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What is outpatient drug treatment?

Outpatient drug rehabilitation takes place when a person does not live in a facility for treatment, but comes to a facility for classes, visits with specialists or group meetings. Outpatient drug rehabilitation centers are more long-term and patients can attend programs for as long as they need to. A variety of techniques and program intensity levels are used to achieve this goal.

Intensive day treatment can be as effective as live-in treatment facilities, and is ideal for people that have a strong support system at home. However, severe addictions may require inpatient and/or more intense treatment.

Most outpatient programs are still fairly intense, however.  But, on the opposite end of the spectrum, some outpatient programs offer only education and some counseling. These types of outpatient programs can be a perfect fit for people who do not have severe addictions.

Outpatient programs, like live-in residential programs often include an analysis of the individual to discover the underlying problems that may be causing substance abuse or destructive behaviors. After evaluation, an individual will then be given a plan based on their history of use and the type of drug abuse. For example, users of differing types of drugs often require a different type of treatment than users abusing other types of drugs.

There are many services available to those undergoing outpatient drug rehabilitation.  Examples of these include: behavioral counseling, mental health attention, job searching help, support groups, psychiatrist meetings, educational classes on drugs and how they affect a person, and regular visits with a counselor to discuss progress and revise the plan if it is not working.

Frequently, outpatient services are suggested for people after they undergo a live-in (inpatient) treatment. Through outpatient services, most individuals are able to begin working their way back into the community, but still have the support of those who counseled and helped them while they were in rehabilitation. However outpatient services are used, the main goal of outpatient services is to help the individual achieve a life that does not depend on drugs or alcohol.