Outpatient addiction treatment varies widely according to the needs of those they’re designated to serve. While intensive outpatient addiction treatment facilities usually serve people with severe addictions, others may be much less structured in their intended goals for people in recovery, offering some services only a few times per week.
The less-structured model of outpatient treatment programs best serves the needs of those who’ve completed a residential treatment program or intensive outpatient program and are determined to live a sober lifestyle. An outpatient addiction treatment facility offers a less-complex level of treatment, which relies significantly on peer reinforcement in group support sessions. Medical treatment and residential programs aren’t standard approaches to care offered in outpatient addiction treatment facilities.
Although, the Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) notes, “Some outpatient programs are also designed to treat patients with medical or other mental health problems in addition to their drug disorders,” many “offer little more than drug education.” Outpatient facilities house programs that are appropriate for new graduates of a substance abuse program in which safeguarding new sobriety is critical, as well as those who’ve accomplished long-term recovery and are finding their spiritual fulfillment by mentoring others in their personal, yet similar recovery journey.