Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Treatment 101
What is it?
Drug and alcohol outpatient treatment, often referred to as OP is typically the final level of care before an individual goes on to continue their sobriety outside of a treatment program or is a solution for those struggling to maintain their sobriety or have recently experienced a minor relapse. This level of care involves all aspects of Intensive Outpatient treatment, with the difference being frequency and duration. Drug and alcohol outpatient treatment allows patients to continue to maintain a regular commitment to family, work or school. The program also allows patients to continue to receive treatment over an extended period. Outpatient treatment includes services such as individual therapy, process groups, education on how drugs and alcohol affect the brain, family therapy, and case management. Through individual and group therapy individuals explore topics ranging from anger management to self-worth and relapse prevention.
How does it work?
Drug and Alcohol outpatient treatment allows an individual to continue the recovery process by slowly getting back into an outside routine. The program is for people who have already gone through a highly structured program or those who have a period of sobriety under their belt. Typically drug and alcohol outpatient treatment consists of one – three hours of care during the day or in the evening, once or twice a week. For example; one day during the week may be reserved for individual therapy sessions while the other day during the week is spent during two hours of group therapy. The typical progression upon completion of an outpatient program would be to enter into a recovery-oriented alumni program as well as individual therapy.
What are the benefits?
Drug and alcohol outpatient treatment allows individuals to remain engaged in or re-introduce commitments such as family, work or school while continuing to work on their sobriety and recovery. Individuals, who have gone through higher levels of care such as residential or intensive outpatient, are set up to step down to the outpatient level of care where they’re able to continue receiving treatment for an extended period of time. The large benefit here is the continuation of care, as there can be a high level of relapse when going straight from high structured care back to ones previous environments without steps in-between. Outpatient treatment is an ideal solution to continue working on developing coping strategies while beginning to re-establish previously held routines or responsibilities. Furthermore, individuals who identify themselves of being at risk for relapse or have a period of sobriety and a recent relapse may also benefit from outpatient treatment. This allows for individuals to remain on track with their recovery or receive support during high-risk times.
Who is it for?
Drug and alcohol outpatient treatment is for anyone who is struggling with or seeking support with their sobriety. This may involve individuals who have already completed a higher level of care such as detox, residential, partial hospitalization, and/or intensive outpatient treatment or those who have some sobriety underneath their belt. It provides a way for the individual to continue focusing on the most important thing, recovery.
Author: Erika Dyer – Footprints to Recovery – Admissions Coordinator