Types Of Outpatient Drug And Alcohol Treatment Programs
There are many forms of treatment for people who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse, addiction, and dependency. For those with severe drug or alcohol use disorders, inpatient treatment is typically considered the most effective treatment option.
However, outpatient treatment can be useful in treating mild to moderate substance use disorders, or for those who need follow-up care after attending an inpatient program.
There are various types of outpatient addiction treatment programs, including:
- partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
- intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
- 12-step support groups
- other outpatient aftercare treatments
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)
Partial hospitalization programs are the most intensive type of outpatient program, ideal for those who have just finished an inpatient treatment program. Once a person with a severe addiction has finished residential treatment, they may still need to participate in addiction treatment but may no longer need full-time care.
PHPs work well for those who need to continue treatment at a step-down level. These programs allow for treatment of about six to eight hours, three to five days a week.
Treatment methods used in partial hospitalization programs may involve many of the same methods utilized during inpatient treatment, such as:
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- individual/group counseling
- behavioral therapy
- medication management
- support groups
Partial hospitalization programs also work well for people who experience relapse after completing inpatient treatment. Addiction is a disease of chronic relapse. Treatment for relapse may involve methods used in inpatient treatment but may not need to be as intense, and that’s where PHPs come in.
Within PHPs, participants will attend treatment for their specified number of days and hours, returning home at night. Because treatment takes up a good portion of the participant’s day, there is a higher chance of adhering to treatment principles, like the 12 steps, sobriety, and leaning on behavioral therapy techniques to fight relapse triggers.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are the next level of outpatient programs following partial hospitalization programs. IOPs are structured similarly to PHPs, but occur less frequently. Intensive outpatient programs for addiction treatment may occur anywhere from two to four hours per day, two to three days per week.
Depending on the facility that offers the IOP, a number of treatment methods may be used in the program. These may involve many of the same treatments used in IOP, but with a specific focus on each individual’s need. Because of the lesser time-frame for treatment, it’s important that each participant have access to the methods which work best for him or her.
Some IOPs may involve medication management and therapy only, where others may integrate a combination of counseling, therapy, and support group participation. Whatever the case, intensive outpatient programs work well for those who may need long-term care for severe addiction. IOPs also work well for those in relapse who have already attended inpatient and partial hospitalization programs and only need reminders of treatment principles to move forward with recovery.
12-Step Support Groups
Twelve-step support groups are founded on the original principles of the 12 steps of Alcoholic Anonymous, which ask participants to admit their powerlessness over their addiction and surrender to a higher power.
Not all 12-step-based groups ask participants to submit to a higher power any more, but they do incorporate the 12 steps or some version of them. Many of these steps ask participants to remain sober throughout recovery, forgive themselves and others, and to stop trying to change things over which they have no control.
Instead, 12-step support groups ask participants to focus on moving forward through growth, forgiveness, and changing their thought processes.
As an outpatient treatment, 12-step support groups can be an important component of an aftercare plan, helping individuals commit to long-term recovery goals by holding them accountable. Many individuals meet peers in these groups, hear their stories, and connect with them to form lasting relationships which lend to the fulfilling life necessary for addiction recovery.
Other Outpatient Aftercare Treatments
The best outpatient treatments are offered through reputable rehabilitation facilities, but there are other forms of outpatient treatment as well. Outpatient addiction treatment is often a form of aftercare for inpatient treatment, so many rehab centers may offer connections to outpatient care such as:
- alumni groups: these rehab-specific groups allow individuals to connect with peers who may have been in treatment at the same time, or who attended the same rehab center. By connecting with peers who hold similar recovery goals, participants receive strength and support.
- continued care and relapse prevention: some inpatient rehab centers may include continued care and relapse prevention programs as part of their inpatient programs, or may offer them to alumni at a reduced cost. These programs include inpatient treatment principles and help keep individuals on track with recovery goals.
- links to local addiction recovery resources: outpatient treatment near a person’s residence may be available. The best rehab centers will aid individuals in finding local treatment resources prior to returning home to prevent relapse and aid in recovery. These may include local substance abuse and mental health counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, and support groups.
Sober Living Homes
One other form of outpatient treatment is sober living homes. Some of these structured residences require participants to attend treatment, addiction education classes, or both, while adhering to the rules of the house and community.
Such rules usually hold that a participant must:
- remain sober during their stay at the house
- attend classes and complete their treatment program
- hold a job or attend schoolabide by curfew
- participate in household chores, responsibilities, or social activities
Sober living homes may be an excellent choice for those who have completed several forms of treatment and are ready to re-integrate into society, but who also want to commit to a sober lifestyle. Such homes offer full support of peers and “house mothers” who sponsor sobriety, offer emotional strength, and can help individuals connect to the right recovery resources when needed.
Paying For Outpatient Drug And Alcohol Rehab
Depending on a person’s insurance plan, private insurance carriers may cover outpatient treatment for addiction. In fact, many insurance plans require that a person first attend an outpatient program before moving on to inpatient treatment.
For this reason, it’s important to speak to an insurance coverage specialist before enrolling in a treatment program to ensure treatment will be covered. If outpatient treatment is required first, it will be important to select a program that best fits the needs of the individual.
For example, a person with a severe addiction that has persisted for six months or longer may need the most intense form of outpatient treatment, or a partial hospitalization program. This program may also be supplemented with other forms of treatment, like involvement in other forms of individual therapy, counseling, and support groups.
A person who is experiencing a relapse and using their insurance to enter outpatient treatment may only need to enter an intensive outpatient program or seek individual or group counseling to get back on track. Getting a full clinical assessment to determine treatment needs is important to making sure the individual gets adequate help for addiction issues.
Outpatient addiction treatments may incur co-pays, and deductibles may have to be met before coverage can take place. To know for sure the amount of coverage an individual has for outpatient addiction treatment, and any out-of-pocket costs, speak to a treatment specialist or the insurance provider.
Length Of Outpatient Drug And Alcohol Rehab Programs
Outpatient programs vary in length according to the type of program, rehab facility that offers it, and patient need. However, most programs run from one to three months. Participants can choose to re-enter programs as needed depending on insurance coverage and individual treatment needs.
The intensity of treatments, treatments used, and number of days and hours a person will spend in an outpatient addiction treatment program largely depends on several factors. These include:
- the person’s severity of addiction
- drug of abuse
- any co-occurring substance use or mental health disorders
- whether they are in treatment for relapse or as a form of continuing care
Why Choose Outpatient Drug And Alcohol Rehab Programs?
People may choose outpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs for several reasons, the most common of which may be as a step down after inpatient care. Because addiction is a disease which will require long-term management, it’s best treated on a spectrum which involves varying levels of treatment, determined by individual need.
Outpatient treatment programs allow individuals to receive the continuing care necessary for a lasting recovery while getting back to the responsibilities of daily life. However, people newly in recovery must recognize that, because addiction is a disease which often leads to relapse, outpatient treatment can only be successful with hard work and a high level of dedication.
Outpatient treatment can be an effective part of a comprehensive plan to treat moderate to severe addictions and to manage addiction recovery long-term. For more information on outpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs, contact us today.