Whilst Outpatient programs have the advantage of containing costs relative to Inpatient Facilities and enabling clients to continue normal activities (work, family, education, etc.), there are disadvantages to these programs in their purely singular use. Relapse rates are high for clients who do not live in environments that support recovery and the progress made while attending Outpatient Programs can be strongly undermined by the characteristics of the social environment in which these clients live.
To restate, these programs face significant challenges treating clients who reside in destructive living environments. These clients face daily stresses and sometimes actual social encouragement to use substances. These social factors have and will vastly eclipse the gains made in Outpatient Treatment. The lack of supportive living environments for Outpatient Treatment clients is a significant concern given a variety of scientific studies having shown the provision of a socially-supportive and community-based living environment as being directly related to better outcomes.