Does Outpatient Addiction Treatment Work?

When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction there are a variety of options available. For those who have less severe addictions, and who can still function in day to day life, outpatient treatment is often the solution of choice. It tends to be less expensive overall, and it allows addicts to maintain a real life outside of treatment. However, that is a double edged sword for a number of different reasons.

Going to WorkThe Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment tends to be very flexible, which makes it an ideal solution for addicts who still have a home life, or who need to hold down a job while getting help. Outpatient centers offer a variety of services, from medical treatment to group therapy and psychological counseling, which can all have a positive impact on addicts who are looking to recover from their conditions.

The Downsides of Outpatient Treatment

The reason that outpatient treatment isn’t recommended for more severe addicts is because these centers don’t have the medical facilities to keep those persons in isolation for a full, physical detox. That step is required with more severe addictions, since it’s a very real possibility that people who have a severe addiction could suffer potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms without proper medical care. However, patients face difficulties beyond the lack of medical facility support.

Outpatient rehabilitation, by its very nature, doesn’t take addicts out of their daily lives. This can be truly problematic because the stresses of work and family life, as well as the situations and friends that led to a person using drugs in the first place, are all still present. It’s up to the individual in question to cut those influences out, overcome them and work around them in order to avoid relapsing back into drug use and dependency.

Does It Work?

Drug rehabilitation and treatment are not a science at this point, and while some programs will work for some addicts, there is no silver bullet. It’s true that outpatient rehabilitation doesn’t work for many addicts the first time through a program. For some addicts outpatient rehabilitation simply is not the kind of treatment they require to really beat their dependence on drugs or alcohol.

However, some patients do successfully overcome addiction with the tools that outpatient rehabilitation offers, and with the methods it teaches them to use. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s better than doing nothing at all to overcome the problems faced by those who have grown addicted to substances in order to get through their days.