find at most inpatient facilities, they do tend to be much more affordable than inpatient treatment. And most of the time, insurance companies will help pay for a majority, if not all, of your treatment bill.

It does vary from IOP to IOP, but you can count on your bill being much smaller in comparison to an inpatient facility. In Jenny’s case, the insurance provided by the school for which she works has a low medical deductible, allowing her to attend the program at a low cost.


Finding an AA meeting group is a good place to start, but the group meetings in outpatient treatment will have a higher level of focus and direction. The support of your outpatient recovery community can play a huge role in your recovery process.

Many times, people who are able to overcome their addiction(s) attribute their success to relationships they made along the way, or to a specific individual who challenged them. You may find this person, or this group of people while attending an outpatient program.

Professional Help

In an IOP program, you’ll receive professional help from experienced, certified addiction counselors. Many of the counselors have been through addiction in their past, and will be able to relate with your struggles of maintaining a job and family while going through the recovery process.

IOP at Duffy’s

Duffy’s IOP program, located in Calistoga, CA, is designed to help people with insurance constraints, or work and family obligations that are preventing them from attending a residential stay. Our goal is to help each patient take the first step in their recovery process.

Our IOP meets 9 hours per week and is led by the same experienced counselors providing care at our residential facility.

Learn more about our IOP >

Find Hope and Help Today

Whether you live down the street from our IOP facility, or somewhere on the other side of the country, we urge you to get the help you need. Don’t hesitate to reach out and share your struggles with a family member, friend, or local treatment center and take your first step towards a life of recovery today.