Outpatient Treatment

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”OUTPATIENT TREATMENT” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Outpatient treatment or outpatient drug rehabilitation is when a person receives drug treatment by visiting a treatment centre for some hours and returning home. The person leaves home and visits a facility for group sessions or to see their specialist and thereafter goes home. Depending on the schedule set, the visits can be in a given number of days per week and during a specific time of the day to meet the demands of all the patients. This form of treatment is long term and a person can attend the program for whatever period they deem fit.

There are several techniques applied in the outpatient programs for treatment and these include intensive day treatment, mental health education, psychiatrist meetings and behavioral counselling. Intensive day treatment is similar to the treatment offered by the inpatient program. However, this is suited to individuals with a strong support system back at home. This program seeks to discover what drives that particular individual to their self-destructive behavior. This is referred to as the evaluation phase. Once this is done, the physician offers the patient assistance based on the type of drugs they use and their history of use.

In 2012, in a research for Substance Use Treatment and Utilization in the United States, 2,401 treatment facilities or the equivalent of 23 percent of treatment facilities reported an outpatient operational capacity that was under 80 percent, 3,628 treatment facilities or the equivalent of 34 percent of treatment facilities reported to have an outpatient operational capacity of between 80 and 94 percent and 3,818 treatment facilities or the equivalent of 36 percent of treatment facilities reported to have an outpatient operational capacity of between 95 and 105 percent. 727 treatment facilities or the equivalent of 7 percent of treatment facilities reported to have an outpatient operational capacity of above 105 percent. In some cases, utilization rates were above 100 percent since substance abuse clients could occupy non – utilization beds.

In a study carried out in the United States through surveys conducted in 1990, 1995 and 2000 examining the accessibility of outpatient addiction treatment through organization level characteristics, the study revealed that timely addiction treatment had increased throughout the United States in the 1990’s but accessibility problems of outpatient drug treatment centers still persisted in methadone maintenance programs and those programs that cared for indigent patients. The method used for accessing accessibility from the clinical supervisors was through clinical supervisors reports on whether they provided ‘treatment on demand’. Treatment on demand was treatment offered in less than 48 hours since treatment entry. The other test was whether an outpatient facility turned any of their patients away.

In Australia, the Drug and Alcohol Office is responsible for offering outpatient treatment and this is achieved through Community Alcohol Drug Services. These are located in the metropolitan and across Western Australia and they provide counselling services, information and referrals (to other alcohol and drug support services) and education and outreach programs. Community and Alcohol Drug Services located in the metropolitan provide medical treatment to drug and alcohol addictions through outpatient clinics and residential withdrawal facilities. Assistance provided is free and confidential and some of the services provided to individuals or families facing a drug problem are assessment and referral, counselling, group support programs, withdrawal support services that include home-based withdrawal management, medical assessment, alcohol and opiate pharmacotherapy and community-based prevention activities.

Finding an outpatient treatment center or program that suits an individual for their treatment in Australia is an easy task. One can find the nearest Community Alcohol Drug Service by contacting the Alcohol and Drug Information Service with their toll free numbers. Australia’s outpatient drug program is ranked among the best in the world.

Alcohol abusers and drug addicts who seek help for the first time in outpatient centers are encouraged to seek help in inpatient centers in their second attempt to recover from drug and alcohol abuse. In inpatient programs, there is more supervision and more learning as compared to outpatient centers. The levels of motivation provided in inpatient programs is higher than in outpatient centers and patients are required that they commit to the recovery process. Entering an outpatient program in many cases isn’t through a voluntary basis and majority of those who sign into this program are pushed by family or loved ones and cases of relapse are higher. They do it to impress or since they have to. Joining an inpatient program is different since one can’t fake it because they are closely monitored.

Some of the most common barriers to accessing outpatient treatment for drug addiction in the United Sates are distance barrier. According to a research done in California by a group of researchers in 2010 among 106 clients, the research found that those who travelled for long distances were likely to drop from the program or couldn’t commit to the visits.

According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), women who are seeking treatment for use of cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis are under presented in outpatient treatment centers. Stigmatization in the leading cause that holds women from seeking outpatient treatment services.

Outpatient programs are effective to those who are dedicated and who show commitment since they seek to make the individual stand again on their feet and be independent off drugs. Some outpatient programs after treatment help clients get jobs and others create support groups within the community to assist the client.

An outpatient treatment program is recommended to a person who has just left an inpatient treatment center and the person can continue getting treatment while adjusting to their normal lives outside the inpatient facility.

Outpatient programs aren’t as effective since there’s less supervision and getting the patients committed is difficult since they see no immediate incentives. Outpatient centers also don’t give the patients enough motivation as compared to inpatient centers while joining an outpatient center isn’t necessarily voluntary. Outpatient centers aren’t effective in offering treatment to first timers seeking treatment for drug addiction. They don’t provide a drug free environment and close monitoring which is crucial for results to be seen isn’t available. The biggest challenge outpatient programs face is the easy accessibility of drugs to those who are inside the program and sliding back to their old ways is very easy. A study by the journal Psychiatry Quarterly showed that chances of drug addicts in outpatient treatment centers of dropping out of the program were four times higher than those in inpatient programs. Some of the causes of dropping out are distance barriers faced from patients and stigmatization especially to women. Lighter programs under outpatient treatment offer basic education and counselling and aren’t the best choice for people with severe addictions.

Outpatient treatment programs aren’t effective in treating opiate users due to the open nature of the program. Outpatient treatment centers for example prescribe Naltrexone; an opioid antagonist that is required to be taken for a given time period and that has few side effects. However, this drug can only be prescribed to recovering opiate users who have received medical detoxification in an inpatient program or residential facility.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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