The transition from an addicted lifestyle, to alcohol or drug abuse treatment, and back to a normal daily routine can often be very difficult for the addict. The successful outpatient drug and alcohol recovery program is comprised of both group and individual therapies.
Outpatient and intensive outpatient programs provide non-residential treatment in a clinical environment, which means the person lives at home or elsewhere, and not at the clinic.
Outpatient treatment is offered in a number of places: health clinics, community mental health clinics, counselors’ offices, hospital clinics, local health department offices, or residential programs with outpatient clinics. Treatment can be scheduled in the evenings and/or on weekends, in order that the program participants can continue to attend school or go to work. Outpatient treatment programs have different requirements for attendance, but most usually it will be up to 9 hours per week. Outpatient programs last from about 2 months to 1 year.
Intensive outpatient treatment requires a person to attend between 9 and 20 hours of treatment activities per week. The only difference between outpatient and intensive outpatient has to do with the number of hours required for treatment.
People who are the most successful in an outpatient program attend counseling sessions regularly, can count on support from friends and/or family members, have a home, and have a method of transportation to get them to and from treatment sessions. Some clinics may provide transportation, if needed.
Outpatient treatment programs very often provide access to sober-living advisors, and network with 12-step and alternative support groups, for the benefit of both the addict and the addict’s family. Participation in a 12-step program or other similar support system, in addition to, and after the course of treatment is strongly advised. If 12-step recovery does not suit, there are other options available that are known to be successful and offer the added support that people in the recovery process need.