The Positive “Consequences” of Attending An Outpatient Program

By Patrick O’Neil

There are numerous studies and research regarding the consequences of addiction and mental health. Most of them concentrate on the negative aspects of those that are in the midst of their full blown addiction or suffering from not getting the treatment they need. However, if one were to look at the definition of consequences, “a result or effect of an action or condition,” then it can be reasoned the word isn’t just about the negative—but has positive connotations as well. So here are a few of the positive consequences for attending an outpatient program. 

Success Rate: In their study, “Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence,” Dr. Dennis McCarty and company concluded, “IOPs are an important part of the continuum of care for alcohol and drug use disorders. They are as effective as inpatient treatment for most individuals seeking care.” While another research team, “Collected data on 3,342 outpatients over 2 years. A 4-year follow-up of successful outcomes was conducted on each of the cases. Hospitalized patients showed a 30% success rate. The success rate for patients who completed outpatient treatment increased to 78%.” However, the bottom line is that outpatient treatment centers’ success should not be judged on the number of clients that complete the program, but on the quality of the care they provide. Here at CAST we provide that quality care. 

Flexible Schedules: CAST Centers’ mission is to provide you the freedom to be your best self. And that freedom isn’t confined to traditional treatment schedules. The positive consequence here is that CAST Centers offers solutions that work with your time constraints and careers. You can either attend daytime PHP, five days a week, for six hours a day; or IOP three days a week for four hours a day. CAST also offers an evening IOP three days a week for three hours each evening. All three programs are supplemented with individual sessions. For those that required additional help with substance abuse there is Medication Assisted Treatment. And CAST also offers a Custom Outpatient level of care, “for clients that have work obligations and cannot attend a scheduled PHP or IOP program. It may also be appropriate for clients that require more discretion and privacy.”       

You Are Not Separated From Your Loved Ones: Residential rehabs require clients to live onsite, uprooting them from family, friends, and loved ones—who are possibly the most integral component of their support system they’ll be relying on when discharged. With outpatient you can still maintain your connection to family and friends while obtaining the treatment you need. “Involvement in an outpatient addiction therapy program means that patients are not separated from their families,” writes licensed addiction specialist Steven Clifford. “They are able to attend [groups] in a facility close to their home, and patients can continue substance abuse treatment for an extended amount of time.” And as your family and friend observe you getting help and becoming healthier, they can gain a new perspective on how the roles they play encourage and support your program of recovery.

Insurance Coverage: The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to cover alcohol and drug treatment as well as mental health. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “these plans must comply with mental health and substance use parity requirements, as set forth in MHPAEA, meaning coverage for mental health and substance abuse services generally cannot be more restrictive than coverage for medical and surgical services.” Here at CAST Centers we are “in-network with Anthem Blue Cross. We also work with many PPO insurances as an out-of-network provider such as Aetna, Cigna, Humana, United Healthcare and more. Whether CAST Centers is in-network or out-of-network with your insurance, our clinical team and insurance specialist will work with your insurance to maximize your benefits.

Maintaining Normal Daily Routine: Whether it’s your career, family, creative projects, or just life in general, inpatient treatment allows you to continue living your life while still receiving quality care. You’re able to maintain and manage your household responsibilities and careers, and it especially helps if you have children to look after and cannot afford the astronomical cost of full time childcare. But most of all inpatient treatment seamlessly becomes part of your normal daily routine and the time spent in treatment fits into your busy schedule.      

Obtaining A Support System: One of the key components of maintaining sobriety and ending the debilitating isolation of mental health is having a strong support system of your peers in recovery. By engaging in group therapy you create and develop trust with your fellow group members. The bonds you form become lasting friendships during your time in treatment and, what’s possibly more important, they become the much-needed support you can take with you after treatment. While the majority of your recovery involves you working on yourself, the value of having a support system cannot be underestimated. Having supportive people who care and want to see you succeed gives you the needed advantage to continuing your program of recovery.  

The true total “consequences” of outpatient treatment are too numerous to list here. However, the one most negative consequence is not seeking help for your mental health and substance abuse issues. When you are ready for outpatient treatment CAST Centers is here for you. 


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