Intensive Outpatient Rehab Program: The Benefits And Risks

intensive rehab

Hospitals are there for patients that require intensive supervision and treatment, but not all medical conditions require hospital care. The same goes for mental health concerns. Some situations benefit just as much as receiving support while not being admitted.

People often see rehabilitation as a condition that most professionals suggest an in-patient program. Still, very successful intensive outpatient rehab programs are available for those who prefer not to enter a facility.

Benefits Of Intensive Outpatient Rehab Programs

There are benefits and risks associated with these intensive programs that outpatients should be mindful of when choosing the program for them. Let’s start by listing the benefits:

Patients Can Continue With Other Daily Responsibilities

Some patients may be concerned that they need to take care of their families and still go to work. Without their care or income, the family may suffer as a result. If they are doing an outpatient program, patients remain at home and can fulfill their duties as usual. 

Patients feel that they retain some of their dignity if they can still provide and look after their responsibilities. The reason they have to complete a rehab program may already dent their pride, but taking them away from their roles may further complicate treatment.

The Person Is Not Isolated From Family, Friends, Or Other Support Systems

During the recovery process, friends and family members play a crucial role in the success. They support and encourage the patient to heal, which is invaluable. Patients may feel isolated or cut off when entering in-patient treatments, which is not the case with intensive outpatient rehab programs like those offered at https://apibhs.com/

Humans need to feel part of society’s more significant whole. Remaining in a comfortable environment where loved ones can still support daily may help tremendously during recovery.

Less Shameful And Embarrassing

Many patients going through rehabilitation often have feelings of shame, embarrassment, and regret. Going to a facility for treatment would involve explaining to family, friends, co-workers, and others in the community where you will be going. In these situations, patients can feel these negative emotions more intensely. 

With the outpatient program, there are fewer explanations needed, and patients feel more secure in their decision to take part and complete their treatment. There is still a significant stigma attached to rehab and addiction, which makes it difficult for some people around the addicted to accept. 

An outpatient program is more discreet and allows only the closest people to the patient to know about the treatment.

therapy rehab

Outpatient Programs Are More Affordable

Rehabilitation could cost a pretty penny to a person who may already have some financial difficulty. With reduced costs, they can continue with the program for more extended and finish the needed treatment time. 

Treatments are sometimes extensive, or extra professional support is needed, which would add to the costs. Patients would often have a sponsor or family to foot the bill, but they can only help so much. For this reason, outpatient rehab programs are perfect for assisting with the expenses.

Attending Open Group Sessions For Added Support

Not having to be in a facility for extended periods would mean that patients can attend social gatherings or meetings of support groups outside of the treatment program. These are encouraged by most outpatient programs as it has many benefits for the patient. 

Meeting others going through similar situations and experiences through the various addictions lets the patient know that they are not alone. Other people are also going through the recovery process, and listening to them explain how it affects them daily would give more hope to the patient.

Maintain Their Status In The Community

Patients who remain active in society can show their improvement to those around them. They can practice their newly learned skills in real-life situations to strengthen and solidify them. While practicing the new coping skills, patients grow their self-esteem and courage to face the rest of their challenges ahead. 

When patients are doing well, the community will notice and probably compliment the patient on their progress. It makes the person feel that they are still a valuable member of their community and have a lot they can still give back.

Patients Are More Likely To Finish Treatment

With all the personal benefits of an outpatient rehab program, it has a higher success rate than other programs. When patients feel connected, heard, learn the skills they need, and feel valued by everyone around them, they gain the confidence to see the treatment through. 

The intensive outpatient rehab process is still a rigorous treatment option while having all the freedoms of not being admitted.

The Programs Are More Flexible

Hospital protocols differ vastly from outpatient procedures due to the strict way they implement these set protocols. To organize and provide care to many patients at once, hospitals and medical facilities have to run on a tight schedule, where it is not necessary for outpatients. 

Facilities often have a program that all patients need to follow, whereas outpatient rehab programs are tailored to suit the patients’ needs. An outpatient program can include more sessions with psychologists, psychiatrists, group sessions, and other activities to benefit the patient where needed.

Outpatient Treatment Increases Educational Opportunities

Patients with addictions could have many areas of their health that they would need to improve. It may include diet, mental health, and other physical challenges. One of the best benefits of outpatient treatment is that patients can visit multiple professionals to address different areas of life. 

Some addicts would need more support than others, and therapists can adjust outpatient programs to suit each patient’s needs instead of following the same schedule as every other person in treatment.

Increased Accountability To The Patient

The label of addiction insinuates that there is a substance or ritual that patients are dependent upon, hence them entering treatment. The set routines of in-hospital treatments could become the new habit that patients get addicted to and leave them afraid to join society once they finish their programs. 

