Outpatient Therapy: The Critical Next Step to Sobriety

As difficult as it may be for some addicts to walk into a residential drug and alcohol treatment center, leaving without the continuum of care provided by an outpatient treatment or rehab program may prove even more challenging.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), addiction is a chronic brain disease. After years of addiction and abuse, no brain can fully heal during an average stay in a residential treatment program, typically 30 to 90 days; it is simply not enough time. In addition, the NIH further describes addiction as a relapsing disease characterized by compulsive – and potentially life threatening – drug and alcohol urges. With these facts in mind, it’s easy to see how an outpatient drug or alcohol rehab program is critical to a successful recovery.

Treating a Chronic Disease

The medical addiction treatment experts at Enterhealth Ranch and Enterhealth Outpatient Center of Excellence know that when addiction treatment stops, the disease returns, just like it does with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure. That’s why it’s important to help patients develop strategies to manage their disease over their entire life span.

At Enterhealth, in order to treat addiction as a chronic brain disease, we provide a medically-focused program that includes both residential and outpatient treatment. Patients begin with a comprehensive medical and psychological assessment, which means they are evaluated by a physician, a neuropsychologist and a senior level therapist, and administered an array of lab and drug tests. Using these assessment tools, we’re able to determine the level of brain injury caused by drug or alcohol use for each individual patient. From there, our medical team creates an individualized treatment plan, which follows the patient throughout residential treatment, then into outpatient substance abuse treatment. This follow-through is just one reason our program is at least three times more effective than traditional programs.  

The Enterhealth Outpatient Program

With advanced, science-based therapy services, our patients will have more resources to manage the disease of addiction, and a greater opportunity to lead a successful life. To increase that opportunity, we recently invested $500,000 to expand our outpatient treatment program to include online therapy tools and hire additional addiction treatment professionals.

Our new outpatient offerings include:

·         Cognitive remediation therapy is designed to help repair and improve weakened brain functions.

·         Neurobiofeedback is a way to retrain the brain to be calm, focused and more relaxed in stressful situations.

·         Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an addiction therapy technique used to desensitize patients when it comes to the negative emotions associated with a traumatic event.

Coping with the Disease

Enterhealth Outpatient Center of Excellence provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary drug and alcohol addiction treatment in a one-stop program, including all the necessary services a patient needs in one convenient, accessible place. This provides a seamless transition to life after residential treatment, with the goal of delivering a suite of services over a long period of time to help patients lead a sober, happy and productive life.

One of the most important goals of outpatient therapy is to teach healthy coping skills for dealing with stress. When an individual is actively using drugs or alcohol, they count on the substance as a way to cope. Our teams of medical and psychological professionals help patients develop new coping strategies to replace the dangerous ones. We often recommend, for example, that patients find a new, sober peer group so they can manage stress and past trauma in the healthiest way possible.

At Enterhealth Outpatient Center of Excellence, we believe an outpatient program for alcoholism or drug abuse is a necessary ingredient of long-term success. Relapse is always a possibility and the disease requires ongoing management, supervision and care by qualified medical professionals. Like the other chronic diseases mentioned earlier, though, addiction can be managed and a healthy, happy and sober life is well within reach.