When someone has come to terms with the fact that they need to seek help for addiction or dependency issues, the next step is to find the right kind of treatment program for their personal needs. Although most people are familiar with residential or inpatient addiction treatment, there are highly effective outpatient options also available for people needing more flexibility.
Some people may be in the middle of training for a specific role at work or still in education and the disruption of residential addiction treatment is not feasible for them. Everyone has different circumstances but it’s always worth exploring what outpatient options are available rather than delaying treatment to a more ‘convenient’ time.
There are 6 significant benefits of intensive outpatient treatment as follows:
#1 Maintain Consistent Support to Family
If an addict is the main breadwinner or caregiver in the family, a residential treatment program may not be possible. Many people with addiction have young children that need to be supervised and cared for and others may be required to work and fund childcare for preschoolers in the absence of a co-parent. An intensive outpatient program allows someone to receive the treatment they need while maintaining their household responsibilities.
#2 Pulls Together Support from Family and Friends
One of the aspects of residential addiction treatment that is considered beneficial is that it allows individuals access to emotional support. However, an intensive outpatient program involves family and friends in the patient’s progress in the absence of group therapy. Instead, the focus is more on family therapy which is extremely effective in supporting a healthy life in sobriety. Outpatient treatment also rebuilds and strengthens bonds that may have been severely damaged by an individual’s addictive behaviors in the past.
#3 Maintain Privacy
There are lots of reasons someone with addiction may wish to keep their treatment to themselves. Perhaps they fear being harshly judged by others or are simply embarrassed by their issues. Fears about being ‘exposed’ as an addict can prevent many from seeking the help they need and outpatient treatment is a beneficial option in these cases. An important part of outpatient rehab is that patients become part of a community that totally understands them. Knowing that their issues are confidential and treatment is discrete can provide an individual with the incentive they need to seek help.
#4 Pay Less Money
Cost is a significant factor for many people with addiction issues, making residential treatment unaffordable. Outpatient treatment can be much cheaper and has as much potential to be successful as a residential program. Not having to pay the cost of food and board as well as medical expenses can result in a saving of as much as 75%, and so it is worth considering outpatient care as an option.
#5 Build Community with Others in Recovery Locally
One of the keys of preventing relapse and maintaining sobriety after treatment is the support network that is built during an intensive outpatient program. Group therapy sessions with others going through the same experiences and similar journeys has been proven to be effective in maintaining sobriety once an individual has finished structured treatment. It’s important for people with addiction to have a platform where they can express their thoughts and fears openly and without fear of judgment. It is often the only opportunity many have to explore how they feel, let alone express it aloud and this can lead to a much better understanding of what they are going through.
#6 A Consistent Presence at School or Work
Some people are just not able to uproot their lives to attend a residential addiction treatment program for a number of weeks. There are others who may find it too disruptive to be pulled out of school or work, particularly if they are able to make good progress despite their issues. While it might be necessary to take some time off for outpatient treatment, it is obviously less interruptive than inpatient care and it allows people flexibility to fit their rehab around other important aspects of their lives. Indeed many can benefit from maintaining a consistent presence at the office or classroom and it can provide a healthy outlet for them during the intensive process of their recovery.