A severe addiction to a substance such as heroin or oxycodone will probably require you to enter an inpatient rehab center. This is the kind of substance abuse rehab clinic where you check in for a stay of about 30 days. In other words, it’s what comes to mind when most people imagine rehab. Such clinics have proven to be effective, mainly because they require individuals to put their lives on hold and spend almost all of their time overcoming their addiction and facing the problems that led them to substance abuse. It’s a difficult and painful process, but you are in a safe place with a staff who is always on hand to provide support should you ever need it.

Inpatient rehab programs have been shown to be effective in overcoming severe addictions, but they do have a major downside. Since inpatient rehab requires you to put your life on hold and spend up to a month within a facility, you’re essentially cut off from the outside world. You can’t go home to your family at night, which is a hard truth for some people to handle. Granted, most of these centers allow visitors, and you can always take phone calls and receive letters, but most people don’t like the idea of sleeping in what is essentially a hospital bed every night for a month. They want to be able to spend time with their families, which is what an outpatient rehab program offers.

What is Outpatient Rehab?

An outpatient rehab program allows you to schedule treatment sessions around your own schedule. You can continue to live your life as long as you check in to your treatment center for therapy sessions, doses of medication, and to let your counselors know how your treatment has been going. You can spend nights in your own home, keep working your regular schedule at your job, and spend time with your family. Like inpatient rehab programs, outpatient programs come in a variety of formats and different levels of intensity. You and your doctors can decide what works for you. It definitely won’t work for everybody, and it might not be ideal if you have a severe life-threatening substance abuse problem, but it can be just as effective for the right person in the right situation.

Most outpatient rehab programs are day treatment programs. These programs require individuals to meet at an outpatient facility for several hours out of the day for up to seven days a week. The duration and number of these meetings every week will depend on the intensity of the program as well as the individual’s needs, but even if you have to spend the majority of the day in a treatment center, you will still be able to go to your own home at the end of the day and be with your own family.

Those who need to spend less time in treatment yet are still serious about overcoming their addictions can opt for an intensive outpatient program. These programs require you to meet certain milestones during the treatment process. As you meet these milestones, the amount of time you will need to spend in treatment decreases. Someone in an intensive outpatient program may need to attend several hours of meetings per week during the first few weeks, but eventually they will be able to attend shorter and fewer meetings so they can go about putting their lives back together.

Naturally, most good outpatient treatment programs provide continuing care after the program is officially finished. Addiction is an ongoing struggle, and there will always be a temptation to fall into old behavioral patterns even after one is “clean.” Continuing care often requires individuals to meet with a licensed therapist once or twice a week for short meetings, both to check in and make sure that they stay on the path of sobriety.

No matter how severe your addiction to drugs or alcohol may be, know that there is always a treatment program that can work for you. If you or a loved one needs help overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t hesitate to call the Summit Wellness Group at 770-299-1677 for more information about our treatment programs.