One of the most vexing problems occurs when someone is ready to address their substance use disorder but cannot feasibly take a chunk of time away from work and family responsibilities. This Catch-22 can result in the person in need of treatment to delay getting the help they need, or to suspend the idea altogether, often with disastrous consequences down the road.
In fact, the financial aspect of getting addiction treatment is a primary concern, even a formidable barrier to entering a rehab program. Many people assume that “going to rehab” always involves packing up and leaving home for sometimes months. The cost involved in a long-term inpatient program, including considering the lost wages while being enrolled, are out of reach for many.
There is an excellent option available that is provided at a lower cost than inpatient treatment and provides the flexibility to be able to continue to go to work or care for one’s family: outpatient rehab Utah. Outpatient treatment programs often provide the same types of treatment elements as an inpatient program, but to a less intensive degree. If resources or commitments make inpatient treatment untenable, consider exploring the outpatient rehab programs instead.
About Outpatient Rehab Utah
One of the advantages to outpatient treatment is the ability to build a customized program based entirely on the client’s unique needs. Generally, there are three different levels of intensity available in outpatient rehab. These include:
Basic Outpatient Treatment
This level of care represents the minimal amount of treatment intervention, usually just one or two therapy sessions per week. The basic outpatient rehab services are an excellent option for individuals who have completed an inpatient treatment program and wish to reinforce their recovery with ongoing therapy and support as part of continuing care planning. Basic outpatient treatment includes primarily psychotherapy sessions, both individual and group formats.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
The IOP provides a range of intensity based on the client’s particular needs, including what a court might have mandated. This is an appropriate treatment option for a mild to moderate substance use disorder, with programming that averages 9-12 hours per week, but which taper down as recovery goals are met. In addition to the psychotherapy and addiction education, the IOP may include family therapy, and medication assisted treatment.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
The PHP is the highest level of outpatient programming available. The PHP is preferable for the moderate to serious substance use disorders, as this more intensive program requires daily involvement, averaging 25-30 hours per week of participation in the various therapeutic activities. As with the IOP, the client will step down to a less intensive level of care as they reach the stated recovery benchmarks. As an extra layer of support for individuals with a more serious addiction, sober living arrangements can compliment the PHP while still allowing the person to engage at work in a part-time capacity.
Objectives of an Outpatient Treatment Program
The outpatient treatment option fills an important role between the services of a primary care physician and an inpatient rehab program. Outpatient services provide specialty psychological services that focus on only one facet of healthcare—addiction and dual diagnosis treatment. By providing these addiction recovery services in an outpatient setting, individuals now have two viable options when they are ready to get help for the substance problem.
The objectives of outpatient addiction treatment include:
- To define short-term, long-term, and lifetime recovery goals
- To eliminate the use of drugs or alcohol
- To identify the triggers that lead to the compulsion to use the substance
- To make fundamental changes in how those triggers are responded to
- To explore underlying factors, such as unprocessed emotional pain or trauma
- To eliminate the conditions that support substance abuse
- To acquire coping skills to better manage stress, anger, resolve conflicts, and improve communication skills.
- To create a relapse prevention plan and actionable responses when recovery is threatened.
- To become educated about the disease of addiction
- To change living habits and home environment to be supportive of recovery
What About Detox and Withdrawal?
When someone has become addicted to or chemically dependent on a drug or alcohol they will likely need to first go through a detox program prior to entering treatment. This is the phase of recovery during which the individual ceases using the substance and allows the body to rid itself of the substance and associated chemicals or toxins.
Prolonged substance abuse will have caused structural changes in the brain over time, altering brain chemistry and neural pathways in response to the ongoing presence of the drug or alcohol. When the individual attempts to stop using the substance, the brain and central nervous system will become destabilized, leading to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
During detox, these withdrawal symptoms will be closely observed, with vital signs constantly monitored as the individual passes through the three stages of detox; the emerging phase, the acute phase, and the subsiding phase. The detox team will provide relief from the discomfort through a variety of medications, in addition to psychological support. Detox usually lasts about a week on average.
Treatment Elements at Outpatient Rehab
When it is time to enter the outpatient program, a careful review of the presenting issues and the history of the individual’s drug or alcohol use are assessed. This information helps the intake team to decide on an appropriate outpatient treatment plan. A case manager then coordinates the various aspects of the plan and creates a schedule based on the intensity of the outpatient program.
During outpatient treatment, all counseling sessions, classes, and group meetings are designed to educate the client about addiction while guiding behavioral changes and fostering a social support system.
Comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation services include:
- Individual talk therapy. One-on-one psychotherapy sessions create a safe and supportive environment where clients can examine any underlying issues that may be contributing factors to the substance abuse. These might include a history of trauma or abuse, recent loss of a loved one, divorce or interpersonal problems, as some examples. The therapist will also guide the client toward identifying thought distortions that result in reaching for the substance, creating a habitual compulsion to use drugs or alcohol. Using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the therapist will help the client to replace dysfunctional thought-behavior patterns with healthy, constructive replacements. Other evidence-based modalities appropriate for addiction treatment include dialectical behavior therapy, contingency management, and motivational enhancement therapy.
