Understanding How Outpatient Programs Can Work for You

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Understanding How Outpatient Programs Can Work for You

When you seek treatment for a substance use disorder, you’ll have a choice between inpatient or outpatient treatment. There are benefits to both options. Your doctor or treatment provider will help you determine which of these is the best fit for you and your unique situation. The primary difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment is that with inpatient treatment you remain at the facility for the duration of your treatment. With outpatient treatment, you continue to live at home while regularly visiting the facility for your treatment. If this is your first time seeking treatment, it is normal to feel a little apprehensive. It can help to have an idea of what to expect. 

Weighing the Benefits of Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

When making your decision to go with inpatient vs. outpatient treatment, it is helpful to examine the benefits of both. This can help you determine which option is the best fit for you and your life. 

Inpatient Treatment

  • Inpatient treatment allows for medical supervision to ensure that you can receive help right away in the case of any medical emergency. 
  • Through this treatment, your withdrawal symptoms can be managed effectively, making the detox process easier and more comfortable. 
  • You’ll be in an environment where you won’t have to worry about being tempted to use drugs or alcohol. 

Outpatient Treatment 

  • With outpatient treatment, you won’t have to take time off work as you can simply go in for treatment when your schedule allows. 
  • You will be less likely to have to worry about arranging for childcare as you can go into treatment when your children are at school or when your spouse is home from work.
  • An outpatient program is typically considered a more affordable form of treatment. 

Intensive Outpatient Treatment 

  • In comparison to typical outpatient treatment, the option of intensive outpatient treatment involves checking in with your counselor or primary care provider consistently throughout the day.
  •  The goal of this process is to try to keep you as accountable as possible even if inpatient care is not an option for you moving forward. 

Understanding What an Intensive Outpatient Program Would Look Like 

If you choose to go through an intensive outpatient program, then you would be continuing with your normal work schedule but devoting your spare time to treatment. You can work with your treatment provider to come up with a set treatment schedule that will work best for your lifestyle. Typically, you spend several hours at your treatment center each day for around five days a week. This will process will continue over several months. Many people choose to schedule their treatment after their workday, but this choice is totally up to you. 

When you first begin treatment and are going through the detox process, you will routinely be evaluated both mentally and physically. You may be prescribed certain medications to help make this process easier and manage your withdrawal symptoms. Later on, you’ll meet with a counselor one on one regularly. Your counselor can help you determine the root cause of your addiction and why you began engaging in substance misuse in the first place. This step is important as identifying and addressing the causes can help you prevent relapsing when your treatment is over. Your counselor can also help you learn new coping mechanisms for stress that do not involve turning to substance use. 

At the start of treatment, you may find it hard to talk to your loved ones about what you’re going through. This may be because you’re simply uncomfortable or you feel as if they won’t be able to relate to your situation. That’s why support group meetings through your outpatient program can be extremely helpful. You’ll be able to speak to those who understand what you’re going through and how you feel. You won’t have to worry about being judged or ridiculed. In support group meetings, everything that you say is confidential, allowing you to share whatever is on your mind. 

Understanding if Outpatient Treatment Is Right for You

While outpatient treatment is a good fit for some people, others may find that they really do need inpatient treatment in order to enjoy a successful recovery. This may be because they are simultaneously battling mental health problems, struggling with addictions to highly dangerous drugs, or worried they wouldn’t be able to turn down cravings if left alone. Some questions you should ask yourself when making this decision include: 

  • Do you have family or friends that are going to be supportive of your recovery journey?
  • Is your house a completely substance-free household?
  • Will others be engaging in substance use while around you?
  • Do you have safe and reliable transportation to get your treatments on time and on a regular basis? 

There are benefits to both inpatient and outpatient treatment for addiction. With inpatient treatment, you stay at the treatment facility for the duration of your treatment. However, with outpatient treatment, you will continue to live at home and go to work while devoting your spare time to treatment. Many people prefer outpatient treatment because they are able to maintain their regular schedule. During treatment, you will be evaluated mentally and physically. You will work with a counselor and attend support group meetings. To determine which type of treatment is the right choice for your situation, speak openly and honestly with your doctor. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at The Kimberly Center can help you take back your life. We have helped countless patients achieve recovery, and we can help you too. Call us today at (855) 452-3683.

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