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Massachusetts Outpatient Rehab

What Is Outpatient Rehab in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts outpatient rehab is a type of rehab with a flexible structure for people who want to get addiction treatment with minimal disruption to their daily routines.
For many people, addiction is a chronic, often relapsing disorder. And as with most chronic illnesses, treatment is step-by-step, long-term, and aims to improve quality of life and prevent relapse.
Outpatient treatment centers, hospitals, mental health clinics, and behavioral counselors provide outpatient addiction treatment services in Massachusetts. The Bureau of Substance Addiction Services oversees and licenses these facilities and professionals per the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also known as SAMHSA.

Types of Outpatient Rehab in Massachusetts

The types of outpatient rehab programs in Massachusetts vary from low intensity to high intensity, depending on the client's needs. This level of intensity is typically measured in the hours per week a client must attend rehab sessions.
It is also worth mentioning that while some clients transition or start with higher intensity outpatient programs, others match into lower intensity programs from the onset.
Beginning from the most to the least intense, the types of outpatient treatment in Massachusetts include:

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Also known as day treatment in Massachusetts, PHP is a step down from a total inpatient or residential rehab program. It is the most rigorous type of outpatient care. Rehab centers for PHP provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment for addiction, but clients need not stay overnight.
Clients in a partial hospitalization program visit the center for individual and group therapies based on their recovery plan for four to eight hours per day, depending on the level of care they need.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs, or IOPs, are an ambulatory service for clients who have completed inpatient or residential treatment but need continued support, albeit less than is provided in a general outpatient rehab program.
Although Intensive outpatient programs are very similar to PHP in terms of structure, the number of hours per week is lesser. Generally, clients attend sessions spread out over at least nine hours per week.

General Outpatient Program

This type of outpatient program is the most flexible and least restrictive. It is usually a step down from more intensive levels of care like PHP and IOP but can be the preferred first option for clients with mild addiction who do not need to make major changes to their daily schedules.
Outpatient treatment occurs during weekly or biweekly visits to the rehab center, and each session lasts about two to three hours.

Continuing Care

Continuing care, also known as aftercare, is offered after a client has completed outpatient rehab but needs support to maintain sobriety. This program also requires visits to the rehab center, but sessions with the therapist are less frequent and shorter.
The focus is on relapse prevention and abstinence which is achieved by linking clients to self-help meetings, outreaches, peer-based mutual support groups, and 12-Step fellowships varieties, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Benefits of Outpatient Rehab in Massachusetts

In outpatient rehab, clients do not have to lose work hours to therapy sessions. Also, not taking a leave of absence from their place of work ensures their privacy.
Furthermore, living at home and going to work exposes clients to their triggers and stressors, allowing them to practice their newly learned coping skills on the go. In addition, the cost of getting outpatient treatment is significantly lesser than other types of rehab.

Services Offered in Outpatient Treatment in Massachusetts

Different rehab centers integrate components that they deem necessary for their client's recovery. But the core outpatient treatment services rendered in Massachusetts are:

Individual Therapy

In individual therapy, clients meet one-on-one with a professional who works with them to identify internal and external triggers and contributing factors. Clients gain insight into their condition and discover alternative coping mechanisms for their stressors and triggers.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The techniques in CBT are based on operant conditioning. Here, individuals learn to recognize and modify thought patterns to change their behavior towards drug use.

Contingency Management

In contingency management, the care provider uses incentives to reinforce positive behaviors. These positive behaviors are self-determined therapy goals like regular outpatient treatment program attendance.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing aims to resolve ambivalence in persons receiving addiction treatment and are faced with temptations to relapse. The rehab specialist mostly listens, guides, and reminds clients about their resolve and reasons for long-term sobriety.

Family Therapy

Substance use disorder affects the client and their loved ones. As such, family therapy is a necessary part of addiction treatment. This service lets family members unburden their feelings, build trust, resolve differences and learn ways to help their loved ones through recovery.

Group Therapy

Group therapy lets people in rehab share their recovery stories and ways they have coped with addiction. The sessions are most helpful for people early in the recovery journey.

Holistic Therapy

These are interventions that adopt a holistic approach to healing without medication. The focus is on healing the mind, body, and soul through activities like acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and art therapy.

Interdisciplinary Management

Having a mental illness like depression or anxiety is a risk factor for developing substance use disorders. Likewise, addiction can worsen existing mental conditions. Indeed, it is not uncommon to have clients with co-occurring mental disorders or dual diagnoses. As such, outpatient rehab centers in Massachusetts also provide outpatient treatment for physical and mental conditions besides addiction.

Other Services

Other services available in Massachusetts outpatient rehab centers include withdrawal management services, emergency services, medication treatment, relapse prevention programming, and vocational training.

How Long Does Massachusetts Outpatient Treatment Last?

The duration of outpatient treatment program varies with the severity of addiction and clients' needs. Most people spend an average of 100 days in outpatient rehab in Massachusetts, per the 2019 SAMHSA report.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab in Massachusetts

Outpatient treatment is not necessarily a substitute for inpatient treatment. Rather, it is on the continuum of care to ensure sustained progress in recovery, prevention of relapse, and smooth reintegration into the community.
Although the criteria for admission into inpatient and outpatient treatment are slightly different, a good number of research studies have shown that the difference in the result between intensive outpatient programs and inpatient treatment is not significant. This makes treatment duration, cost, and access to family support the main points of comparison.


Inpatient rehab programs, though more intense, are usually of shorter duration (thirty to ninety days). On the other hand, outpatient programs can continue for several months, depending on the client's needs.


Despite the difference in duration of the program, Massachusetts outpatient rehab is generally less expensive than inpatient rehab. This difference is because outpatient rehab centers do not provide round-the-clock supervision and support for clients.

Family Support

Clients in Massachusetts outpatient rehab centers have the dual advantage of relying on the emotional support of their loved ones while also benefiting from the structured outpatient treatment that the program offers.

Outpatient Rehab Near Me

When finding a rehab program in Massachusetts, something to keep in mind is the center's approach to outpatient treatment. The best rehab centers provide individualized care as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach. You should also consider personal needs for cost, sexual orientation, gender identity, or faith.
Call (800) 662-4357 to speak with a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration representative regarding finding an outpatient rehab center that fits your needs. Your conversation is private. Alternatively, use the SAMHSA substance use treatment locator to locate nearby rehab centers.
Likewise, the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides referral services for people who need addiction treatment in the state. Call the helpline at (800) 327-5050 or search the agency's rehab finder to access a list of state-approved outpatient treatment facilities.