Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
Substance abuse comes in many different forms and intensities. What faces each person may have similarities and commonalities to other individuals, but it will be unique in its manifestation. This means that great care is needed when approaching addiction treatment. Through study and expertise, we can identify how addiction affects the brain, understand withdrawal symptoms, and prescribe medication to help alleviate pain and other symptoms. Still, these things can impact each person differently, and each person’s needs may be different. The way a person reacts to the medicine, the trauma and psychological scars of the past, and many other elements, each serves to make the problem one that is unique to that person.
When approaching care, the best way to go about things is to have those trained in the commonalities but also have empathy, compassion, and human understanding to address how things affect each person differently.
There are various ways of approaching the actual treatment involved. One primary distinction between forms of treatment is that of outpatient versus inpatient treatment. In general, outpatient treatment involves treatment where the patient or individual comes to classes and workshops daily, perhaps for significant amounts of time, but does not stay overnight somewhere. In contrast to this, inpatient treatment often involves staying overnight. With substance abuse issues, what is needed can often depend on the specific substance being used and the severity of the abuse. When addressing substance abuse treatment, the most common substances to be treated are the following:
- Opioid and Prescription Drugs
Depending on the situation, outpatient treatment programs can be adjusted to meet the individual’s needs and circumstances.
Addiction Treatment Methods
Outpatient substance abuse treatment is often less structured and intense than inpatient or residential treatment but is still of great benefit. Outpatient treatment is often of most use for patients who do not need medical detoxification or 24-hour supervision.[i] For both alcohol and substance abuse treatment, outpatient options have been shown to decrease the usage of the drugs involved.[ii] Outpatient treatment is generally most effective at providing the following:
- Psychological support
- Social support
- Relapse management skills
- Coping strategies[iii]
There are different ways that treatment programs can go about achieving these results. These options include the following:
- Group therapy: As one might imagine, group therapy involves being led through various therapeutic exercises in a group setting by a counselor. Often this can include role-playing experiments, talking through sources of trauma, or other explorations of psychological and practical concerns related to substance abuse and recovery.
- Individual therapy: In some cases, though not all, outpatient substance abuse treatment may also include individual therapy. This allows for more directed one-on-one processing between the patient and a counselor.
- Complementary therapies: In many cases, treatment centers will also utilize other forms of therapy than the more traditional counseling formats, including music or sound therapy, yoga, meditation, and others. These are based on growing research supporting their effectiveness in managing symptoms and promoting recovery.
- Support groups: Finally, many outpatient programs will utilize support groups as a part of treatment. One of the most significant benefits of support groups is seeing other peers who are in the same situation of pursuing recovery. While everyone will be in a different place in the journey, sharing and learning from each other often offers great encouragement and understanding.[iv]
Outpatient and Inpatient Addiction Treatment
There are some considerations to consider when seeking to determine whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is the best route. In many cases, it is most useful to speak with a medical professional or trained staff to determine the best option in a particular case; however, some broad elements can be useful to understand.
Inpatient treatment is often the best path when the substance use or abuse is severe, when there have been multiple unsuccessful attempts at recovery, or when there is little or no social or familial support for the individual struggling with substance abuse. These signs indicate that the individual may not have the support around him or the resources internally to overcome the substance abuse without additional structure and help afforded by an inpatient treatment environment.
Outpatient treatment, of course, addresses some of the opposite sides of this. In cases where the substance use or abuse is not quite as severe, there is no history of unsuccessful recovery, or there is significant support from family or loved ones, outpatient treatment may be the right path. In cases like these, these signs indicate the individual may be able to make progress in recovery without needing quite as much structure, and direct aid as inpatient treatment may provide.
An additional benefit of outpatient treatment is that it often provides greater flexibility for continuing work, school, or family responsibilities while also getting treatment since it does not require patients to stay overnight. Some outpatient treatment options also provide evening options, and some are shorter in duration.
Again, there is a significant space between these two options, and not every case fits neatly into one or the other. It is highly recommended that you call or speak with someone further about each situation to ensure proper treatment.
Cycles of Change Recovery Services
Substance abuse and addiction are serious and complicated issues. Difficulties with the possibility of withdrawal or co-occurring mental disorders serve only to compound the difficult nature of substance abuse. The last thing that any of us wants is to miss an opportunity to get the needed help.
Because of the dangers involved in addiction and substance abuse, it is of great importance that helps in the form of treatment is sought out as soon as possible. At Cycles of Change Recovery, we want to come alongside those struggling with various addictions and withdrawal symptoms to help transition into recovery. We can offer 24/7 on-site medical help and supervision, counseling, and consistent care to facilitate the process of healing. Please review our various programs[v] to see what meets the situation or need. It is also recommended to review our accreditation,[vi] staff,[vii] and facility,[viii] so that you can be confident Cycles of Change Recovery is the right path for you or your loved one.
- [i] McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D. R., Dougherty, R. H., Daniels, A. S., Ghose, S. S., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014). Substance abuse intensive outpatient programs: assessing the evidence. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 65(6), 718–726. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201300249
- [ii] Ibid.
- [iii] Ibid.
- [iv] “What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?” American Addiction Centers. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/intensive-outpatient-programs. Accessed 4/26/2021.
- [v] https://cyclesofchangerecovery.com/programs/.
- [vi] https://cyclesofchangerecovery.com/about/accreditation/.
- [vii] https://cyclesofchangerecovery.com/about/staff/.
- [viii] https://cyclesofchangerecovery.com/about/palmdale/.