It is common for people who need drug or alcohol rehabilitation to shy away from getting the right care as it would mean they would have to stay away from their families or work for long periods. Outpatient rehabilitation gives these people an option if they are unable to take time away for an inpatient program full-time. Outpatient treatment programs allow patients to stay in their own home environment as they continue to reap the benefits of a structured and peer-oriented therapy program. Professional staff may analyze the patient’s progress within their individual treatment plan regularly. While inpatient programs provide a safe environment for the patients separating them from situations and people who may affect their recovery negatively, this is not the case for outpatient rehabilitation. In outpatient drug rehabilitation, the patients live in their own homes and must motivate themselves to keep from going back to alcohol or drug use and this calls for more resilience. On the other hand, outpatient treatment programs also offer patients a support network in the form of support groups. This is in addition to group counseling and individual counseling such that the patient never feels alone during the recovery journey. The patients in outpatient rehabilitation programs also get a good support network consisting of sponsors and peers.

These outpatient treatment programs for substance abuse rehabilitation have support-groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous for group therapy, which both inspire the patient to make a positive change in his or her life. This is beneficial in facilitating long-term recovery. Family involvement and support play a key role in the success of any outpatient rehab program. In addition, considering the treatment goes along with the patient’s day-to-day life, the lessons that he or she learns through support and counseling will be integrated immediately into daily experiences and activities.

Four primary dimensions support life within recovery and they include:

  1. The overcoming and management of addiction through abstinence from non-prescribed medications, illicit drugs, or alcohol by making healthy, informed decisions supporting positive, emotional, and physical well-being
  2. A stable and safe place for the individual to call home
  3. Finding a purpose via daily activities, i.e. positive societal participation, income, creative activities, family care, volunteer work, school, or a job
  4. Establishing a community of family and friends who support the patient’s recovery journey through hope, love, and friendship

What Does Outpatient Rehabilitation Entail?

People who are dealing with addictions or substance abuse problems can be provided with outpatient treatment at residential facilities with outpatient clinics, local mental health clinics, counselors’ offices, general health clinics, and hospitals. They can also opt to stay home all through the treatment. Patients are meant to check in regularly with their addiction professionals and therapists at these treatment centers for counseling and medication. Different outpatient programs will have different check-in policies, but most of them will allow evening and weekend check-ins to cater to the patient’s schedule. Any patient who is thinking of choosing outpatient rehab should keep in mind that it is similar to inpatient treatment but less intensive. The patient’s duration within the program also varies based on his or her needs.

Outpatient rehabilitation programs vary from highly intensive to low-intensity. High-intensity outpatient programs are quite similar to residential programs while low-intensity programs have classes on drug education. Certain factors are taken into consideration in determining the appropriate treatment level for every patient. These factors include the patient’s personal support system of friends and family as well as how well the patient can function alone.

Outpatient programs can include:

  • Treatment of other health problems and disorders
  • Group counseling
  • Individual counseling

Intensive outpatient treatment can also be referred to as partial hospitalization and it includes multiple weekly sessions of intensive treatment.

Based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a patient may have to dedicate a minimum of 30 hours weekly to their treatment sessions. In case of an emergency, they may also have 24-hour access to relevant professionals. Generally, as the treatment goes to the patient will have fewer sessions and once he or she finishes up with partial hospitalization, they can switch to low-intensity outpatient treatment. This will involve fewer weekly sessions with a less intensive focus.

The goal of any rehabilitation program is to help the individual stay sober. Considering addiction is a chronic disease, the patient must continue with addiction treatments to keep from relapsing even though the intensity of the treatment may reduce with time.

While the patient’s recovery becomes stronger and more stable, the reduced intensity of the therapy gives him or her fewer sessions and more freedom. It is common for patients to start with inpatient treatment and later on progress to intensive outpatient therapy. Once the patient makes progress at this stage, the intensity can be reduced and could shift to weekly sessions and eventually monthly sessions.

A majority of addiction treatment facilities will offer some kind of outpatient care for recovering patients. This is highly beneficial because outpatient programs help recovering patients achieve and maintain sobriety while enabling them to continue with their education or jobs and spend time staying with loved ones.

Patients work with care providers and therapists during daylight hours at their local facilities and go back home in the evening. There is no hospitalization involved. Even though the patient will maintain a home residence, he or she will still have access to physicians, counselors, and addiction experts.

Outpatient rehabilitation is a good option for patients with other commitments such as classes or jobs. Such programs work best for anyone who is motivated to participate and achieve sobriety. Any patient with a supportive network of friends and family will also be a good candidate for outpatient rehabilitation.

Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

  • This option increases privacy by eliminating the need to explain one’s absence from school or work.
  • It is less expensive than inpatient rehabilitation while still providing high-quality substance abuse treatment
  • It offers flexible hours for students looking to graduate soon
  • It is an ideal option for patients who still have to work to support themselves and their family members
  • It works best for patients who need their loved ones’ support to enhance their chances of success