An outpatient treatment program is considered one of the most effective forms of treatment for people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. The term “outpatient” refers to a patient who has self-directed care and does not require maintenance from medical professionals. This type of treatment is suitable for those who have moderate to heavy dependence on alcohol or drugs.
During an outpatient treatment program, the focus is on therapy or counseling and group or individual counseling. Family members, friends, and support groups also play an essential role in the recovery of addicts. Alcohol or drug addiction can devastate the lives of families and destroy the relationships of loved ones.
Outpatient treatment programs are designed to treat the whole person. This is in contrast to inpatient treatment, which concentrates on the symptoms of the disease, and only treats the underlying disorder. It is believed by many researchers that focusing on the disease results in short-term or limited outcomes.
Outpatient IOPS yield favorable long-term outcomes when proper follow-up is provided. Long-term care is an issue in inpatient programs—patients who follow up experience many problems associated with staying addicted or relapse. In outpatient programs, the focus is more on the long-term health care needs and outcomes. A better chance at long-term success is achieved when IOPs are used along with adequate support and services from quality inpatient treatment centers.
Treatment methods in outpatient programs vary widely. While inpatient detox is an extreme situation, outpatient IOPs are generally more common. Outpatient IOPs are short stay treatments often followed by residential treatment or counseling. This may include detoxification, counseling, medications, therapy, and support groups. In some cases, a combination of these may be needed for patient recovery.
Outpatient treatment outcomes are significantly influenced by the type of treatment selected and implemented. The types of treatment include inpatient drug abuse rehabilitation, inpatient alcohol abuse rehabilitation, intensive outpatient settings, day-patient treatment, extended care, and other forms of behavioral therapies. Many experts believe that there are a variety of different approaches to achieve positive long-term treatment outcomes. Some of these behavioral therapies commonly used include:
An intensive outpatient rehab program is best suited to long-term drug use disorders and addiction. It is a more intense form of therapy and requires the participation of the addict in the treatment process. The primary goal of intensive outpatient drug abuse rehab programs is to facilitate rapid and permanent recovery by giving the addict a strong sense of self-esteem, confidence, and control over life. These programs follow a multiple-pronged approach to combating relapse.
Long-term success depends on sticking with a treatment regimen and addressing underlying issues, such as underlying psychological and emotional problems, mental illness, and other underlying factors. These problems must be recognized, understood, and treated for long-term success. For this reason, many experts have recommended using a combination of naturalistic approaches to address these issues. A natural approach to achieving success includes, as a first step, educating the patients about their problems and the associated treatments. A second step should involve building trust between the patients and their doctors, then working with these patients to identify and treat their substance use problems.
Ongoing education about the disease, its symptoms, and associated treatment protocols are necessary for all of these individuals to have the best possible chance at achieving success. This ongoing education helps to ensure that clients stay inpatient through the entire course of their treatment. Ongoing treatment also helps individuals strengthen their coping skills. All of these services are offered through outpatient treatment centers. Treatment for drug addiction is a complex process and requires careful planning and follow-up from the very beginning.