The Top Benefits of Getting Outpatient Treatment to Battle Your Addiction

outpatient treatment

Do you or someone you love suffer from addiction?

If so, you’ve probably wondered about the treatment options available. The thought of packing your bags and going off to a rehab facility can be scary. It can also be pretty inconvenient when you have responsibilities at home and work.

Luckily, there are other options out there.

Outpatient treatment programs and therapy are a popular choice and for many reasons. One of its greatest appeals is being able to maintain a homelife while participating in the treatment. Of course, it’s still hard work to overcome addiction regardless of the treatment. However, outpatient treatment programs are very popular because they offer a variety of suitable options.

Keep reading to learn more about outpatient treatment and all the benefits that it has to offer you or your loved ones.

What Does Outpatient Treatment Entail?

Outpatient programs allow people to stay home with their families while receiving treatment. Think of it as flexible rehab. Rehab at home with required treatment sessions scheduled throughout the week.

There are different levels and services offered through outpatient programs. Some treatment programs may require more of your time than others. The levels and services are typically based on the severity of a person’s addiction or their stage of recovery.

If you or a loved one is facing addiction or substance abuse problems, then you need treatment. But it’s important to learn about all the different options that are out there.

There are Actually Three Different Types of Outpatient Therapy

Outpatient therapy ranges from intensive care to continuing care. Here are the three main types of treatment:

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP): IOPs are for those who need to tend to responsibilities at home or work. For IOPS you must attend multiple sessions each week. These sessions include counseling, group therapy, relapse prevention education, and a recovery support group.

IOPs are well-designed treatment plans which involve specific milestones to measure progress. As the milestones are met by the individual, their time required per week at these sessions decrease.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP): Also known as Day programs. This outpatient treatment provides the most structure and highest level of care for individuals who still need medical monitoring. For day programs patients must commit to 3-5 days per week at an outpatient treatment center.

During their time at these centers, they will attend individual therapy sessions as well as group counseling. They are also to participate in biofeedback sessions and recreational therapies such as art therapy. Afterward, the individual can either return home to their families or an arranged facility.

Day programs, in particular, require a considerable amount of time which may not be ideal for those who need to work or have school.

Continuing Care: Continuing care refers to ongoing support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The support groups are run by a licensed therapist 1-2 days per week. They exist to help individuals maintain their commitment to sobriety post-treatment.

The type of care necessary should be determined by the individual’s degree of addiction and after proper evaluation by a doctor as well as their daily needs.

What Are the Top Benefits of Getting Outpatient Treatment?

It may not seem like outpatient treatment is as beneficial as inpatient treatment at first glance, however, there is actually a multitude of benefits.

The main benefit of outpatient treatment programs is convenience. Those who are facing addiction or recovering from substance abuse problems may not be able to commit to an inpatient rehab facility for whatever reason. Outpatient programs allow people to receive the necessary treatment without abandoning their families or other responsibilities.

And convenience is just the beginning…

You Can Continue to Be Around Your Loved Ones

Addiction isn’t just hard on you, it’s hard on your loved ones too.

Maybe You’re the sole provider for your family. Maybe you can’t afford to hire someone to care for your children while you’re gone for a long period of time. Maybe you depend on the emotional support of your close friends and family.

Either way, with outpatient programs you don’t have to worry about leaving your family or the people you need behind.

You’ll Receive the Same Quality of Treatment

One of the main differences between inpatient care and outpatient care is the location. Sure, there are pros and cons to both—however, just because you won’t be supervised around the clock doesn’t mean you aren’t receiving the best care.

Outpatient treatment programs are designed to provide the same quality of treatment to ensure success.

You Can Continue to Support Your Family

Your job may not come with the fringe benefits that will cover your absence while you are receiving treatment for your addiction.

Outpatient treatment programs offer flexibility so that you can continue to work your regular hours and not have to worry about expenses or possibly being let go from your job.

Being able to stick to a normal routine, such as going to work every day, can also help with your recovery since you won’t have to make adjustments from 24-hour care to essentially being on your own again.

You Can Hold Onto Your Privacy

Arguably one of the worst things about inpatient rehab is the fact that people may question your absence at work, school, or otherwise.

Battling addiction is bad enough. It doesn’t also have to be a burning secret that your family and friends have to keep. Outpatient treatment gives you the advantage of keeping your private life private.

You’ll Spend Less Money

Not only will you receive the same quality of treatment as an inpatient facility, but you’ll receive it for much less. This is because you won’t have to pay for your room and board with an outpatient treatment program. Unless of course, you decide to stay in a sober living home during your time of treatment.

You’ll Connect with Others in the Outpatient Community

If you want to recover from addiction successfully, you can’t do it alone. The support of your family and friends is great, but it can only take you so far. It helps to have people around you that understand exactly what you’re going through.

