Inpatient treatment involves staying at the facility. Therefore, it makes sense that outpatient treatment would involve you living at home. Many people view this as being the ideal situation for them, but this isn't always the case.
There are two main types of outpatient rehab. One type involves you meeting with your therapist regularly. They may offer you group therapy, but this isn't common. You will most likely just meet with the therapist on a regular schedule. At first, your appointments may occur weekly, and then become less frequent as you improve. Eventually, you may only need to see your therapist on a monthly basis. However, be prepared that it can take some time to get to this point.
Intensive outpatient treatment is much more common for people who have never been to rehab before. This is an option you might want to consider if you're unable to commit to an inpatient stay. If you're advised that you need a high level of care, an IOP might work really well for you.
IOP programs involve multiple appointments throughout the week for several hours at a time. They're very flexible. Some facilities hold their programs during the day, and others hold them in the evening. This allows you to continue to work and take care of your family, if you need to.
During IOP, you'll experience many of the benefits of inpatient treatment. You'll have one-on-one therapy with your counselor and you'll have group therapy. Some programs even offer special events for their patients to participate in.
Outpatient may or may not be the right option for you. However, it's important for you to know that it is an option that is available to you, if you need it.