There are two kinds of detox and treatment one can choose from, inpatient and outpatient one. And as we have already covered the former, the latter is the one we are going to concentrate on this time. Outpatient detox and treatment programs are meant for providing help on a daily basis, but without constant being in a treatment facility. This kind of support suits people who wouldn’t require emergency medical assistance and 24/7 observation.
People on outpatient care are normally able to cope with withdrawal period themselves and with support of their family and friends and do not have severe addiction that would prevent them from keeping their social interactions, performing their professional duties and participating in their family life. Help that outpatient care programs’ patients are usually provided with includes individual and group therapy sessions, medical observation to ensure successful physical recovery, as well as psychiatric consulting and medication support to effectively manage withdrawal symptoms that might occur.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, in case of outpatient treatment long-term involvement is necessary, as ‘participation for less than 90 days is of limited or no effectiveness’. Exact length of care is determined separately for every person depending on their specific needs and addiction background.
Obviously, there are pros and cons of outpatient care. Pros include:
- Lesser cost of treatment programs. While total cost is determined by a number of factors such as state, type of treatment facility, its geographical position within the state, duration of treatment program, overall state of individual’s health etc, outpatient detox programs normally cost from $1,000 to $1,500, with further rehab help ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for a three-month program. For those who are short of money to spend on treatment there is financial help from the government, some kinds of insurances (private or state-financed, military, Medicare of Medicaid) or low-cost rehabs available.
- Ability to remain involved into social interactions, work/study, participate in family life. If a person has supportive environment this advantage is of utmost importance for success of their treatment, as it allows them to go on with their daily life and also practice abstention in their natural environment, which decreases risk of relapse both during and after treatment. Also, for people with mild to moderate addiction this is an option to receive care without damaging their reputation at work or among friends and without having to quit all their activities in order to undergo treatment.
- Having access to assistance and encouragement of their close ones, or opportunity to build supportive environment while receiving treatment. In case someone’s addiction is far from severe, people around the person may become a source of very timely help, and its overall effect can be far more advantageous than interactions with doctors during inpatient care. Moreover, close people can be this person’s incentive to both put all their effort into quitting drug abuse and practice relapse prevention techniques during treatment to minimize chances of relapse afterwards.
However, there is a number of cons of outpatient treatment, too, such as:
- open/easier access to substances one abuses,
- higher relapse risk if addiction of a person in question is actually stronger than they believe it is or if their environment is far from supportive,
- inability of treatment facilities available for a person to adequately meet their needs and manage addiction.
- Also, in cases when drug abuse is followed by a mental illness (dual diagnosis), outpatient care is not enough to achieve success.
What one should consider before choosing one of the treatment options is their level of exposure to substances in their environment and whether it provides them with necessary support or, on the contrary, stresses them and pushes towards relapse, (absence of) certain special needs, (in)ability to make a break from their social life. At the same time, it is vital to honestly acknowledge and carefully examine all the aspects of one’s situation in order to address it most effectively. One should not try to diminish disadvantages or dangers of their condition and environment. Only then it is possible to make the right choice regarding type of one’s treatment.