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Pros and Cons of Outpatient Alcohol Rehab

When you weigh the pros and cons of outpatient alcohol rehab, remember that your goals and expectations for recovery will be vastly different from someone else’s. Focus on what is most important to you. After all, it’s your recovery you are considering.

PROS of Outpatient Alcohol Rehab

Ease of Access

Outpatient alcohol rehabs are generally more abundantly available in locations that are easy to travel to. They are often close enough to be accessible by public transportation which comes in handy for those who have lost their driving privileges because of their alcohol abuse. They are often open during hours that are convenient and have multiple meeting schedules for those who need flexibility in their time management.

Ease of Entry

Outpatient alcohol rehabs are less restricted in entry requirements than most inpatient facilities which may require certain levels of commitment to their programs including down payments or contracts. They also have shorter durations of detox stays which creates regular available openings.


You will find that many outpatient alcohol rehabs will be less expensive than inpatient programs and most are able to offset the costs in some way. They are often funded by state grants, communities, or other charitable organizations and have a greater degree of flexibility regarding payment schedules.

outpatient alcohol rehab

Outpatient alcohol rehab fosters a community feeling.

Community Involvements

A majority of resources that outpatient alcohol rehab programs use involve community connections with agencies that may assist with housing, economic, vocational, legal, family or basic obstacles a person needs to overcome in order to sustain their sobriety.

CONS of Outpatient Alcohol Rehab

“No Man is an Island”

According to studies by the Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Treatment of Alcohol Problems, “The point that alcohol problems do not occur in a vacuum is paralleled by the point that “no man is an island.” In general, a person’s social life can have a big influence on their alcohol problems as well as their recovery. Outpatient rehab allows them to remain active in society which could create a higher risk potential for relapse.

Specialized Services May Be Limited

For someone who has social instabilities such as homelessness, cognitive deficits, or lacking a support network in their home environments, outpatient rehab may not be suitable. These people, along with those that have serious physical or psychological disorders, may be better served by an inpatient or residential alcohol rehab that can ensure their safety and provide greater access to specialized services.


Getting back and forth to meetings and appointments may be burdensome if the person has little access to transportation or lives in a rural community where there is a considerable travel distance.

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