What Are Outpatient Treatment Programs?

The image most people have about addiction treatment usually involves residential or inpatient treatment. Residential treatment requires clients to live full-time (24/7) within the treatment facility for the duration of treatment or until other options are employed. During their time in a residential treatment facility, clients will generally undergo intensive individual and group therapy sessions with time in between for relaxation and reflection. 

Outpatient Treatment Programs

Unfortunately, some people enter treatment under circumstances that make residential treatment too restrictive. Here’s a shortlist of reasons why someone might not be able to adhere to a residential treatment program:

  • Residential treatment costs are too prohibitive
  • The client has a financial responsibility as the family’s primary breadwinner and can’t miss work
  • The client has responsibility for the care of children or elderly persons
  • Work or school responsibilities demand high priority

There is good news for the addiction sufferer who desperately needs treatment but cannot abide by the terms of inpatient treatment. In the sections below, the discussion will offer information about outpatient treatment programs, particularly what to expect from a Los Angeles outpatient addiction treatment.

What is Outpatient Care?

Remember, all addiction treatment is voluntary unless directed by the courts to satisfy legal requirements. When a client agrees to one of several outpatient treatment programs, they decide to show up at appointed times for therapy and counseling. The totality of their time spent in the treatment facility will most likely include time spent in intensive individual, family, and group therapy sessions. Each day, the client is permitted to return home after treatment until their next scheduled appointment or appointments. 

As addiction treatment alternatives, outpatient treatment programs give clients much more flexibility. Clients are allowed to continue as active participants in their own lives as long as they are willing and able to allocate enough of their time for outpatient treatment. They also have to be willing to abide by a set of stringent rules. The following rules are rules commonly used for most outpatient treatment programs, including most Los Angeles outpatient rehab programs:

  • Zero tolerance for subsequent drug or alcohol use
  • Willingness to submit to random drug testing
  • No fraternization or disruption with other clients 
  • Showing up for all scheduled appointments on time
  • Making progress towards recovery is a must

It’s worth noting that any client who has difficulty abiding by these rules will likely first be asked to move into a residential treatment program. If they can’t or will not agree to that request, they could be asked to leave and seek help from other outpatient treatment programs. This is necessary not as punishment but as protection for other clients. 

Outpatient Treatment Programs Available as Part of Los Angeles Outpatient Rehab

While options may vary slightly from one Los Angeles outpatient addiction treatment facility to the next, there are three general levels of outpatient treatment programs. These three levels include (listed from most restrictive to least restrictive):

  • Partial hospitalization of PHP
  • Intensive Outpatient care or IOP
  • Standard Outpatient care or OP

It’s noteworthy that the primary thing that differentiates these three outpatient treatment programs is the amount of time the client is required to spend in the Los Angles outpatient rehab facility. Here’s a further description of these outpatient treatment programs or options. Typically, all three of these options would be available at a reputable Los Angeles outpatient addiction treatment facility.

Partial Hospitalization or PHP

With this option, clients are required to spend as much as 5-7 days a week for 6-8 hours a day in therapy. While individual and group therapy would likely be the primary focus of treatment, there is a Los Angeles outpatient rehab or two that might allow PHP clients to participate in some group activities usually reserved for residential treatment clients. 

While a client might have to commit to this level of outpatient treatment for as long as three months, they could also earn the right to move down to a less restrictive outpatient program should they show good progress. 

Intensive Outpatient Care or IOP

With this option, clients are required to spend as much as 3-5 days a week for 2-4 hours a day in therapy. Therapy could continue for several months. During their time in an IOP program, almost of their time in a Los Angeles outpatient rehab would be spent in intensive individual therapy.

Again, any good progress could result in the client moving down to a less restrictive program, though a lack of progress could result in them having to take a step up in treatment.

Standard Outpatient Care or OP

This is by far the least restrictive outpatient care option one would encounter with a reputable Los Angeles outpatient addiction treatment facility. With this option, clients are only required to spend as much as 1-3 days a week for 1-2 hours a day in therapy. This option is generally reserved for clients who are graduating from residential treatment or need additional support as an aftercare option. A top Los Angeles outpatient rehab will keep this option available to a particular client for as long as the client might need help. 

The Purpose of Los Angeles Outpatient Addiction Treatment

The one thing all outpatient treatment programs have in common is they offer clients a minimal amount of time to fight for sobriety. While spending time in a Los Angeles outpatient rehab, clients have plenty of motivation to work hard through the therapy process. The sooner they can exhibit signs of recovery, the sooner they can get on with their lives.

The primary objective of any Los Angeles outpatient addiction treatment program is to teach clients the truth about their addictions. Therapists will attempt to accomplish this objective by taking their clients on a journey of self-discovery. 

During this journey, the therapist will ask their client to open up about the root causes of the client’s need to abuse substances in the first place. If the client can finally reconcile the truth with the actual driving force or forces behind their addiction, they stand an excellent chance of figuring out how to avoid temptation and their triggers in the future. The how is almost always better coping and life skills.

If you are suffering from an addiction, your responsibility is to admit you have an illness and need help. If you are willing to find a reputable Los Angeles outpatient rehab for care, you’ll soon realize they have a variety of outpatient treatment programs they can offer to help you find recovery. As long as you are willing, to be honest, and do the necessary hard work, there’s an excellent chance you can go on living your life without having to rely on drugs or alcohol.