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Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance abuse is a powerful and, at times, confusing phenomenon. What does it mean to have become dependent on a substance? How is it that drugs like heroin, alcohol, and others get such a tight grip on our desires and willpower that we cannot help but seek after them? Even further, substance abuse and addiction can be remarkably terrifying—how is it that something can seem to drive us to the point that we no longer recognize ourselves or understand why we are doing the things we are doing? There is a real sense in which addiction feels like we have lost our sense of control over our actions.

The most important thing to realize in these circumstances is that when the situation is like this, even if it’s just slightly like this, there is no need to attempt recovery alone. In fact, in some cases, it simply may not be something we can do any longer. The dependency on the substance may have so drastically impacted our desires and physiology that we need someone from outside us to help us back onto the path. This is exactly what we are trying to do at Design for Change Recovery, and one of the ways we do this is through outpatient treatment.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Its relation to inpatient treatment most generally and easily understands outpatient treatment. As may seem obvious, inpatient treatments generally stay overnight in a treatment facility with 24-hour care. With outpatient treatments, the patient does not stay overnight at a facility. Rather, with outpatient treatment, the individual undergoing treatment has some additional flexibility in that he can return home in the evenings and often even have options with the times during the day at which treatment and therapy will occur.

A few of the main substances addressed in substance abuse treatment include the following:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Opioid and Prescription Drugs

Treating these substances through outpatient treatment can sometimes be difficult, so it is important to seek treatment and help from qualified providers who know how to address the nuanced and particular issues with these drugs with various methods and techniques.

Treatment Methods

It is not always easy to know when outpatient treatment is needed. In many cases, the best candidates for outpatient addiction treatment are those who do not currently need assistance through medical detoxification or 24/7 supervision.[i] Outpatient treatment, since it is something where patients come for a specific amount of time and then leave, has to use particular ways of helping patients on the journey to recovery.

Outpatient treatment is generally most effective at providing the following:

  • Psychological support
  • Social support
  • Relapse management skills
  • Coping strategies[ii]

Exactly how a treatment facility will seek to manage symptoms and encourage recovery may vary, but some of the most common options include the following:

  • Group therapy: This form of treatment usually emphasizes stories, including patients being able to share personal situations and journeys and role-playing in various ways. The goal is to express and work through the more traumatic and difficult aspects of one’s past since it is difficult to most beyond something that one hasn’t completely processed.
  • Individual therapy: In some cases, individual therapy may also be a part of outpatient treatment. This is provided in situations where someone needs more direct and individual treatment to make progress.
  • Complementary therapies: It is growing more and more common for treatment facilities to recognize the value of techniques and options such as yoga, meditation, and bio-sound or aural therapy. Though they can seem unusual to some people at first, there has been increasing support for using therapies like these to help manage symptoms and promote sobriety.
  • Support groups: Finally, many treatment facilities will also utilize support groups, often with the Alcoholics Anonymous format, which has proven useful to many throughout the world. These support groups provide ongoing and long-term places to build relationships with others in the same kind of journey and share victories, trials, and defeats as each person strives toward recovery.[iii]

Outpatient and Inpatient Treatment

Though every situation will be different, a few things to keep in mind as indicators for outpatient treatment is that it will often be most useful for those who have milder or less severe substance abuse issues, who do not have a history of unsuccessful attempts of recovery, and who have a strong support system. This is because most outpatient treatment options do not provide the same kind of structure and 24-hour care that an inpatient treatment would. In cases where there are more severe issues with substance abuse, a history of unsuccessful attempts to recover, or a lack of family and friends to support, inpatient treatment may be the most beneficial option. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that individuals get the treatment they need to recover.

Design for Change Recovery Services

Substance abuse and addiction is always a difficult and serious problem. Issues related to substance abuse can cause family problems, disrupt job performance, affect financial situations, cause significant health problems, and many other consequences. It is vitally important that we get ahead of problems when we can get them so that no opportunity is missed to get help where it is needed.

Considering all of the difficulties and problems connected to substance abuse and addiction, we at Design for Change Recovery want to emphasize that you do not have to do these things alone. It may be intimidating and frightening, but these things do not have to be addressed without help. Here at Design for Change Recover,y we offer numerous programs and treatments supervised by medical and professional staff so that those who need help can receive the care they need. Please consider reviewing our various programs[iv] to see what meets the situation or need. It is also recommended to review our accreditation,[v] staff,[vi] and facility,[vii] so that you can be confident Design for Change Recovery is the right decision for you or your loved ones.


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