Addiction Outpatient Centres
What is an Outpatient Facility?
An outpatient facility is a care centre, often in a hospital, that admits patients that are just temporarily visiting from an “outside” location. At an inpatient facility, patients are admitted overnight and often for days or weeks at a time, whereas at an outpatient facility it is uncommon that patients would be staying the night. Both inpatient and outpatient facilities are commonly utilized by patients experiencing drug and alcohol addiction, in addition to other types of rehab like injury or surgery recovery, etc. Whether an addicted individual is sent to one or the other is usually dependent on factors like how severe the addiction is, what the mental health status of the patient is, whether or not there are adequate family support systems in place, what the patient’s living situation is, and the patient’s financial situation.
Outpatient treatment facilities can be more practical, particularly in situations where individuals would like to wean themselves away from their drug or alcohol addictions, but still need to work and go about regular, everyday tasks. There are obviously both pros and cons to this system. On the one hand, work can continue, and patients can stay close to their families and save money on costlier inpatient programs. On the other hand, the patient is exposed to the outside world on a regular basis and may encounter many of the same triggers that led to their addiction issues in the first place. At the end of the day, it may be more difficult to avoid relapsing and things like work and family life may be untenable as a result
Standard outpatient programs include one or two group therapy sessions a week, which may continue for up to a year or longer depending on progress. They generally take place in the evenings or on weekends so that patients can go about their daily lives and continue to work.
Intensive outpatient treatments (IOP) involve roughly 10-20 hours of outpatient counselling per week spread over three days per week. These sessions take place for one to three months on average. An even more rigid form of IOP is what’s called “Day Hospital,” wherein patients spend the day at the hospital for up to five days a week but still have free time away from it at night and on weekends. These patients may also need things like medical care or medical attention as part of their treatment whereas the majority of ordinary inpatients will not.
Outpatient treatments specifically are generally offered to individuals that are 19 years of age or older. In addition to group therapy counselling, other comprehensive services offered may include professional one-on-one sessions with an accredited addiction counsellor, evaluation by physicians and psychiatric consultants, co-educational groups, gender-specific day treatments and even referral to more specialized treatments.
Inpatient vs Outpatient: Which One is Right for Me?
The decision regarding how and why someone chooses to enter into rehab is a deeply personal one. From drugs like opioids to amphetamines, alcohol and others, most substances have long histories of sparking addiction issues in communities and families across North America. These stories are nothing new and they shouldn’t generate shame in those individuals that have struggled with addiction. Ultimately, addiction is a disease and not a sign of poor judgement or moral character. This is a crucial and key distinction when we think about addiction, as well as inpatient and outpatient facilities.
Inpatient facilities have historically had higher success rates than their outpatient counterparts. They are more hands-on, keep patients away from many of the relapse triggers that exist in the outside world, and pair patients with other like-minded individuals looking to accomplish similar goals over a prolonged period of time. But, the reality is that inpatient facilities just aren’t feasible for many people and carry some disadvantages. For one thing, they can be extremely expensive and cost prohibitive for lower- and even middle-class individuals. Some of the higher-end inpatient rehab facilities in British Columbia for example can cost in the range of $16,000 – 19,500 for just a month’s stay. Obviously, while these facilities are an excellent option for those that can afford them, they aren’t inclusive and available to much of the country’s population.
Outpatient facilities are obviously much more cost-effective given that patients don’t stay overnight, but there are other benefits to them, as well. For one, if a patient is able to wean off their addiction while living at home and receiving outpatient treatments, they may be more readily prepared to curb that addiction in the long term. The reason for this is that they’ve had to cope with the triggers and daily temptations of the outside world while undergoing their outpatient treatments, so the adjustment to resuming daily life won’t be as significant once the program reaches its conclusion.
Regardless of the financial burdens associated with both types of facilities, outpatient programs may make more sense and be a better option for people that are experiencing a mild case of addiction as opposed to a severe one. At the end of the day, the goal is sobriety and both facilities offer patients many of the tools that will prove to be vital on the road to detox and recovery. If an individual thinks that outpatient recovery makes more sense based on all of the above criteria, they’ll need to prepare to undergo the treatments, both mentally and physically.
Preparing for Outpatient Facility
While the preparation associated with inpatient facilities is much more significant given that patients leave behind their families and loved ones to attend, steps must also be taken to prepare for inpatient treatments. Patients may wish to inform those close to them that they’ll be undergoing outpatient treatments so that they might support them and avoid bringing around triggering substances like beer for the big game for example.
It also may be time for the addicted individual to face some hard truths about the people they’ve been spending time with that have encouraged their addiction issues rather than supported the elimination of them. If close friends and associates or even family have been bad influences, the addict that’s entering into an outpatient treatment will have the difficult task of cutting off communication and their ongoing relationships with them. Rehab and detoxifying the body and mind of addictive substances is difficult enough without spending time with bad actors and negative influences during that process, so this is an important step that must be taken in order for addicted individuals to set themselves up for success. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t reconnect later, particularly if the bad influence in question is a close family member and a constant social contact, but it will likely be a lot safer to do so once the addicted individual has attended and completed their outpatient rehab and resumed leading a healthy life. That being said, if the negative influence continues to cause issues – family or not – and can’t find a way to be fully supportive of new, healthy lifestyle choices, then they aren’t going to be a positive force in the life of the person that is or has undergone treatment anyways and the initial act of severing the relationship should be considered permanent.
Once the person attending outpatient rehab has informed whomever they wish that they are undergoing the process, and gotten their relationships in order as best as they could, it’s time to begin treatment. However, once that person has prepared and decided that outpatient programs are the best choice for them, the question of which outpatient facility is right for them still remains.
Choosing a Specific Outpatient Facility
There are many resources available in Canada to help would-be outpatient attendees determine which facility is right for them. Things like location, accessibility, what treatment options are available and other considerations will help guide potential patients to the centre that’s the best fit. While it may seem straightforward to simply Google the nearest location and choose the first one that appears, doing some due diligence and research as a key first step will help addicted individuals ensure that they find a facility that matches their own unique needs. Doing a little extra in this regard can go a long way towards helping ensure an efficient and comfortable recovery journey.
In addition to using online search engines like Google to locate outpatient facilities, there are also much more hands-on options that allow addicts to speak to someone and receive a more personalized approach to selecting their respective facility.
Drugrehab.ca offers a 24/7 hotline that Canadians can call to discuss available outpatient facilities and which ones might be the best fit at 1-877-254-3348. Additionally, the Canadian Government offers a province-by-province breakdown of addiction helplines and resources.
If someone is considering an outpatient program but isn’t sure if they want to commit to it or not, they would be well served to remember that the treatment method is specifically designed to let them go about their daily lives and take care of the things that matter most. For many addicts, it is an ideal rebab system that allows them to recover from drug use or alcohol abuse while maintaining their daily routine. If it is something they’re considering, it’s also beneficial to remember that recovery is around the corner. Countless individuals across North America and beyond have struggled with addiction, undergone the right rehab for their specific circumstances, and come out the other side fully recovered and resumed leading a healthy, normal life. There’s no reason they can’t do so, too.