Outpatient Treatment: Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives
When someone is dealing with addiction or mental health issues, there are a few possible treatment options available. Inpatient care used to be the go-to, but with advances in modern treatment methods, outpatient care has become a popular choice. Outpatient treatment refers to care that does not require a patient to stay at a facility overnight. In this article, we will be discussing the benefits, risks, and alternatives to outpatient treatment.
Benefits of Outpatient Treatment
There are several benefits to outpatient treatment. Firstly, outpatient treatment is usually more affordable than inpatient treatment. This is because the patient is not required to stay at a facility overnight and therefore won’t incur additional costs such as for room and board.
Secondly, outpatient treatment offers flexibility. Patients can work around their own schedules and still receive the care they need. This is particularly important for those with jobs, children, or other responsibilities that they cannot simply drop. Additionally, outpatient treatment tends to run for weeks or months, allowing patients to continue their everyday lives while receiving essential care.
Lastly, outpatient treatment provides an opportunity to practice learned skills in real-life situations. Patients have the chance to apply what they have learned, such as coping and self-care mechanisms when attending to day-to-day activities.
Risks of Outpatient Treatment
While the benefits of outpatient treatments are numerous, there are some risks to consider, just like in any other treatment method. Firstly, outpatient treatment Is not recommended for those who need a high level of care. In such cases, inpatient care may be the preferable option as it provides higher levels of monitoring, care, and support.
Additionally, outpatient treatment might not work for some individuals who are accustomed to lifestyles that enable continued substance abuse. For such patients, a more restrictive environment may be more appropriate while they learn how to recover and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Alternatives to Outpatient Care
While outpatient treatment offers several benefits, it may not be the right choice for everyone. For those who do not want or are not appropriate candidates for outpatient care, there are alternatives available.
Inpatient care, for instance, is a great option for those who need more attention, require more structured programs or those going through withdrawal. Detox programs are another alternative, especially for those who require medical help in withdrawals such as those arising from alcohol or opiate addiction.
Another alternative to outpatient care is intensive outpatient treatment(IOP). IOP’s are similar to inpatient care concerning program structure, but they are held for limited periods during the week. Such weekly programs typically run for 9-20 hours and conduct in groups. Outpatient treatment offers numerous benefits, including cost savings, flexibility, and the chance to apply practices learned in real-life situations. Nonetheless, some risks such as the lack of intensive monitoring highlight why it might not be the right choice for everyone. Alternative care options such as inpatient care, detox programs, and intensive outpatient treatments are available for those who may not find outpatient treatment fit.