If your loved one has made the decision to deal with their addiction to drugs or alcohol, they next must choose between inpatient (residential) or outpatient treatment. There is no one right or wrong path of treatment. Making the choice to seek treatment alone is a major accomplishment. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) about 21.7 million people aged 12 and up need substance use treatment in any given year. Of that number, only 10.9%, or an estimated 2.3 million people, will actually receive treatment at a specialized facility.
Nonetheless, making the right choice between inpatient and outpatient options is crucial. A reputable addiction treatment program can help. To prepare yourself, take a moment to learn about outpatient rehab and the advantages of this type of addiction treatment program.
What Is Outpatient Rehab?
Addiction treatment where a client attends during the day but returns home in the evening is known as outpatient treatment. Within this treatment category, there are different variations of care depending on the attendance level that is required and the location of the treatment program.
For example, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) may require clients to attend every day for a week. By contrast, a standard outpatient program may only require one or two sessions a week for up to three months. When your loved one is looking for a program, make sure to understand the attendance requirements for the different levels of treatment they are considering.
Outpatient treatment programs can take place at a variety of locations, ranging from local addiction treatment programs to individual therapist offices, as well as mental health clinics and hospital settings.
Outpatient rehab offers a level of privacy and individualized attention that may not be available from an inpatient program. For example, clients may be able to attend sessions without disrupting their personal relationships, family life, or employment (although they may need to divulge their enrollment in treatment to an employer.) The care that clients receive in an outpatient program should also be tailored to meet their specific needs and concerns.
Advantages of Outpatient Drug Rehab
There are three main advantages to an outpatient addiction treatment program. These are:
1. A more flexible schedule
During outpatient treatment, the client can more easily control the schedule of their treatment. This can allow the individual to possibly maintain their job, especially if they cannot afford to use the unpaid time they’re legally entitled to courtesy of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Also, if the person seeking treatment is the sole caregiver for a child or other family member, outpatient treatment allows them more flexibility to continue in that role.
2. Often less expensive than residential care
Outpatient rehab is often a less expensive option than inpatient treatment. Costs for programs can vary widely, depending on the type of center, its location, the treatments offered and, what, if any, medications are used during treatment. Some insurance plans may be willing to cover more of the costs for outpatient rehab as a result, making the treatment even more affordable. Always make sure to discuss costs with providers prior to enrolling in treatment.
3. Ongoing support
For individuals who have already completed residential addiction treatment or who may be getting sober after a relapse, outpatient treatment provides ongoing support and care. This is particularly important as individuals return to “everyday life” and the relapse triggers that are present in their daily lives.
Choosing The Right Outpatient Treatment Program
Do some research
When choosing an outpatient treatment program, research matters. Fundamental questions your loved one should ask any outpatient provider include:
- Does the facility use evidence-based care?
- Do they have research or data that shows that their therapeutic methods are effective?
- What methods does the facility specialize in?
- What do others — including recent alumni — say about the program? Did they feel the care was high-quality and effective?
- Can you tour the treatment center — or meet with their team if attending virtually — before making your decision?
A reputable provider will be willing to discuss treatment goals and work with your loved one to develop a plan that they are comfortable with pursuing.
Honest questions about addiction
When your loved one Is trying to decide between an outpatient treatment program and an inpatient option, it is important they honestly assess their own addiction and recovery needs. Some questions your loved one should consider include:
- Do they feel their addiction is too severe to live at home while recovering?
- Does their addiction require comprehensive 24/7 care?
- Can they be trusted to stick with their detox plan?
- Are addiction triggers present in the home that cannot be avoided?
- Are there other issues, besides addiction, that need to be addressed?
- Does their insurance company require them to try outpatient rehab first?
- Is there a quality outpatient facility near their home?
It is also important to remember that outpatient rehab requires a certain level of commitment and determination. This is due to the fact that the client has more freedom, giving them more opportunities to return to drugs or alcohol than they would have at an inpatient treatment center. For that reason, outpatient rehab treatment is probably best for someone with a mild or moderate addiction challenge.
At Bridges of Hope, our treatment philosophy is based on a comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing all issues related to substance use and mental health disorders. Utilizing therapeutically proven, evidence-based clinical practices, our team provides superior client care across Indiana through our all-inclusive treatment services.