With an outpatient program, you can connect with others in your community who are also struggling to maintain a work and sober life balance. Having people that you can relate to will make you feel less alone.

Building a strong community is typically at the core of these programs. They are especially beneficial for those who don’t necessarily have a sober support group at home, like friends who are enablers. Having a sober support group that you can be social with outside of the house makes a huge difference.

You Can Continue on with Your Education

A long absence from school can be very stressful. It’s especially stressful for a young adult who still attends high school.

Continuing with your education can also be beneficial during your time of treatment. It’s like those who benefit from maintaining a normal work schedule. You won’t have to worry about missed work or an adjustment period post-treatment. You will also be able to maintain your privacy as you go on with your usual schedule.

School can also provide a healthy outlet that takes your mind off recovery. You can engage in safe extracurricular activities or dedicate more time to your classwork as an alternative.

You Can Apply What You Learn Immediately

Outpatient treatment means that you are still associated with the outside world. This means that your adjustment period takes place immediately rather than post-treatment.

This is important because you can start making difficult life changes right away. You can begin to apply any coping techniques that you learn to your real life—as soon as you leave.

Every person who suffers from drug or alcohol addiction has certain environmental triggers. These triggers often lead them right back to substance abuse. The ability to recognize these triggers and apply coping techniques first hand will greatly reduce the risk of a relapse.

Is Outpatient Treatment Right for Everyone?

Individuals with a severe addiction to drugs or alcohol will need around the clock care. They would benefit more from an inpatient program that offers detox and withdrawal management. This is essential for heavy addiction.

Outpatient treatment is more or less an effective form of addiction treatment for those in the early stages of substance abuse. It’s also effective for those who have just finished inpatient care.

Outpatient treatment programs are generally recommended for:

  • Those who have already been through inpatient care and need continuous treatment
  • Those who have not yet formed serious habits of substances abuse
  • Those who have a sober support system at home that can aid in a crisis
  • Those who still maintain good mental health, aside from their addiction

This does not mean that outpatient treatment is not an effective form of rehabilitation. Some outpatient programs require that an individual complete a detox program as well as inpatient treatment before beginning their outpatient treatment.

According to the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, nearly half of the people eligible for publicly funded outpatient treatment in Los Angeles, California, were not of sound mental health. These people still received a form of outpatient treatment anyway.

How Effective is Outpatient Treatment?

A study that took place from 1995-2012 and published in 2014 resulted in a collection of positive outcomes for outpatient treatment. Over the years, outpatient treatment has become a more popular and viable option.

The early signs of addiction can be hard to recognize. But for those who do recognize the signs and are motivated to get help, outpatient treatment is a very effective option.

People have different needs. Many of these outpatient treatment centers offer a multifaceted approach to treatment. This includes a number of recovery disciplines to suit those needs.

The disciplines include:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • a sense of community, social education
  • medical and holistic approaches
  • therapeutic creative outlets
  • religion, family therapy sessions
  • relapse prevention
  • the 12-step program.

The effectiveness of these programs is due to the longer duration of treatment required as well as a home environment being the patient’s setting. This is keeping in mind that the patients did not require an intensive detox program. And of course,    the active participation of the afflicted individual plays the largest role in the program.

Outpatient Treatment Vs Inpatient Treatment

While outpatient treatment has a number of positive advantages, including privacy and the fact that it’s more cost-effective. But it won’t always be able to take the place of inpatient treatment and care.

Inpatient treatment benefits those at a higher risk of relapsing and those who are not mentally stable enough to handle addiction on their own. These are the people who need 24/7 supervision of nurses and doctors. They especially need psychological supervision.

Inpatient treatment also benefits those who need to be isolated from enablers within their family or circle of friends. Someone coming to terms with their addiction early on may still fall victim to continuous substance abuse if there are prescription drugs or alcohol around.

It should also be said that during outpatient treatment, it’s wise to have someone at home to monitor the individual coping with their new circumstances. Not everyone has this kind of convenience at home, and so if you feel that the afflicted individual cannot be left alone, then inpatient treatment may be the better option.

Inpatient treatment is undoubtedly more intense than outpatient treatment. The patients are not allowed to come and go as they need to. However, it does offer structure and a more strict schedule. This may be beneficial for those who feel that they have no control.

What is the Right Option For You?

Only the person battling addiction can decide if outpatient treatment is right for them. There’s nothing wrong with inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation. As long as you are seeking help, that’s all that matters. It’s true that the hardest step is admitting that you have a problem.

Unfortunately, only a small amount of those who suffer from addiction actively seek treatment. If you live in Stuart Florida and need help determining the right treatment option for yourself or a loved one, you don’t have to decide alone.

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Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.