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WHAT IS OUTPATIENT TREATMENT?

Perhaps the best way to describe an outpatient treatment program is through a spectrum. If residential treatment is at one end of the spectrum of treatment and individual counseling is at the other, outpatient treatment is right in the middle. Much like residential treatment, those who choose an outpatient program receive high-quality care from licensed and trained professionals, but they are not required to stay overnight.

When a person enrolls in this type of program, they will visit a medical facility or clinic at regular intervals in order to seek treatment. Once the treatment is over, the individual will return home and come back during the next scheduled appointment.

Some versions of outpatient treatment are more intense than others and require individuals to visit the facility on a regular basis as many as three to five days a week for up to nine hours at a time, such as:

  • Intensive outpatient programs: This form of outpatient treatment is most useful for people with co-occurring disorders or a history of relapse. These cases usually require the kind of intensive care typically associated with inpatient treatment but have been judged as not needing around-the-clock monitoring.
  • Partial hospitalization programs: These are typically utilized by those who, while they may have serious medical conditions, do not need to be fully hospitalized. Usually, someone in this outpatient program will attend several hours worth of treatment and therapy three to five times a week.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?

Outpatient treatment offers a wide range of services and forms that can be adjusted to fit the needs of the individual patient, including:

  • Detoxification treatment
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Educational classes
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Stress management
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy.

If your outpatient treatment program includes detoxification, then during your first outpatient treatment visit you can expect to undergo a physical exam to get a determination of your overall health before being given medication to help mitigate the effects of withdrawal symptoms such as nausea or anxiety.

Typically, you will be there for several hours for observation purposes before a medical team deems it safe to send you back home.

After this initial visit, you can expect your appointments to cover medical check-ins, especially as you continue through the withdrawal process. You will also participate in therapy sessions and educational workshops meant to give patients the tools they need to manage their addiction in the context of their regular life.

TREATMENT GUIDES

It’s not easy to find the right drug treatment center, especially when there are thousands of them available and minimal information on how to narrow the possibilities down to the best fit. Choosing the right rehab requires lots of information and answers to tricky questions many people have of the recovery process, such as the difference between inpatient and outpatient programs and how to pay for rehab.

BENEFITS OF OUTPATIENT TREATMENT

There are many benefits to choosing an outpatient treatment program, the most obvious of which is the freedom and flexibility offered by not having to stay in an onsite facility.

For many people who would not otherwise be able to receive addiction treatment due to responsibilities to their school, work, or family, an outpatient program can be a life-saver. Apart from the lack of disruption to an individual’s regular life, other benefits of outpatient treatment include:

  • Outpatient treatment programs provide essentially identical treatment as inpatient programs in terms of quality but at a greatly reduced cost, which can be a significant barrier for those seeking treatment.
  • An outpatient program gives an individual more autonomy and privacy regarding their participation in rehabilitation treatment rather than having to publicly withdraw from regular life into a residential facility. This stigma is also another reason many people refuse to get help for substance use disorder.
  • Outpatient treatment gives individuals the opportunity to take what they are learning in their therapy sessions and classes and immediately put them to use in the real world. This provides a helpful context for the treatment they're receiving as well as allow for quicker adjustments to techniques that aren’t working.

HOW DO I KNOW IF AN OUTPATIENT TREATMENT PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR ME?

If you’re suffering from a severe addiction to drugs or alcohol, then outpatient treatment alone may not make for an effective recovery. However, if you have only been abusing drugs or alcohol for a relatively short time and are still in overall good health with a friend or family to help support you, then an outpatient program could be the wisest choice.

Nonetheless, one thing that is important to keep in mind when deciding if an outpatient treatment program is right for you is whether or not this level of freedom and lack of supervision could ultimately prove harmful to your recovery.

It is also important to have an objective and an honest understanding of your ability to monitor yourself without supervision. If you feel that temptations or triggers will be an issue for you, then an inpatient program may be necessary.

Most experts in the addiction industry recommend outpatient treatment for individuals who need extra support and nurturing that individual counseling and 12 Step meetings do not provide. Outpatient treatment provides you with access to additional services that help you overcome your addiction.

Drug Treatment Center Finder can help you to learn more about the variety of outpatient drug treatment centers available and which one is right for you. Call us now at 855-619-8070 to start your free self-assessment.

DRUG WITHDRAWAL

There are many different drugs available that have varying effects on the mind and body. We've collected the most common drugs and analyzed their effects, statistics, dangers, and withdrawal symptoms. If you are using any of these substances, we are here to help.

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