Addiction is a chronic condition characterized by repeated misuse of substances, leading to physical and mental health impairments. Substances include alcohol and drugs, including prescription, illegal, and over-the-counter (OTC).
The impact of addiction can be detrimental to both physical and mental health, including relationships. On top of that, addiction can cause significant damage to vital systems and functions over time, resulting in lifelong disability or death.
Even prescription and OTC drugs, when taken excessively, can lead to problems that are sometimes irreversible. But don’t worry; addiction is treatable. If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, visit Alvarado Parkway Institute or other rehab facilities to achieve sobriety.
There are two types of treating addiction: inpatient and outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab is an intensive care program for individuals suffering from severe substance misuse. This requires patients to be confined in a rehab facility 24/7.
But when addiction isn’t so severe and debilitating, healthcare professionals may recommend outpatient rehab. So, what is outpatient rehab? This post will help you understand how outpatient rehab works. Read on to learn more.
What Is Outpatient Rehab?
Outpatient rehab is an addiction treatment program that allows affected individuals to live in the comfort of their homes (or another therapeutic and safe environment—e.g., sober living) while still going to school or working.
In outpatient rehab, individuals visit a hospital, mental health facility, treatment center, or psychologist regularly on a specific schedule. Some programs offer weekend schedules to help patients balance their treatment and personal and professional responsibilities.
Outpatient rehab programs have different intensity levels, which may depend on the severity of the addiction. Treatment facilities may also vary in addiction centers, mental health clinics, office settings, and residential and community health centers.
Addiction treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, focuses on the patient’s needs. It may consist of multiple therapeutic services, such as family therapy, group counseling, medication, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, etc.
Outpatient treatment programs can be preferable because they’re flexible and may be as effective as inpatient rehab at a lower cost. However, outpatient rehab may not be the preferred initial care, especially for severe cases. But as patients recover over time, they might need to move to outpatient treatment.
What To Expect In Outpatient Rehab?
Although the specifics may vary from patient to patient, individuals may expect to participate in individual and group counseling, life skills training, education, relapse prevention training, and more.
Outpatient programs may combine therapies and other treatment services, such as the following:
- Behavioral therapy and counseling (e.g., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT)
- Assessment for possible co-occurring disorders (e.g., anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental health conditions)
- Monitoring substance use
- Clinical management
- Long-term care to prevent relapse
Note that outpatient treatment programs will vary depending on the patient’s condition. For example, a patient with moderate addiction may require a more extended treatment than those with mild addiction.
What Are The Different Types Of Outpatient Rehab?
There are different types of outpatient programs. The category that best suits your needs will depend on the severity of your addiction, the substance you’ve been using, and the stage of your recovery.
Take a look at these types to better understand how outpatient rehab works:
- Partial Hospitalization Programs
Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are managed by a team of clinical and medical staff. These professionals are qualified to treat unstable and complex conditions as well as patients who require a high level of support (medical and mental) but don’t need 24/7 supervision.
PHP programs often provide at least 20 hours of treatment per week to support the patient’s daily needs and monitor them in a highly-organized setting. Patients receive treatment appropriate for their condition and return home after.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) also have a team of medical and clinical support staff but not as many as PHPs. These are designed to provide treatment interventions as intensive as inpatient programs but in an outpatient setting.
In IOPs, patients may be required to attend 9-20 hours of treatment sessions per week. The treatment starts with setting goals or milestones with the help of a therapist. When a patient meets them, the therapist will reduce the required commitment.
IOPs are ideal for individuals recovering from substance abuse but still have obligations to meet, such as school, work, or family.
- Standard Outpatient Programs
Standard outpatient programs (SOPs) are designed to help individuals focus on modifying substance use behaviors. Medical services may be offered in SOPs but only to an extent.
SOPs require fewer weekly treatment sessions than IOPs and PHPs—no more than nine hours weekly.
- Continuing Care Programs
Continuing care programs (CCPs) refer to a system that allows patients to start the treatment process based on their level of recovery. This makes the treatment more or less intense, depending on your progress.
CCPs help patients already in rehabilitation speed up the recovery process and ensure they remain committed throughout the process.
If you prefer this treatment, you’ll need to visit a therapist once a week. They’ll encourage you to stay committed to your journey to sobriety. You can use the treatment plan provided to continue your recovery, which may last up to 90 days, depending on the speed of your recovery.
- Florida Model
The Florida model combines inpatient and outpatient treatment programs into one. Patients are asked to live in a residential center under the close supervision of healthcare professionals. This is separated but adjacent to the rehab facility rather than living in a hospital or a mental health clinic.
Addiction patients who don’t require to be monitored 24/7 may begin the treatment process at the level that suits their needs and preferences. Someone with a mild to moderate substance use disorder and who is medically stable may start with an SOP. Others may move from intensive treatment, such as a PHP, to one with a lower level of intensity, like an IOP.
The patient’s treatment progress determines the transition from one level to another. It also considers whether they’re ready to live on their own. Likewise, if a patient attends an SOP and seems to be struggling, a more intensive care program may be necessary, such as a PHP, IOP, or inpatient treatment.
What Are The Behavioral Therapies Applied In Outpatient Rehab?
Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs make use of various therapeutic techniques to treat drug and alcohol addiction. An individualized treatment plan based on the patient’s condition will determine the therapy or therapies to be used.
