Outpatient Drug Treatment

Outpatient drug treatment is often the preferred method for those individuals who are not yet ready to immerse themselves in a residential drug rehab program. It is a scary prospect to make a 180 degree turnaround in terms of the individual not being near their friends and family. But, as experts in the field of addiction have pointed out, the comfort of familiarity can be a double edged sword.� Because some of the addict's family members have been enablers and some of their friends may be drug dealers, possibly the best scenario would be to obtain drug treatment as far away as possible. With outpatient drug treatment, an individual can have the comfort of going home every night, but they risk experiencing triggers to use drugs because of familiar environmental factors.

Outpatient addiction treatment programs are more suitable for individuals who are employed, have extensive social support systems, can maintain abstinence for up 72 hours and are highly motivated individuals. Individuals attending outpatient addiction treatment programs generally reside at home and attend the program several evening or days during the week. While most people with substance abuse or alcohol problems would rather attend outpatient drug treatment, not everyone will benefit from this limited level of care. In order for a person to be considered for outpatient drug treatment, an extensive assessment must be completed to determine whether this type of program can meet their needs. The length of these outpatient drug treatment programs is approximately six weeks; they generally meet three to five times a week for three hours each meeting. The goal for outpatient drug treatment is total abstinence from drugs and alcohol. When an individual leaves each day to return home, it is expected that they will not use any chemical or mind-altering substances.
Outpatient behavioral treatment can encompass a wide variety of programs for patients who visit a clinic at regular intervals. Most of the programs involve individual or group drug counseling. Some programs also offer other forms of behavioral treatment such as listed below:

Cognitive behavioral therapy- seeks to help individuals recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to abuse drugs.
Multidimensional family therapy- was developed for adolescents with drug abuse problems-as well as their families-addresses a range of influences on their drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning.
Motivational interviewing- capitalizes on the readiness of individuals to change their behavior and enter outpatient drug treatment.
Motivational incentives (contingency management- uses positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from drugs.

Partial hospital or day addiction outpatient treatment programs are a step above regular outpatient addiction treatment in that they meet five days a week for approximately four hours every day. Initially designed as a "step down" program for those persons completing residential drug treatment, they became an option for some insurance carriers in an attempt to avoid having to pay for extended residential addiction treatment. Patients generally live at home or in another structured setting and attend these outpatient drug treatment programs during the day.

There are pros and cons to every treatment, but for those who choose the outpatient drug treatment route, there are definite reasons why they feel it is right for them. Life is more than just one plan, with family, career and financial considerations often needing to be taken into account in the matter of choosing the right drug treatment program. Listed below are some of the pros and cons of outpatient drug treatment programs:

Pros of Outpatient Drug Treatment Programs:
Work:  If you have a job, and there is a chance you could lose it if you were in inpatient drug treatment, then outpatient drug treatment seems to make more sense.

Family:  This can be a pro or a con, depending on the circumstances, but an individual does get to return home every day when they are enrolled in outpatient drug treatment.

Flexibility:  You control when the appointments are made and at what pace you move forward in outpatient drug treatment. This can be a blessing or a curse to an addict; depending on how committed the addict is to the outpatient drug treatment program.

Cons of Outpatient Drug Treatment Programs:
Temptation:  The biggest problem addict's face when trying to quit is the constant temptation of being around the same places and faces as they were in their life as when they were using.
Procrastination:  Most people tend to procrastinate, and if you're not looking forward to any phase of the outpatient drug treatment program, chances are appointments will be missed.
Lack of 24/7 support:  Breaking an addiction is tough.  Especially at first, many people find that they feel stronger when they have access to around the clock professional support.  With outpatient drug treatment, this support is limited to the number of hours you attend the treatment center every week.
Lack of complete treatment:  Addiction controls a person's entire life, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  In outpatient drug treatment, normally only the physical aspect of addiction is treated due to the limited time restraints.

There is no doubt that a person addicted to drugs or alcohol needs a close supportive network around to help them. That is why outpatient drug treatment is usually the most attractive to some addicts. They feel that they need the support of their family and good friends, and they see work as something to focus on and distract them from the need for drugs. Being isolated from the world, as would happen in inpatient treatments, would seem more difficult to handle .Despite the relative freedom afforded to patients, an outpatient drug treatment program still has its set structure to follow. A patient will usually be required to attend the outpatient drug treatment center so that their progress can be assessed. At the first meeting in an outpatient drug treatment program, a plan is made out, taking into account the patient's work and family schedule. However, the individual enrolled in the outpatient drug program is given the responsibility to follow the plan, which can put a lot pressure on their shoulders.

Experts in the field of addiction highly recommend long term residential treatment for best chance of success in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. It is up to the individual to decide which drug treatment program they wish to participate in. For some few individuals, outpatient drug treatment could be the right choice. Regardless of which treatment program is chosen, recovering from an addiction of any sort requires a lot of hard work and soul-searching - but a good treatment program will help you achieve positive results.

In 2007, 20.8 million individuals needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem but did not receive it.

In 2006, 14.4% of adults admitted to drug treatment were around the ages of 20-24.

In 2007, 36.1% of homeless individuals seeking drug treatment admitted that alcohol was their drug of choice.

In 1998, the justice system spent $1 million on drug courts for those who needed drug treatment.

Of these 22.5 million Americans who needed drug treatment, only 3.8 million people received it

Of the 20% of homeless individuals who were admitted into drug treatment facilities, 10% were young adults ages 18-26.

Detox assists individuals addicted to alcohol and or drugs to withdrawal from drug and or alcohol abuse safely and effectively under the supervision of professional medical staff, before entering drug treatment centers.

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