Outpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment allows you to continue living at home and going to work, which prevents disruption in your daily life. While this approach may sound preferable to all who are struggling with substance use disorders, it may not be a good fit for everyone. Today, we’ve compiled information about outpatient treatment – who should attend, and who should seek a more intensive program?
What is Outpatient Treatment?
Outpatient programs fall into a subcategory of drug and alcohol addiction treatment that does not include on-site living or housing. Outpatient clinics provide services such as counseling or group therapy sessions, while not requiring participants to live on campus. This permits them to continue going to work and taking care of dependents while addressing their substance use disorders. Programs vary in intensity, requiring between 6 and 9 hours of therapy.
A variety of factors impact the choice of inpatient versus outpatient addiction treatment. These include…
For those grappling with addiction to alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines, withdrawal symptoms can be severe or even life-threatening. From anxiety and nausea all the way up to fever, heavy sweating, and racing heart, these symptoms can dissuade even the most resolute individual from staying sober. If you will experience severe withdrawal symptoms, consider enrolling in a residential treatment program that includes withdrawal management services rather than an outpatient program.
Level of Addiction
The level of treatment needed can be best determined by considering the level of addiction experienced. People whose substance use spans several years, for example, have deeply ingrained habits and patterns of behavior that fuel their addiction. Similarly, those who have quickly spiraled into an addiction to substances like meth or heroin may have begun taking dangerously high dosages very often – these individuals would be better suited to the structured environment of residential treatment. Those who have begun using drugs recently, or who have caught their substance use early, should attend outpatient addiction treatment.
People who have concerns such as childcare, employment, or finances may be good candidates for outpatient treatment. The schedule of outpatient programming permits individuals to continue participating in their daily lives while also seeking help for their substance use. Additionally, outpatient treatment is generally more affordable than inpatient services. If your insurance provider limits your options in this way, consider attending an outpatient program instead.
Outpatient programs can be immensely helpful for those transitioning out of residential treatment. By continuing care and prioritizing your recovery, you can reap the benefits of professional help after leaving the structured environment of an inpatient program.
If you have a dedicated sober support system, you are much more likely to succeed in outpatient treatment than those who do not. Friends and family members can help you to remain motivated and accountable in the early stages of recovery.
Is My Addiction Serious Enough to Get Help?
Remember that addiction is a progressive disease, which means that it worsens over time. It is important to get help as soon as you recognize that your substance use is beginning to escape your control. Many people believe that their issue is not severe enough for them to seek help, when they have actually already reached a point where outpatient treatment is recommended. DSM-5 criteria for addiction can be helpful in determining this. They include:
- Inability to control substance use
- Desiring to quit, but being unable to
- Spending a lot of time trying to obtain and use the substance
- Cravings, tolerance, and withdrawal
- Relationship problems
- Issues keeping up with commitments and obligations
- Losing interest in priorities and hobbies
- Continuing to use in spite of consequences (health issues, legal troubles)
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Lakeside-Milam provides effective, affordable, discreet addiction treatment. Our outpatient programs are available throughout the state of Washington, with locations in Seattle, Tacoma, Puyallup, Everett, Issaquah, and more. For information about our outpatient services, visit our website or call our admissions team at 800-231-4303.