When you think about drug and alcohol rehabilitation, outpatient therapy may be the first to come to mind. It allows patients to continue with their daily lives while still getting the help they need. Many believe this is a way of not demonizing addicts by making them stay in a facility as prisoners until their addiction is all but gone. While the concept of stay-at-home therapy has some merit, it is clearly becoming a less effective form of treatment.
Outpatient drug rehab programs are designed to let individuals receive their treatment without much disruption to their lives. They can come and go on their own timetable, meet with doctors, counselors and support groups and go through whatever additional therapy is part of their treatment protocol. Even more appealing is its low cost as there is no room and board that needs to be paid.
Finding outpatient drug or alcohol rehab treatment is also quite easy making it an attractive option for many people who require addiction therapy. Just about every major city has at least one of these programs – sometimes several of them. And each one differs in terms of what their methodology is for treating addiction.
While they may still be somewhat popular among addicts seeking treatment, they are becoming more and more criticized for their ineffectiveness to provide real solid treatment that yields a high success rate. In fact, it is difficult to determine just how low the success rate of these programs are, given the fact that addicts often suffer occasional setbacks or complete relapses which require another round, or multiple rounds, of treatment.
What is known for a fact is that the attitude surrounding outpatient therapy is changing. For serious addictions, allowing the individual to continue to lead their normal lives while undergoing treatment forces them to stay face to face with their problems. This only makes recovery harder, if not impossible. They need to be removed from the situation in order to begin the recovery process. This can only be done by going to an inpatient treatment center. Leaving the individual in constant exposure and temptation to what brought them to treatment to begin with defeats the purpose of any attempted therapy.
Another major disadvantage with outpatient treatment programs is that addicts need to be held accountable for what they are doing to themselves and their loved ones. Instead of accountability, it offers permissibility for an addict to live free and clear and to seek treatment on his or her own terms; and to come and go as they like. There is no effective way for someone to receive therapy for drug and alcohol abuse by engaging in weekly sessions with a doctor or support group as it is not enough intensive treatment to offset the chronic pressure of addiction.
For some people, addiction has been a lifelong battle which means treatment needs to be more intense and more focused. But if someone is only receiving treatment on an out-patient basis, how much intensity and focus will be given? The addict knows he or she will only be at the recovery center for a short period of time before going back to normal life. This surely cannot be an effective way to treat a serious condition.
Finally, long-term success is the ultimate goal when it comes to a drug and alcohol treatment program. But how can that be achieved through a casual and infrequent therapy method? True success only come from an addict dedicating serious time and attention into figuring out why he or she resorted to drugs or alcohol, the triggers that cause the abuse and how to overcome the reliance on these substances when dealing with life’s difficulties. Successful treatment requires addicts to remove themselves from the world that has held them captive through drugs and alcohol. Outpatient treatment does not allow for this reprieve during the healing process.
A serious problem like addiction requires a serious treatment plan. This means a commitment to the process that goes beyond a few hours a week. Addiction does not happen overnight. It is a problem that develops over a long period of time and usually lasts until a person is willing to admit that he or she has a problem and needs help. So no one should expect that treatment will come quick and easy.
To start recovering from addiction, an addict needs to devote every single minute of every single day to the treatment program. The best way to do this is to choose an inpatient rehabilitation center where intensive help comes in the form of individualized counseling, teaching of life coping mechanisms and isolation from temptation and situations that may further the addiction. You would not let an overeater walk into a candy store to buy what he or she wants; so it makes no sense to leave an addict in a world surrounded by drugs and alcohol while they are being treated.
Outpatient rehab programs have their place as a cost-effective, convenient and easy way to get help for addiction. And for some it is better than nothing. There is something to be said about that, but do you want treatment that will truly help you kick a dangerous and life-threatening habit or something that just fits neatly into your schedule? If you are serious about ending your battle with addiction, then you want to find whatever gives you the best possible chance you have of doing that. Unfortunately, outpatient rehab centers have never been that best option. Commit to a quality inpatient drug rehab facility where you can get the best care possible and increase your chances of long-term success.