Understanding Outpatient Drug Treatment: What You Need to Know

Discover how outpatient drug treatment is effective in helping patients achieve sobriety in this comprehensive article.

What Is Outpatient Drug Treatment?

Drug addiction is not easy, but treatment plans are available. Outpatient drug treatment is effective in helping patients get past their substance abuse issues.

Outpatient programs differ from residential and inpatient treatment in that it allows patients to get the help they need without staying at the facility. Thus, individuals can receive treatment while carrying out the responsibilities of everyday life. This article will review what’s involved in an outpatient treatment plan so you can determine if it’s suited to your needs.
Outpatient Drug Treatment

Effectiveness of Outpatient Programs

Research shows that more intensive outpatient programs can be as effective as inpatient treatment. Outpatient programs also offer helpful services for co-occurring medical or mental health disorders.1

A study evaluated alcohol abstinence after alcohol-dependent patients received either inpatient, intensive outpatient, or outpatient treatment. At the eighteen-month follow-up, 37% to 81% of the inpatient group, 50% to 75% of the intensive outpatient group, and 41% to 76% of the outpatient group abstained from alcohol.2

These results reveal similar outcomes between outpatient and inpatient programs. The study also shows a higher abstinence baseline with outpatient treatment than with inpatient.

Who Is Outpatient Drug Treatment Suited For?

Outpatient drug treatment is a convenient alternative to inpatient treatment. But it is not the best choice for everyone. Here are some things to consider when deciding if it is right for you:
  • Cost: Outpatient drug treatment is less expensive than inpatient treatment. This makes it an affordable option if the patient has a limited budget.  
  • Home Situation: A stable home environment is crucial as outpatient programs do not include living at the facility. A negative home atmosphere, such as the prevalence of drug use or toxic roommates, will negate the progress made in outpatient rehab. 
  • Responsibilities: Some responsibilities and obligations can make inpatient care difficult. For example, a job, school, or individuals who require the patient’s care may prevent them from taking time off during recovery. In these situations, outpatient care will be a better option. 
  • Addiction Severity: An inpatient drug treatment program may be a better option for severe addiction cases, as it provides around-the-clock care, continuous withdrawal monitoring, and relapse prevention. But if inpatient care isn’t possible, outpatient care is a good alternative. 

What Does a Typical Day in Outpatient Rehab Consist of?

A typical day in rehab will vary depending on the type of outpatient drug treatment the patient is receiving. Here is an idea of what a day in partial hospitalization looks like:
  • Check-In: Check in at the beginning of each day or evening session. Check-ins typically involve the patient recording their name, the date, the time they arrived, and how they are feeling.
  • Group Therapy: Join a group therapy session led by a therapist. They will discuss and teach about addiction, mental health conditions, and treatment. For example, the therapist may open a discussion about the causes of drug abuse or coping mechanisms for cravings.
  • Individual Therapy: Meet with a therapist to discuss symptoms, thoughts and emotions, treatment progress, daily struggles, concerns, and medication. They will provide skills to help cope and manage triggers, negative thoughts, and side effects. These sessions also act as a treatment plan overview, with the therapist requesting changes as needed.
  • Other Activities: The patient may partake in other therapeutic activities during their treatment session. For example, they may take art classes, engage in yoga and meditation, or join local outings. Multiple studies have indicated that engaging in meditation during addiction treatment can improve addiction behavior and reduce depression, anxiety, and stress.3

How Can Outpatient Drug Treatment Set Patients Up for Success and Healing?

At Essence Healthcare, we offer several outpatient drug treatment options. We have all the resources and services for long-term recovery while allowing patients to return home and maintain their obligations. They include:
  • Detox: The early stages of treatment focuses on detox. Detox is the process of eliminating unwanted substances from the body. The treatment team monitors withdrawal symptoms and offers support throughout the process to ensure safety and comfort. Detoxing provides a substance-free start to recovery, increasing successful outcomes.
  • Convenient Setting: Outpatient treatment allows patients to overcome addiction without choosing between work, family, and recovery.
  • Corrects Negative Thought Processes: Common outpatient treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), can help patients identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors. One study found that integrating CBT in an intensive outpatient program effectively reduced symptoms of comorbid addiction and mental health disorders. It also led to increased satisfaction with participation in social roles.4
  • Ongoing Care: After completing the initial treatment plan, outpatient programs provide aftercare. This includes ongoing therapy sessions, continued medication management, and recommendations for community resources like support groups. Aftercare aims to prevent relapse and ensure patients continue to live healthy and positive lives.
Outpatient Drug Treatment

What Outpatient Drug Treatment Opportunities Do Essence Healthcare Offer?

At Essence Healthcare, we offer several outpatient drug treatment options. We have all the resources and services for long-term recovery while allowing patients to return home and maintain their obligations. They include:
  • Sub-Acute Detox: Sub-acute detox includes the high-quality care of medical detox without the twenty-four-seven monitoring.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): In a partial hospitalization program, patients will spend six to eight hours a day, up to five days a week, in treatment. PHPs are for more severe addictions. It can act as either a step down from inpatient treatment or the first step for those who cannot attend or do not necessarily need inpatient care.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): An intensive outpatient program can either be a follow-up to PHP or a standalone treatment. It involves undergoing sessions nine to twenty hours a week. 
  • Outpatient Drug Program: This final step of treatment can occur once a week or be integrated on an as-needed basis. General outpatient treatment programs are the least intensive.

Therapies at Essence Healthcare

We have opportunities for over twenty-five therapies to fit each patient’s needs and interests, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Experiential therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Meditation
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Nutritional support & counseling
  • Psychoeducational groups
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
…and so much more.

Our well-trained staff has the experience and knowledge to help patients past their drug addictions so they can begin enjoying life again. We develop customized programs to ensure patients benefit from a treatment plan best suited to their needs.

Reach Out Today and Begin Healing

Don’t let drugs and alcohol take over your life. Contact Essence Healthcare today. Our outpatient drug treatment will help you move on to enjoy the health and happiness you deserve.

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.