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Everything you need to know about getting help for addiction as an outpatient in the UK.

Holding down a full time job but want to break free from addiction? Running a large family, either with a partner or on your own, and in need of rehab help but can’t take a break? Do you travel often for work and can’t find a month off for a full 28 day rehab program? Then outpatient rehab could be the ideal treatment for your addiction.

What it means to be treated for addiction as an outpatient?

When you are treated as an outpatient you don’t need to worry about shirking your responsibilities to go to rehab. You can work out a treatment plan that fits around you and your lifestyle, while still allowing you to get off drugs or alcohol.

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Are there different Types of Outpatient Rehab Treatment?

There are a few different types of outpatient rehab that you can choose from.

Alcohol Home Detox

In recent years, medical teams have been looking at ways to take some of the pressure off a slightly overwhelmed service by providing alcohol home detox kits. These are only available for those that meet the eligibility criteria and who are suffering from alcoholism. If you are looking for a drug detox program, you may have to go through detox as an inpatient, depending on your substance misuse and the time you have spent addicted. If you need more information on drug detox, follow this link.

Day Treatments

Dayhab is a relatively new concept which allows you to go to rehab through the day, fitting it in around your work. They tend to be private only, although some NHS assisted rehab courses might include day sessions at one-off dayhab.

Secondary Treatments

Secondary rehab treatment is almost always given as an outpatient. This is the term we use to describe treatment for addiction given after regular residential rehab, that helps you transition back into normal life. If you have recovered entirely as an outpatient, you won’t need this period because you will already be transitioned into normal life.

Private Outpatient Rehab

When you are seen as a private outpatient, you tend to have a wider choice in the types of therapy used. Since you are paying for the therapist’s time, you can receive more attentive care with the likelihood of an increase in therapy sessions. A private rehab centre is usually a full-time, residential facility, but this isn’t always the case. You can receive outpatient treatment whether you are a private patient or whether you are using the NHS.

NHS Outpatient Addiction Services

NHS outpatient services helps to free up space in rehab centres. They will provide you with arranged appointments with therapists or doctors, and sometimes might give you access to online therapies. Medications can be prescribed and visits from a health visitor might be useful to you. The reason so many of our clients opt for a private outpatient care service as opposed to an NHS outpatient treatment plan, lies in the range of therapists and psych services that are available for online consultations, rather than meeting in person.

What’s Included in Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

Below is a list of some of the things you can expect to find at an outpatient dayhab, should you go private.

Detoxing from drugs and alcohol

You may or may not detox as an outpatient depending on the severity of your addiction. Before you attempt it, you ought to speak with a doctor. Detox at home can be medically assisted.

Group Therapy

Peer support and group therapy sessions have both been used to successfully treat addiction since the first AA meeting in the early 20th century.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy uses talking therapies to explore your thoughts and actions, and the correlation between the two. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of addiction in multiple studies but has also proved especially helpful in patients with co-occurring disorders[i].


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is often used to explore the thoughts and actions of those with mental health issues, or with strong reactive responses. It has proven to work as an addiction treatment, as well as in the treatment of those who are displaying risky behaviours[ii].


Motivational interviewing is often used to spur a recovering addict on towards future goals. This helps them remember who they were before they started using, as well as giving them things worthy of recovering for[iii].


Motivational Enhancement therapy works in the same way as MI, to help the individual set new goals in life. One study even saw this used as an effective treatment for pregnant substance abusers[iv].


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can be used to help addicts accept their past and themselves and commit to changing for the better. ACT is used to address mental and physical health problems, as well as to treat addiction[v].

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy[vi] focuses on the relationship you have with the people around you. The focus on these relationships can give the recovering addict the boost they need to stay sober. Studies have shown this to be particularly effective in helping women break free of substance abuse disorders[vii].

Diet and Exercise

You won’t perhaps receive the same attention to detail that a meal plan could be if it was given as an inpatient, but you will still be invited to attend exercise sessions as part of your new healthy lifestyle. Studies indicate exercise increases well-being and self-confidence in the recovery stages[viii].

Educational Workshops

Educational workshops can cover anything from getting your CV sorted out to learning how to prevent a relapse. Furthering your education while in outpatient rehab gives you another place to focus your mind and take it off the addiction. Studies have found this sort of training improves attitudes and gives recovering addicts more confidence[ix].

Family Sessions

You may wish to bring your family along to some of your therapy sessions. Addiction is a terrible vice that hurts the people who love us most. Getting help as a family could go a long way towards healing rifts. Studies have found that family sessions for addiction recovery gives ‘promising’ results[x].

Holistic Therapies

Depending on your rehab/dayhab clinic, they may even offer you things like Reiki and acupuncture as rehab therapy tools. Don’t scoff, acupuncture has shown to be effective as an addiction therapy since it lowers cortisol[xi].

Can I Do the 12 Steps as an Outpatient?

You can do the 12 steps as an outpatient or continue the 12 steps as an outpatient after you leave rehab.

Can I Detox at Home?

You can detox at home only if your condition is mild enough. See our pages on alcohol home detox for more.

Free Consultation about Addiction

You can contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your addiction. Not sure if you have one? Not sure what you want to do about it? That’s fine! Call our team for a chat and we will talk through your options.

Where can I find outpatient rehab treatment?

We can guide you through your options and help you find an outpatient rehab clinic near you. Alternatively, browse our partners’ dayhab page over at the Farm.

The Farm Dayhab – Full Outpatient Rehab Program

The Dayhab is owned and managed by the Help4Addiction Group. Dayhab is designed so that you can get treatment without having to stay on site. You simply arrive to our facility in Radlett each evening for 28 days where you will be treated by a Registered Therapist.

Please call us on 0203 955 7700 for further details or visit Our Advisors are on hand to help provide guidance and pricing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need answers about outpatient services for rehab clinics in the UK? If so, call our team on 0203 955 7700 or browse the frequently asked questions below.

Getting rehab as an outpatient is when you attend a clinic or centre through the day, usually in the evening out of working hours.

If you have a full-time job, a family you need to co-parent, or are otherwise unable to attend an inpatient rehab clinic, you would be an outpatient.

There’s no difference in the level of treatment you receive. The only difference is that you don’t live onsite when you attend outpatient rehab.

If you have a busy home or work life, you need outpatient rehab help. If you can take a few weeks off from your normal responsibilities, then inpatient or private rehab clinics have a slightly lower relapse rate because of their intensity and aftercare.

The aftercare services your rehab clinic offer are the resources available to you when the main part of your addiction treatment is concluded. Usually, it includes phone support and group therapy.

Absolutely! It doesn’t remove you from potential situations where you might use drink or drugs, so the weight is on you to keep away from them. If you are helpless in the face of your substance abuse, you should opt for inpatient rehab instead.

You can get outpatient rehab help in every major town and city throughout England and Wales.

You don’t have to trouble yourself. You can call our team who will ask key questions. They will use your answers to find the best match in rehab for you, in your area. You can go local or national if you choose, whatever makes your recovery simplest.

Yes, it usually is. This is because room and board, as well as meals and cleaning costs, are included when you operate in an inpatient centre.

There should be one in your nearest big town.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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