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Everyone has different addiction recovery needs. You may need to step away from familiar routines, places, and people to heal. You may need the structure, security and focus residential treatment provides. You may not be able to choose this option because of family, work and time commitments. When residential care isn’t an option, outpatient drug rehab is a good alternative.

What Does Outpatient Drug Rehab Involve?

Outpatient drug rehab programs offer an amazing array of options and intensities. They offer briefer check-ins for those stepping down from more intensive care. They offer daily, hours-long programs for those seeking more support for recovery. They offer partial hospitalization programs that involve spending all day at a treatment facility. Some programs provide care for just a few hours each week. Some ask patients to participate in treatment for 30 hours each week. No matter how much time you spend at a facility or at home, you should receive compassionate, comprehensive care. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration1 lists the following as core components of any outpatient program:

  • Program orientation and intake
  • Comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment
  • Individual treatment planning
  • Group counseling
  • Individual counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Psychoeducational programming
  • Case management
  • Integration of clients into mutual-help and community-based support groups
  • 24-hour crisis coverage
  • Medical treatment
  • Substance use screening and monitoring (urine or breath tests)
  • Vocational and educational services
  • Psychiatric evaluation and psychotherapy
  • Medication management
  • Transition management and discharge planning

Whether you’re just beginning your recovery journey or transitioning to a different level of care, you can find the care and resources you need in an outpatient program. Foundations Recovery Network offers these core components and more at all our locations to ensure a smooth transition to or from Black Bear Lodge.

Headshot of Laura Pugsley

Laura Pugsley

Director of Outpatient Services

Laura Pugsley has nearly two decades of experience working in the social services field. Laura graduated from the University of Georgia with a BA in psychology and earned a master’s degree in professional counseling from Georgia State University. Previously she worked at St. Jude’s Recovery Center for 14 years, spending five of those years as a clinical program manager. Laura became a licensed professional counselor in 2007, specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy skills.

What Treatment Do I Need?

You aren’t a recovery professional. This means you don’t have to have all, or any, of the answers to your recovery. You may not even know what answers you are looking for. Treatment will provide the knowledge, skills, and tools you need. Early, professional assessments will help you identify the challenges you face. Understanding professionals will guide you in your quest to overcome them.

You may need treatment for co-occurring mental health and addiction issues. These concerns often overlap. You get the best recovery results when you treat both at the same time. You can find relief from issues such as schizophrenia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias as you learn to manage addiction. Many outpatient drug rehab programs can identify and address co-occurring issues. Make sure you get an accurate assessment and find integrated care.

You may want to include your family in your treatment and recovery. Outpatient drug rehab makes this easy. Family therapy sessions help members learn how to support one another. Individual sessions help family members find personal strength and knowledge about addiction and its effects. Outpatient programs that offer family treatment offer opportunities for reuniting, communicating, and healing.

Outpatient treatment also offers group therapy, access to community resources, and alternative treatment methods. You can choose programs that include meditation and yoga or experiential therapy outings. Job training, housing assistance, and legal aid can be part of your care. Make sure you choose a program that offers the help you need and take advantage of all aspects of this help.

Will Outpatient Drug Rehab Work for Me?

Outpatient care won’t be right for everyone. It is worth considering if you and your healthcare provider or addiction treatment specialist agree it could be a worthwhile, effective option. It is worth considering if otherwise barriers to inpatient care would keep you from getting any treatment at all.

You may benefit from beginning your recovery with the support and structure of an inpatient program. If you have a negative home or social environment or if you struggle with co-occurring disorders, you may need this level of care. If you have a strong support system outside of care or have completed more intensive care, you can get great results from an outpatient program.

Outpatient care is also worth considering if inpatient treatment simply isn’t an option due to the time, distance, or costs involved.  According to Advances in Alcohol & Substance Abuse,“[Day treatment programs] have been found to have equal or superior results to inpatient hospitalization at one-half to one-third the cost.”2 If financial concerns are otherwise keeping you from recovery, choose outpatient care over no care at all. Look for drug rehab that accepts your insurance or provides care on a sliding scale. Both inpatient and outpatient programs are happy to work with you to make the most of your insurance coverage or create reasonable payment plans. Cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor when it comes to whether or not you get the care you need, but it may influence your decision when it comes to making treatment work.

No matter the drug rehab option you choose, participate in the program and stay engaged. Ask for help through motivational interviewing or incentive-based therapies if you worry you don’t have the interest or ability to stay committed. Use the resources available to you. Continue working on recovery long after immediate treatment ends. Learn to trust yourself and others. Lean on your strengths and skills when times are tough. Reach out to peers and professionals when your own strength isn’t enough.

Recovery Unscripted

recovery unscripted welcome foundations recovery network outpatient admissions team to discuss the process from transitioning from residential treatment to outpatient treatment.

In this episode of Recovery Unscripted, Alex Dorsey and Ashley Buchanan help us take a look at the role outpatient treatment plays in the overall recovery journey. They share how they approach helping people safely and effectively step down from residential treatment to outpatient to aftercare to a sustainable life in recovery.

The right outpatient drug rehab program, and there will always be a team of caring individuals ready to support and encourage you. Choose Black Bear Lodge for your inpatient or outpatient care, and know you have a lifetime of support and sobriety ahead of you. Call 706-914-2327 to learn more about what we offer and how we can help you or your loved one thrive.

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Chapter 1: Introduction.” Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series. Accessed 12 Aug. 2017.

2 Annis, Helen. “Is Inpatient Rehabilitation of the Alcoholic Cost Effective?Advances in Alcohol and Substance Abuse. 23 Oct. 2008. Accessed 13 Aug. 2017.