Thousands of people struggle with addiction in the United States. But that doesn’t mean recovery isn’t possible for any of them. Help is always available from any of the 14,500+ specialized drug treatment facilities located across the country. These facilities provide a variety of treatment programs and services for those who have a substance abuse disorder. One of these services is outpatient care.
Outpatient rehab is a type of treatment program offered to patients struggling with addiction while still allowing them to continue living at home as well as keep up with work, school, and other responsibilities. The sessions offered in an outpatient rehab program focus on individual and group therapy, substance abuse education, and coping techniques to avoid relapse. They are also used to provide the patient with a network of support. This type of treatment program typically lasts anywhere from three to six months or even a year.
Compared to inpatient treatment programs, outpatient drug rehab is less restrictive. Typically, patients are only required to spend 10 to 12 hours visiting their treatment facility. Some programs offer a fixed schedule which require the patient to join sessions at times that cannot be changed. Other programs allow the patient to set appointments, enabling them to work their sessions around their job, family, and other responsibilities.
Aside from sessions at the treatment facility, there are other therapeutic interventions and support services that are offered to patients such as occupational therapy, family therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and a 12-Step Support group or something similar. The treatment plan provided to a patient is based on his needs as well as the availability of the services.
Take note that outpatient rehab can also offer detox programs for people with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. Physical and mental health check-ups are conducted at the facility, though the patient can continue staying at home. Medications may be provided on-site to help relieve any withdrawal symptoms. The average outpatient detox period is 6.5 days.
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Outpatient rehab can be a good option for those who do not need 24-hour medical supervision as well as people who need to be able to still fulfill their existing obligations. There are different types of programs available with varying levels of intensity based on the needs of the person needing treatment and the services provided by the treatment facility.
PHP is the most intensive outpatient rehab program with the highest level of care. Patients are required to commit to a considerable amount of time towards treatment, typically 5-7 days per week, 4-6 hours each day. The hours will be spent participating in individual and group counseling sessions, art or music therapy, fitness and nutrition education, and support groups. Generally, this type of program lasts from several weeks to a few months. While PHP allows patients to return home after each session, they tend to limit the patients’ availability to meet work or school obligations until the program has been completed.
Partial hospitalization programs are ideal for people seeking treatment who require a high level of medical and/or mental health support from trained professionals as well as close monitoring in a highly structured setting.
IOP is a step down from PHP in terms of intensity. It offers a treatment plan that limits sessions to three times a week, around three hours per session. Over time, as progress is achieved, the number of sessions per week may go lower. With IOP, patients are still be able to work and meet other daily responsibilities while stil benefiting from the treatment in a structured setting.
Typically, the treatment plan will include defined, achievable milestones that will help measure progress. Some of the therapies included in the plan are individual and group therapy, relapse prevention education, psychoeducational group sessions, and skill development. Patients may also be required to attend a 12-Step support program or a similar peer support group. IOPs are ideal for people with mild to moderate addiction who aren’t able to enter an inpatient treatment program due to family and/or work commitments. Ideally, these people should have a stable and safe home environment with family and friends able to provide the support and encouragement they need to continue their journey.
Standard outpatient programs are very similar to intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) in terms of therapeutic interventions and support services offered. However, OPs only require patients to attend treatment sessions once to three times a week, one to three hours per session. In addition, standard outpatient programs offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling therapy sessions. The treatment plan is usually focused on helping patients change their harmful behaviors into more positive ones. Attendance in a 12-step support program such as Narcotics Anonymous may also be required.
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