Unlike inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is a treatment program in which clients do not reside at a facility, but travel back and forth between treatment and home. This is a less intense form of treatment that is especially reliant on the client’s commitment to recovery, because it forces clients to be on treatment while still functioning in their normal, everyday surroundings.
Outpatient clients still attend therapy sessions and classes, but then return home following each visit. These visits may be daily, weekly or monthly but the defining action is that the individual is able to go home after treatment. Like inpatient therapy, outpatient therapy employs the same rehabilitation models as residential treatment, including cognitive behavioral therapy, social education and multidisciplinary and holistic therapies.
Outpatient treatment is primarily utilized long-term with a focus on recovery maintenance. Success is truly dependent on the strength of the support system at home and in the individual’s community. Often times, outpatient treatment is the step following inpatient treatment, so clients can continue their recovery plan while living their everyday lives.
Among the many reintegration services provided in outpatient treatment are support groups, mental health counseling, job search assistance and continuing education on drugs and their effects.
Program flexibility is also necessary as circumstances change, and program effectiveness diminishes.