There are powerful benefits to be gained from enrolling in a high-quality outpatient substance use treatment program. An outpatient treatment program can help you learn how to manage a substance use disorder (SUD) while continuing living outside a treatment facility. To learn more about outpatient treatment options, continue reading.
What is outpatient addiction treatment?
When taking an extended leave from work or parenting responsibilities is simply not an option, outpatient treatment provides an excellent alternative to inpatient programs. Outpatient treatment is available in a broad range of levels of care, which is determined by the severity of the SUD.
Outpatient treatment is exactly what it sounds like — programs that assist individuals in overcoming SUD that isn’t enrolled in an inpatient treatment facility. Treatment services include various therapeutic activities for a specific number of hours per week, while the individual continues to reside at home.
Outpatient treatment services include:
- Individual psychotherapy sessions
- Group therapy sessions
- Medication supported recovery services
- Life skills counseling and SUD education
- 12-step integration
What are some outpatient treatment options?
While outpatient substance use treatment is available to anyone, it is best suited for individuals with mild to moderate SUD, versus more severe forms of SUD. Within the outpatient spectrum of services, there are three levels of care. The level of care needed is determined after a thorough assessment and evaluation of substance use history and mental health history. These levels of care include:
- Outpatient therapy: Outpatient therapy provides therapeutic support for individuals who are stepping down from higher levels of outpatient care. In addition, outpatient therapy is routinely recommended for individuals who have completed a residential treatment program.
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): An IOP provides a multi-modal outpatient treatment approach, in which individuals participate in about nine hours of programming per week.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): A PHP offers the most intensive outpatient treatment available. The PHP, also called day treatment, offers a comprehensive program that requires about 30 hours of participation per week.
What are the pros and cons of outpatient treatment?
Each individual’s SUD is unique. For this reason, one treatment setting might be more beneficial than another. When considering outpatient treatment versus inpatient treatment, it helps to keep these observations in mind:
Pros of outpatient treatment
- Lower treatment costs
- Ability to remain engaged in responsibilities related to work and parenting
- Flexible scheduling
Cons of outpatient treatment
- With less supervision, exposure to substances may result in relapse
- Possible exposure to former friends that may undermine your recovery efforts
Outpatient substance use treatment is an excellent option for individuals that are highly motivated and have a supportive home environment.
Continuing care actions following IOP or PHP
There is more work to be done after completing residential, IOP or PHP. The following continuing care activities will further reinforce recovery:
- Sober living housing: Some individuals don’t have a home environment that is supportive of recovery. Sober living can be a safe housing option during outpatient treatment and/or following treatment. Sober living allows the individual to gradually transition back to normal life while practicing recovery techniques in a supportive, substance-free living space.
- Outpatient therapy sessions: Ongoing outpatient counseling is an essential aspect of early recovery. Therapy provides essential support when challenges to sobriety surface during the tenuous first year of recovery.
- Recovery meetings: Participation in a 12-step or similar recovery program provides invaluable peer support and is a key source for forming new sober friendships.
Outpatient addiction treatment should be considered a viable treatment option for some individuals, offering both flexibility and reduced treatment costs.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.