Making Outpatient Addiction Recovery Work For You

There are many different types of addiction recovery programs available, from long-term residential treatment to outpatient therapy sessions. While inpatient options may provide intense, round-the-clock care, they may not be right for everyone. If an outpatient therapy program can help you meet your goals without sacrificing a job or family time, there are some ways you can make this option work for you. Here are some things to consider before you start an outpatient addiction recovery program.

Support System

During inpatient care, the therapists, medical staff, and residents all represent your support system. Outpatient programs may have fewer resources for support in terms of people to talk to and lean on during a crisis. This is why it is important to make sure you have a strong support system at home. Talk to family and friends about what you will need from them, whether you need reminders to attend meetings or a pep talk when you are at your lowest. Be sure to discuss your support system with your addiction treatment therapist. He or she can help you find ways to use your support system without enabling your addiction.

Day Therapy

For some people, regular appointments with a therapist each week may not be enough. You may want to look into outpatient programs with intensive day sessions. These sessions might meet five times each week but allow you to go home overnight and on weekends. Others may meet once or twice a week for all-day therapy and education sessions. You may find that a more intense program can help you stay on the road to recovery while still being able to maintain your employment and spend time with your family each night.

Trigger Removal

One risk of outpatient therapy is that you are exposed to your triggers in the outside world more frequently. This may cause you to relapse, so you should discuss your potential triggers with your therapist. You may find that you need to cut off certain friendships or even move to a different part of town to continue your recovery. Your therapist can help you find different ways to avoid your triggers so you can continue your outpatient program successfully.

Continued Support Plan

Outpatient care also means coming up with a long-term plan for recovery. When released from inpatient care, people with addictions are sometimes given a plan to ease them back into the real world. This transition is more difficult to define when you are in outpatient care, as there is no clear end to the first step of recovery. Work with your therapist to determine how to continue your therapy 1, 5, and even 10 years down the road. You may find that attending 12-step meetings can provide the continued support you need, or you may decide that working with a therapist on a long-term basis is your best chance for a successful recovery.