Outpatient Treatment Outpatient: A Few Useful Tips

Men and women who are in the recovery stages of addiction are often part of intense outpatient treatment. Inpatient programs are not the only way to treat an addiction. Although it may be a great challenge to change dangerous behaviors that have been ingrained for years, effective outpatient treatment plans can help to turn the situation around.

How is intense outpatient treatment different than other programs?

  • Time commitment: Rather than one or two hours a week spent in groups or individual counseling, several hours will be devoted to getting the individual on the right track. This includes counseling sessions, 12 Step meetings, group therapy, and other requirements as determined by a team of professionals.
  • Group dynamics: This environment can provide support and accountability with each participant.
  • Individual counseling: Although not the primary method of treatment, one-on-one counseling is an important step in the recovery process.
  • Management of medications: Working in conjunction with other therapies, the monitoring of medicine or the need for medicine are critical parts of treatment.
  • Monitoring of drug and alcohol use: Tests to determine if an individual is using a substance are routine in an IOT program.
  • 24-hour care: Recovery is at times a long and slow process. Trained personnel can be available in order to address issues that need immediate attention. This type of care can include detox professionals, hotline, and clinicians.
  • Medical treatment: Mental, psychiatric, and untreated medical issues will need ongoing care by a physician. In order for treatment to be effective, the whole person must be taken care of and looked after.
  • Freedom: Participants in IOT are free to maintain a semblance of their daily lives, including work and school commitments, family responsibility, and personal activities. Remaining anonymous may be easier, since there is no long period of absence from normal activities.

According to the definition of intense outpatient treatment set by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the standard requirement is 9 hours of therapy per week, per participant. This may appear as several days of a few hours each, or evenings in group sessions, or another type of setting. Treatment may last anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks or even up to 6 months.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that addiction is complex, yet treatable, and in order to be effective needs to meet various needs of the man or woman. One treatment may work for an individual, but it does not mean it will work for all individuals. This may include therapy, medication, behavioral treatment, and other methods which are deemed appropriate for each person.

In Closing

The good news is that there are many avenues for help when it comes to treating drug and alcohol addiction. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Just as each individual is unique, the treatment program should be personalized. Depending on the person and the addiction, intense outpatient treatment may be the best option for you or for the one you love.