- Group therapy. Group counseling sessions provide an important source of peer support. The opportunity to share personal experiences with others who may have had similar experiences cultivates a supportive environment where group discussion can be therapeutic. The clinician guides the group by offering feedback and advice. Sharing experiences and information with others builds confidence and self-esteem.
- Family group. Clients and their families benefit from family programs offered at outpatient rehabs. These sessions promote healing within the family and can help identify enabling or other unhelpful behaviors that must be changed in order to assist the loved one in recovery. Family members learn how to improve their communication skills and better resolve conflicts. Healthy boundaries and setting up reasonable expectations is also addressed in the family sessions.
- Medication management. Some clients may have medication-assisted treatment (MAT) included in their overall treatment plan. MAT can be effective in extending sobriety and reducing the risk of relapse, and might be prescribed for up to a year following completion of the outpatient program.
- Addiction education classes. Clients benefit from having an understanding of how drugs and alcohol impact the brain and lead to chemical dependency. The classes guide relapse prevention planning, during which clients list their known triggers and make a strategic plan to manage these. Classes equip clients with various tools to access in recovery, such as relaxation techniques and new coping skills.
- 12-step or similar group participation. Many outpatient rehabs require or strongly encourage involvement in a recovery community. These groups can offer social support and fellowship, which allow clients to be accountable to others. The recovery meetings offer opportunities to share personal stories and learn important lessons from those with long-term sobriety.
- Access to adjunct treatment activities or therapies. Outpatient rehabs often coordinate supportive resources or complementary activities with the program, providing life skills training, legal assistance, and holistic activities such as yoga classes and art therapy.
What About a Dual Diagnosis?
When someone suffers from a substance use disorder that coexists with a mental health disorder, or the other way around, it is termed a “dual diagnosis.” According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 8 million Americans over age 18 have these co-occurring, or comorbid, disorders. The highest rates of dual diagnosis are among adults aged 26-49.
With co-occurring disorders, the mental health condition may emerge first, followed by the substance use disorder when drugs or alcohol were used to manage symptoms. Or the reverse is also possible, with the substance use disorder leading to such damaging consequences that the individual acquires anxiety or depression in response. Common dual diagnoses include:
- Alcoholism and depression
- Marijuana abuse and social anxiety
- Alcohol abuse and PTSD
- Cocaine addiction and anxiety disorder
- Benzodiazepine addiction and panic disorder
Treating a dual diagnosis requires a specific expertise that involves psychiatric support in addition to the addiction professionals and clinical psychologists that treat addiction. Only a dual diagnosis program is properly equipped to provide the appropriate care and support for individuals with co-occurring disorders, as treatment is more complex. For best recovery results, an integrated approach involving psychiatric care in addition to the other treatment elements is preferable.
How to Prepare for Outpatient Rehab Utah
After deciding to get some help, approach one’s employer honestly, asking for their patience during treatment due to the demands of the rehab potentially impacting the work schedule for a couple of months. Human resources departments are accustomed to employees requesting accommodations so they can obtain treatment. The employee should not fear any retribution for needing a modified schedule for a few months, and federal laws protect their job. Employers understand the importance of confidentiality and should be attentive to privacy concerns regarding the reason for needing to work a reduced schedule.
Prior to beginning treatment, the individual should explain to family members or a spouse their recovery goals and planning, and ask for their support. Invite the family members to join in with the family therapy sessions, as these offer an excellent opportunity to become united in the recovery effort.
For some individuals beginning an outpatient program, there may be a need for sober living arrangements. This is an excellent protective measure when the home environment is not supportive of one’s recovery efforts. Sober living provides a drug and alcohol-free space to reside while going through treatment, and even for the first few months following treatment while sobriety efforts are reinforced.
Protective Factors to Reinforce Sobriety
Continuing care represents the phase of treatment that follows completion of the primary outpatient treatment program. These strategies help protect and reinforce recovery:
- Transitioning to the basic outpatient care following an IOP or PHP, meeting once or twice per week with a therapist or group. This ongoing therapy provides an important source of support in the early months of recovery when the individual is vulnerable to relapse.
- Sober living provides a substance-free home environment where new recovery skills can be practiced and reinforced before re-entering regular life.
- Recovery meetings. Finding a recovery community that is compatible with one’s personal views or preferences can be a significant source of social support.
Next Level Recovery is an Outpatient Rehab in Utah
Next Level Recovery is a leading outpatient rehab program that serves individuals in the state of Utah. Next Level Recovery offers outpatient addiction and dual diagnosis recovery services using individualized treatment planning and an integrative approach. Our program offers family support as well sober living housing options to further support recovery efforts. At Next Level Recovery, our “resilience approach” emphasizes cultivating more effective coping skills that can be accessed when recovery is challenged. For more information about the outpatient program options, please contact the team today at (888) 759-5846.