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Levels Of Care » Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive Outpatient Program

Outpatient care tends to be the most flexible, requiring only about 10 to 12 hours a week of treatment at the facility. During these scheduled times, the focus is on providing rehabilitation education, individual assessments, and ongoing support. This type of treatment offers intermediate support and is typically viewed as a transitional step to help people bridge the gap between full-time residential treatment and their return to independent living. Many clients choose outpatient care because it allows them to continue living their regular lives. If you believe you have an exceptional degree of commitment to your sobriety and a strong support system at home, you can be successful in an outpatient care program.

One often-overlooked benefit of outpatient care is that you get to put the coping strategies you learn into action right way. This can help reinforce your new set of skills and incorporate them into your life.

How Do I Know If I Need Outpatient Drug Treatment?

When applying for admission to a drug treatment program, individuals are carefully assessed to determine precisely what kind of care they will need. The severity and duration of the substance abuse, as well as the type of substance, will be major factors in this decision. Other factors like job, family, and proximity to the facility are taken into consideration, in order to minimize stressors. The admissions staff will determine the appropriate duration, what kind of treatment will be offered, and the frequency of visits. A typical program might last for six weeks, with the individual attending sessions five nights a week.

A few signs that outpatient drug treatment may be the appropriate option for you:

  • You have only recently begun to abuse substances.
  • You have already attended an inpatient drug treatment program and you are returning to treatment to strengthen your recovery (not due to a relapse)
  • You do not have a dual diagnosis / co-occurring mental health disorder

Ensuring the Success of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient drug and alcohol treatment is a lower level of care and requires specific prior treatment and motivation to be successful. Have you gone through medically-supervised detoxification? Have you gone through the withdrawal process? If not, it is best to choose an inpatient program as it may be too early for you to work on your recovery successfully, while still exposed to so many triggers.

In addition, enlisting the help of family and friends can be critical to the success of recovery for outpatients. Any problems with relationships should be addressed in family therapy sessions that can improve communication systems and allow loved ones to heal. These efforts can make a significant difference for the individual putting substance abuse behind them, so they can rebuild a healthier, more productive life.

Reasons to Return to Outpatient Drug Treatment

There are a number of reasons why you may decide to return to outpatient drug treatment.

  • You are going through a particularly stressful time (such as family troubles or a very stressful holiday season) and you find that your recovery is not as stable as it used to be
  • You have used a substance – even a sip of alcohol
  • You find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the temptation of triggers
  • You have begun to experience the strong emotions that contributed to your substance use before you went to treatment

Whatever the reason, it is important that you return to treatment if your recovery is in need of reinforcement.

Does Outpatient Drug Treatment Work?

There are a few myths that have led some people to believe that outpatient drug treatment is not effective.

  • Outpatient treatment is right for everyone. Not true! Part of the success of outpatient treatment involves the appropriate placement during admission. Some people are more suited to inpatient treatment and an admissions specialist should be able to help.
  • Clients are faced with too many temptations during treatment. True, some temptations remain, but so is the desire to recover.
  • The relationships formed in the outpatient drug treatment program are not as strong as with the inpatient drug treatment program. This is not necessarily true. Outpatients will participate in group therapy sessions, support groups and more – they will have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships.

The bottom line? Outpatient drug treatment can work if it’s the appropriate treatment level.

Supporting Your Loved One in Outpatient Drug Treatment

Recovery is priority number one during outpatient drug treatment and showing your support comes in many forms:

  • Be aware of your loved one’s stress triggers and try to minimize them
  • Lend a helping, non-judgmental hand
  • Listen and communicate
  • Be open to working on your family dynamics together at family therapy sessions

Support is exceptionally valuable for clients working towards recovery. It’s also important that you learn about addiction and how it works. Outpatient drug treatment requires plenty of effort and success

Next Steps

To learn more about outpatient treatment for yourself or a loved one we encourage you to contact one of our admissions specialists: Call 877-771-1750.

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