Intensive outpatient programs give more accountability to patients as they would have to take responsibility for specific areas of their recovery without much influence from the facility. The recovering addict still gets to make their own choices daily but may have to report to a counselor who will keep them accountable for their actions.

Mailboxes
Mailboxes – Photo by: Andrew Taylor – Source: Flickr Creative Commons

A Structured Program Provides More Stability

Leaving the whole recovery process in the hands of an addict would surely not provide the outcome everyone is hoping to find through the process. Most addicts already have a chaotic schedule and home life, making it difficult to keep track of their responsibilities. 

By participating in a more structured program that provides them with the skillset to make healthier choices, addicts may feel more stable and progress quicker.

Virtual Options Are Available

Luckily, technology has advanced in so many areas that it leaves little room for the person needing treatment to make excuses. Previously they could argue that they can’t get to the sessions, they don’t have transport or funds. 

Online or telehealth sessions are fast becoming the norm for many medical practitioners, and patients benefit from the freedom to schedule appointments when convenient for them. And patients save valuable time and money on travel and reduced session costs by doing these sessions online.  

Risks Of Intensive Outpatient Rehab Programs

Rehabilitation could be a long and tiresome road for some, and it is clear how the intensive outpatient rehab program would assist them on this journey. There are a few risks to look out for during the process. If the patient is supported, they can reduce the effect of these risks on their recovery. To begin with, read the following to make you aware of the risks:

Everyday Stress Can Still Affect Patients

For patients, being out in the world that influences their mental state could be tricky for them to navigate. Work stress, family demands, and other stressors could drive the person to revert to addictive behaviors. 

In some cases, closer monitoring by the program coordinators and therapists is the only way to keep patients on track. Stress relief is a big part of any successful rehab program, and patients may need more skills to accomplish it by themselves.

The Addicted Are Often Opportunists

Unfortunately, addictions can make patients very desperate for their next ‘fix’ and would seize any opportunity to get it. They can still get to the corner drug dealer, the casino, access the internet, shoplift, or do any previous behaviors without the counselors’ knowledge. 

Because of the available opportunities, most of them would feel that it is easy to maintain appearances during their treatment sessions while continuing their damaging behavior.

Enablers Could Fuel Addictive Behaviors

Being around friends means getting back into their old ways is more accessible when following an outpatient program. Friends and family members with addictive personality traits could influence or put undue pressure on the patient, resulting in not completing their program. 

Close family members are often guilty of giving them money or assisting them in ways that don’t provide the reason to quit. Some would do this out of love or pity for the person. Sadly, they aren’t doing the patient any favors by fueling the addiction.

Patients May become Distracted From Their Recovery

Everyday life is full of things that can take the attention away from the recovery process. Work or other responsibilities may still have priority when not in a facility. These distractions could mean that patients neglect appointments or activities given to them by the therapists. 

Patients must focus their time and efforts on healing, and they can’t do this effectively if they are distracted from their end goal.

drug addiction

Access To Healthcare Professionals Is Not Immediately Available

Patients may experience a crisis in that they need immediate help when out of the hospital. With them not being around medical assistance all day, it may delay the aid they desperately need. There are therapists and other medical personnel on standby for in-hospital patients to get them through challenging situations. 

With drug addictions, patients can start retaking drugs after they have been clean for some time, and it may result in an overdose. Thus, patients who received treatment in a facility would prevent relapse and subsequent overdose.

It Doesn’t Provide The Opportunity To Safely Detox

An intensive outpatient program might not suit a patient who needs to undergo a detoxing phase—equipping family and friends with handling the withdrawal symptoms and coping with the pleas from the patient during this process may be too much to ask. It is a very emotionally draining part of recovery that patients should do in a more clinical setting for the best support. 

When patients need to detox, it would be best to send them for in-patient treatment before looking at outpatient options for the rest of the recovery.

Programs Are Limited To Specific Conditions

Not all patients would benefit from an intensive outpatient program. Patients with severe addictions may have to entrust their care to a professional team that would be available all day and night. 

The intensive outpatient program would work very well for patients with eating disorders, gambling addictions, or other addiction-related forms that don’t need a detox. The alternative for drug addictions would be to admit the patient to a facility for the period required to get the drugs out of their system and then seek a reputable outpatient program.

To Conclude

Patients who struggle with addictions of any kind should find professional help to assist them with every step of the recovery process. Rehabilitation could be one of the most frustrating, heartbreaking, and rewarding things to do for a person all during one program. 

The main goal of an intensive outpatient program for addiction is to assist the person in changing their habits into more positive ones. During this process, the patients learn valuable skills they can use in all life situations. 

Ultimately, the patient would have to take responsibility for their recovery, which will dictate how well they succeed. The proper support and loving understanding pave the road of rehabilitation to the finish line.