The best path for an individual to follow when it comes to receiving proper treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol tends to begin with inpatient treatment. Once discharged from inpatient treatment, many believe they are done at this point, and that they do not need any further treatment. While this does work for some individuals, the reality of the situation is that a multitude of individuals relapse within the next year after inpatient treatment.

The problem lies partly in the fact of the change in environment. When an individual is going through inpatient treatment, they are able to be in a stable environment that is drug free, safe, and allows them to concentrate on their treatment with no distractions or triggers to affect them. Once discharged, they head back to their regular environment and are all of a sudden slammed with multiple triggers in their environment. These can be overwhelming to deal with so quickly with no assistance, even with the tools and coping methods learned in treatment. The remedy to this, to help lower the risk of this affecting them is continuation of treatment on an outpatient basis once released.

What is Outpatient?

Rehabilitation centers are the commonly known type of drug treatment, where an individual goes and stays in the center for a period of time and is then released. This is not the case with outpatient treatment. Outpatient is done with the individual living outside of the treatment facility, but has regularly scheduled appointments that they attend. They can vary in the length of time between appointments depending upon different factors, such as how long they have been sober, and whether they are still having a difficult time. Outpatient can be done as a standalone type of treatment without having attended inpatient, but the best results are shown when it is used as a follow up and extension to inpatient treatment.

The length of how long a person continues in outpatient can depend upon multiple different things. It can be short term or long term to help accommodate the patient’s needs and desires to give them the best chance for success at long term recovery. Since every individual is unique in their particular addiction and the issues underlying it, it can be difficult to say how long they should remain in outpatient until assessed by a professional. Either way, outpatient as a follow up treatment after inpatient can do nothing but benefit the individual. The longer treatment is continued, the more bolstered the person is against triggers and difficult situations, and the better their chance at success.

Outpatient can be one of the most beneficial things a person in recovery can embark upon when released. It provides a source of assistance for the individual to continue to receive treatment and therapy even while back in their regular environment. Since triggers are going to be arising all over the place when they get back to their normal environment, outpatient gives a source of help in dealing with them. They can have regularly scheduled appointments that they can use to discuss the problems, triggers and difficulties that they encountered and can be helped in finding the best ways to cope and handle these as they come.

If an individual had done any Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), during their time in treatment, it can be continued upon an outpatient basis. As well as if an individual has never done CBT, it can be beneficial to begin this on an outpatient basis if needed. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be extremely successful in the treatment of addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states in a research-based guide on their website, “Cognitive-behavioral strategies are based on the theory that in the development of maladaptive behavioral patterns like substance abuse, learning processes play a critical role. Individuals in CBT learn to identify and correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills that can be used to stop drug abuse and to address a range of other problems that often co-occur with it.” It helps the individual to look deep within and address the thought patterns and negative emotions behind addiction. It can help the individual begin to recognize destructive thought patterns, which they can then work to change them, and then be able to adjust destructive behavioral patterns. CBT progresses in gradual steps so that the individual can slowly develop improved thought patterns and behavior without trying to move too fast all at once.

Outpatient can be the bridge that carries one across from the completely stable and secure environment of an inpatient treatment center, back to their regular life in a smoother way. It helps the individual to adjust gradually back into their day to day life, while being more able to handle and cope with their triggers every day. It provides the means of a safe transition back into their possibly trigger riddled life without it completely breaking them. An individual freshly out of inpatient treatment would be absolutely wise to enroll in an outpatient program immediately. In fact, some facilities that provide aftercare encourage or even help the person to get set up with an outpatient program to go directly into when out of the inpatient facility. This way, there is no gap of treatment between the two that relapse risk factors could have a chance of entering into.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, be sure to seek help right away. Addiction tends not to improve on its own, but rather worsens over time. We know finding the right treatment center to fit the person can sometimes be difficult, but that is where we can help. Our service is to help you find the best treatment center to fit you or your loved one specifically. We aim to find a treatment center that will address the particular individual and their unique needs. Give us a call today and we will help you find the best private inpatient treatment center for yourself or a loved one.

Do you need help choosing a treatment center?

Contact An Advisor