The “rehab” of movies and TV is where patients surrender the realities of regular life for the protective environment of a live-in, inpatient rehabilitation facility. These facilities isolate an addict and use that opportunity to work intensively on emotional, social, and psychological processing. The goal is to help them understand their addiction to prepare them when life resumes outside the facility. The triggers and pressures outside of treatment are too great for some. The idea of returning to the stresses of an abusive home or continuing to surround themselves with the people and places that drive them to use while juggling the demands of treatment is not an option. For them, a clean break is crucial.
For some addicts, day-to-day drug and alcohol abuse happens while juggling work, family, and home life. They are “functioning.” Their triggers are as acute as any other. However, this type of addict may be ideal for outpatient treatment, where they still do the hard work within the program but will go home after sessions to continue a career, family, and life routine.
A benefit of outpatient treatment, taking into account that the addict is not shielded for the entire course of treatment, is that the pressures and triggers in life do not disappear; the addict continues to navigate their life but now has the real-time ability to confront them in a group or one-on-one sessions while learning the tools to address them.
In outpatient treatment, the clinician will assess how able a patient is to apply and implement the lessons of rehab in the real world. Not shielded by the protective walls of a facility, the patient must be open and honest with clinicians and staff in talking about triggers, vulnerabilities, and self-doubt. Before the addict loses control again, the therapist can guide and help the patient through these hurdles.
Outpatient treatment can also be less expensive because room and board are not options; moreover, the patient can continue to work, thereby helping with the program’s cost.
Whether through inpatient or outpatient treatment, getting help for addiction is crucial to learn the tools, words, and thoughts needed to redirect oneself when the pressure of using mounts. We are not super-human, and temptation can be extraordinary. Treatment gives us the tools to understand what needs to be done when faced with our “old crowd” and “old places.” And the mental health work goes further, helping us process when the “old feelings” become the last to let go of. A clinician will help you focus on breaking from the binds of those old associations and the drug and alcohol abuse that go with them.
Outpatient treatment may not be for everyone, but for a patient willing to put in the hard work and be open and honest with clinicians about what temptations and feelings arise, it can offer the balance between a solid treatment plan and ongoing participation in work and home life.
Perspectives is a Joint Commission and FARR certified outpatient treatment facility offering the care you need to start the process toward long-term recovery. We look forward to helping you at one of our four locations in Central Florida.