When Outpatient Addiction Treatment Is the Better Option

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August 22nd, 2018   |   Updated on March 6th, 2020

When someone is seeking treatment for addiction illness they have the option of attending a residential or inpatient program or remaining at home in outpatient rehab in San Francisco.

The option they choose depends on many different factors and also the personal choices of the individual concerned.

It is always important that treatment leads to a healthy life in recovery and for some that can mean keeping to their daily routine while outpatient alcohol rehab in San Francisco is the better option.

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Although both inpatient and San Francisco outpatient alcohol recovery both have their strengths and weaknesses, they both share a common goal of preparing patients for a drug or alcohol-free life.

Many people leaving residential rehab need the additional support of an aftercare program which is generally delivered as part of outpatient alcohol rehab in San Francisco.

When Outpatient Care Is Not the Best Option

There are some cases where individuals will be recommended residential rehab and some of those people may be dealing with the following situations:

  • Prolonged abuse of highly potent drugs such as heroin or prescription opioids which can produce significant side effects during withdrawal, requiring 24/7 supervision
  • An enabling home life or a personal situation that has become toxic
  • They may have tried and failed to quit using drugs or alcohol several times before.
  • There is a co-existing mental health condition such as depression or anxiety, (known as dual diagnosis).
  • They are in a caregiving role or have significant responsibility at work.

Other than the cases mentioned above, it is generally considered preferable for an individual to pursue outpatient alcohol rehab San Francisco addiction treatment for a number of reasons:

  • Outpatient rehab San Francisco allows individuals to maintain their work, school, family and other responsibilities and commitments
  • Patients are able to apply the techniques they learn in treatment in real time during their daily lives
  • Patients are offered more freedom and flexibility than a residential treatment program and sessions can be arranged at their convenience
  • San Francisco alcohol outpatient recovery allows patients to be more private about their addiction issues because they don’t have to notify family, friends or coworkers of their absence for therapy sessions
  • The same treatments and therapies are available in outpatient rehab in San Francisco often with a greater range of complementary or holistic approaches.


What Is Offered in Outpatient Care?

Outpatient Addiction Treatment Is the Better Option

It is now widely recognized that San Francisco alcohol outpatient recovery can provide the same array of approaches offered in residential rehab. The types of treatments included in outpatient services include:

All types of psychosocial interventions: There are no types of therapy that are only available in residential rehab and outpatients are able to receive these interventions as well. These types of therapy include support groups, individual therapy sessions and complementary treatments and will depend on the individual’s specific needs as detailed in their personalized program.

Support services: There are a number of nontherapeutic services that are available to outpatients to give them extra support during recovery. These include transportation services to make it easier for people to attend therapy sessions, mentoring services, occupational and educational support.

Case management services: Some people recovering from addiction have special needs, such as dual diagnosis patients who are also coping with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Case management deals with the practical aspects of life and can be helpful in finding affordable places to live, a specialist psychotherapist for their specific concurrent illness or assist in job training.

All associated benefits of recovery: Outpatients receive all the regular services offered in residential rehab in terms of support groups and the like. This means they are able to form close bonds with others in treatment who can offer them support on their recovery journey. It has been shown that addicts are more likely to maintain sobriety if they feel they are supported in their endeavors.

Intensive Outpatient Care Options

There are some individuals who require intensive treatment but are unable to attend residential rehab for various reasons. Intensive outpatient programs or IOPs are only recommended for those patients not requiring 24-hour medical supervision and include:

Partial hospitalization programs: Also known as PHPs, these programs can be useful for individuals with severe addiction issues without them having to be fully hospitalized. A PHP requires a patient to attend a hospital or clinic for meetings 3-5 days each week for at least four hours. This allows patients to receive intensive treatment without making the full-time commitment required for residential rehab.

Intensive outpatient programs: IOPs are designed to treat more severe cases of addiction on an outpatient program. Patients typically receive treatment for at least nine hours every week on an IOP and they have been shown to be particularly effective for dual-diagnosis patients and others who don’t need around-the-clock supervision in a rehab center.

Inpatient or Outpatient: A Matter of Personal Choice

Just as we are all individuals, everyone treads their own path from addiction to recovery. What works for one person, may not be as effective for another and it’s important to establish the best treatment options before committing to a program to achieve the best results.

One of the most important aspects of addiction treatment is the initial assessment and it is through clinical evaluation that it is possible to determine which route an individual should take for the best chance of success.

Someone may feel that they can cope with remaining at home while receiving treatment whereas others need the extra security of being in a completely different environment where there are no drugs or alcohol.

Ultimately, the objective of any type of rehab is to prepare a patient for their life in sobriety and so the individual can be counseled to make the right choice for their specific needs.


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Information provided by does in no way substitute for qualified medical opinion. Any text, videos or any other material provided by us should be considered as generic information only. Any health related information may vary from person to person, hence we advice you to consult specialists for more information.