Outpatient Addiction Treatment – A Day in the Life

Outpatient addiction treatment and rehabilitation means that the patient does not reside at a center for therapy. In general, the daily activities of someone in outpatient addiction treatment consist of some combination of

  • attending therapeutic classes
  • individual and/or group therapy sessions
  • visiting  with psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors
  • returning home following the visit

While the activities may vary, the crucial situation is that the individual is not restricted to a specific location or routine. In fact, a component of outpatient addiction treatment is the developing of a routine and habits that replace those that contributed to the addiction process. Because of the need to learn these behaviors, an individual in outpatient treatment may find the support needed in a Sober Living home.  If this is the case, then the rules specific to that location will also apply including:

  • Sobriety
  • Employment or enrollment in school
  • Paying rent and performing household chores and duties
  • Following house rules
  • Participating in a 12-step program

Outpatient therapy is a long-term treatment and maintenance concept. While outpatient addiction treatment has a high rate of success, that success is contingent on the strength of the support system at home and in the individual’s social circles. On-going participation in a 12-step program may be required.

Effective outpatient programs require analysis of the problems that contributed to addiction.  The modalities used may include Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing,  Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, or any of a number of methods, and all of which may be combined with one another.

As a means of rehabilitation and recovery, outpatient addiction treatment is highly effective in helping patients re-integrate into society, as it provides a continuing support program.  Among the many rehabilitative, recovery, and reintegration services provided in outpatient treatment are support groups, mental health maintenance, behavioral counseling, job search assistance, and continuing education on drugs and their effects. Program flexibility is also necessary as circumstances change, and program effectiveness diminishes.

For help finding outpatient addiction treatment please visit The Way Out for a personalized recommendation.

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