Drug and alcohol addiction is a very serious matter, and the issue is only getting worse. Unfortunately, the overdose rate has skyrocketed in recent years, now killing over 91,000 Americans every year.
If you feel trapped in an endless cycle of addiction, there is help available to you, even if you can’t commit to a long stay in rehab. Let’s talk about outpatient rehab and see if it’s right for you!
What Is Outpatient Rehab?
Outpatient rehab is the opposite of inpatient or residential rehab. Instead of living at a facility, you will continue living at home and seeking treatment on your own terms. However, there are different structures outpatient rehab can follow.
For example, you may have a program where you voluntarily attend therapy services, support group meetings, and/or doctor’s visits. A well-known example of an outpatient program is AA, which has over 2.1 million members globally.
Alternatively, you may have an intensive outpatient program that comes to your home and offers around-the-clock medical services, much like an inpatient facility. It all depends on your needs.
Also, these programs can look different for everybody, and they can even fit your schedule. There’s also no specific duration for them (30 days, 60 days, etc.), so you can continue them for as long as you need.
Who Is Outpatient Rehab Right For?
Outpatient treatment isn’t necessarily right for everybody. For example, somebody with a long-term addiction and no experience with sobriety or detoxification may require more intensive care. In this case, an inpatient program or partial hospitalization program is highly recommended.
If you pose a medical risk, we generally don’t recommend outpatient services unless you have access to regular medical oversight. This is most concerning during the first few days of detoxification.
However, outpatient programs are widely successful approaches for many people struggling with mental health disorders and/or addiction. This is especially true when it comes to maintaining abstinence. Outpatient programs are well-suited for those who have overcome the first 30 days of sobriety.
Even in the early days, some people may prefer an outpatient program for time constraints, personal or work obligations, financial reasons, or personal preferences. If this isn’t your first time getting sober, then this may be a sufficient approach.
Also, any treatment is better than no treatment! If the thought of an inpatient program frightens you to the point that you abandon the idea of treatment altogether, it’s okay to start with an outpatient program, as long as you understand the risks.
Challenges of an Outpatient Program
There’s no way around it, sobriety comes with many challenges. Outpatient programs have a few of their own.
For example, outpatient programs leave more room for error. Relapsing doesn’t have to be the end of the world, but it can be particularly challenging during the early days of sobriety. It makes it much more challenging to go back to treatment if you relapse within the first 30 days.
In large part, this is because this is the most physically challenging part of sobriety. If you haven’t gotten past the point of extreme cravings and withdrawal symptoms, then it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Convincing yourself to do it again is no easy feat.
Also, you may not have access to important services in certain outpatient programs. However, this largely depends on the program you choose.
Again, this doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Many people find success using outpatient treatments. It’s just important to understand some of the risks.
What Can Outpatient Rehab Help You Accomplish?
Depending on your program, there’s no limit to what an outpatient program can help you with, regardless of your needs. It doesn’t matter if you have an underlying mental illness, a history of trauma, multiple substance abuse disorders, or anything else.
Essentially, you can accomplish anything you would in an inpatient program! The only aspect that has to change in an outpatient program is your living situation, not the structure or effectiveness of your program. An outpatient program can help you:
- Learn the tools needed for a sober life
- Treat mental health disorders or underlying causes of addiction
- Network with and learn from others
- Develop healthy habits and lifestyle choices
- Feel empowered to continue a sober life
- Save money and time on inpatient programs
- Build a continuous “safe space” for when you need it
- Continue living your life while seeking treatment
The list goes on. Again, every treatment program is different, and every patient’s experience is different. For example, outpatient alcohol rehab will look different from other outpatient rehab services.
Regardless, the right program can help give you the tools you need to live a successful and sober life. However, it’s entirely on you to make the decision to find help.
Also, if you’re reading this for a loved one, consider looking at inpatient rehab programs first and offering them to them. If they refuse, offer an outpatient program that meets their needs, and remember to verify their insurance ahead of time!
Get the Help You Need Today
Now that you know the benefits and challenges of an outpatient rehab service, you can choose the program that’s right for you. Everybody’s needs and preferences are different, but you shouldn’t wait. Find the help you need as soon as possible.
Stay up to date with our latest recovery tips, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to find the right San Diego outpatient rehab program for your needs!