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Outpatient Programs

Outpatient treatment is a vital stage in the ARS continuum of care. At the outpatient level, patients are ready to assume more responsibility for their recovery from substance abuse or an eating disorder. Most of them have successfully completed a detox or residential program and are motivated enough to continue their therapy in a less structured environment. As with our detox services and residential treatment programs, our intensive outpatient programs are designed to empower and aid our patients on their path to recovery.

In outpatient treatment, patients can attend therapy sessions, appointments, classes, meetings, or other recovery activities during daytime hours, while living in a private residence or a transitional housing environment. This increased flexibility allows them to keep up with other commitments at home, work, or school while they continue to learn and grow in recovery.

Our Intensive Outpatient Programs

An intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is an approach to treatment that both accommodates and supports the patient’s personal life. An IOP gives patients the freedom to spend time with family, hold down a job, or participate in other sober activities as they continue to build and hone their coping skills. As part of a comprehensive outpatient treatment plan, our patients benefit from services such as:

  • Individual therapy sessions with a psychiatrist, counselors, or therapists
  • Group therapy sessions with peers in recovery
  • Outpatient detox services
  • Family or marriage counseling
  • Physician-monitored medication management
  • 12-step meetings or other support groups
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Life skills training and counseling

Preparation for life in the community is an important goal of outpatient treatment. Because our outpatients are currently living in the community, they have an acute need for services such as occupational counseling, effective money management, healthy meal planning, and housing assistance. At ARS, we make every effort to help our clients build a solid foundation for the future by assisting them with the practical aspects of building a sober life.

Relapse Prevention and Outpatient Care

At the outpatient stage of treatment, the risk of relapse increases. After leaving the structured environment of a residential treatment program, patients may feel overwhelmed by triggers when they’re back in the community. Relapse prevention training is vital at this stage. In outpatient treatment, patients learn the following relapse prevention skills:

  • How to list and identify emotional triggers
  • How to identify the signs of a relapse
  • How to build a network of supportive friends, family, and professionals
  • How to reach out to others before or after a relapse
  • How to minimize the damage if a relapse does occur
  • How to get back on track with recovery

In outpatient treatment, patients learn that a relapse does not have to mean the end of their dreams of a healthy lifestyle. The extent and duration of a relapse can be minimized significantly if the patient has the right resources and support to get back on track.

Advantages of Outpatient Care

After stepping down from the more structured environment of a residential facility, the increased freedom of an outpatient setting can feel unsettling, even a bit scary. ARS outpatient programs provide the structure and support that our patients need to thrive at this stage. Here are a few of the key advantages to outpatient treatment:

  • Self-efficacy. Participants in an outpatient program have the opportunity to develop a greater sense of self-efficacy, or the belief that they have the ability to successfully handle life’s challenges. A sense of self-efficacy comes from meeting the responsibilities of day-to-day life while continuing to meet commitments to a recovery program. The therapists, case managers, social workers, and other professionals in ARS outpatient programs support their patients in increasing their self-efficacy.
  • Independence. Outpatient treatment provides more independence than inpatient or residential care. While this independence can be intimidating at first, it also allows patients to engage in everyday life through relationships, recreation, work, or education. Outpatients learn how to handle the emotions and stresses of daily life while maintaining their commitment to a drug-free life.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Because residential treatment costs include the price of housing, meals, 24-hour staffing, and other living expenses, residential programs are usually more expensive than outpatient services. At ARS, we make every effort to keep our prices as cost-effective as possible while maintaining the highest level of care.
  • Convenience. Outpatient treatment centers are conveniently located near transportation, business districts, and schools to make it easier for patients to participate in recovery services while meeting personal obligations. Proximity to airports, interstate freeways, hotels, shopping, and cultural events makes it easy for family and friends to visit the area.

ARS places a strong emphasis on the role of outpatient treatment in the recovery process. Outpatient treatment allows patients in recovery to restore stability, consistency, and routine in their lives, while practicing their newly acquired coping skills in a real-world setting. To help our patients succeed at this stage, we give them a full set of coping skills that allow them to navigate the challenges of life outside of a residential rehab program.

Our Outpatient Treatment Team

Our outpatient treatment team consists of a group of talented, dedicated professionals with advanced training and experience. Team members include physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, nutritionists, dietitians, nurses, case managers, and more. In fact, our outpatient staff members perform many of the same services that are available at a residential treatment program. Our outpatient staff are available to support and empower our patients as they increase their independence and hone their coping strategies.

ARS staff members have the necessary experience and education to treat the most complicated and challenging cases. Many of our staff members are trained in mental health care as well as the treatment of substance abuse and eating disorders. This cross training ensures that they can provide effective, positive care for individuals struggling with mental illness as well as an addictive disorder.

Length of an Outpatient Program

As a general rule, outpatient treatment lasts from 28 to 90 days; however, at ARS, we prefer not to impose an arbitrary deadline on the patient’s length of stay. Instead, we evaluate the patient’s needs as he or she progresses through treatment to determine the best length of care for the individual. If necessary, the treatment plan can be modified if the patient requires a longer length of stay.

Am I Ready for an IOP?

Some of our patients are ready for outpatient treatment when they first enter the ARS continuum of care; however, most are admitted at a more intensive level of treatment, such as detox or residential services. At the intake stage, we perform a careful, thorough assessment of each individual’s needs and potential challenges. This evaluation allows us to develop a patient-specific plan that truly reflects the patient’s unique requirements.

ARS, or Advanced Recovery Systems, oversees a network of treatment facilities that specialize in alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, and co-occurring disorders. Our outpatient programs offer progressive, patient-centered care for individuals who are ready for more autonomy in recovery. To learn more about our full continuum of recovery services, contact the compassionate intake specialists at one of our treatment facilities today.

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