Does Outpatient Rehab Actually Work? Weighing the Pros and Cons

If you are struggling with an addiction of any kind, it’s up to you to get help from a professional. With this in mind, you will typically be able to choose between inpatient care and outpatient care.

These programs have lots of similarities along with some key differences. You need to learn the pros and cons of outpatient care before you use it for your addiction recovery.

Here’s what you should know about outpatient rehab.

What Are the Benefits of Outpatient Rehab?

There are several reasons that people will want to consider going to the outpatient route. Here are a few of the benefits you will enjoy:

  1. You Don’t Have to Spend Time Away From Home or Work

The major difference with this form of addiction recovery is that you’re doing it in your home as opposed to checking yourself into a facility. Rather than living and breathing your recovery 24 hours a day, outpatient care consists of treatment that is broken up into about 10 hours per week.

When you enroll in an IOP treatment program, the professionals will tailor the recovery to your needs and schedule. Because this is so flexible, you don’t have to worry about taking leave from your career or getting people to watch your kids or handle other aspects of your everyday life. The program fits your needs and helps you make the best use of your time.

  1. There Are a Number of Services and Methods You Can Lean On

Even though outpatient care isn’t as all-encompassing as in-patient care, the offerings are still vast. Some of the services that you will get with outpatient care include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and some strategies to help you develop a new norm.

You will schedule meetings throughout the week with a few different professionals that can lend you their expertise.

  1. You Won’t Lose Time with Your Family

If you have a number of responsibilities that aren’t easy to leave behind, outpatient care is definitely best for you. With outpatient care, you won’t lose time with your family. You will still have time to put your kids on the bus and pick them up from school.

As such, you will also find yourself less stressed and better able to relax and buy into the therapeutic sessions that you are undergoing.

  1. It Teaches You to Manage Your Addiction and Balance Your Life

The biggest challenge that people face after inpatient care is going back to their regular lives. By the time they go through detox and several different forms of therapy and exercise at an inpatient facility, it is easy to get comfortable living in this mini Utopia.

With outpatient care, you learn to go to your treatment while balancing your life all at the same time. This comes with a learning curve that makes you better able to deal with what real life will be like post-addiction.

What Are Some Potential Downsides to Outpatient Rehab?

Now that you know why outpatient care is amazing, you need to wrap your mind around reasons why it might not be for you. Here are some of the potential downsides:

  1. Being Around Your Normal Life Leaves You Prey to Triggers and Distractions

The thing that makes outpatient care a plus is also its major downside. When you don’t have to leave your home, you’re still sticking around the same triggers, distractions, and social circles that support your substance abuse habit.

If life is business as usual, it becomes more difficult to completely commit to your recovery program. This is why so many substance abuse recovery centers insist on having people leave their homes and get around new energy and scenery.

  1. You Can’t Put as Much Time and Effort Into the Program

Outpatient care doesn’t come close to the amount of time that you put into inpatient care. Since you’re only putting in a few hours per week, rather than actually living at the treatment center, you need to honestly decide if this is enough to get the job done for you.

People that have a mild addiction are better served with outpatient care for this reason. If you require heavy detox or have a serious addiction problem, outpatient care might not quite be enough.

  1. The Success Rate is Lower

Studies show that the success rate for outpatient care is lower than inpatient care. Regardless of the reason, this is worth noting in the back of your head as you choose.

A lower success rate doesn’t mean that you won’t find success with outpatient care, but use your discretion.

  1. It Isn’t Community-Oriented

With outpatient care, you’re typically getting one-on-one care from a professional. You don’t have the community element that often comes with in-patient care.

In-patient treatment centers allow for plenty of opportunities to socialize and exchange notes with others going through the program. People who meet in recovery often establish lifelong friendships and support systems.

Since you don’t get that with outpatient care, you’ll have to put in more effort to find your own recovery community.

Consider Your Addiction Treatment Options

When you’re deciding between in-patient and outpatient rehab, the tips above will help you figure out what’s best for you. No matter what you decide, make getting help the top priority in your life. This will help you get your health back in order so that the rest of your years are productive and fulfilling.

Use these tips and check back for more information related to health and wellness.


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