Outpatient rehab in Philadelphia is fast gaining popularity as an option for recovery from drug addiction. Depending upon the severity of the substance abuse disorder, most patients would typically go through inpatient rehab after they complete the detox process. This is to address any medical concerns or assist in dealing with the severe withdrawal symptoms that come with detox.
There comes a point, however, where the patient needs to transition to an arrangement where they are allowed out of the treatment facility. This transition is all part of the recovery process because the entire point is to get the patient to be free of any kind of dependence, such as that substance dependence, and further along the road to recovery, dependence on people taking care of them, which is what is done in a rehab facility.
Outpatient rehab is a phase where independence, confidence, and self-reliance are slowly reintroduced to the patient, as these are things that typically go away when one is in the grip of a substance abuse disorder. While support is one of the major components of any therapy approach, being able to make correct actionable decisions on their own is also something that is highlighted while in recovery.
Where Does Outpatient Rehab Fall in the Continuum of Care?
The Continuum of Care is a system by which a patient is given treatment at a level that is appropriate to their need or condition. Relevant to substance abuse, The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) created five levels that are used as a reference for the required care level suggested for specific cases:
It must be noted that depending on the program and some other factors, treatment philosophy, services, parameters, and considerations relevant to the patient, may vary for any given level of care because some aspects of treatment may have tailored specifications to the patient(s). Despite these variations, however, implementation of the continuum of care model is done with efforts to ensure consistency throughout treatment, as well as in instances where the patient moves to another level of treatment.
Outpatient rehab is at a level where the monitoring and regulations relevant to treatment are not as intensive and stringent as that of inpatient rehab. There are facilities where the same staff attend to the patient even as they move up or down the levels, while others are referred to other facilities when they change levels as the one they were in only specialized in one or two of the care levels. Regardless if the patient is transferred or not, the facility staff is mandated to inform the patient of the transition and all that it entails, to ensure that the recovery process is not interrupted or disrupted at any point.
How is Outpatient Rehab Different from Inpatient Rehab?
The main difference between the two has to do with the residential arrangements.
As the name would suggest, inpatient rehab is a recovery program that takes place within the confines of a rehabilitation or treatment facility. This is prescribed to people undergoing rehabilitation and is deemed to require close monitoring and clinical care for the duration of the treatment.
Patients in inpatient rehab may be those who suffer the more severe forms of withdrawal symptoms brought on by whatever it is that they formed a dependency on. These withdrawal symptoms could be those that inflict pain, severe disorientation, lack of motor control, or any other symptom that is debilitating and might put the person at risk when alone.
In some instances, inpatient rehab is required because the patient could be in a life-threatening situation due to some complications that manifested during rehab. The act of stopping the usage of the substance could be a significant shock to the system of the patient, and this, in turn, could have affected organs or internal systems that the substance abuse could have weakened considerably.
In other instances, the patient could be exhibiting an inability to stay away from the substance that they were detoxed from. The urges and cravings could be beyond their ability to resist and would be reason enough for them not to continue the rehabilitation. This could also tie in with major behavioral changes that need to be addressed still within inpatient rehab.
After a thorough assessment from the therapist, a patient could transition into the more relaxed atmosphere of outpatient rehab. At this point, the patient may now reside with family or in their own residence and only come back to the facility for their regularly-scheduled therapy sessions.
There are considerations, however, that need to be addressed before the patient is allowed to go into outpatient rehab. These considerations are all structured to ensure that the recovery process is not disrupted by the transition of the patient from being within the confines of the treatment facility to the outside world.
A safe environment for one who had just come out of inpatient rehab is one that will not tempt the patient into using substances again. People who have never had to go through rehabilitation will never understand the kind of danger that an innocent offer of a drink could have to someone in recovery. This is important to know because being outside of the facility means getting back a measure of social life.
In most social events and gatherings, there is always the presence of alcohol, and to a certain extent, other illicit substances. There is always that friend or relative who would offer a drink or something else that could push a former patient into a relapse. This type of environment will not support recovery and could put all the hard work of the patient toward recovery to waste.
Family and friends who really care about the recovery of their loved one should be conscientious enough to know the things that could be helpful and harmful to the person. This could include ensuring that the person is not exposed to undue stress that could wear away at them. The person could still be emotionally vulnerable and thus susceptible to breaking down if exposed to much stress.
The people around the person in recovery could also be the first ones to notice if the person is in danger of a relapse. Support also necessarily includes showing a little “tough love” by not letting the person get into any indulgence that could push them back into full-blown substance abuse. Even a little taste of their former habit could be more than enough to cause a relapse, and this is something family and friends should be quite vigilant about.
Constructive Outside Life
In theory, outpatient rehab takes up most of the daytime hours of the person so that they only go home to spend a little quality time just before sleeping. This, however, is not always the case, and there could be some free time that could best be used for constructive activities that would preoccupy the person.
This is an important consideration because studies done on relapse cases indicate that idle hours doing nothing could turn into vulnerable hours where the idleness feeds boredom, and the boredom, in turn, brings up old urges and bad habits. This is why some therapy approaches include physical activities such as working out and sports, or creative activities such as music and the arts if only to give the person something good to do during their idle hours.
What are the Benefits of Outpatient Rehab?
More than just a treatment for substance abuse disorder, outpatient rehab has become a preferred mode of therapy for people with other concerns as well. The versatility offered by this mode of treatment made it an obvious choice for those needing therapy while still attending to their personal matters.
Here are a few benefits of Outpatient Rehab:
Many facilities are offering outpatient rehab with flexible schedule arrangements to fit the daily calendar of those needing it. Unlike inpatient treatment where the patient is confined to the facility day in and day out, outpatient rehab offers the patient control over the time that the treatment sessions take.
Many assume because an outpatient program is done outside of the facility, the privacy and discreet nature of treatment will no longer be something they could count on. This is not the case, as outpatient programs still make use of the one-on-one scenario should it be needed. This gives the patients the privacy they prefer when doing their therapy, free from the prying eyes of others.
Skill building during therapy is an essential part of the treatment, as these skills will help the patient in many ways once rehab is completed. Coping skills are started during the inpatient phase, where the patient is taught the mindset and behavioral responses needed when triggers that initiate substance use are met. Creative skills are also learned so that the patient becomes a productive individual once they reintegrate into a normal life outside of rehab. Outpatient rehab builds on these skills to ensure that what is learned is made better and more efficient.
The Future is More Meaningful When it is Free of Addiction
Everybody deserves a meaningful future, free of the constraints and limitations caused by substance abuse. MPower Wellness could show you the way to this future, through the outpatient programs we offer. These programs will supplement the hard work already done during inpatient rehab and strengthen the foundations built toward recovery and sobriety. We know this to be true, because we have helped countless others achieve it before, and we can do the same for you.
DISCOVER AOF LIVING
Find out more about the services available at MPower Wellness and start on your path to recovery.
Dr. Elizabeth Drew graduated from Hahnemann University School of Medicine and completed her family practice residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown PA. In 2005, she opened her family medicine office in Doylestown, and in 2008 she treated her first patient for opiate addiction.
Since then Dr. Drew has attained her board certification in Addiction Medicine, treated more than a thousand patients for addiction to opiates and alcohol, participated in programs to educate the community, traveled to Washington DC to educate our legislators, and served as Medical Director at some of the best addiction treatment programs in Pennsylvania.
She understands that addiction is a chronic disease that no one would choose to have, and her treatment philosophy is based on respect, compassion, and empowerment. She is excited to be the Medical Director of MPower Wellness and work to provide superior addiction treatment in Chester County.