Outpatient rehab and professional addiction treatment can help people with substance abuse problems reclaim independence in recovery, build trust and accountability, and develop ongoing skills for maintaining sobriety.
For people who have already undergone more intensive forms of treatment and are now able to maintain sobriety without constant supervision, outpatient treatment is an ideal option for continuing support. Outpatient drug treatment programs can offer a person a variety of choices in terms of scheduling to sustain long-term abstinence and transition back into a healthy, productive life.
What Is Outpatient Treatment?
In outpatient treatment, clients can continue to benefit from behavioral therapy, psychiatric services, counseling, and medical care on a scheduled basis. Treatment formats and options fall onto a spectrum that ranges from a rigid, 24/7 hour a day structure to complete independence. Outpatient treatment programs are designed to be less intensive than inpatient or partial hospitalization programs and offer more flexibility and freedom.
Outpatient rehab requires clients to be responsible for managing their sobriety and dealing with triggers on a daily bases. For this reason, the decision to undergo outpatient treatment should be considered with care.
If you have not undergone residential treatment but have been considering getting treatment for a substance abuse problem, outpatient treatment may still be effective for you. In fact, the majority of addiction treatment takes place on an outpatient basis.
If you have a relatively mild addiction, cannot afford to take time off work or school and are highly motivated to recover, this level of treatment may be beneficial for you. However, it is important to consult an addiction treatment specialist or center before making that decision.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) have similar offerings as partial hospitalization programs, in that they are steeped in therapy, counseling, and educational activities. In this level of care, clients often live in private residences off-site, such as sober living homes, which may be located near the outpatient treatment center.
IOPs generally offer several hours of activity per day, usually for several weeks or months. The programs are frequently available in the evenings or on weekends to provide an option for those with family, work, or school obligations. Such programs still keep people in recovery active while allowing for a greater degree of accountability and independence. Clients are also provided with consistent access to psychiatric and medical care as needed.
Outpatient programs continue to offer many of the same options as more intensive levels of care but consist of scheduled visits with treatment providers rather than providing them with immediate access. They also offer the most autonomy and flexibility, and usually cost less than other services.
Clients in outpatient rehab live in private residences and come to treatment offices as previously scheduled. For this reason, people in outpatient treatment have nearly complete independence and will be in a position to deal with stressors and triggers in daily life. Therefore, a clinical team must evaluate the potential patient and decide together if outpatient treatment is an appropriate level of care.
Sometimes, but not always, medical detox is an option before entering outpatient treatment. For people with severe addictions, the best course of action is usually to embrace a full continuum of care from residential or partial hospitalization to intensive outpatient and outpatient formats. From there, most people still benefit from ongoing aftercare, including regular visits to therapies, counselors, doctors, and support groups.
If you have decided to undergo treatment, there are several factors to consider that help to determine which level(s) of care are appropriate for you and your needs. Outpatient treatment may be suitable for a person if his or her situation is characterized by the following:
- Physical, emotional, and residential stability
- Lack of need for intensive care for either addiction or a mental health condition
- Willingness and ability to dedicate energy into sustaining recovery, avoiding triggers, and preventing relapse
Components of Outpatient Treatment
The main components of outpatient treatment include the following:
- Individual and family counseling
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders
- Medical care
- Medication-assisted therapy
- Aftercare planning
Aftercare planning, also known as continuing support, continuing care consists of counseling groups and peer support groups, whose objective is to provide people in recovery with an arena to connect with peers and receive ongoing emotional support. These groups also foster accountability and may have sponsors who a person new to sobriety can lean on for advice and support.
Continuing care groups are somewhat structured and led by a licensed therapist, while peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are led by other members of the group.
Aftercare planning specialists will also work with a person and their insurance (if any) to help them locate professional services such as therapists and psychiatrist. These professionals can offer pharmacotherapy options to clients who still need them.
Many people in recovery from various substances benefit significantly from the use of certain medications that reduce withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings. These medications, while essential in early recovery, can also continue to help severe addicts maintain sobriety long-term. These medications may include methadone, Suboxone, naltrexone, and a variety of other agents that help keep a person’s mood stable and discourage relapse.
Treatment for Mental Health Conditions
A mental health condition, also referred to as a co-occurring condition, that exists alongside a substance use disorder can present additional challenges to sobriety. Unfortunately, mental illness and addiction often go hand in hand and feed into each other. Therefore, it is critical to address all aspects of a person’s mental and emotional well-being to prevent relapse and provide the best chance for lifelong recovery.
Due to the complex nature of the entanglement of multiple health problems, co-occurring conditions are best treated at high levels of care. However, intensive outpatient treatment for these disorders may indeed be effective under the following circumstances:
- All mental health and substance use disorders have mild to moderate symptoms
- Psychiatrists or doctors are readily available by appointment
- The patient is highly motivated to follow a medicinal regime precisely as directed
Benefits of Outpatient Treatment
The benefits and potential disadvantages of all levels of care should be considered before deciding on a treatment program with which to start. These, in addition to individual patient needs and the likelihood of success, must all be factored into a treatment plan.
Some of the many benefits of outpatient treatment include the following:
- Increased levels of independence versus inpatient rehab
- Greater flexibility in scheduling and treatment program design
- Ability to live in a comfortable home environment will continue to be engaged in treatment
- Freedom to attend to responsibility related work, school and family
- Lower cost than inpatient or partial hospitalization rehab programs
- Effective treatment of mild to moderate substance use disorders without placing a person in a long-term facility
- Promotion of personal accountability
Getting Treatment for Substance Abuse
Our center offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs in partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient formats. These programs are designed to meet every person’s individual needs, and various mental, emotional, and medical care options are available.
As you begin to experience the freedom of a life that no longer revolves around drugs or alcohol abuse, our programs can help you sustain sobriety by offering continued support through all phases of your recovery.
If you are ready to end the cycle of addiction, call us today and let us help you find the best treatment option you need to start your journey to recovery and long-lasting wellness!