Very simply put, Outpatient Treatment is a program that allows an individual being treated for substance abuse or mental illness to attend treatment while living in their homes or in another safe living environment. Outpatient Treatment differs from inpatient or residential treatment because clients’ of an outpatient program do not reside at the location of their treatment. Individuals seeking treatment who have responsibilities and commitments and need to remain in the home environment, or have the freedom to continue to work or go to school during the course of their treatment are best suited to an Outpatient Program.
Different Types of Outpatient Treatment
There are a variety of schedules at most outpatient treatment programs. Depending on the level of acuity for each individual, various schedules of Outpatient Treatment are available. Some of the most popular types of outpatient treatment include:
Day Treatment (Partial Hospitalization)
Day treatment is the closest to residential or inpatient treatment due the frequency and duration of each session. Typically, day treatment clients attend the outpatient treatment center 3-5 days per week for approximately 4-6 hours per day. The intensity of day treatment most closely mirrors the course of treatment at most residential facilities with the major distinction being that individuals in day treatment live at home or in some other stable living environment.
Typical intensive outpatient treatment programs require less of a time commitment than do residential treatment or day treatment. Most intensive outpatient programs require clients to attend a minimum of 3 days per week and between 2-4 hours per day. Intensive Outpatient Treatment programs are ideal for individuals who are continuing care from a residential or day treatment program, or for those who have professional or educational commitments. Most intensive outpatient programs will schedule sessions taking into account each clients’ prior commitments.
Standard outpatient procedures vary drastically from program to program. Some outpatient programs meet only once or twice per week for an hour or two. This could encompass individual therapy sessions, drug counseling sessions and group therapy sessions. Individuals’ in standard outpatient treatment programs often have the ability to collaborate in creating their schedules for sessions and are able to maintain outside commitments. Standard outpatient is ideal for those who have completed a residential or day treatment program and are looking to integrate continuing care into their everyday lives.