Outpatient Therapy for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, you may be reviewing options for rehabilitation programs. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your addiction, you may be looking for medically assisted detox or inpatient care, or even searching online for “outpatient drug rehab near me.” Each program is designed around different stages of addiction and recovery, with outpatient therapy usually being the last step in a full continuum of care.
What Is Outpatient Therapy?
Outpatient treatment, or therapy, is a broad term for any type of care that allows clients to come and go during normal daily activities. In some cases, they will live at home while in other cases, they’ll living in an outpatient facility where they are required to abide by rules on curfews and attendance in treatment therapy. This type of program affords people more freedom in treatment, giving clients the ability to maintain a job and keep up with day-to-day responsibilities at the home in which they’re living during treatment. Those just beginning outpatient care may need daily sessions with a therapist or clinical staff, while those further along in recovery (or with less severe addictions) may be successful with part-time sessions once or twice per week.
Outpatient therapy services usually last anywhere from one to three months, as this is the window of time in which those in recovery are most vulnerable to relapse. The length of time a client spends in outpatient care depends on their progress in recovery, which takes into account their mental stability and physical health.
At Renaissance Recovery, that treatment usually includes:
- Individual counseling with a therapist
- Medication management as needed for co-occurring disorders
- Group and family therapy sessions
- Nutritional discussion and coaching
- Recreational/activity therapy
- Relapse prevention
- Sober living housing, if needed
Since outpatient therapy services don’t involve monitoring at a treatment facility, it requires each client to have a high degree of dedication to the program and be capable of maintaining sobriety without intensive care. It also requires a living situation that is free from drugs and alcohol. Each person will be held accountable for their treatment schedule during the day at the facility, and be empowered to continue living in recovery at home, using the guidance and support they’ve garnered.
Outpatient Drug Rehab
If someone is struggling with a severe drug addiction, an outpatient program will likely not be suitable at first. Before outpatient, detox care will be necessary to completely rid their body of drugs or alcohol. After going through medical detox, or attending a detox clinic, the work of recovery can begin. Outpatient therapy is recommended for people who have completed an inpatient program or higher level of care, or for those who are medically stable and able to pursue recovery with minimal assistance.
Top Benefits of Outpatient Drug Addiction Treatment:
- Less Commitment: On average, outpatient care requires less time and money to complete.
- Greater Privacy: As outpatient rehab allows you to keep up with your daily life, you will likely not have to disclose to employers or friends that you are receiving treatment.
- Greater Autonomy: In outpatient care, you hold yourself accountable on a daily basis, but can receive medical support when needed.
- Collective Support: Individual counseling, along with group and family therapy, will help you build your network of supporters and stay strong in sobriety.
How Does Outpatient Drug Rehab Work?
Outpatient drug rehab works to enable those in recovery to pursue an independent life of sobriety, free from the influence of drugs. Outpatient programs provide weekly therapeutic support and counseling so people can avoid relapse and successfully transition from rehab care to daily sober living. Outpatient drug rehab centers can take place at a day clinic or rehabilitation facility like The Recovery Village. In outpatient drug rehab, clients can participate in mental health counseling, 12-step programming, family and group therapy, and more to stay accountable in sobriety. Outpatient participants can learn how to cope with environmental triggers as they arise in their daily lives, manage symptoms of mental illness, and stave off relapse. Daily sessions can also include 12-step group meetings or spirituality-based activities and holistic therapies like yoga and meditation.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Like outpatient programs, intensive outpatient allows clients to live at home and participate in therapy during the day, but usually for more hours per week than regular outpatient care. Depending on the treatment center, intensive outpatient programs can include nine hours of daytime rehabilitation or more. Program participants may engage in the same types of therapy as residential clients, like 12-step programming and recreational activities, but return to a stable sober living situation at the end of the day.
Who Needs Intensive Outpatient Care?
A good candidate for an IOP has:
- Already finished/successfully completed an inpatient detox/rehab program
- A need for continued (or daily) medical or mental health support
- Developed strong coping mechanisms
- The ability to function normally in their daily life
- A sober living situation conducive to recovery
Intensive outpatient can be a good transition from residential care as it provides more medical support for those who are just beginning their journey in sobriety. Step-down programs like intensive outpatient afford clients more independence as they transition from inpatient to outpatient care and sober living at home. Intensive outpatient programs can benefit those continuing treatment after residential care, and people who cannot commit to living on-site or afford inpatient treatment.
Is Outpatient Therapy Right for You?
Just as with each level of treatment, outpatient therapy might not be a good fit for everyone. Whether outpatient therapy is right for you will at least partly depend upon your personal history with addiction or your status in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Because of the flexible and part-time nature of outpatient therapy, it really works better for people who have made significant strides toward recovery and can live on their own or in a sober living situation successfully. Such patients would not be in need of high level of medical or psychiatric support. For this reason, outpatient therapy is better suited for for those who have already gone through more intensive levels of treatment (such as medical detox, inpatient residential or partial hospitalization) or are fully committed to a recovery plan and capable of pursuing sobriety with only minimal weekly care.
An outpatient program may be right for you if:
- You have a mild or relatively new addiction
- You are in good health but still need occasional support or therapy
- You cannot commit to residential treatment
- Your living situation is conducive to recovery (a stable home, sober living house, etc.)
- You are willing and able to pursue sobriety in your daily life
Outpatient services will likely NOT be suitable for you if:
- Your addiction has been a long-term struggle
- You need daily medical assistance with your addiction
- You need support for a co-occurring disorder like depression or anxiety
- You attempted but did not complete rehab care in the past
- Your home life is unstable or unsupportive of your recovery
The best way to find out if outpatient addiction treatment is right for you is to speak with your doctor. If you do not have a primary care doctor, or are apprehensive about talking with them about your situation, you can always call Renaissance Recovery. When you call, you’ll speak with a caring representative who will conduct an assessment to determine which level of care meets your needs. It’s free, and everything you discuss will remain confidential. This way, you can get a firm understanding of the kind of treatment you need before you commit to it.