What is an outpatient drug and alcohol counselor looking for?

Drug and alcohol addiction is recognized worldwide as a disease. Disease or not, addiction sufferers still have a responsibility to themselves and others to act as responsibly as possible. First and foremost, they must care enough about themselves to seek help. When an addiction sufferer is finally willing to admit they have a problem and need help, it opens the door to get that help, hopefully from a reputable drug and alcohol treatment center.

After entering rehab, they are hopefully doing so under the assumption they are fully committed to arresting their addiction on the way to a full recovery. As part of the treatment process, treatment professionals work with their clients to determine the best course of treatment. They make these decisions large;y based on the information clients provide about the nature of their addiction illness. This is the time and place where addiction sufferers have an obligation towards honesty about their circumstances.

Failure to be open and honest will likely lead to an aborted recovery somewhere down the line. In a lot of cases when a client\’s addiction profile indicates a significant addiction problem, residential (inpatient) treatment is the best and first option. With that being said, some clients cannot or will not agree to residential care. In such cases, outpatient care becomes the next best option. With outpatient care, there are three primary options. The option of choice will depend on the client\’s circumstances and the extent of their addiction issues.

As a point of reference, here are the three primary options along with the time requirement of each option:

  • Standard Outpatient (OP) = no more than two days a week and no more than two hours per day of therapy
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP) = At least three days a week for up to six hours a day of therapy
  • Partial Hospitalization (PHP) = At least five days a week for up to eight hours a day of therapy

With each option, the primary focus will be on individual therapy. The goal of individual therapy is twofold. First, the client needs an opportunity to learn about the truth behind their addiction. They need to know why they feel the need to self-medicate away their problems. Second, clients need help developing the coping and life skills they will need as a defense against relapses.

They need to know what to do when confronted with temptation or after encountering one of their triggers. It\’s with noting that sometimes, outpatient programs do include a little bit of group therapy. In a group setting, clients can learn they are not alone with their illness. They also get an opportunity to build support resources for future use.

What is an outpatient drug and alcohol counselor looking for?

While clients expect help, counselors expect certain things in return. This is where personal responsibility comes into play. Each outpatient client is required to do three things:

  • Show up on time, every time for each scheduled appointment
  • Zero Tolerance for drug or alcohol use
  • Must make progress towards a full recovery

Abiding By Schedules

The time counselors set aside for treatment is precious. That\’s why it\’s critical for outpatient clients to always show up on time, every time for their scheduled appointments. Showing the ability to handle such responsibility is indicative of a client making progress during treatment.

Zero Tolerance Programs

At no point during outpatient treatment is a client permitted to get away with drug or alcohol use. To confirm compliance with this very important rule, the rehab facility\’s administrators will administer random drug testing efforts. In some cases, testing is done every time a client reports for treatment.

Showing Progress

Outpatient counselors are always evaluating the efforts and progress each client is making. They do this to help clients gauge how they are performing against expectations. Everyone is expected to make some progress every time they show up for treatment. Failure to comply with these three expectations could result in a client being asked to submit to a more restrictive treatment option or perhaps being asked to seek help from another treatment center. If you are dealing with an addiction and need help, you are expected to do your part. It\’s the only way you get the recovery you desperately need. If you contact us at 833-820-2922, we would be glad to discuss with you more about our treatment services.

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