There’s no doubt about the severe difficulty of healing from substance use disorder. However, there are treatments available that are tailored to the needs of particular individuals. For example, for someone suffering from a more severe addiction, inpatient treatment may be best for them. In contrast, those who suffer from milder cases of substance use disorder may be best suited to participate in an outpatient program. 

What is Outpatient Treatment?

outpatient program

Outpatient treatment, in layman’s terms, is a method of care that offers treatment at different times during the week. It’s meant for those who suffer from milder forms of substance use disorder. This treatment program is best for those who require some sort of flexibility when it comes to their personal lives. This way, individuals can continue on with minimal disruption to their daily lives while being treated for their addiction.

As far as the length of time it takes to complete outpatient treatment is concerned, it could be anywhere from three months to more than a year. This may seem like a long time, but when it boils down to the amount of time spent in treatment to the amount of time not spent at treatment, the amount of time spent recovering makes for a successful rehab experience.

This sort of treatment program comes in an array of different formats and services, as well as various levels of intensity. In a more general sense, this method of rehab is focused on providing a network of individuals in similar situations with a network of support and care. As far as practices are concerned, this usually involves some sort of individual or group counseling. 

Different Kinds of Outpatient Treatment

At Harmony Ridge, our approach is to treat every patient that walks through our doors individually. We hold firmly to the belief that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment method. We take the context of each individual into account when choosing the right method of care for them.

The different kinds of outpatient treatment include the following:

  • Intensive Outpatient Programs
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs
  • Continuing Care

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

When it comes to intensive outpatient programs, the goal is to put together a plan for treatment that is measurable so that progress can be monitored. This is because this program is based off of where the patient is in reference to their substance use disorder. The more progress they make in regards to the program, the less time patients are required to participate per week.

For those who require maintaining a certain level of responsibility in regards to their home life, IOP is a good option that will allow them to do so. When it boils down to specifics, intensive outpatient programs will potentially require multiple therapy sessions per week. This could be the case regardless of whether or not it’s group therapy, individual therapy, or simply a 12-step program.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

Partial hospitalization programs in outpatient treatment are responsible for having the highest level of care and most organized programs as it relates to structure. For this type of outpatient treatment, those participating are expected to meet at the facility anywhere between five to seven days a week. Patients in PHPs will spend multiple hours at the facility each day they are present.

Although patients are required to attend treatment multiple times a week for multiple hours a day, they’re still able to return home once they’ve completed the day’s activities. Some of these activities include the following methods of care:

  • Ongoing Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy 

When the day’s treatment is done, those participating in an outpatient treatment program may return to their homes for the evening, whether it be their own home or a sober living facility. Due to the time commitment that a PHP requires, patients’ availability to work may be diminished until their tenure is complete. 

Continuing Care

Though the name of this particular method of outpatient treatment may not ring a bell, continuing care groups are far from unfamiliar to many. These groups include meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The purpose of these groups is to help individuals who participate to strengthen their resolve and commitment to recovery. This is because the road to recovery doesn’t stop once treatment is done. 

It can be easy for someone to do everything required of them and then just go on with their lives, but for many, this might mean leaving their fate up to chance. It’s good for individuals to participate in continuing care to help them transition from the facility to the world outside, should they need it. 

Specifically, these groups meet on a weekly basis. Each session is facilitated by a licensed therapist who moderates conversation. Some of these groups may be specifically tailored for particular individuals. For example, groups such as these can be gender-specific, or even age-specific. Some groups may fixate on a particular aspect of the recovery process. 

What are the Benefits to Choosing an Outpatient Program?

Outpatient treatment is best for those who suffer from milder addictions. This gives individuals who participate more financial flexibility, schedule flexibility, and more access to their families than a traditional residential program

Living at home allows individuals to save money when it comes to the cost of their treatment. Not having to pay for lodging and other necessities (like one might in a residential program) makes outpatient rehab far more affordable than inpatient. This is all because patients are only paying for the treatment itself, and not the amenities of a treatment facility.  

Outpatient treatment is also ideal in regards to potential scheduling conflicts. Being that each person is unique with their own life circumstances, it’s imperative that a method of care like outpatient treatment is available so that they can continue on with receiving treatment while experiencing minimal disruption to their daily lives.

In addition, outpatient treatment also allows individuals to spend much more time with their families than if they were participating in a residential treatment program. Family and loved ones are a significant part of the recovery process. At Harmony Ridge, family involvement and support is very important to us, because family and loved ones are able to encourage patients on their path to recovery.

Should I Choose an Outpatient Program?

Knowing whether or not a specific treatment option is right for you is a difficult question to answer. Recognizing your needs is imperative in this process. Outpatient treatment serves many purposes, all of which may be more convenient to you than a residential treatment program. 

When it comes to understanding different treatment options, it’s worth noting that different kinds of treatment have different kinds of structure. For example, inpatient treatment is structured around patients staying in their facilities, so there’s a lot more time to implement different kinds of inpatient processes. For those who participate in outpatient treatment, the primary activities include therapy and meetings. 

Being able to come home after treatment is also a huge convenience for those who participate. This isn’t to say that those who are seeking treatment should attend a particular treatment program based off of how convenient they want it to be. In fact, it’s best to examine exactly what the patient’s needs are in regards to the severity of their condition, not how convenient they’d like it to be. Nothing is more important than healing from a substance use disorder. 

How Do I Know an Outpatient Program is Right for Me?

Outpatient treatment may be right for you if the following is true:

  • You’ve completed residential treatment or an intensive outpatient program
  • You suffer from mild addiction
  • You have an encouraging home life
  • You don’t require residential treatment but still require some sort of therapy

Figuring out which treatment is optimal for your circumstances is a rather uncomfortable process. There are treatment options that seem so intimidating. Because of this, it is effortless to feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty around you.

However, when it all boils down to it, you’re not alone. At Harmony Ridge, we can acknowledge that there isn’t just one treatment option that works for everyone. Each person is unique, equipped with their own experiences. 

If you’re someone who has completed inpatient treatment and is struggling to make the transition back to the world outside treatment, outpatient care might be right for you. Not only that, but if you suffer from a mild to moderate substance use disorder, this method of rehab is optimal for your circumstance. 

Harmony Ridge is Here to Help You Get the Care You Deserve

Substance use disorder is difficult enough without feeling like one decision will make or break you. This is why we seek to understand each patient’s background and individualism to set them up for optimal success. Whether it be outpatient, detox, or residential treatment, taking the first step is always the most important part; at Harmony Ridge, we’ll be walking alongside you every step of the way. If you or a loved one are suffering from a substance use disorder and would like to find out more, contact us today.