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What Is Outpatient Rehab?
Outpatient rehab is a facility that provides treatment to those who need ongoing care after inpatient rehab or one that treats patients with less severe addictions. Outpatient rehab allows patients to continue working and caring for families while maintaining sobriety. With so many options to choose from, how can you decide which program will meet your needs?
How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?
Outpatient rehab works on a scheduled appointment or crisis walk-in basis. Depending on the facility, patients can take advantage of various treatments based on their needs to help them in recovery. The most common types of outpatient rehab are day programs, intensive outpatient programs (IOP), continuing care, partial hospitalization treatment (PHP), therapy, and counseling.
Day programs are offered five to seven days per week for several hours a day. This is the most structured outpatient model, offering similar activities and therapies as an inpatient rehab facility. This effective method of rehab is commonly used with patients struggling to stay sober, without the intensity of inpatient care.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are offered in smaller, more concentrated sessions throughout the week. Progress is measured by setting goals and milestones, and the programs vary in intensity based on where the individual is in their recovery. IOPs allow those in recovery to work on sobriety while continuing their responsibilities at home and work.
Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), AlAnon, and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are the most common continuing care programs. People in recovery attend meetings to connect with others in similar situations to reaffirm sobriety. Continuing care programs are often led by a licensed therapist once every week. Certain groups may be categorized by age, gender, or level of sobriety.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
A partial hospitalization program (PHP) provides an intensive step-down approach for those in recovery, usually after inpatient rehab is completed. PHPs are most beneficial for people who struggle with sobriety but do not require the intensity of inpatient care. PHPs offer services such as medication management, group, and individual therapy, and family therapy.
Therapy and Counseling
Some require one-on-one therapy to maintain sobriety. This is the most accessible option for those in recovery and offers the most flexibility for home and work. Therapy sessions are typically one to two hours every week and may be less or more frequent based on the needs of the individual. One-on-one therapy commonly works to supplement other forms of outpatient programs.
How Do Residential and Outpatient Rehab Programs Compare?
Residential rehab programs are intended to help patients find sobriety, and they combine elements of all outpatient rehab centers with greater intensity. When someone is admitted to a residential rehab program, they are expected to stay on the grounds of the facility for the duration of treatment unless accompanied by a staff member. People in outpatient rehab have more freedom, as they are allowed to go back to their homes or sober living facilities when sessions are over.
Is Outpatient Treatment Successful?
The overall success of outpatient treatment relies on dedication to sobriety and a good plan. Attendance is often a choice made by the person in recovery, stressing the desire to stay sober. If the outpatient treatment is court-ordered, there is still a great incentive to complete the program to continue rehabilitation and avoid legal penalties. Sticking with an outpatient routine can also help people in recovery have some sense of stability while transitioning into a new, sober lifestyle.
What is Outpatient Rehab Like?
Depending on the chosen program, outpatient rehab facilities can be more rigid or relaxed based on the services provided. Partial hospitalization, for example, might seem a little more sterile because it’s a clinical environment. A one-on-one therapist will likely work in a practice or in a home. Most day and intensive outpatient programs are held in an inpatient facility or on the same grounds, so the atmosphere will be similar. AA, Al-Anon, and Narconon programs are typically held in a church or recreation center.
How Much Does Outpatient Rehab Cost?
Certain insurance providers cover the cost of outpatient rehab. Contact your insurance provider to see which options are available to you. Some community organizations are dedicated to funding all or part of treatment in an effort to alleviate some of the financial strain on low-income families.
Some things to consider while choosing a treatment plan:
- There is no cost to attend most continuing care groups like Al-Anon, AA, and Narconon.
- The average cost of intensive treatment and day programs can be upwards of $5,000 for a three-month period.
- Methadone treatment in a partial hospitalization plan costs nearly $5,000 per year.
Many treatment facilities have financing options available. Each outpatient treatment method has a different price point depending on the facility and types of treatment needed. Be sure to check for nonprofit or state-funded rehabilitation options if funding is an issue.
How Long is Outpatient Rehab?
Outpatient treatment timelines vary based on the needs of the patient. The individual will work
with an administrator to decide which goals need to be met before comfortably leaving an outpatient treatment program. There are differences in necessity based on the substance, for example:
AA and Al-Anon are useful long-term programs to maintain sobriety because alcohol is a readily available drug. Some AA members still attend meetings after thirty plus years of sobriety, for the friendships and for their ability to mentor. This is a great supplement to a 30 to 90-day treatment in cases of more severe alcoholism.
For moderate to severe drug addiction, a 90 to a 120-day program is usually recommended in addition to one-on-one therapy and Narconon meetings to ensure that sobriety will be successful.
It’s impossible to tell right away how a patient will respond to an outpatient treatment plan. It’s important, to be honest with the staff coordinating care to ensure that the length of time spent in treatment is right for you.
Additional Questions for Outpatient Treatment Coordinators
While searching for an effective outpatient treatment center, it’s important to go over your options in great detail to make sure you’re getting what you need.
Making a list of questions and concerns, such as the following, can help you make an informed decision about your care:
- What are the credentials of the staff in this facility?
- Does it offer individual treatment plans?
- Is this facility available for crisis walk-in?
- Can I adjust my treatment to a longer stay or transfer to inpatient if needed?
Choosing a treatment plan that works for you is the best way to ensure that your sobriety will be sustainable. With the guidance of experienced staff and individual care plans, you are far more likely to have a successful experience in outpatient treatment. An open line of communication is the best way to make these resources work for you.
Is Outpatient Treatment for You?
Outpatient treatment allows most patients to continue working and caring for families while maintaining sobriety. If you or a loved one is considering an outpatient treatment plan, contact us today for more information. We’re here to help.
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