What are the Different Types of Outpatient Treatment?

One of the main benefits that you stand to gain when you choose outpatient treatment is that you will still be able to continue meeting your responsibilities and obligations at home, work, and school.

Today, there are different types of these outpatient treatment programs. Your choice of a program will largely depend on the severity of your substance use disorder, the existence - if any - of a co-occurring mental health disorder, and many other factors.

Often, outpatient treatment programs are classified into traditional outpatient programs, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs). Read on to find out more:

1. Intensive Outpatient Programs

Apart from the traditional outpatient treatment that you might receive while trying to overcome your addiction, there are also intensive outpatient treatment programs. These programs will often deliver intensive services for several hours a day, after work or school, and on weekends. They will also provide a higher level of treatment than a traditional outpatient drug rehab and more depth of drug rehabilitation.

These programs can also include the following services in your treatment:

  • Medication management
  • Group counseling
  • Individual therapy
  • Educational classes

You should choose intensive outpatient treatment if you do not suffer from acute or severe withdrawal, your substance use disorder is less severe, or you have already been through an inpatient or residential treatment program. However, these programs might also accommodate you if you need combined treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders.

While enrolled in an intensive outpatient program, you will receive ongoing rehabilitation services using intensive but part time schedules. The schedules might also accommodate your obligations at work, school, and home. However, you will also be required to continue checking into the outpatient treatment facility on a regular basis - and sometimes daily.

Intensive outpatient treatment is recommended if:

  • You do not require medically managed detoxification services
  • You have already been through a detox program and it was successful
  • You have been through a residential or inpatient treatment program but need additional help so that you can continue with the recovery therapies that you were learning and practicing in the residential program

Generally, intensive outpatient programs are heavily focused on group therapy. However, you would also be working with individual therapists that you can meet several times every week to go through the issues that you are dealing with.

In the same way, the program might require you to take educational classes on such topics as:

  • 12 Step programming
  • Anger management
  • Awareness on Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (or PAWS)
  • Codependency education
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Dealing with drug cravings
  • Managing drug use urges
  • Relapse prevention skills
  • Stress management
  • Understanding how addiction and the brain work

2. Partial Hospitalization Programs

Apart from intensive outpatient programs and regular outpatient treatment, you can also opt for partial hospitalization programs. Also known as PHPs, these programs are also ideal for dealing with substance use related disorders.

Often, this type of treatment would be ideally if you have already been through a residential or inpatient addiction detox and rehabilitation program. Partial hospitalization programs are similar to intensive outpatient programs in the sense that you will be required to check into the treatment center on an almost daily basis.

However, PHPs might involve more of your time every day. Additionally, these programs will provide a higher level of medical supervision, as well as continue monitoring your medication intake and any psychiatric symptoms that you display.

In the same way, partial hospitalization programs might include both individual and group therapy. You will also be taught how to cope better with stressful situations instead of resorting to substance abuse as a way to self-medicate for stress.

Sometimes, PHPs are referred to as day treatment programs. This is because you would be required to continue receiving care on an almost full time basis on the days you are enrolled for treatment before going back home at night.

3. Traditional Outpatient Treatment

The final program would typically involve regular outpatient treatment services. When you are enrolled in such a program, you will receive addiction rehabilitation services but on a step-down basis.

Most of these traditional outpatient treatment programs will only require that you check into the facility a few hours every week. As a result, you might still be able to continue meeting your other obligations at work, home, and school and only going for treatment several times each week.

Getting Help

To be able to choose the right type of outpatient treatment, it is essential that you undergo thorough assessment and evaluation. From these checks, you can determine the level of treatment that you will require to overcome your substance use disorder and any other co-occurring disorders without coming to any harm during your recovery.







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