Addiction is a complex problem, and it is now generally accepted that there is no one solution that works for everyone. During the last few decades there has been an impressive increase in the number of treatment options available to those who want to escape the abuse. Some individuals do succeed by going it alone, but there is little doubt that the right treatment option can greatly increase the chances of success.
Many addicts choose to break away from addiction by entering an in-patient rehab for a period of time – usually from 1 month up to 90 days. During that time they will be able to put their focus on building a new life away from alcohol and drugs. This option does prove effective in many cases, but for one reason or another it just isn’t suitable for everyone. Another option is the outpatient treatment program where the individual will not stay in the facility all the time.
The exact program used in an outpatient rehab will vary greatly, but they will tend to include the following:
* Those people who are in the program will be expected to remain completely abstinent from alcohol or recreational drugs.
* There will usually be an initial assessment to determine the needs of the client. This assessment will form the basis of goal setting and forming a treatment plan.
* Clients will agree to attend a certain number of therapy sessions each week
* There will usually be seminars and activities that the client is expected to attend
* There will be rules governing the behavior of the individual while they attend the rehab as an outpatient. If they break these rules they may be ejected from the program.
* There may be the need to modify the treatment plan if it is proving to be ineffective.
* Clients will usually be expected to divulge personal information in one to one session with the therapist and in group with other clients.
There are advantages and disadvantages to the outpatient treatment program and it is important that people consider these before choosing this option.
The advantages of an outpatient treatment program will include:
* It is usually possible for the client to stay in school or continue with employment while attending outpatient rehab. This can be highly advantageous for those people who would struggle to take time away from such commitments.
* Those who attend this type of program won’t have to deal with the transition from rehab to home. This can be a challenging time for those who are leaving an inpatient program and some people relapse if they are not fully prepared. Those who are attending an outpatient program will already be spending a lot of time at home so it will be less of a jolt when the program ends.
* Some people worry that by attending an inpatient program they will be stigmatized. It is usually not possible for people to disappear for weeks without providing an explanation. It is a lot easier to keep attendance at an outpatient program a secret.
* An outpatient program will usually be a lot cheaper than an inpatient program.
* By attending such a program the individual will still be able to go home every night. If they have a supportive family then they will be able to benefit from this.
The outpatient rehab is not something that is going to prove effective for everyone. Here are some of the disadvantages of this option:
* Those in the outpatient program will usually be faced with more temptation than those staying in rehab. It will be easier for them to walk into a bar or score some drugs as there is no real restriction on their movements.
* There will usually be a lot less support for people who don’t stay in rehab. They will miss out on having professionals and other clients to talk to at any time of the day or night. Being surrounded by a group of people who share the same goal can be highly empowering.
* People attending an outpatient program will tend to have a lot of distractions in their life. They may still be expected to meet their family and work commitments as well as beginning their journey into sober living. Those who stay in rehab can fully commit themselves to building a life. This is a serious business, and it can be difficult for people to build their new life if they have too many distractions at this phase of recovery.
* Those in the outpatient program may still have to face many of the triggers that they used as an excuse to abuse alcohol or drugs. It can be a challenge, during this period of their recovery, if they are dealing with problems in their home life and trying to stay sober.
* There are many emotional and physical challenges that can occur as people through the early weeks of recovery. The lingering effects of withdrawal symptoms can continue to be a problem for weeks after the individual has given up alcohol or drugs. In rehab there will usually be somebody on hand to deal with any problems that arise. This level of help is unlikely to be available in the outside world.
Those individuals who attend an outpatient treatment program may be faced with additional challenges than those in a more traditional rehab. There is a lot they can do to increase their chances of success including:
* Motivation to change is probably the most important factor when it comes to the success of any type of addiction treatment program. If people don’t have enough of this they will struggle to build a life in recovery no matter what treatment option they choose.
* There are other resources available in the community for people who are trying to escape addiction. This includes support groups like AA. It may be worth investigating these other options to supplement attendance at an outpatient program.
* These outpatient programs provide the client with a number of resources, but it is up to the client to make the most of these. You only get out of these programs what you put into them.
* People who are not staying in rehab will need to take responsibility for their environment. This means avoiding people, places, and things that could trigger a relapse. For instance, spending time with drinking buddies during this time is asking for trouble.
* If clients have any worries or concerns it is important that they get they share these with the therapist. Ignoring these problems in the hope that they will go away is just allow things to fester. The therapists are there to help, but they can only do this if the client is going to make use of this.