Confused woman looking for answersOutpatient treatment has a multitude of benefits and is imperative to many individuals who are recovering from addiction. For people who have realized that they have a problem before it’s progressed to a severe stage, it can even be the ideal first step on the journey to recovery.

If you’ve been through inpatient care, you might be feeling proud that you’ve successfully completed your treatment program. While you should celebrate your achievement, don’t mistake your accomplishment as a cure for addiction. Substance use disorders are chronic diseases, and maintaining sobriety is an ongoing process. Stepping down from residential care to intensive outpatient to general outpatient is one of the most effective methods of recovery for many individuals.

What’s the Difference Between Intensive and General Outpatient?

During intensive outpatient treatment, you spend up to four days a week in a rehab center for up to three hours at a time. Your schedule will include a combination of individual and group therapy, according to your unique needs. If you’re taking a course of detox medication, the staff will administer this and monitor your progress. Intensive outpatient care usually lasts anywhere from a month to six months, according to your progress and how you feel.

Outpatient addiction services are a continuation of intensive outpatient or residential rehab. They can also be utilized for someone who is on the road to recovery but has suffered a minor setback in the form of relapse. If you’re suffering from a mild substance use disorder, general outpatient care could be an effective first step on your recovery journey.

How Long Should You Attend Outpatient Services?

General outpatient treatment is something you should make a judgment call about how long to continue. Most of the people who succeed in maintaining abstinence on a long-term basis tend to attend outpatient rehab for a long time, whether it’s 12-step meetings, process groups or community groups. Listening to what other people have been through can be a huge motivational factor in staying sober, plus you may form lifelong bonds with people who have the same intentions as you.

Once you’ve been in recovery for more than a year, going to groups begins to take on a new dimension. As you meet new members of the group, you are setting the example of someone who has shown the strength to maintain sobriety. This sense of responsibility often boosts self-esteem and gives you an incredible sense of achievement and fulfillment.

Do I Need Individual Therapy Once My Course of Rehab Is Finished?

You and the licensed counselors you work with can decide how long you continue with individual treatment. If you have an underlying mental health condition, it may be a good idea for you to continue counseling with a mental health treatment plan for a year or more, depending on the severity. If your care provider is satisfied that you’ve gained the tools necessary to maintain sobriety and manage your mental health, they’ll let you know.

For more information about how outpatient services can help you to overcome the obstacles that have kept you tied down to addiction, call On Demand Counseling today at 330-270-8610.