Skip to main content

The substance use treatment landscape is ever changing, adapting to the many different needs of individuals in recovery. That’s because not everyone responds the same way to a specific treatment process, which requires health professionals to develop other methods of recovery support that fit the wide variety of situations out there.

Intensive outpatient programs are yet another option, tailored specifically for those who need rigorous treatment but can’t risk leaving home. Ideal for employees, for parents, or for people who otherwise can’t commit to an in-patient setting, an intensive outpatient program aims to combine everyday life with drug abuse treatment.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Unlike an in-patient program that requires participants to live within the treatment center throughout the duration of the process, an intensive outpatient program requires that individuals attend therapy sessions and other treatment schedules as they resume living at their own home.

These programs were tailored for individuals with a home setting that’s conducive for recovery. That means they are surrounded by supportive, loving family and friends that won’t sabotage their recovery progress. Intensive outpatient programs are also often the treatment of choice for individuals with work or family commitments that they can’t leave behind to join an in-patient program.

What to Look for in An Intensive Outpatient Program

So, what makes a good intensive outpatient program? There are several factors to look into if you’re looking to find the best outpatient drug rehab center near me. These include:


The first and most important factor to look for is whether the treatment program uses therapies and approaches that are evidence-based. There are way too many programs out there that replicate what they think therapy should look like without actually consulting medical journals and research when developing their program.

Evidence-based treatment programs use established treatment concepts that have been tried and tested throughout the years. Therapists should know what questions to ask, how to respond to participants’ questions, and what to say based on scientific evidence as opposed to simply using subjective ideas to cater to participants.


The best outpatient drug rehab programs are the ones that are readily available to those that need them. If an outpatient drug rehab center is asking you to submit way too many documents that could take months to complete, or if they’re asking you to wait in line before you get admitted into their program, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Remember, substance use disorder is a condition that requires timely and rapid care and treatment because of the nature of dependence, addiction, and tolerance. As soon as you realize the need for treatment, it’s best to get into a program as soon as possible.


Yes, there will be times when you’ll get to enjoy therapy sessions with others enrolled in the program. But that doesn’t mean you all have to get exactly the same treatment. Individualized outpatient drug rehab programs place emphasis on the specific struggles and difficulties that each participant has. In doing this, health workers target individualized weak points that might be the cause for drug use in the first place.

It’s also important to keep in mind that individualization doesn’t only come in the form of the treatment process itself. Even your therapists, counselors, and other health care workers should be able to tailor their behavior and demeanor to match every individual patient. This helps create a more comfortable atmosphere for each participant, encouraging them to trust more readily and reveal vulnerabilities.

Strong Social Support

One of the challenges with an intensive drug rehab program is that it’s outpatient. That means that once the individual returns home, therapists and counselors have no power to control what happens outside their treatment center. With temptations and urges a very real threat, relapse is a potential danger.

For this reason, your chosen intensive outpatient treatment program should provide strong social support through a variety of avenues. Online groups, frequent individual updates, and access to recovery resources should be ever available for individuals to support their journey even while they’re at home. Some programs even have visiting schedules so therapists and health care workers can assess the situation at home.

Sufficient Time

Your intensive drug rehab program should be anything but short. For the effects of treatment to really make an impact, it’s important that these programs help individuals establish routines and healthy coping mechanisms which could take months. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals should spend no less than 90 days in an intensive treatment program to increase the chances of success.

But other than the duration of treatment, the time spent in treatment each week should also be closely monitored. According to experts, participants should spend an average of 12 hours in treatment every week, but the hours vary from person to person. Others can cope fine with just 9 hours clocked in each week, while others need to be present at least 20 hours a week.


A good program shouldn’t be just interested in the here and now. Intensive outpatient programs will end, and you will graduate from the intensity and level of care that they provide. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can live your life independently of any sort of sobriety support.

Intensive outpatient drug rehab programs should keep your future in mind, giving you options to transition you into a less intensive treatment style once you’ve successfully completed their program. Always ask about their future plans for your sobriety journey to find out how they plan to support you once you’re deemed fit to move on to the next step.

Something for Everyone

If you’re looking for the best intensive outpatient program Dallas has to offer, you should consider the qualities of a reliable center. No doubt, there are lots of service providers out there these days, and while they all have one goal in mind, not all of them will be a fit for your needs and preferences. So don’t hesitate to shop around, ask questions, and scout your options. Doing so should help you find an ideal provider that can help you successfully overcome your situation.

Learn more about our services or contact us below to discover how Lighthouse can help you on your road to recovery today. Thank you for your trust.