Below are the behavioral therapies typically applied in outpatient treatment programs
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular therapeutic techniques for treating addiction. CBT aims to help patients identify the destructive behaviors and negative thought patterns that lead them to substance abuse.
Once identified, the therapist will teach patients how to correct these problematic behaviors and thought patterns. Note that CBT therapists don’t tell patients what to do; instead, they guide them and let them think of a solution.
Aside from identifying and changing negative behaviors, CBT teaches individuals how to deal with high-risk situations that can lead to relapse. Also, it explores cravings and helps patients avoid potential triggers.
CBT is an all-around therapeutic technique, but this alone may not be enough to overcome addiction, especially when dealing with severe cases of addiction.
- Contingency Management
Contingency management (CM) uses the concept of giving rewards to encourage patients to remain committed to their recovery journey. So, how does it work?
First, the therapist and the patient will set realistic milestones to achieve throughout treatment (e.g., staying sober or attending sessions regularly). Then, the therapist will monitor if the milestones set are achieved.
Once a milestone has been achieved, the patient will receive a small reward from the therapist. It could be a discount coupon from their favorite brands or a movie ticket.
- Community Reinforcement Approach + Vouchers
The community reinforcement approach + vouchers (CRA + vouchers) is a therapeutic technique similar to CM. However, it’s not just geared toward staying sober but also toward improving relationships and encouraging positive thoughts and hobbies. In addition, it uses tangible incentives (or vouchers in this case) to reinforce desirable behaviors.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is a short-term therapeutic technique for treating substance use disorders. This method focuses on making patients feel more motivated to eliminate and replace their destructive behavior.
During treatment, the therapist may express empathy to help them understand how their behavior affects others around them. The therapist may also acknowledge discrepancies between the patient’s goal and where they are. Understanding the consequences of their behavior and reality may help patients feel more inspired to change for the best version of themselves.
Also, keep in mind that the therapist will try to avoid arguments with the patient about their substance abuse, which may trigger resistance to change. However, MET recognizes that resistance is common. Instead of going against it, the therapist will look for ways to minimize the struggle and encourage the patient to stay committed to the treatment.
- The Matrix Model
The matrix model is an integrated treatment program designed to directly meet the needs of individuals suffering from addiction through evidence-based therapies. Those who undergo this treatment participate in intensive outpatient rehab for 16 weeks, where they’re exposed to therapeutic techniques in a controlled environment.
Below are the goals of the matrix model:
- Understanding what addiction and relapse are
- Developing skills that will help prevent relapse
- Fostering healthy social behaviors
- Learning how to cope with addiction
- Participating in support groups (e.g., 12-step groups)
The matrix model isn’t a single therapy but a combination of multiple techniques, including CBT, CM, family therapy, motivational interviewing, and 12-step facilitation. During treatment, patients will participate in a treatment program that incorporates different treatment methods to help them overcome substance abuse.
- Twelve-Step Facilitation Therapy
The 12-step facilitation therapy (TSF) is designed to help people abstain from alcohol and drugs by encouraging and making them participate in 12-step organizations. Here are the theories behind TSF:
- Addiction is an illness influenced by spiritual, social, medical, and emotional factors.
- Although abstaining from alcohol and drugs is crucial to the success of the recovery process, it’s not the only way to overcome addiction.
- Participating in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) may help patients sustain recovery after the treatment process.
- A skilled medical provider may help patients address potential obstacles that prevent them from attending AA sessions.
During treatment, the therapist will discuss the themes used in AA sessions (e.g., believing in a higher power) and explore the patient’s attitudes. They will also encourage the patients to attend the session and track their attendance and involvement through journals and logs.
How Long Does Outpatient Rehab Last?
The timeline of the outpatient treatment program may vary depending on some patient-centered factors. These include the severity of the patient’s addiction, the rate of recovery progress, the possibility of suffering from co-occurring conditions, whether or not they’ve relapsed, and other factors relevant to their recovery.
Although programs have standard treatment duration, the length of outpatient treatment depends on the patient’s specific needs. Keep in mind that these needs may evolve and be adjusted as the treatment progresses. In most cases, patients will have to transition from a higher level of intensive care to a lower one or vice versa.
How Much Does Outpatient Rehab Cost?
The cost of outpatient treatment may vary depending on several factors, such as treatment intensity level, treatment duration, insurance coverage, healthcare facility, location, and other additional services.
Below are some estimates for outpatient rehab (rate without insurance):
- PHPs: Partial hospitalization may cost between USD$350 and USD$450 per day.
- IOPs: Intensive outpatient care may cost around USD$250 to USD$350 per day.
Here are some estimates for inpatient care plus detoxification (rate without insurance):
- Medical Detoxification Under Supervision: This may cost between USD$500 and USD$650 per day.
- 24/7 Inpatient Care: This may cost around USD$500 to USD$650 per day.
Your insurance may cover some or all the costs of outpatient treatment. Ask your insurance provider for more information.
Addiction can be detrimental to one’s physical and mental health. It can even lead to permanent disability or death if left untreated. Outpatient rehab is an effective way to treat mild to moderate forms of addiction; otherwise, inpatient rehab will be necessary.
If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, ask for help and contact the nearest rehab facility immediately before it’s too late.