What Is the Difference Between Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient?

When you realize that you have a serious substance use disorder, it might feel like you’re all alone. However, this is the time when you can finally seek help and enter a rehab treatment facility to become clean and sober. You have choices: an inpatient or outpatient program. If you are like many people who struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol, you might think inpatient is your only true option.

This is not true; outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment programs can be just as effective and might even be the better choice for you. It’s important to know how outpatient and intensive outpatient differ and what you can expect.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment is a more attractive option for seeking help for your substance use disorder when you lead a busy life and have a family. It’s also better suited to individuals who have a milder addiction that developed more recently than those who have suffered a heavy addiction over a long term. With outpatient treatment, you are allowed to continue living at home and make regular trips to the rehab facility to undergo your addiction treatment.

This typically involves a variety of therapy sessions that last anywhere from two to four hours. You can take care of your family and come in for your treatment a few days per week or daily and spend those few hours getting back on your feet on the road to recovery. Outpatient treatment is often viewed as “lesser” than inpatient programs, but it can work for many people. Additionally, because you live at home instead of at the rehab facility, your treatment is spread out over a longer period of time, which can help you achieve a higher chance of success.

What Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Intensive outpatient treatment takes the concept of traditional outpatient treatment and combines it with elements that are used in residential rehab treatment. Of course, residential treatment means that a person stays for an extended time at an addiction rehab facility rather than living at home. This allows the person to receive a personalized treatment program while being continuously monitored and supported.

However, with the option of intensive outpatient treatment, you are still allowed to continue living at home. You are also able to have access to an array of therapy options and activities for a specific number of hours each week. While it’s considered more in-depth, intensive outpatient treatment is preferred as the first step for treating addictions that are new or mild. It’s also a good option for individuals who have already undergone more extensive rehab treatment but need a good aftercare situation after finishing their residential program.

What’s the Difference Between Outpatient Treatment and Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Neither outpatient treatment nor intensive outpatient treatment requires you to live at the facility while you go through rehab to address your substance use disorder. However, they have a large difference. Intensive outpatient treatment is just that; it’s a more intensive form of outpatient rehab that involves more options to help you regain your sobriety. If you need a higher level of care and attention during your treatment, intensive outpatient programs are the better option for you.

What Are Typical Features of Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Different types of therapy are the main focus of intensive outpatient treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy, in particular, is helpful because it gives you the chance to get a better understanding of why you turned to the substance and began abusing it in the first place. You can learn helpful ways to change your reaction to certain situations that would otherwise serve as triggers so that you can move forward in a positive, healthy way.

When you choose intensive outpatient treatment, you can get a program tailored for you if you suffer from a dual diagnosis. This is when you struggle with substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health condition. There are even alternative options such as yoga, art therapy, and nutrition and fitness counseling available with this type of treatment. Ready to take that big step and get help? Call us today at 833-820-2922.