Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient care is a type of addiction treatment program that many individuals choose to attend.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient care is a type of rehab program where patients visit a facility usually once a day or several times a week at first. They are able to attend scheduled treatments like behavioral therapies and support groups, receive medications, and talk to their doctors. Then, they return home. Unlike with inpatient care, outpatient programs do not provide 24-hour care.

What Is Outpatient Care Like?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Outpatient treatment varies in the types and intensity of services offered.” Some programs provide only the evidence-based practices of medication and behavioral therapy while other offer additional options like yoga classes, support group meetings, etc. However, some provide little more than drug education. Therefore, it is important to be aware of what a program offers before choosing it and to make sure that it will offer everything you will require in order to safely recover.

Who Needs Outpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment is another option for substance abuse recovery that is necessary for certain patients. Some individuals, though, may not require this more intensive option and can recover effectively with just the help of an outpatient program.

  • The medical journal Psychiatric Quarterly states those who have “a good social support system” at home may not require inpatient care and can instead choose only to attend outpatient treatment.
    • When a person has friends and family members who are dedicated to help and take care of them at home, they will be less likely to relapse and, as such, may not need intensive, 24-hour care in a controlled environment.
  • Those who have jobs, school, or other responsibilities may also fare better in outpatient treatment. One’s treatment schedule can be created to fit around their other obligations, and these responsibilities can also be helpful in keeping the individual from relapsing.
  • Those who are not suffering from high psychiatric severity, dangerous medical issues, or other severe conditions in addition to addiction may want to consider outpatient care, as inpatient treatment is usually focused on treating those with multiple issues associated with substance abuse.
  • People with less severe addictions often do not need the intensive options provided by inpatient care.
    • In addition, this can also be the less costly choice.

Most outpatient centers are less expensive than inpatient rehab, so many people choose the former option for this reason. However, those with more severe addictions may require inpatient care as their preliminary treatment program, which can often be followed by outpatient treatment as a type of aftercare.