Outpatient programs allow patients to seek recovery without taking up residence in a treatment facility, allowing them the flexibility to work treatment into their schedule. While outpatient programs are a feasible option for some, it is not recommended for everyone and certainly isn’t as intensive as an inpatient program. Most patients will likely find inpatient programs more beneficial because it completely removes them from their pre-treatment lives and allows them to solely focus on recovery. Patients undergoing outpatient recovery may find it distracting and unconducive to recovery to remain in their current home environment during treatment. However, this is a practical solution for many who can’t completely walk away from their everyday duties to complete an inpatient program or who are already on the road to recovery and just need extra support. Most of the time, patients should successfully complete an inpatient program before embarking on outpatient treatment.
Steps of Outpatient Treatment
- Intake: Similar to inpatient treatment, during outpatient treatment the first step is intake. During this phase, the patient is evaluated and screened to determine the severity of the addiction and any existing medical conditions. Based upon this evaluation, the medical professionals will customize a strategy for the patient to maximize their potential for successful rehabilitation and recovery.
- Treatment: Outpatient treatment focuses on counseling, education, and training.
- Individual counseling: Patients work through their addiction issues one-on-one with a trained medical professional discussing such topics as the triggers for addiction, ways to prevent relapse, behavioral therapy, and more.
- Group counseling: In group counseling, patients have the opportunity to work their addiction issues with other patients who are also undergoing treatment. Often, a group setting gives patients solace in knowing they aren’t alone in their struggles and helps them find a voice to talk through their addiction in a non-judgmental environment.
- Family counseling: Addiction doesn’t just affect the patient, but has repercussions for loved ones as well. Through family counseling, patients and their families meet with a therapist to work through the myriad family issues that substance addiction leaves in its wake.
- Training and educational programs: Through additional learning programs, patients are equipped with the tools they need to understand addiction and prevent relapse during their recovery process.
- Recovery: Upon completing the outpatient program, patients will receive a post-treatment plan to help them continue in the recovery process and prevent relapse as they attempt to reorder their lives