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When Outpatient Treatment Is Right For You

Drug dependence is a tricky issue that affects the patient and the people around them. This is best resolved through remedy and therapeutic treatments. Currently, there are two main types of remedies: inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. As you can see, the main difference is where the patient will reside as they recover.

The main deciding factor for the treatment plan is the severity of the drug dependence issue, the time elapsed since last use, and the risk of comorbid symptoms. For example, severe cases will really require the patient to be checked in to a full-time rehab center. In this way, they will be constantly surveilled by professionals and be given the best possible care, 24/7.

Outpatient rehab is better for people who have achieved some level of recovery and independence so they can now cohabitate with the rest of society. This may be due to their capability to combat triggers and resist temptations to relapse using the tools they gained from inpatient rehab.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

This program basically offers drug treatment sessions at varying times throughout the week. This is a great setup because it allows the patient to resume their lives as normal.  The patients can just make time for the sporadic treatments. It allows the patient time to get adjusted to the outside world and be able to apply the tools that assist in their recovery.

The patient will be mandated to go in for regular medical checkups, therapy sessions, education, counseling, providing a dense network of support systems, and more. The frequency of the sessions depends on the severity of the drug dependence.

The outpatient program is best suited for individuals who are stable enough to succeed in independent recovery. The patient should have enough discipline and commitment to achieve long-term recovery.

When Is Outpatient Treatment The Best Option For You?

Inpatient treatment centers have systems that quantify the patient’s progress. After signs of improvement and independence, the patient may become a candidate for outpatient treatment.

At the end of the day, this change in treatment status will still be determined by a psychiatrist through personal assessments. There is no fixed timeline or list of standards that determine if a patient is ready for outpatient treatment because every situation is unique and special. The primary basis for this is individual progress. 

Transitioning to outpatient treatment is definitely the goal because it’s another step forward. It signifies that the patient has recovered enough to attain some independence, among other benefits of outpatient treatment which include:

  • The freedom to sleep in the patient’s own home and not in an inpatient facility;
  • Access to familial support at home alongside professional support from regular therapy sessions;
  • Ability to attend to personal responsibilities and commitments (work, school, or more);
  • Access to more free time;
  • Freedom and flexibility at work; and
  • A generally more independent lifestyle that is closer to normal living.

Outpatient Treatment Options

There are different types of outpatient drug treatment options, such as:

Day Programs

This is the most intensive care program in the outpatient setting because the patient is required to report back into the center for 5 to 7 days each week. Each session takes up a few hours per day and involves therapy, group counseling sessions, feedback, and other types of therapy like music or art.

The patients usually reside in sober living homes. Others go home to their respective families. The main issue with this option is that it may severely limit the patient’s time dedicated to other activities, like attaining a full-time job or education.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

The main feature of this option is the establishment of a clear treatment plan and precise milestones that the patient should aim for. These are measurable milestones that track the patient’s recovery and the quantifiable data is used to adjust the treatment in terms of frequency and intensity.

As each milestone is met, the patient is required to report back to fewer sessions in the succeeding days or weeks. This is the best treatment option for patients who are really serious about staying clean and sober while having the intention to transition back to society as soon as they are able.

The sessions are marked by meetings a few hours per week, counseling, group counseling, personal therapy, education for relapse prevention, and attendance to programs like the 12-step program or any other recovery group.

Continuing Care

Patients are required or encouraged to attend self-help. This includes famous groups like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. These support groups have the goal of providing ongoing care and support for the patient by providing a group of people and a lot of resources to support complete abstinence.

Continuing care is not very time-consuming because there are usually two sessions per week. Sessions with clinical professionals help the patient solidify their commitment to achieving long-term sobriety. There are drug counseling groups that cater to anyone struggling with addiction problems regardless of age or gender.

Benefits Of Outpatient Drug Treatment Options

As aforementioned, this stage of treatment occurs once the patient has enough resolved with their addiction to handle more independence. These options are more flexible and they’re also great for patients who are further along in the recovery process. Here are some of the benefits of outpatient treatment options:

More Affordable

The biggest benefit is the affordability of these treatment options. These are definitely cheaper because the patient does not have to enroll in a full-time facility where you will have to pay for rent, full-time medical assistance, counseling, surveillance, and more.

Since the patient has the option to stay at home, then the price gets significantly cheaper as they require fewer services from the rehab center. Lodging alone costs a lot, and that is remedied through outpatient rehab unless they elect to reside in sober living, which is usually the safer and recommended option.

Very Flexible

The best thing about outpatient treatment options is the flexibility. Since the patient is striving to rejoin society and become a functional member of the community, it makes sense that he will need to dedicate a lot of time to education, work, and more. This is also a good option for recovering patients with responsibilities. Life responsibilities can be scheduled outside of treatment hours or clinical sessions to allow the patient to balance their life and recovery.

Contact With Family

This is the main difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab. Being surrounded by a loving family makes all the difference in the healing process. Having a support system will help the patient reinstill discipline and commitment to change over and over again.

Being at home emphasizes the love that the family has for the patient. It makes them feel like they aren’t alone in this battle and that they can do it because they are being supported. It is also reported that feelings of loneliness or isolation can contribute to relapse.

Final Thoughts

Outpatient treatment options are available for cases that are further along in the process. It’s best to consult a professional for a treatment plan that is perfect for the patient’s needs.

It’s also best to find a reputable center for the patient. A simple search of “outpatient treatment near me” could reveal countless viable options for you.

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