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Extended Care / Intensive Outpatient

Outpatient Treatment

What is outpatient treatment for addiction? Outpatient treatment involves visiting a treatment center near your home at regular times, for therapy appointments or group meetings, to sustain your recovery from a drug or alcohol use disorder. Many individuals graduate to outpatient treatment after attending a residential treatment program, but some may start with outpatient treatment and then move on to residential if their needs exceed the outpatient program’s capabilities.

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What’s Included in Outpatient Treatment?

What’s included in outpatient treatment? Outpatient treatment may vary by location, size, and treatment model, but generally it will include the following:

  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Group therapy sessions
  • 12-Step meetings (such as AA or NA)
  • Life skills training
  • Medication assistance

Some outpatient centers may offer vocation assistance or sober living options to help an individual re-integrate into society after residential treatment. Others may provide assistance with supportive medications if needed. At some centers, outpatient treatment may also include:

  • Yoga or meditation classes
  • Local events for the recovery community
  • Sessions for family members and loved ones
  • Special workshops (parenting, nutrition, relationships, etc.)
  • Opportunities to serve or give back to the community

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

There are many benefits of outpatient treatment, whether an individual has already attended residential treatment or not:

  • Individuals can still go to work or school while attending an outpatient program.
  • Outpatient treatment offers the opportunity to build a new life or reintegrate into society while continuing to receive training and support for recovery.
  • A person can connect with peers in an outpatient program and build a new sober community where he or she lives.
  • Outpatient program staff may be able to help individuals in recovery find work, community, or support in their local area.
  • Outpatient treatment offers a safe step-down from residential treatment so that individuals do not have to worry as much about returning home, where they may run into old friends or experience triggers. They can learn to overcome these challenges as they gain skills and assistance through an outpatient program.

How to Choose an Outpatient Treatment Program

How do you choose an outpatient treatment program for recovery from a substance use disorder? Here are some factors to consider when choosing an outpatient center:

  • Location. It can be very helpful to attend an outpatient program where you live (though you can attend a program in another place as well). You should feel comfortable finding a place in your local area, where you can also work or attend school.
  • Insurance Benefits. Most insurance plans cover outpatient treatment in some form, but you will need to verify your benefits with the outpatient center. Some insurance companies prefer individuals to attend outpatient before upgrading to residential treatment, though commonly a person may attend outpatient afterward, or if his or her addiction is not considered firmly established or severe.
  • Program Offerings. You may be seeking an outpatient center that offers a certain kind of support, like help with job or sober living placement, medication assistance, experiential options (like yoga, art, or mediation), or 12-Step meetings. You can often find this out through a program’s website or by giving them a call. If you’ve attended residential treatment or are connected with a treatment advisor, someone may be able to assess outpatient treatment options and get everything set up for you.

There are a few different levels of outpatient treatment for addiction. Each level is designed for the acuity of the patient’s condition:

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). This level of outpatient care does not involve a hospital, but it does offer the highest degree of support for those outside of a residential treatment center. An individual attends their PHP all week, for most of the day, almost like attending residential treatment, except that the individual does not reside there — he or she goes home in the evening.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). An Intensive Outpatient Program is the next level down from a Partial Hospitalization Program, offering support to individuals multiple days a week for several hours at a time. An IOP provides flexibility to those who may be employed, in school, or caring for children.
  • Aftercare. When an individual engages in aftercare, he or she may visit the outpatient center once or twice a week for special sessions, therapy, medication assistance, or other services. This is the lowest level of outpatient care, but it helps an individual continue his or her recovery with support and encouragement.

How to Know When It’s Time to Seek Outpatient Treatment

How do you know when it’s time to seek outpatient treatment for addiction? The following are signs that outpatient treatment may be necessary for you:

  • You’ve attended a residential program but are fearful of falling back into old substance use habits once you return home.
  • You’re looking for a sober community or new friends who have the same recovery goals.
  • You need support finding a new job or sober living arrangements.
  • You want to build different habits, process your experiences through therapy, and sustain a recovery lifestyle.
  • You want to prevent the potential for relapse and learn important life skills.

Outpatient treatment is a key stepping stone, both for those who need a higher level of care and those who need a lower level of care. At an outpatient center, treatment professionals can provide you with an assessment of your condition or recovery journey and offer you a chance to gain more support or simply refresh your knowledge and recovery skill set.

Attend Outpatient Treatment through BeWell Network

If you or a loved one is considering outpatient treatment for addiction, please get in touch with the BeWell Network team today. We can determine what treatment options are right for you and verify your insurance benefits for free. Our family of treatment centers provides customized treatment experiences, personalized plans, experiential therapies, and compassionate staff who understand your needs and treat you with respect. We are ready to welcome you and support you on your recovery journey. To find out your best options for outpatient treatment, call (866) 317-8395 or contact us today.

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