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Should You Attend Outpatient After Residential Treatment?

outpatient-after-residential-treatment

For those with limited histories of drug or alcohol use, and strong support systems, attending outpatient rehab is an excellent way to achieve and maintain sobriety. Patients can still go to work or school. They also have the ability to be an active member of their families.

However, in comparison to inpatient treatment, outpatient services don’t have the same high rate of success when used as a standalone solution. This is especially true for people who’ve been using highly addictive substances, and for those who’ve already tried and failed in recovery before. In these instances, enrolling in outpatient rehab is often the perfect way for people to continue their recovery journeys after they’ve already completed their initial, inpatient programs.

Addiction is a chronic and lifelong disease. According to research, addictive habits and behaviors can be triggered long after formal addiction treatment has ended, and often by the most basic and everyday circumstances and stimuli. Given the significant and lasting impact that addiction has on the brain’s reward system, exposure to environmental cues and stressors, and even exposure to rewarding substances such as coffee or chocolate can lead to relapse.

Events like family arguments, mistakes while on the job, or discovering overdue bills can create discomfort, or panic that causes the mind to fondly reminisce on the negative, self-harming behaviors of addiction. At times like these, recovering alcoholics might pine for drinks, and those who’ve abused illicit drugs may be tempted to use them “just one last time”. Outpatient after inpatient treatment prepares people for confronting these ongoing challenges in healthy, effective ways, even as they’re actively living their lives in the real-world setting.

You’ve Completed Inpatient Treatment, Now What?

Inpatient treatment largely attributes its higher success rates to its ability to lay a solid foundation for long-term recovery. Spending a period of one to six months in a closed-campus environment effectively removes people from outside stressors. For instance, if you have toxic relationships or a number of toxic environments that you frequently visit, you won’t have any exposure to these things throughout the duration of your program.

This gives patients a safe, stable, and secure place to undergo some of the most challenging, initial phases of the recovery process. During the time when temptation is at its highest, patients have easy and continued access to multiple stress management therapies, and numerous options in support. They learn how to live sober, healthy lives, even as they learn more about the underlying causes of their substance abuse, and the best strategies for managing them.

However, once inpatient treatment ends, people reenter the outside world and are again exposed to the many stressors that everyday living entails. More often than not, facing all of these stimuli at once proves overwhelming for those who lack solid plans for continued support. 

Treatment at the outpatient level of care makes this transition infinitely easier. Patients have access to many of the same workshops, therapies, and other support services that were available as part of inpatient rehab. They also have access to knowledgeable counselors who can point out additional resources as needed. It is a highly effective form of aftercare for addiction treatment, especially when paired with sober living or other transitional housing arrangements, sober sponsors, or independent support groups among other things.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment is actually a lot like inpatient treatment in that many of the same therapies and services are offered. Much like those in inpatient rehab, people in outpatient rehab take part in:

The primary difference between these two types of addiction treatment is that outpatient rehab allows participants to continue living in their own homes. Outpatient treatment programs also require varying levels of commitment. In contrast, inpatient addiction treatment takes place 24 hours per day throughout the duration of a person’s program. Those in outpatient rehab can commit to as little as 12 hours of treatment per week, or as many as 36 hours, depending upon their needs.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), typically require a commitment of 30 or more hours per week. Although patients aren’t living on campus, they have little time and opportunity to succumb to temptation when enrolled in IOPs. When they aren’t caring for their families, working, or going to school, those who participate in these programs are actively working on their recoveries.

Ultimately, the more time that people spend focusing on achieving and maintaining sobriety; the less likely they are to relapse. Due to this fact, the larger commitments required by IOPs make them ideally suited to high-risk individuals.

Benefits of Aftercare Programs

Aftercare for addiction makes the transition from the secure, closed environments of inpatient rehab to the outside world much easier. These programs mitigate the risks of relapse and help patients acknowledge the ongoing challenge of managing their addictions. Completing a lengthy inpatient program can make a newly recovered person over-confident. Being confronted by everyday stressors and triggers while lacking aftercare and the support it provides can throw recoveries off track. 

Aftercare programs also provide people with the guidance, counseling and resources they need for establishing long-term, personal stability. Given that homelessness, joblessness, financial stress, and social stress are among some of the greatest barriers to long-term recovery, these forms of post-treatment support can also be essential for avoiding relapse.

Treatment at Recovery Bay

At Recovery Bay Center, our services are streamlined to provide the support that people need to find recovery. We take a needs-specific approach with each client by customizing their treatment plan and recommending programs that are in line with their unique circumstances. 

Whether you’re just getting started on your recovery journey or have recently finished an inpatient program and need additional support, we can help. Call us today at 833-991-2955.