When deciding upon the right treatment approach for someone struggling with a drug or alcohol use disorder, an outpatient programme could be a good option for those looking to balance a career or care for their family while undergoing some form of rehabilitation.
They also give the patient the ability to continue working on their environment at home to make it more beneficial to their recovery efforts.
Outpatient rehabilitation programmes are generally recommended for those who don’t necessarily require 24/7 supervision and can safely and easily attend meetings at a facility they can travel to nearby.
It’s typically a good option for those who aren’t at an elevated risk of relapse and can maintain the foundation necessary for recovery while at the same time working on their thoughts and behaviours.
Who Should Seek Entering an Outpatient Rehabilitation Programme?
Some will find that the temptations involved with taking part in an outpatient programme are too much for them to quit using and these situations may require partial hospitalisation or an inpatient treatment programme instead.
However, for those with a job history or who can reasonably demonstrate an ability to look after themselves, they may find the flexibility and personalised care of an outpatient programme is more suitable for them.
Those who have a co-occurring mental health disorder should also look to enrol in a specialised programme that meets their needs and condition.
Age can make a difference as well, with younger people potentially needing more guidance on how to make it out into the world on their own than older patients
How Long Does an Outpatient Treatment Programme Take?
The length of the outpatient programme is very important to the welfare of the subject, as it will help them to reset old habits and become more familiar with their emotions and state of mind.
Each person will have their own set of challenges to work through, but outpatient programmes tend to run much longer than inpatient programmes and could span anywhere from a few months to a year or longer.
It’s important to note due to the fact the individual is not housed at a facility, repetition and continual attendance are among the most powerful ways that outpatient programmes can prove effective at addressing many of the same concerns as a residential inpatient programme.
Rehabilitation programmes are more likely to produce a successful outcome if they are strictly attended to over a prolonged length of time.
The patient must learn to make time for their recovery and give their sobriety the attention it requires.
Patients should be able to make regular contact with loved ones and let them offer support as they continue through the programme and report any breakthroughs or changes along the way.
What Takes Place at an Outpatient Rehabilitation Programme?
Usually, initial stages will involve screening, evaluation, and assessment to determine what the proper therapeutic approach should be. This is commonly followed by a detoxification, or “detox” phase, that is required to allow the patient’s body to adjust to life without the substance of choice.
These are often closely supervised and may involve medications to assist with any present withdrawal symptoms, especially in more severe cases.
- Individual Assessment: Seeing that your rehabilitation facility delivers licensed and qualified care is important to make sure you obtain the right level of care These therapists will often examine the patient’s physiological state over many meetings to address a wide range of subjects
- Nutritional Assessment: Those just coming off an addiction often face unique nutritional deficiencies that may have come about as a result of their history of alcohol abuse of a wide range of other substances. It may be advised to work with a certified nutritional specialist who is trained in these matters and can help you put together a comprehensive diet strategy that meets your needs. It ought to involve proper ingredients and a well-balanced plan that helps the body fully recover
- Group Therapy Sessions: Creating an open and accepting environment for recovering patients to share their experiences with one another and learn from each other as they progress through recovery. It may also be helpful for the patient to give or share advice and address any challenges that they could be facing. It also offers an opportunity to look at things from a new perspective, and see how their peers feel about the progress that they are making. This can improve their attitude towards treatment, and make them feel encouraged that they can make the same changes others have to see improvement
- Mental Health Therapy: Since a person’s state of mind can both suffer from or be the leading cause of a person’s addiction, it’s important to work with a professional who can help them understand the factors involved and the right therapies they will need to get better. The patient could take part in one-on-one counselling sessions with a licensed psychological therapist who will help them work through any possible issues they may need to address. Proper management is a good thing to identify when choosing a credible therapist, so search for someone who understands what is involved and can adequately address your concerns
- Medication-Assisted Care: Some situations may involve the need to administer accurately prescribed medications and may prove effective at treating the individual from both a mental and physiological standpoint. It’s important to make sure right away that any withdrawal symptoms have subsided and the patient can fully focus on their sobriety without interruption. In the most severe cases, applying the right medication to help patients fighting against intense withdrawal symptoms can save their lives, so it may be critical to have access to the level of care you will need. depending on your situation
Types of Therapy Commonly Found at an Outpatient Rehabilitation Programme
There is a wide range of methods that can be applied throughout an outpatient programme, and some patients may prefer a specific facility or programme based on the services that they offer than another.
Many facilities focus on starting by helping the patient develop a positive mindset for recovery until other models can later be applied. It may help to discuss these topics with a therapist in order to gain a better sense of what will work best.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): This form of treatment makes the effort to analyse the patient’s behaviours and work on their ability to accept the situation that they face in order to change it for the better. By understanding more regarding how the patient feels about entering an outpatient rehabilitation programme, the therapist can then begin dealing with the patient on an individual basis to work towards acceptance. After the patient comes to terms with their condition, it’s important that they take the additional next step of fully agreeing to the plan that lies before them. While it’s understandable they may have hesitation, they must realise getting help is in their own best interest, and not simply that of others’. This can be achieved once they realise that they’ve lost control of their situation and need a solution to help them get back on track
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the most commonly included form of therapy found at a rehabilitation centre and helps patients to recognise their thoughts and actions on a deeper level and come to terms with them from an emotional and psychological standpoint. This approach is designed to help them build strong coping strategies and a greater understanding of the cause and effect of their thoughts, emotions, and actions. The patient will learn strategies to take more control over their thoughts and become more adequately prepared to abstain from drugs and alcohol moving forward
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET): Motivational interviewing is a strategy used by psychological therapists to help the patient better relate to internal changes and look at where they want to be tomorrow. It’s good for the patient to understand more opportunities lie ahead and to give their recovery the full attention it deserves
- Psychoeducational Group Therapy: Not a 12-step programme, psychoeducational therapy seeks to go over useful information, work on coping strategies, and touch on relevant issues patients may need to focus on. A very wide range of subjects may be brought up, from positive and practical thinking skills to why it’s important for them to think about where they are now. When we come to know ourselves better, we’ll be more able to guard against things that may trigger us back into negative behaviours
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT): This is a more therapeutic approach that introduces the patients to useful strategies they can apply to be more aware of their thinking habits and think clearly about where they are. These sessions are designed to provide accurate feedback and a higher level of conceptualisation of a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Meditation may be used as a way for the patient to calm their mind and work toward a greater level of acceptance
- 12-Step Programmes: While it is possible that a programme such as AA may be a good way for someone to keep focused on their sobriety in the long-term, it’s important the individual becomes familiar with the concepts that are involved with the programme first prior to becoming overly involved. AA should not be viewed as a substitute for licensed therapeutic care, and its overall effectiveness may vary widely from person to person
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