What is Outpatient Treatment?

If you have a mild or short lasting addiction, you might be able to overcome it through outpatient treatment. This form of drug rehab could also provide you with the flexibility you need to continue keeping up with your responsibilities at home, work, and school. Read on to find out more:

Understanding Outpatient Treatment

Before enrolling for outpatient treatment, you should first go through a thorough assessment and evaluation. If you are deemed to have a severe substance use disorder, a co-occurring mental health or medical disorder, or addiction involving certain drugs, inpatient treatment might be suitable for you. This is because you would have to receive medically supervised detoxification services to manage your withdrawal symptoms and drugs cravings.

On the other hand, if you are diagnosed with a mild substance use disorder that is still in its early phases, you may benefit from outpatient treatment. This form of rehab would also be ideal if you are already motivated to overcome your addiction but still need a flexible recovery program so that you can continue keeping up with your responsibilities.

Through outpatient treatment, you will receive rehabilitation sessions that will be scheduled for several hours every week. Through this schedule, you will be able to undergo treatment while also keeping up with your daily obligations at home, school, and/or work. However, you would still have to check into the outpatient treatment center depending on your schedule so that you can receive the rehabilitation services you need to overcome your addiction.

Today, outpatient treatment is offered through a wide variety of rehabilitation. They all differ in terms of intensity but also offer a wide array of specialized services that might be crucial to your recovery. Even so, most of them will focus on education, counseling, and support networking.

If you are strongly motivated to overcome your substance use disorder or you have created a committed and disciplined recovery approach, outpatient treatment might be ideal for you.

Types of Outpatient Treatment

As we mentioned earlier, several formats are used in the provision of outpatient treatment. The type of treatment that you will receive will largely depend on a variety of factors. These factors include the stage of recovery you have achieved, the severity of your substance use disorder, and the intoxicating and mind altering substances that you are addicted to.

That said, outpatient treatment will typically fall into any of the following categories:

1. Day Treatment Programs

This type of treatment program will provide you with the best structure and highest level of care when you opt for outpatient rehabilitation services. When you are enrolled into such a program, you will have to commit to receiving treatment anywhere between 5 and 7 days a week for several hours every day.

The program will also allow you to benefit from ongoing therapy on an individual basis, biofeedback therapy, group counseling, and many other adjunct therapies like music, art, and equine therapy.

At the end of the session, you will be required to check out of the outpatient treatment facility. You can either go back home or to a sober or transitional living facility. That said, most day programs will require that you make a considerable commitment of your time and energy. As such, you might not be able to continue going to school or working until after the program comes to an end or you achieve progress in your recovery.

2. Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

When you choose an IOP, you will get to work with highly qualified addiction treatment professionals. These experts will help you create a treatment and recovery plan with measurable and defined milestones to indicate your progress.

When you meet any of these milestones, your time commitment at the program will be reduced. This means that you can reduce the total number of hours you check into the intensive outpatient program with every milestone that you achieve.

IOPs are a great option if you are already committed to overcoming your substance use disorder but still need some help while also meeting your daily responsibilities at home, work, or school.

Often, these programs will require that you attend outpatient treatment sessions several times for a couple of hours every week. During these sessions, you will undergo individual therapy, group counseling, 12 step group participation, and relapse prevention education.

3. Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

On the other hand, you can receive outpatient treatment from a partial hospitalization program. As the name suggests, you will be required to check into a clinical or medical facility for several hours every day or every week.

During your time at the facility, you will receive ongoing therapy and counseling. Some centers might also offer medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms and any other adverse effects arising from your substance use disorder.

Partial hospitalization programs are ideal if you display intense withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that require medication management services. They might also help if you are at great risk of relapse if you do not receive certain hospitalization services.

4. Continuing Care

You can also enroll in continuing care groups once you have been through an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. This means that you will enroll in support groups like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.

During your group sessions, you will learn how to continue working on your commitment to recovery and sobriety. The groups might also be facilitated by licensed therapists - so they offer a type of group counseling services.

Some of them, however, might be age- or gender-specific. Others, on the other hand, might only focus on certain aspects of your ongoing recovery from addiction. This means that you have to choose a program depending on what you are and would like.

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

There are many reasons why you might want to consider outpatient treatment. For instance, if you are diagnosed with a mild substance use disorder that is still in its early stages, outpatient rehab might be the right choice for you. Additionally, these programs tend to be more flexible, accessible, and affordable than inpatient or residential recovery programs.

Other reasons why you might benefit from outpatient rehabilitation and treatment include:

a) Social Support

While you are enrolled in an outpatient addiction treatment program, you can still continue relying on your social support group to improve your outcomes in recovery. For instance, you can involve the support and love of your family and friends so that you do not relapse.

This form of social support might be lacking from most inpatient and residential treatment programs. In outpatient treatment, on the other hand, you can rely on it to make it easier for you to achieve full sobriety even as you seek rehabilitation services on an outpatient basis.

b) Cost

In the same, outpatient addiction treatment will allow you to continue living at home or in a sober living facility. This means that it will most likely end up costing you less than if you had opted for inpatient recovery services.

Further, choosing these programs means that you do not have to pay for lodging, accommodation, and meals at the center. As a result, this could potentially reduce the costs that you have to offset on your recovery journey.

c) Freedom and Flexibility

Finally, most outpatient programs will be designed in such a way that your treatment sessions will be designed in such a way that they can work around your daily schedule and commitments.

This form of scheduling might be vital to your continued participation in your daily commitments. For instance, you may still be able to continue meeting your responsibilities at work, home, and school even as you seek treatment for your substance use disorder.

d) Relapse Prevention

You can also rely on your outpatient treatment program to teach you new strategies and skills to reduce your risk of relapse. This means that you will be able to avoid the triggers and temptations that could cause you to start using drugs or drinking alcohol again, even as you continue learning how to maintain your sobriety over the long term.

Choosing a Treatment Program

It might be difficult for you to choose the best type of addiction treatment that can improve your outcomes and reduce your risk of relapse. Whether you are looking for outpatient treatment or other alternatives, you should ensure that you start taking the steps towards receiving the help that you need.

More often than not, you will find that outpatient rehabilitation programs will be focused on providing you with the access to support and care that you need to overcome your substance use disorder.

As a result, it is recommended that you go through outpatient treatment once you have graduated from a more intensive form of rehab - such as inpatient or residential treatment.

This way, the outpatient rehabilitation and treatment program will offer you additional services to safeguard the lessons and skills you learned at an inpatient program. Further, it could reduce your risk of relapse and ensure that you continue working towards your full recovery over the long term.

Overall, outpatient treatment is recommended for people with mild to moderate substance use disorders. It might also be ideal if you are not addicted to certain intoxicating and mind altering substances, or if you have not been diagnosed with a co-occurring mental health or medical disorder.

CITATIONS

http://www.mprc.umaryland.edu/Clinical-Care/Treatment-Programs/Outpatient-Research-Program/

https://mentalillnesspolicy.org/aot/outpatient-commitment-research.html

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states/types-treatment-programs

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152944/

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB4537/index1.html

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