What Is the Basic Structure of an Outpatient Rehab Program?

Outpatient Drug Addiction ProgramWhen an addict is unable to enter a medical facility or other residential treatment program, the option for outpatient treatment is available. There are several reasons that an addict may choose an outpatient program, including:

  • Cost of the program or lack of insurance
  • Severity of addiction
  • Lifestyle issues, such as work, school or taking care of family members
  • Personal choice based upon modalities

The basic structure of an outpatient rehab program is basically the same regardless of the program chosen and will often include several factors, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

When an outpatient rehab program is the best option, it is important that the recovering addict attends all of the scheduled sessions and appointments in order for the program to succeed.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive (meaning thought) and behavioral (meaning actions) therapy is therapy that addresses the individual’s methods for dealing with specific situations. This therapy helps the addict learn new ways to cope and new behaviors to implement in situations that would normally lead to the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is generally held privately in one-on-one sessions with each participant in the program.

Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy

In many cases, this therapy is used for adolescents with drug and alcohol abuse issues that have either stemmed from or affected the overall family dynamic. However, it can be beneficial for the families of adult addicts when there are children involved. This therapy helps the family to reconnect in a new sober lifestyle while addressing the issues of anger, abuse, neglect or fear to which the addict’s choices may have contributed. It can also address these same feelings within the addict which may have led to the choice to use drugs or alcohol to cope.

Motivational Interviewing

The process of motivational interviewing focuses on the individual addict. It can help determine the addict’s overall preparedness to enter treatment and show whether the addict is truly in an emotional position to change their behavior and lifestyle choices.

Motivational Incentives

In the earliest days of recovery, the desire to use drugs can be their strongest. In their recent past, addicts see drug use as a reward. Perhaps they had a very rough day or they suffered through some trauma; drug use is a means to mitigate the damage these events caused and make the addict feel better. Motivational incentives are the positive reinforcements that can replace the “drug reward” in the mind of the addict. These may take the form of monetary incentives (there have been programs that offer gift cards donated by local businesses, for instance, for clean drug tests). In other cases, the incentives are more emotional (such as a visit with an estranged child).

Group Therapy

Trust and sharing are sometimes foreign to a drug addict who has spent a great deal of time hiding behind their drug abuse. Group therapy with others in a similar position can help the addict understand they are not alone and that they can cope with the issues they face on a daily basis.

Each outpatient program is different concerning how these factors and techniques are implemented, however, the basic structure is the same. The addict is held responsible for their own decisions while learning about their disease in a productive and encouraging manner.