When it comes to treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol, people in need of recovery have several options. Types of treatment include inpatient residential and outpatient programs. It’s up to the individual seeking treatment as to which choice offers them the most success for long-term recovery while also working within their personal needs. In this article, we’ll briefly explore why outpatient addiction treatment may be a good choice for people with mild to moderate addiction needs.
What is Outpatient Addiction Treatment?
Outpatient addiction treatment allows someone with a drug or alcohol use disorder to seek treatment while still living at home. In some cases, they may even be able to continue working. These plans will vary depending on the facility. Each plan also has a different level of intensity they are meant to provide.
Many outpatient programs offer medication as part of their treatment plan. Most offer counseling and group therapy. Some may provide outpatient treatment specifically to clients who have already completed a residential inpatient program. Whichever way clients enter the program, outpatient treatment can provide the next step towards a person’s re-entry into everyday life.
Other components of outpatient addiction treatment include education and relapse prevention skills. These aspects help the person in recovery develop coping mechanisms and other life skills that allow them to navigate the stress and other potential triggers that they will encounter as they move beyond rehab. This alone makes outpatient programs very effective for many people.
Benefits of Outpatient Drug Rehab
For many people who are seeking help for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the flexibility of outpatient treatment is appealing. Because the person in recovery can live at home while attending treatment, outpatient options are less disruptive. Some even offer nighttime hours, allowing the person to continue to go to work. This flexibility can be especially helpful to anyone with children or other loved ones who need regular care.
By allowing clients to live at home, outpatient treatment helps the person in recovery practice their ability to manage their addiction in real time. Attending outpatient treatment lets clients use their new skills in a realistic environment. This “real world” experience allows the person in recovery to quickly learn what works best for them in managing everyday stresses and triggers.
Another benefit of outpatient addiction treatment is the cost. Because it is not a residential form of treatment, outpatient rehab is typically less expensive than other options. Depending on a person’s insurance, this can be especially appealing.
Unlike inpatient treatment, there are multiple different levels of outpatient treatment for an individual to choose from. For example, someone in early recovery or who has recently relapsed may benefit most from a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), while someone further along in their recovery may benefit from an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).
People engaged in an outpatient rehab may also have more one-on-one time with their counselors in this type of program. The group therapy sessions may also be smaller than those found within inpatient treatment programs.
Outpatient treatment programs for addiction often allow for greater involvement from a person’s family, which can also add to their appeal. When included in the overall treatment plan, family therapy can help resolve issues between family members that have resulted from addiction.
Other Issues to Consider
While outpatient addiction treatment provides many benefits, it may not be right for everyone. If the person seeking help with substance misuse does not have a strong support system at home, continuing to live at home while attending treatment may not set them up for success. It is also easier for someone in an outpatient program to skip a meeting or treatment session than it is for someone in an inpatient facility.
An outpatient program will not offer the same level of 24/7 support as an inpatient facility. This may be a concern for someone in early recovery, especially if they have a severe addiction. Depending on the person’s level of drug or alcohol use, more intensive treatment may be necessary. Relapse may also be a more significant concern for someone in outpatient addiction treatment because they are less separated from triggers.
No matter what level of treatment an individual decides to pursue, asking for help is a step in the right direction. To determine what type of treatment will work best, the person must be honest about their needs and the severity of their addiction. Both inpatient and outpatient options take commitment and determination, but outpatient treatment is probably best for someone whose drug or alcohol use disorder is considered mild to moderate.
If a person has mental health concerns alongside a substance use disorder, they will need to make sure that whatever form of addiction treatment they seek can address dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders.
Facing addiction is never easy, but recovery can’t begin without seeking help. Whether the person in recovery pursues inpatient or outpatient care, the key is to have a personalized plan that addresses their needs and concerns.
At Bridges of Hope, our treatment philosophy is based on a comprehensive and integrated approach to substance use and mental health disorders. We utilize therapeutically proven, evidence-based clinical practices to provide superior patient care across Indiana.