What Do Patients Do During Outpatient Drug Addiction Treatment?

People who are addicted to drugs can get sober, but they often need some help. Outpatient drug addiction treatment provides physical and mental health support for people who wish to stop using drugs. Here are four things that patients will do during outpatient drug addiction treatment:

1. Participate in a thorough assessment

Addiction can manifest differently in different individuals. Everyone has their own reasons for using substances. Since these reasons are varied, so, too, is the path to recovery. At the beginning of your outpatient drug addiction treatment, you will speak to a counselor who will perform a thorough assessment. This assessment will allow your medical professionals to better understand your addiction so they can help you to the best of their abilities.

2. Receive helpful detox services

Many drugs can cause physical dependency issues when used for a prolonged period of time. When people first cease drug use, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal occurs when the body no longer has access to substances it has come to rely upon. Withdrawal can be painful and even dangerous, causing symptoms like hallucinations, seizures, and prolonged vomiting. An outpatient drug addiction treatment center can provide detox support. Antiemetic medications, benzodiazepines, and other helpful prescription medications can lessen even the most severe side effects of withdrawal. Medical supervision can also give patients the peace of mind they need to emotionally weather the trials of withdrawal.

3. Mitigation of risk factors for relapse

Relapse is a serious concern for anyone who uses substances. Ceasing drug use is a difficult process, and it's common for people not to succeed right away. Outpatient drug treatment allows patients to retain much of their time and autonomy as they will continue living at home where they are often left unmonitored. Drug addiction counselors can evaluate individual patients' risk factors for relapsing, then strive to mitigate these risk factors through dedicated counseling and regular check-ins. Not viewing relapse as an inevitability or a moral failure can help patients recover more quickly, even if they momentarily stumble on the road to sobriety.

4. Learn to replace drug use with healthier ways of coping

Life will always bring challenges and hardships. Everyone experiences physical and emotional pain at times, which is why people need coping mechanisms to allow them to deal with these feelings. Drug addicts use substances to help them cope with difficult, painful situations. As people stop relying on drugs, they will need to fill the void in their coping mechanisms with new, healthy habits. The counselors in an outpatient treatment service can help patients learn healthy replacements for substance use.