Outpatient drug rehabilitation treatment centers are typically designed for individuals who have completed an inpatient or residential treatment program or for individuals with mild to moderate drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms who have opted out of residential treatment.
Much like an inpatient treatment center, a patient may attend an outpatient program for anywhere from 2 weeks to several months. While attending an outpatient drug rehab, participants do not live at the treatment center as they do in a hospital or inpatient rehab. Many participants continue to live in their own homes or in sober living facilities.
The level of care varies significantly with regard to the intensity and type of program available. Some outpatient drug rehab programs offer UA (urine analysis) drug testing and psycho-education services only. Other intensive outpatient programs resemble residential programs in services offered and effectiveness. Which program is the best fit for an individual depends on the severity of their addiction, length of use, commitment to recover and their specific needs. The goal of any outpatient drug rehab is to assist participants develop a solid foundation in recovery so that they may lead successful substance-free lives.
Outpatient or day treatment programs typically include group therapy as a main portion of the treatment.
Topics of Outpatient Groups May Include:
- Gender specific issues
- Relapse prevention
- Process groups
- 12-step groups
Individual sessions use many different therapeutic approaches that can range from insight-oriented psychotherapy to cognitive behavioral therapy. Specialized groups and services may also be offered.
Specialized Services May Include:
- Family and couples work
- Life coaching
- Case management
Advantages of Outpatient Treatment
Individuals who enroll in outpatient treatment at the same facility where they completed primary care receive greater social support on peer and therapeutic levels. Compared with inpatient, individuals in an outpatient program are free to function in their daily lives by living at home and going to work.
In the filed of addiction rehabilitation, non-completion of treatment is a large problem. Approximately 50% of individuals in treatment do not complete the first month, resulting in lower success rates and poor long-term outcomes. Research shows an improvement in success rates when individuals transfer from detox or residential to prolonged outpatient treatment programs. (Psychiatric Services 50:813-817, 1999)