Outpatient drug rehab

Some people who present for drug addiction treatment are not able to be admitted full-time into a residential drug rehab center. Maybe they have children that they can't leave alone, or maybe they just can't afford the price of a addiction treatment center. If such a person is able to abstain for long enough then they might be able to be treated in an outpatient treatment program.

Outpatient treatment program

To be eligible for an outpatient program the team must feel confident that he/she is able to go a few days without using drugs or alcohol. The client will normally have a binge pattern of using his/her substance and typically won't require an inpatient detoxification (detox).

The same principles used in an inpatient rehabilitation (rehab) program can be applied in an outpatient program. A cognitive-behavioural approach will be used to correct destructive behaviour, and prevent relapse. This behavioural therapy can be done in group therapy and one-on-one counselling sessions with a therapist.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps the client to examine his/her inner workings and identify the triggers that set off using behaviour. The client is helped to find ways to avoid situations that place him/her at risk. Faulty belief systems that lead to addiction are challenged and the client is freed from a negative self-image and feelings of worthlessness. This makes it easier for the client to reintegrate back into society after completing the rehabilitation program.

Motivational interviewing

Another key technique used in an outpatient setting is known as "motivational interviewing". This form of counselling is less confronting than techniques used in residential drug rehab programs and focuses on encouraging the patient and building up resolve to stay clean. This makes it more likely that the client will return to the next session and so complete the treatment.

An outpatient drug addiction treatment program is not for everybody. Most clinics will have strict guidelines on who is eligible to join their program. Motivation to stop using is a key requirement for eligibility as well as the ability to stay clean for at least a few days at a time.

Because the unit is not residential they are able to save many costs which are passed on to the clients. It is no less effective than inpatient therapy for those who are admitted onto the program. This makes outpatient therapy an affordable and attractive option to many.

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