Attending Rehab After Work: Is It Possible?

3 min read · 5 sections
Work and family obligations can make it difficult for some individuals to participate in inpatient treatment. However, depending on your needs, various outpatient options may allow you to go to rehab while working, attending school, or caring for children, elderly relatives, and even pets.
What you will learn:
After work rehab options.
Types of outpatient treatment and therapies.
How to find outpatient treatment.

Can You Go to Rehab and Still Work?

Making time for and committing to treatment are critical for recovery. However, the reality is that some people have work, family, school, and even pet-care responsibilities that make attending inpatient care difficult. Thankfully, various types of outpatient programs offer flexible sessions during the day, in the evenings, and on weekends that may allow patients to work while receiving treatment.

That said, it’s important to consider your unique needs and whether outpatient programs are the best fit. After all, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment regime for everyone, and successful recovery requires a customized solution.

So who might be a good fit for outpatient after work treatment?

It’s important to consult addiction and healthcare professionals to better assess your needs and whether outpatient, after work care is appropriate. However, addiction professionals typically recommend these programs for people with mild to moderate addiction. Often, these patients don’t need 24/7 care and can function in everyday life. On the other hand, if your addiction is debilitating, stepping away from your environment and into an inpatient program to focus on healing might be a better choice.1

Another essential factor to consider is your support system.2 During inpatient treatment, patients have the care and attention of addiction counselors, medical professionals, and their peers 24/7. In their home environments, patients may not have anyone in their corner to support their efforts, or they may have friends and family that may actually threaten their recovery.

Finally, aside from the aforementioned factors, outpatient care is likely best suited to people who have adequate living arrangements that support sober living, transportation to outpatient sessions, and the motivation to attend consistently.3

What Is After Work Rehab?

Typically delivered in clinics, rehab facilities, and counseling offices, after work rehab is available in many forms. Often, this outpatient care is similar to inpatient treatment with variations only in the intensity of care, duration of the program, and number of sessions per week. Thus, some outpatient programs offer detox, behavioral therapies, one-on-one counseling, group sessions, peer support, and more.2

Outpatient rehab can be the start of a patient’s journey to healing, perhaps preceded only by a short detox period. Or, outpatient treatment can be a continuation of care following inpatient services. That is, it can help people transition into a new normal following the structured care of an inpatient setting.

Depending on the level of addiction, the chosen outpatient care provider, the facility’s schedule, and more, after work rehab may involve the following services.

  • Detox. The first step of treatment for many people, detox is the period during which the body rids itself of harmful substances. During this time, the patient may experience symptoms of withdrawal. Medical and addiction professionals may be able to assist with the symptoms and related cravings by providing various types of support. Depending on factors such as the degree of addiction, severity of potential withdrawal, substance used, and more, detox may be accomlished in either inpatient or outpatient settings.2
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP). A step down from inpatient treatment and a step up from traditional outpatient care, IOPs provide similar therapies and care to those found in inpatient settings, just at a lower intensity. With programs lasting roughly 90 days, IOPs typically require patients to attend 6 to 30 hours a week while living at home. IOPs are often followed by a lower level of outpatient care.4
  • Traditional outpatient care. The least intensive of outpatient options is traditional outpatient care, which typically involves less than 9 hours per week of services. These services usually include once- or twice-weekly family, individual, and/or group counseling and other services.3
  • Telehealth. Substance use disorder treatment is also available via telehealth programs, which are typically delivered through video, phone, email, or online chat.5 With several options for care, patients can interact with a therapist live or through prerecorded services. Programs offer telehealth in conjunction with other outpatient programs or on their own. Like traditional outpatient programs, patients can attend a few hours a week or as needed.
  • Aftercare. After a patient completes an outpatient program, experts agree that aftercare is vital to promote long-term sobriety.2 Aftercare can take many forms, including continuing therapy, support groups, sober living, and more. Aftercare often requires less commitment than a formal program providing more independence as patients adjust to life in recovery.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are another form of outpatient care. They’re often referred to as the midway point between inpatient and outpatient treatment.6 Many rehabs, such as some American Addiction Centers treatment facilities, offer PHPs comprising 6 to 8 hour blocks for 3 to 7 days per week. This schedule could make working difficult if not impossible, and additional work and family oblications may hinder the recovery progress. Nevertheless, it’s another available outpatient option that may offer some flexibility over inpatient treatment.

Types of Therapies Offered at After Work Rehab

When people attend rehab while working, they receive many of the same evidence-based therapies used in inpatient programs with slight variations. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some of the more common types of therapies include:2

  • Individual therapy. One-on-one counseling with a therapist can help patients learn more about their addiction triggers and how to manage them.
  • Group therapy. Group therapy offers a space to connect with and learn from others on the journey to recovery while supporting and holding each other accountable.
  • Family therapy. When someone is fighting addiction, they’re often not the only ones suffering. Family therapy helps people repair relationships with loved ones and find ways for everyone to move forward.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). As one of the most common addiction treatments, CBT is a talk therapy that helps patients identify and change behaviors contributing to the addiction. Patients explore the consequences of continued drug use, learn to recognize cravings, and develop healthy coping skills to promote long-term sobriety.
  • Community reinforcement approach plus vouchers (CRA). This approach uses recreational, familial, social, and vocational reinforcers along with material incentives to make abstinence more rewarding than substance use.
  • Contingency management (CM). With CM, patients get tangible rewards to encourage positive behaviors such abstinence from drug use. For example, someone who passes a drug test might get a voucher or a prize, motivating them to keep moving forward.
  • Motivational enhancement (MET). This therapy helps patients come to terms with getting treatment and quitting drug or alcohol use. Therapists use motivational interviewing to help patients build a plan for change and offer encouragement.

Benefits of Rehab After Work

Attending rehab after work comes with many benefits. First and foremost, it’s flexible, so you can tend to many of your daily responsibilities while getting the treatment you need. You won’t have to compromise on all of your obligations to build a happier, healthier life.

Seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction is nothing to be ashamed of, but understandably, many people prefer a discreet option for treatment. Outpatient programs can also maintain your privacy and allow you to focus on recovery. That is, given the flexibility of many programs, you need not tell everyone that you’ve entered treatment. Additionally, outpatient rehab is usually more affordable than inpatient rehab, so services might represent a smaller financial burden.

Once again, however, it’s critical to match your needs to the appropriate level of care. An addiction specialist or your primary care provider (PCP) can help you decide on a suitable program.

Also keep in mind that your initial selection isn’t permanent. If you opt for inpatient treatment, but you and your care team realize you’re ready for outpatient care, you can transition to that level. The reverse is true as well. If you aren’t progressing in outpatient care, you may decide to switch to an inpatient program. As your needs change, your treatment plan will accommodate these changes.2

How to Find After Work Rehab

Myriad outpatient programs are scattered across the United States. American Addiction Centers has a host of facilities with after work rehab options, along with inpatient, PHP, sober living, detox, aftercare, and more.

If you have health insurance, one of the best ways to begin your recovery is to verify your insurance to see which facilities are in-network with your provider and what levels of care are covered under your plan. Contact AAC to complete the insurance verification process.

Even if you don’t have insurance, however, there are still many ways to pay for rehab. Several state and federal organizations offer grants and scholarships for those seeking treatment. Some treatment facilities also provide flexible payment options, such as sliding fee scales, where how much you pay for treatment is based on your income. Plus, there are free as well as state-funded programs that may meet your needs.

Working while attending rehab is possible, but there are several factors to consider. Whether you have questions about insurance, treatment, rehab locations, or getting help for a loved one, reach out to AAC at to learn more and take the first steps toward recovery.



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