Whether it’s because of family, work obligations, distance, or a hectic schedule, for many who are struggling with addiction, going to rehab simply isn’t an option. Fortunately, addiction treatment comes in many forms. Outpatient treatment allows for individuals to continue to maintain a typical schedule without removing themselves from their environment for an extended length of time. In many cases, outpatient treatment can also be done via telehealth – making treatment even more flexible and accessible for individuals. From my perspective, the idea of having treatment supplemented to an existing schedule is often more realistic than having a person change their everyday life and routine for the purpose of focusing on self in treatment.
While inpatient rehab can be incredibly effective, for some, it can also allow for a buildup of responsibilities over the course of 28 days, which can become overwhelming. More than anything, it is important to inform those seeking treatment of the options available. For outpatient treatment specifically, there are several benefits, including:
- Being able to stay close to home, and in the case of telehealth outpatient services, being able to receive treatment in the privacy and comfort of your home
- Meeting others in recovery, allowing you to build your support networks, as well as receive guidance and advice from other individuals in recovery
- Being in a less restrictive environment
- Being able to apply what you learn in therapy in real time
- Having access to psychoeducation
- The opportunity to be in day to day contact with loved ones or supportive individuals
- Having access to several available tracks of treatment, including intensive, standard, and additional support which can be tailored to your individual needs
- Receiving drug tests to routinely check for substance use and encourage accountability
- Having access to supplemental medication-assisted treatment
- Being able to cultivate mindfulness and wellness
Having worked at an outpatient clinic for court-mandated clients and an outpatient clinic for those seeking treatment on their own accord, I have realized that it is important to meet each person at their respective level of motivation for change. The thought of absolute sobriety to those in early recovery is an incredibly overwhelming concept. The idea that recovery is a process unique to the person and is self-paced on readiness to change is much more easily digested.
Outpatient treatment is often an excellent first step for those in need of additional support outside of immediate family or close friends. Having an objective provider available to discuss the unique process of recovery allows for genuine and thought-provoking feedback without judgement. Outpatient providers have diverse skillsets and unique training which can make them more effective in specialty areas such as: family specific therapy, trauma intensive therapy, therapy for adolescents, therapy for behavioral issues and mental health issues, and anger management. As with locating any provider, it is important to feel a genuine connection and comfort with a therapist. Be sure to ask any relevant questions and ensure that the therapist you are working with has experience with and an understanding for the unique issues that you or your loved one are facing.