Trying to stay strong.
Published On: January 29, 2014|Categories: Treatment|

Deciding to enter an addiction treatment program is a major decision, but fortunately, there are many ways people can seek help to free themselves from substance abuse. However, different treatment plans entail different levels of support and responsibility. Different programs will be more or less suited to you depending on your lifestyle and the severity of your addiction. The ideal program for an individual will even change over time as the addiction itself changes.

To get an idea of whether you are most suited for addiction treatment at an inpatient or intensive outpatient level of care, and to find the program best designed to meet your needs, it is helpful to do a little bit of research before enrolling in any kind of program.

What’s a level of care?

Before we dive too deep into different kinds of treatment programs, let’s address the level of care concept.

Just as with physical illnesses, mental health illnesses differ in levels of severity. You might seek the guidance of your general practitioner for strep throat treatment but would have to seek the guidance of a specialist for tonsil removal. You’d seek out a therapist for mental health diagnoses like generalized anxiety disorder but would need a specialized treatment program to recover from addiction.

Within these specialized treatment programs are differing levels of care (outpatient and inpatient programs) based on the severity of addiction, the longevity and whether or not a dual diagnosis is present. In order to have the best chance at total recovery, it’s important to find a level of care that will best address your concerns and help you meet your goals.

Intensive outpatient & inpatient program structure

The main difference between residential and intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment programs is the structure. Intensive outpatient programs provide more freedom of movement. Individuals can continue to maintain other commitments, such as work, education and caring for family while still receiving appropriate treatment and counseling services. Because they are still present in their daily lives, clients also retain greater anonymity because they do not have to explain the long absence that would be necessary for attending an inpatient program.

Inpatient programs, on the other hand, are highly regimented in order to keep clients engaged in a clear and healthful routine. Inpatient programs are designed to guide clients whose addictions have caused severe dysfunction back toward a conscientious way of living. For those in inpatient programs, a crucial part of the program includes residing in the treatment center for the duration of treatment.

Exposure to triggers & addictive substances

teen girl on reception at the psychologistThere are different levels of protection against substance use between the two types of addiction treatment settings. In residential programs, patients are in an entirely drug-free setting, necessarily forcing them to abstain from using.

However, in intensive outpatient programs, patients may still be somewhat exposed to the stressors and negative influences that trigger the desire to use, and may also still have access to the substances themselves. This requires more of a client’s own diligence and reliance on support networks to abstain voluntarily throughout treatment.

Support & assistance resources

Both levels of care provide extensive support networks through individual counseling, group therapy sessions, educational workshops and family counseling services.

After-program readjustment

Intensive outpatient services have the benefit of allowing clients to apply new knowledge immediately in their home environment. After a program ends, they may have more time to take on additional responsibilities in their lives, but there is otherwise minimal readjustment. Throughout the program, they have already been making adjustments to their home environment and activities.

Individuals who return home after a residential program have a lot of immediate changes in store. One of the first tasks they will have to tackle is to create a schedule for themselves so that they can start practicing healthy habits while avoiding former negative ones. It is common for a client to attend an intensive outpatient program following the successful completion of inpatient treatment in order to smooth the transition back to the home setting.

Who should attend outpatient substance use treatment?

Businesswoman Interviewing Male Candidate For JobClients who think they might need help for addiction should seek help from an experienced professional who can conduct an assessment.  Many factors should be reviewed in determining whether inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment is most appropriate, including biological, psychological and social influences.  However, there are a few questions that can help you determine which might be the most suitable:

  1. Do the daily stresses or influences that cause the temptation to use threaten your successful participation in an intensive outpatient treatment program?
  2. Have you tried and failed to complete an intensive outpatient treatment program?
  3. Do you have a physical addiction to drugs or alcohol that would demand the need for entering a detoxification program?

Those struggling with addiction to alcohol or substance abuse should discuss their particular circumstances with a treatment specialist to get the help they need today.

Inpatient & outpatient options

Whether you think you’re more suited for outpatient rehab or think the structure of inpatient rehab would be more beneficial, options are available for you today. Visit High Focus Center’s website to learn more and to get in touch with someone today.

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