Treatment facility professionals will usually discuss with patients and their
families, the need for outpatient treatment.You may have heard the terms
extended treatment or sober living after completing the initial detox portion
of a program. The reason for this is results. It has been shown that completing
a full continuum of care helps patients remain clean after treatment.
Outpatient treatment is especially helpful for people who have been to
many treatment centers for addiction and have repeatedly relapsed. There is
benefit for everyone to participate in an extended care treatment program. It
may however, be particularly helpful for young adults and chronic relapsers.
It has been suggested that to get the true benefits of sobriety you need at
least four to six months of treatment. Outpatient treatment allows a patient
to get the full array of treatment services for a longer period of time. Time is
your friend in addiction treatment. The more time you invest in your sobriety,
the better your chances are at staying clean.
Residential treatment generally has a detox element followed by a period
of stabilization during which time one’s thoughts may begin to become
much clearer. If you are in a 12 step residential program you will usually begin
working on steps 1 and 2. During those steps you are starting to realize that you are
powerless over the drug or alcohol and you are starting to see the effects it has had
on your life. Right when an addict is just beginning to think more clearly and become
more grounded, residential detox treatment usually ends.
Outpatient treatment, aftercare & sober living, are important because it is where
longer-term treatment begins. In these programs people can work on the 12 steps.
It has been found that working on the 12 steps in a residential community over
a period of several months allows patients to truly understand their disease and
how to handle real life struggles without using.
When someone in an outpatient treatment program faces difficulties, they can go
back to their community and the counseling staff for support. This helps eliminate
failure when tested. Young adults especially benefit from being part of a community
and working the 12 steps while continuing to be educated about the addiction process
and how to live a sober life. Recovery takes time and it is difficult to retrain one’s
thinking in only a few days.
There seems to be a rush to just get back to life as we know it. Too often
those in recovery and their loved ones are desperate to believe they
are cured. There is no cure, but with long term treatment, you will have
a better chance at sobriety. For many addicts, those that do not choose
to continue treatment in an aftercare or outpatient treatment program will likely
relapse within a few weeks or months of discharge from residential detox.
Outpatient treatment programs that you may want to consider should provide
a wide array of services such as, family sessions, group and individual therapies
and wellness education that treat the mind, body and spirit. Consider individual outpatient programs that offer the same in-depth treatment as residential programs,
but in a sober living type community with added freedoms.
While some may not be able to afford the full continuum of care, it is generally
recommended that chronic relapsers receive as much treatment as possible.
When it comes to fincancing additional time in addiction treatment program it may
be necessary to draw on all family members and available resources. Addiction is
a family illness and it takes a family to come together and pool resources to
provide a loved one additional time in treatment.
Any additional time in treatment is significant for someone truly in need of recovery.
For example, It may take the average heroin addict several times in treatment
before cessation of using and recovery begins. Even if it seems like an addict doesn’t get it the first around, many times outpatient treatment is just the beginning of the path
that leads to a lifetime of recovery from addiction.