What is OP?


If you are looking into substance abuse treatment options for yourself or a loved one, you have likely come across the acronym OP. What is OP? OP is an acronym for Outpatient Program. An outpatient program, or OP, is a level of care in the substance abuse treatment continuum. The American Society for Addiction Medicine assigns a numerical level to all forms of substance use disorder treatment on a scale of 0-4 with 4 being the most intensive treatment. An outpatient program, or OP, is level 1 on the ASAM scale. By ASAM’s definition, an outpatient program is less than 9 hours a week. This level of care is typically preceded by one or higher levels of care in the ASAM continuum such as PHP or IOP. For more information on those levels of care please see below.


IOP- Intensive Outpatient Program

PHP- Partial Hospitalization Program


In a typical drug or alcohol outpatient program, an individual dealing with addiction or alcoholism will attend the program between 1 and 3 days per week. An OP session is typically 2-3 hours long with sessions consisting of a mix of group therapy led by a substance abuse counselor and individual therapy with a substance abuse counselor. 


Group therapy in OP


There are different types of substance abuse outpatient group therapy sessions. Some of the most utilized group types include psychotherapy groups, discussion groups, didactic groups, educational groups, process groups, and relapse prevention, groups. There is also experiential group therapy. These group types tend to be activity based and include art therapy, music therapy, recreation therapy, and adventure therapy. 


Individual Therapy in OP


Individual therapy sessions in addiction treatment OPs are typically one hour in duration and are more intimate meetings with the individual and their assigned substance abuse counselor. This allows individuals to discuss subjects they may not feel comfortable discussing in a group setting. It also allows for more individualized work to be done. The subject matter is very much led by the individual based on their current situation, issues, and needs. Counselors at times may increase the frequency of these sessions but 1x/weekly is the standard. 


Can I do OP from home?


Individuals may live at home locally within the community or in a supportive housing situation such as a sober living home while attending OP. This is solely at the discretion of the individual based on needs and personal living situation. Drug or alcohol outpatient programs can be attended 100% in person, 100% virtually, or in a hybrid model in which services are offered both in person and virtually throughout the week. A typical outpatient program for substance use disorder or co-occurring conditions will last 8-16 weeks depending on a variety of factors.


Harbor Wellness and Recovery Center proudly offers OP as one of our treatment options. Our facility is located in Holmdel, NJ with virtual or hybrid options also available. Please call us at 732-847-4555 for more information on our Monmouth county OP program or any of our treatment options.