What Is The Difference Between Outpatient Treatment and Sober Living?

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What Is The Difference Between Outpatient Treatment and Sober Living?

It can be difficult to overcome addiction alone. This can be especially so for those with substance use disorder (SUD) and a co-occurring mental health condition. Fortunately, there are many options to explore for obtaining help with establishing long-term wellness, including outpatient treatment and sober living residences.

Which path to sobriety a person chooses often depends on the severity of their condition. If an individual takes time to evaluate and reflect on their situation, that will help them determine which treatment route to take. For example, some people may require hospitalization to recover. Some people with serious physical dependencies may need to detox first, whereas others may not require an intensive detox process.

Inpatient treatment will usually be for more severe cases of addiction, and often it is the most effective route in addressing long-term addiction. Outpatient treatment can be a step down from inpatient treatment, providing a smoother transition back to regular life. Some people begin with outpatient treatment, which works well for their circumstances and lifestyle. While in outpatient treatment and during early recovery, sober living housing can provide additional support.

Outpatient Treatment Overview

According to Psychiatric Services: A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) can be a successful model for those seeking sobriety. This type of care usually offers at least nine hours of weekly treatment that can include a variety of groups, including skills-building, mindfulness-based relapse prevention, 12-Step groups, therapy sessions, and more. An IOP schedule is structured, with clients often attending three-hour sessions in the evenings or other times of the day. In most IOPs, individuals are required to complete a set number of hours per week. Treatment can commonly span between three and four months. Outpatient treatment services may include:

  • Case management
  • Counseling
  • Recovery skills training
  • Education

Outpatient Treatment Benefits

Those who are ambitious and desire a smooth transition from treatment into their everyday routine may benefit most from outpatient treatment. Depending on the severity of one’s addiction, the type of care may have different levels of efficacy.

Outpatient treatment offers the flexibility to tackle day-to-day tasks and focus on overcoming addiction. For example, an individual is often free to continue their education and build their professional experience while receiving treatment. Outpatient addiction treatment is also beneficial because it allows individuals to mend relationships and stay in their community rather than travel to a rehabilitation center. Living at a treatment center can make one feel isolated from friends and family.

What Is a Sober Living Home?

According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, many people in treatment are at risk for relapse due to a lack of stability in their homes. A sober living house (SLH), also called a sober living home, is a safe drug and alcohol-free environment for those striving to abstain from drugs and alcohol, living in an environment where exposure to substances and pressure from others can derail one’s recovery. An SLH can help provide an environment that is more conducive to success. Therefore, an outpatient program can be combined with an SLH for a more successful recovery.

The Difference Between Outpatient Treatment and Sober Living

Simply put, an SLH is a place to stay where a person can have additional support from like-minded individuals who are also striving for long-term sobriety. Instead of going home after receiving outpatient treatment or completing everyday responsibilities, an individual can come home to a sober living community. This may be highly beneficial for those still having difficulty responding to triggers, cravings, and environmental factors. Since there is little to no exposure to alcohol or drugs in an SLH, this can be a comfortable place to stay while receiving addiction treatment.

Moving Forward With  Recovery

Once an individual accepts their condition, there is only one decision to make. That is whether to move forward with treatment or continue down the road of addiction. It is not always the easiest choice to make as one may be hesitant to leave everything they’ve ever known behind. However, when they make that brave choice, they will ultimately improve their lives.

Searching for the right treatment center can be a long process. This can make one feel a bit discouraged, but taking the time to find a facility that provides individualized care will usually provide the greatest benefits. In addition, support from a spouse, close friend, or family member may provide support and direction during this transition.

Approach to Care

Main focus is to help individuals maintain a mentally stable life that includes long-term sobriety. They tailor their services to their client’s needs. Their team works hard to help individuals navigate the challenges that come with addiction. The staff members use evidence-based practices to improve the lives of those at the facility.

Whether or not a person seeks inpatient or outpatient treatment and believe recovery can be more successful when combined with outpatient treatment and sober living opportunities. This provides the best chance for people to succeed with their sobriety.