Addiction Treatment
Addiction Treatment

Is Outpatient Treatment for Opiate Addiction Right for Me?

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Medically reviewed: 02/12/2019
Last updated: 05/13/2019
Author: Addictions LLC

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Treatment for opiate addiction is available in a number of different forms. Whether or not a particular form of treatment is right for you depends on your particular set of circumstances. Outpatient treatment for opiate addiction offers many of the same services available through inpatient programs, though outpatient treatment as a whole is considerably less intensive than inpatient care.

Factors to consider when looking into outpatient treatment for opiate addiction have to do with the severity of your addiction and any existing work or family obligations at stake. As opiate addictions typically exert a considerable toll on a person’s life, the importance of getting the level of care you need is just as important as the decision to get treatment for opiate addiction.

Stages of Outpatient Treatment

Treatment for Opiate Addiction

Outpatient programs provide help and support while allowing you to live at home. Making this decision depends on the severity of your problem.

As much as nine percent of the U.S. population has misused opiates, such as heroin and prescription pain medications over the course of their lifetime, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. While not everyone becomes addicted, those who do may experience different degrees or levels of addiction. Outpatient treatment for opiate addiction entails any form of treatment that doesn’t require hospitalization or residential care.

Stages of outpatient treatment for opiate addiction include detoxification, counseling and long-term, aftercare support. As detoxification typically brings on uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, a person may receive medication therapy to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Counseling treatment enables recovering addicts to gain insight on the issues that drive their addiction and develop healthy coping skills for handling ongoing cravings. Long-term, aftercare support consists of ongoing counseling help coupled with group supports in the form of 12-step programs.

Unlike residential treatment, recovering addicts don’t live at the facility. Outpatient treatment for opiate addiction offers a less structured approach to treating opiate addiction.

Severity of Addiction

The severity of person’s addiction is, more oftentimes than not, the determining factor when deciding whether outpatient treatment for opiate addiction is the right way to go. Someone with a severe addiction problem requires a more structured treatment environment than outpatient programs can offer. Likewise, someone with a mild to moderate addiction to prescription medications may not require 24-hour treatment care to stop using.

Another factor that may affect the severity of a person’s addiction is his or her home environment. An unstable home environment with ongoing conflict can further aggravate a person’s addiction. In this case, inpatient treatment for opiate addiction would work better.

Work & Family Responsibilities

Provided a person doesn’t require a more structured treatment environment, one of the main benefits of outpatient treatment for opiate addiction lies in the freedom recovering addicts have to attend to work and family obligations. Someone with a mild to moderate addiction may very well still be gainfully employed. People with children, spouses or those caring for elderly parents may also need to meet certain home obligations.

Outpatient opiate addiction treatment enables recovering addicts to receive needed treatment services on a scheduled basis that fits around their everyday routines. Individual and group therapy sessions as well as 12-step program group meetings take place on-site so participants can receive treatment while still maintaining work and family obligations.