Benefits of Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient treatment can be highly effective for certain people.
It is common to think of inpatient treatment when thinking of rehab for drug addiction. But outpatient treatment can be highly effective for certain people. It depends on the person's situation and the severity of his or her abuse, but there are many benefits of outpatient treatment.
What is Outpatient Treatment?
Outpatient treatment is any kind of substance abuse treatment where a person visits a facility but does not stay there. Inpatient treatment provides patients with 24-hour care, but outpatient treatment allows them to continue living their lives while receiving regular treatment. A person can usually receive these types of treatments from an outpatient facility:
- Medically-Assisted Detox
- Medication - Those who use methadone maintenance treatment to recover from heroin or other opiate addiction usually seek help at outpatient facilities.
- Group Therapy
- Mutual-Help Groups - These are groups who are often led by a recovering addict who shares "the condition addressed by the group" (CHCE).
- Drug Testing
- Marriage and Family Counseling
Many of these options are found in other types of facilities, but outpatient facilities have specific benefits that cater to the needs of many individuals.
Why choose outpatient treatment? The best treatment is catered to the needs of the patient, including those needs which are not specifically connected with the drug abuse. Asking yourself these questions is a good way to find out if outpatient treatment would benefit you:
- Is your addiction severe or more mild? - Many people with severe addictions need inpatient treatment, but if your addiction is more manageable, outpatient treatment could be the answer for you.
- Does the drug you are addicted to have severe withdrawal effects? - If you are an alcoholic or someone who is addicted to a drug with extreme and possibly life-threatening withdrawal side effects, you should consider inpatient treatment. However, someone with less severe withdrawal, like an opiate addiction, might chose outpatient treatment.
- Do you have responsibilities you cannot leave behind? - If you are not in need of inpatient care, you may not want to leave your life and responsibilities behind for an extended period of time. For example, a single parent would absolutely benefit from outpatient care and still be able to be with his or her children.
- Did inpatient treatment not work for you in the past? - If you tried inpatient addiction treatment and relapsed, perhaps outpatient treatment would be better suited for you. You can continue it as long as possible and make it part of your long-term routine instead of a three month recovery.
Benefits of Outpatient Treatment
Here are some of the other benefits of outpatient treatment:
- It is usually cheaper. Because you do not need to stay at the facility, outpatient programs are usually cheaper.
- It lasts about the same amount of time as inpatient care, while staying in treatment longer than 90 days is still "recommended for maintaining positive outcomes" (NIDA).
- There are usually more outpatient facilities available in more areas around the country.
- They often work on sliding payment scales.
- They build a great foundation for continuing treatment as long as possible.
- They allow people to feel that they are taking control of their own recoveries.
Outpatient treatment can be great for many situations. Search SAMHSA's treatment locator for an outpatient center that fits your needs.