What is Outpatient Treatment?
Because not everyone is a candidate for residential drug rehab, there is outpatient treatment. Like residential programs, outpatient drug treatment focuses on helping the individual abstain from using drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives. These long-term goals are achieved in a variety of ways within the outpatient treatment model.
Some outpatient treatment programs bring the addict in regularly during the week for education and counseling programs. Some outpatient treatment programs last for only a few hours a week, while others require the individual to come in for full day treatments several times a week. These all-day treatment programs are more intense and may be more appropriate for those individuals who require a greater level of care as they attempt to rehab from drug or alcohol use. Despite the differences between outpatient treatment programs, the goal is always the same: help individuals recover from drug or alcohol addiction so that they may re-enter society and lead a self-sufficient, drug-free life.
What services are offered in outpatient treatment?
There are a variety of services available via outpatient treatment, including:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- 12-step work
- Alcohol and drug education
- Spirituality group
- Men’s group
- Women’s group
- Relapse prevention
- Short and long-term aftercare
- Life skills
- Re-socialization skills
- Pharmacological treatment
- Mental health treatment
- Drug screening
- Legal system advocacy
- Affiliations with sober living houses
How Outpatient Treatment Can Help
The major difficulty in outpatient programs involves early attrition. Some people find that they simply don’t want to stay enrolled in care, and they drop out and return to drugs before they’ve completed their work. In a study of the issue in the journal Substance Use and Misuse, researchers found that 55 percent of cocaine addicts dropped out of their programs after only four weeks. It’s a sad statistic, but there are some things administrators can do to turn the issue around.
Some facilities provide Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) in the early days of the treatment process. With MET, people who are addicted to cocaine are encouraged to think about how their lives have been altered due to their habits, and they’re asked to think about how their lives might be different if they didn’t use. The sessions can be long and the talks can be hard, but they can allow addicted people to develop a deep and longstanding commitment to getting clean, regardless of what happens around them. This could keep people from dropping out.
Contingency management techniques can also be helpful. In this type of therapy, people are given a small prize when they meet some kind of therapeutic goal, such as:
- Attending sessions on time
- Producing a urine screen free of drugs
- Providing proof of support group attendance
- Volunteering in the community
These rewards make the value of sobriety immediate, and that might make long-term therapy compliance more likely.
The Advantages of Outpatient Treatment
There are several advantages to outpatient treatment that may appeal to certain individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. For one, the cost of an outpatient program is generally less than that of a residential drug treatment program. Also, for those who are to maintain their careers and family life during the recovery period, outpatient treatment provides a chance to get help while not completely disrupting the flow of an individual’s life. And for some, there is a negative stigma associated with residential care that may be hard to overcome. Simply put, if an individual is uncomfortable in the residential program, it might take longer or be more difficult to achieve rehab success.
Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494