The Timeline: How Long Does Outpatient Treatment Take to See Results?

Cindy Wilson Thumbby Cindy Wilson
BS, Dietetics and Nutrition

When you have an addiction, it’s easy for others to pass it off as a behavior problem — you can choose to use the substance you’re addicted to or quit. But the reality is that addictions are chronic diseases that affect a person’s mind and body. Just as an addiction doesn’t happen overnight, the recovery process takes time, as well.

The effective treatment plan for an addiction depends on multiple factors, including the severity of the patient’s problem and the type of program. For intensive needs, 24/7 monitoring may be necessary. But if the person struggling doesn’t have a serious addiction issue and wants to continue their daily lives, an outpatient treatment program may be beneficial.

This type of therapy program, such as outpatient treatment in Costa Mesa, is designed to be minimally disruptive to a person’s life and a more affordable option to get help with quitting substance use. However, both intensive and outpatient therapy have their own pros and cons.

One concern many people have about outpatient treatment is that it may delay the time it takes to see results. Here, we’ll discuss the timeline for this kind of addiction recovery program to help you understand what to expect.

how long does outpatient treatment take to see results

The Overall Picture

Because outpatient care works behind the scenes of your daily life, how long your recovery takes must include many variables. Those in charge of your program will monitor your growth and evaluate the plan’s effectiveness, then adjust the treatment as necessary. The average outpatient treatment ranges from about three months to one year, depending on your commitment to recovery.

On the other hand, inpatient programs don’t allow you the freedom of backsliding while you’re in the center. You receive 24-hour supervision and have fewer opportunities to obtain the substance you’re withdrawing from. Outpatient treatment offers more freedom, but if you aren’t ready yet, an inpatient facility may be your best chance of a faster recovery.

Still, there are many people who have already passed the crucial withdrawal period and just need a little extra care and monitoring. For instance, if you are in 12-step participation or a sober living home, outpatient treatment lets you live your life while still getting the support you need to stay clean.

Fast Results May Require a Combination Plan

If you’re dedicated to the fastest and most effective recovery possible but don’t need inpatient care, a combination of therapies can help.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) take a little more of your time each day while still giving you the freedom to live at home. These are excellent programs that offer more support to those with mental and substance use disorders who aren’t at risk of immediate self-harm or in need of a detox.

Alongside or after an IOP is the 12-step participation program (think Alcoholics Anonymous). These groups provide the social and spiritual aspects of recovery in a supportive environment. Through this community, many recovering addicts receive companionship and encouragement that pulls them through the struggles they face when returning to the outside world.

Within the 12-step group, you may also have a sponsor. This person has been in your shoes and successfully recovered from substance use for over one year. They act as a mentor and coach to help you get back on track to your new life as a sober individual.

Choosing the Right Treatment is Crucial

It’s commendable that you want to fast-track your addiction recovery, but it’s also essential to understand that you need the right plan for this to be effective. Moving straight into outpatient treatment when you have a serious addiction is not usually the right first step and can actually cause you to backslide and lose that recovery time you are trying to speed up.

Talk to a professional and get the pros and cons of the different types of programs in your area. Any path to recovery is a wise one, but choosing the correct treatment for your unique needs will get you to your goal of sobriety faster.

About Author

Cindy Wilson Thumb
BS, Nutrition & Food Science | Connect with on LinkedIn
Cindy Wilson

Hello, I am Cindy, and this a website where I inspect everything related to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I have a BS in Dietetics and Nutrition (Kansas State University) and have completed a dozen specialty courses related to nutrition, biochemistry, and food science. I am open to learning more, but foremost I would like to share all my knowledge with you.

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