The path to recovery from addiction is unique and personal for everyone. A person’s individual needs can differ greatly according to their biography, the addiction they’re dealing with, the stage of life they’re in, and a variety of other factors.

For people struggling with addiction, every recovery is a journey, and each journey has its specific challenges. As a result, it’s important that patients find the treatment that’s right for their needs and their recovery journey.

In the most severe and dangerous of situations, inpatient counseling may be necessary to achieve success. Inpatient programs can reduce the risk of relapse while giving the client continuous care and support, and the recovery process, which is often tumultuous, can be monitored by professionals 24 hours a day.

In other cases, such as with those who find themselves in the beginning stages of addiction or who require additional support following a more intensive inpatient program, outpatient drug counseling can sometimes better suit a client’s needs.

But outpatient rehab is not good for everyone. The following people may not be a good fit for outpatient rehab:

  • Someone who requires around-the-clock care.
  • Someone who will experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • Someone with a history of chronic relapse.
  • Someone who faces temptation from those around them, or has triggers in their everyday life.
  • Someone who may be a danger to themselves or others.

The benefits of outpatient rehab
For those who have developed severe addictions, inpatient drug-and-alcohol rehab is often recommended, but once a client feels they are ready to make the transition back into society and the ongoing demands of everyday life, outpatient counseling can prove to be an invaluable tool that is minimally disruptive of a client’s life.

Outpatient care can also be a viable option for people who are first becoming aware of the possibility of addiction or those who find themselves worried about an addiction becoming more serious. Here are the three benefits of outpatient drug counseling:

1. Individual attention
The needs of your situation are unique to you. Perhaps you’re dealing with alcohol addiction, heroin addiction, or an addiction to opiates. The techniques employed in recovery from each of these are different and will require individual attention, which outpatient treatment programs can provide. During an outpatient program, clients will have the opportunity to work individually with a therapist on sensitive issues they may not want to bring up in group settings. It is within these individual sessions that clients have more time to devote to the complex psychological and emotional issues associated with their addiction. They can also discuss motivational difficulties that may be preventing their sobriety. This individual therapy can build on other techniques employed in group settings.

2. The ability to work and attend treatment
For just about everyone dealing with an addiction, the process will be an unwelcome disruption to their everyday lives, and breaking commitments to family, work, school, and communities can make recovery feel unwieldy and even impossible. For many, disrupting their work and family lives can feel just as traumatic as the work of dealing with the addiction itself.

For people in less severe scenarios, outpatient care allows them to maintain their commitments while still receiving the care and attention they need. During outpatient care, clients maintain their residency at home, sleep in their beds, cook their food, and live their lives in familiar surroundings. Not only does this make for minimal disruption of everyday lives, but in some cases, these outside activities have been proven to be a useful outlet during the recovery process.

In addition, the lower costs of outpatient treatment, compounded by being able to continue working, make outpatient treatment a more economically viable option than inpatient treatment.

3. Ability to maintain privacy
One of many hurdles to a successful recovery can be the shame and stigma of the recovery process. Checking in to an inpatient program can be too great of a commitment, as it requires clients to admit that addiction has taken over their lives. Also, should a client want privacy, participation in inpatient programs are also difficult to keep from co-workers, family members, and friends. Alternately, outpatients can come and go as they please, while maintaining the discretion of a staff that’s committed to aiding their recovery.

4. Access to support networks
For those in recovery, moral support and maintaining access to emotional support networks can make a significant difference in the outcome. In certain scenarios, maintaining relationships with a loving support network of family and friends is often more beneficial than going through the recovery process alone in a more clinical setting.

5. Continual recovery support
Because of the intense nature of any recovery journey, it can often prove beneficial to undergo the process in a controlled environment that doesn’t provide the client with the opportunity for an easy relapse. As a result of the stressful nature of these inpatient programs, whether socially, emotionally, or economically, however, a client can often be tempted to feel “finished” or “cured” prematurely. Outpatient care, on the other hand, can be continued indefinitely, since its impact on the client’s life, including the ability to maintain work and family responsibilities, is reduced. This continual treatment can often be the key to a recovery process that sticks.

Some aspects of outpatient care may include the following:

  • Group therapy
  • Alcohol and drug education
  • Spirituality groups
  • Men’s groups
  • Women’s groups
  • Life skills
  • Re-socialization skills
  • Mental-health treatment
  • Referrals to sober-living houses
  • DUI or DWI programs

Is outpatient care the right call?
For people with a high risk of relapse or for those in situations that require more attention, outpatient treatment may not prove sufficient. However, it can be a good starting point. Most health experts agree that outpatient therapy is insufficient when a person is no longer willing to motivate themselves or is incapable of maintaining their recovery regimen on their own.

If you think outpatient counseling might be right for you or a loved one, contact Center for Healing to talk to one of our caring and considerate professionals about your particular recovery needs.



Erica Franco Mortimer, MA, LPC, LCADC
Founder and CEO
Center for Healing
Evan Berk Erica is a licensed therapist with over twenty-years experience in mental health. Erica offers practical and straight forward advice to those struggling with addiction and their families. Having deep insight and understanding of addiction, Erica is able to offer guidance to those looking to regain control of their lives.


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