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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

November 17, 2023

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Rehab after work allows those with mild or moderate addictions to engage with structured addiction treatment while remaining anchored to their personal and professional commitments.

Most after work rehab programs involve between 9 and 12 hours of weekly therapy in an outpatient setting. This makes an IOP (intensive outpatient program) the most suitable option in most cases.

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How to Establish Whether You Have a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) defines alcoholism (alcohol use disorder) and drug addiction (substance use disorder) as chronic brain disorders characterized by the compulsive use of alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs regardless of negative outcomes.

Addiction is diagnosed according to the number of criteria present. The diagnostic criteria for addictions are outlined in DSM-5-TR (the most current edition of APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as follows:

  1. Taking more of the substance than intended.
  2. Trying and failing to moderate or discontinue substance use.
  3. Spending lots of time obtaining and using the substance, as well as recovering from the effects of substance abuse.
  4. Experiencing powerful cravings for the substance.
  5. Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school.
  6. Using substances even though it is causing problems in your closest relationships.
  7. Spending less time on favored activities and interests.
  8. Frequently using substances in potentially dangerous situations.
  9. Ongoing substance use despite a physical or mental health condition being causes or inflamed by substance use.
  10. Tolerance forming so that more of the substance or more frequent doses are required to achieve the same effects.
  11. Presentation of withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the substance.

Addictions are diagnosed as follows:

  • Mild addictions: Two to three criteria.
  • Moderate addictions: Four to five criteria.
  • Severe addictions: Six criteria or more.

If you feel that you meet the diagnostic criteria for addiction, you should consult your physician and request a diagnosis, referral, or recommendation for rehab.

Deciding to Go to Rehab

There is no cure for addiction, but almost all substance use disorders respond positively to evidence-based treatment. This typically involves a personalized combination of these pharmacological and behavioral interventions:

Recovery from addiction is not one time-limited event like detox, but an ongoing series of events.

2020 data from SAMHSA show that while 40 million U.S. adults meet the criteria for substance use disorder, fewer than one in ten connect with professional treatment.

One of the primary barriers to treatment for many people grappling with addiction is the restrictive nature of residential rehab.

Rehab after work offers those unable to put personal and professional commitments on hold for a month or more the chance to get the structured therapy they need.

What Is After Work Rehab?

After work rehab refers to outpatient treatment for addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs.

Outpatient programming connects you with the same services and therapies that you find in residential rehab. Sessions are scheduled on weekdays and evenings at a drug and alcohol rehab center. Between sessions, you will return home or to a sober living community.

Most rehabs will offer a choice of the following outpatient programs:

  • OPs (outpatient programs): 2 to 3 hours of weekly treatment sessions in an outpatient setting.
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs): 12 to 15 hours of weekly treatment sessions in an outpatient setting.
  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs): 30 to 35 hours of weekly treatment sessions in an outpatient setting.

Increasingly, drug and alcohol rehabs are also offering remote rehab, allowing those unable or unwilling to access a treatment facility to get the professional help they need.

Research indicates that IOPs are a crucial part of the continuum of care for addiction treatment, treating most mild and moderate addictions as effectively as inpatient treatment.

For many people exploring the idea of going to rehab after work, an IOP is the most appropriate program.

If you are at risk of severe withdrawal, it is advisable to undertake a supervised medical detox. If you can arrange a week or so off work, you can take advantage of medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings when you withdraw from drugs or alcohol at a licensed medical detox center. You will also benefit from around-the-clock emotional and clinical care, minimizing the likelihood of relapse.

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What Does After Work Rehab Involve?

Although the specifics of treatment programs will vary depending on the rehab, most IOPs take a broadly similar approach.

Alcohol use disorders and opioid use disorders both respond positively to MAT (medication-assisted treatment). Medications approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) can streamline detox and encourage ongoing abstinence throughout an IOP.

MAT is always most effectively administered in combination with behavioral changes. Medications can address the physical aspect of withdrawal and recovery, while behavioral therapies help you to make lasting change.

You will attend counseling sessions in both individual and group settings. This allows you to explore the specifics of your addiction and learn more about addiction and recovery in general. Group sessions offer you peer support from others in similar situations. During an IOP, there is more focus on group therapy than on one-to-one treatment.

A core component of intensive outpatient treatment is talk therapy, clinically described as psychotherapy. You will work closely with a therapist to explore the interrelated nature of your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is proven effective for treating both substance use disorders and mental health disorders. A therapist will help you to identify what triggers you to use alcohol or drugs. You will also develop healthy coping mechanisms to help you deal with everyday stressors in your recovery.

Most after work rehab programs last for a few months.

What Are the Benefits of Going to Rehab After Work?

Attending addiction treatment sessions after work is not the right approach for everyone with a substance use disorder. For those with severe addictions, co-occurring disorders, or unstable home environments, residential rehab is almost always advisable.

Assuming you have a mild or moderate addiction, attending an IOP has many potential benefits, including:

  • Flexibility: The primary benefit of an IOP for those who require after-work rehab is the flexible nature of these programs. As long as you can commit to between 12 and 15 hours of weekly therapy, you should still have time to fulfill your personal and professional commitments without compromising your recovery.
  • Affordability: Firstly, going to rehab after work allows you to continue working and earning. Additionally, a three-month IOP could cost as little as $5,000. A thirty-day inpatient program, by contrast, could cost $20,000 or more.
  • Covered by insurance: Since the enactment of the ACA (Affordable Care Act), major health insurance providers are obligated to provide coverage for addiction treatment. While not all insurance carriers will meet the costs of inpatient treatment, almost all will provide coverage for after work rehab programs.
  • Discretion: You can expect complete confidentiality when engaging with addiction treatment at a drug or alcohol rehab. If you opt to pursue an IOP, you can get the help you need without alerting others to this.
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Rehab After Work at Renaissance Recovery Center

If you feel you need to address an addiction without taking time off work, we can help you achieve this at Renaissance Recovery in Southern California.

We specialize in the outpatient treatment of the following conditions:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Mental health disorders
  • Dual diagnosis (co-occurring disorders)

In most cases, those requiring addiction treatment that fits around a regular working schedule find that an IOP offers the optimum route to recovery.

Intensive outpatient treatment at Renaissance allows you to access these services and interventions:

  • MAT
  • Psychotherapy (CBT and DBT
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapies
  • Experiential adventure therapy

Addiction has high relapse rates, so your treatment team will ensure you leave Renaissance with the following:

  • Aftercare plan
  • Relapse prevention and management strategies
  • Access to alumni program

Move from active addiction into ongoing recovery by attending rehab after work. Call 866.330.9449 for immediate assistance.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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