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Unfortunately, only a very small proportion of people who need help with a drug or alcohol addiction actually get the treatment that they require. There are numerous barriers to accessing treatment, but the government and health care providers are committed to overcoming these barriers one at a time. One such barrier is that not everybody is able to attend inpatient treatment, for which reason various outpatient facilities are now also available.

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities offer similar services. These include detox, counseling and therapy, and aftercare. What differs, however, is how these services are offered. Those attending residential or inpatient rehab, are given the opportunity to leave their own home environment, effectively immersing themselves in their own recovery. They are completely sheltered from the distractions and negative influences of the outside world. While this is a proven strategy, it is not available for everybody as it requires a significant investment of both time and money, something many people are in short supply of. This is why there has been such a desperate need for the availability of high quality outpatient treatment as well.

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

This type of rehab is a treatment option for people who suffer from a drug or alcohol abuse problem, where they attend treatment at a time that is convenient to them, only to return either to their own home or to a sober living facility once therapy has completed. Most of the time, outpatient facilities are located in settings such as hospitals, although some can be found in larger treatment centers or even homes.

How Long Does Someone Have to Be in Outpatient Rehab?

How long someone stays in treatment depends on the facility’s own philosophy, but mainly depending on the need of the individual patient. On average, recovering patients are offered between one and three months of treatment. However, it is not unheard of for people to require care for a year or even longer. It is less common, however, for outpatient rehab to be very lengthy in duration, as those who have addictions serious enough to require lengthy treatments are more likely to need inpatient care. Without that, they would simply relapse if they are allowed to remain in their home environment.

What Addictions Can Be Treated in Outpatient Rehabilitation?

Outpatient rehab facilities can be used to treat all of the addictions that can be treated in inpatient facilities. These include heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, marijuana, Vicodin, and OxyContin addictions, as well as alcoholism. Many rehab facilities also treat gambling and sex addictions, as well as eating disorders. It is quite common for people who enroll in outpatient care are dealing with multiple conditions. The more conditions people have, however, the more challenging it becomes and the more likely they will need inpatient care.

The Benefits of Outpatient Care

One of the greatest benefits of outpatient rehab is that it is available for those who simply cannot afford the time and money required for inpatient rehab. The financial element is important, but so is the fact that people are not always in a position to step away from their personal and professional obligations. The key benefits of outpatient care are:

  1. That you have the freedom to continue to work. While you do have to attend a lot of therapy, often daily, you are generally able to maintain at least some presence at work. If, for instance, you run your own business and work from home, it would be possible to change your hours so that you can continue to work as usual.
  2. That you have the freedom to continue to look after your family. You may have young children, for instance, or look after elderly or infirm relatives. It is not always possible to put a hold on those responsibilities while going to inpatient rehab. Through outpatient facilities, it is possible to return home and look after the family. That said, it is important to have a person at home for support, both for your own well being and for the care of others.
  3. You will be very close to support. It is not uncommon for people to really need to get away from their domestic environment if they are to beat their addiction. Others, however, are the polar opposite and need a personal support network around them, so that they have someone to rely on.

Who Should Not Use Outpatient Rehab?

There are many occasions in which outpatient rehab is not suitable for people with a substance or other addiction, and only inpatient care should be considered. These include:

  1. Those who have tried to go through rehab first and have had multiple relapses. They must be taken away from the triggers in their environment.
  2. Those who live in a destructive domestic environment. Daily stresses can be the very thing that caused someone to seek drugs in the first place. Remaining in that environment would not be beneficial for long term success. These include, for instance, those who live in households where both parties abuse substances.
  3. Those who pose a danger to themselves or others. These include people with mental health conditions, or those in domestic violence relationships for example.

What Counseling Is Offered in Outpatient Rehab?

The foundation of all rehab programs is counseling. While in counseling and therapy, patients are given the opportunity to get to the root of their addiction. In so doing, they are also able to treat the source of the condition itself. Three types of counseling are generally offered within outpatient programs: individual counseling, group therapy, and family therapy. As such:

  • With individual counseling, the patient meets privately with a therapist, having one to one sessions.
  • With group counseling, the patient is surrounded by other recovering patients in different stages of recovery. Here, they share stories and provide each other with support.
  • Family counseling, where patients learn to rebuild relationships with their family members and create a support network for recovery.

It is likely that you will have counseling sessions every day while in outpatient rehabilitation.