About Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient treatment, or non-residential treatment, is a therapy that doesn’t require overnight stay at a rehabilitation facility, and the patient is usually discharged after his/her session with the doctor. Patients may be called back for follow-up sessions, but none of the follow up sessions would require him/her to stay for a long period of time in the treatment facility.
Outpatient therapy programs are helpful for patients who are not suffering from conditions that require a round the clock monitoring. Outpatient therapy programs are easier to manage and are more economical when compared to residential programs. Studies show that patients feel better in their homes and recover faster in their own homes as compared to a hospital or a medical facility. Therefore, most patients are transferred out of an inpatient program as soon as the medical practitioners feel it is wise to do so.
There is a general confusion about the location of the outpatient therapy. While most people think that this therapy is administered “outside” the hospital, this is not really true. The term simply means that the patient is not required to stay overnight at the hospital, however, patient may be required to make multiple trips to the hospital. In some cases, non-residential therapy may be implemented outside a hospital premises, such as in cases of emergency services, a doctor’s visit to patient’s house, or a psychiatry session over the phone.
How Outpatient Treatment Can Help
Outpatient treatments are not as expensive as inpatient treatments. Moreover, non-residential therapy help the patients recover in the comfort of their homes. Non-residential therapy is quicker and less complicated compared to inpatient treatment.
Outpatient treatment during rehab services may consist of monitoring the progress of patient, administering anti-depressants in order to curb the long term withdrawal symptoms, keeping a lookout for signs of a relapse, putting patient through group therapy in order to keep the patient motivated to not indulge in substance abuse, and regular medical check-ups. Outpatient programs provide patients with more freedom of movement. It also allows for patients to “feel” normal by carrying out their day to day activities. Outpatient programs restore a sense of “normalcy” in the patient’s life - something that goes a long way in enabling a patient to fight his/her condition without succumbing under the distress associated with inpatient treatments.
Outpatient programs also enable the caregivers to be more sensitive and flexible towards their patients. Caregivers can continue to look after the patient without compromising on other important activities. This keeps the caregivers from feeling distressed and burdened by the pressure of treatment.
Alcohol and drug rehab are mostly carried out for very long periods. In some cases, doctors may shift the patient to outpatient care once the patient has completed the first few days of their rehab therapy. Once the patient has undergone detox and a few initial inpatient psychotherapy sessions, he/she is moved outside the rehab center in order for the patient to interact with the outside world. A halfway house program usually precedes outpatient treatment. In a halfway house, patients are “partially” exposed to social surroundings while some control over the social environment is maintained. Non-residential therapy is an important part of rehab services and it may also be the longest part of the entire rehab program.