Successfully Transitioning From Residential to Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Your Ultimate Guide

Woman successfully transitioning from residential to intensive outpatient treatmentYou’re about to complete your residential treatment program, and it’s obvious that you’ve made major strides in your recovery thus far. You’ve participated in 12-Step programs, you’ve kept in close contact with your sponsor, you’ve created a recovery support network, now what? While many people assume that returning home is the only option, that’s not the case. In fact, many people transition from a residential program to an outpatient treatment program, just to make life a little bit easier. Even if you’ve become 100% stronger in your recovery, that’s been within a structured, supportive environment. While you should certainly have faith that you can practice what you’ve learned in treatment, it may feel a bit nerve-wracking to know that you’re going to be taking such a big step into the “real world” upon your return home.

Why Outpatient Treatment is Important for Transitions

In 2016, researchers from New York University published a study in Science Daily that highlighted the rate of relapse for those in their first year discharged from residential treatment programs. The rates were between 37% and 56%; with high numbers such as these, the study noted that aftercare services and outpatient programs have the propensity to reduce these rates. With more engagement in outpatient treatment programs, those in recovery are likely to build stronger support for a life of sobriety. Previous studies have shown that social support is a key influencer to recovery, and those leaving residential treatment need just as much – if not more – people whom they can rely on as they navigate this transition.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that intensive outpatient treatment programs foster the transition from residential treatment to more independent living in several ways:

Individual Therapy

  • Weekly counseling sessions provide a safe space for clients to work through personal issues related to recovery, life and home
  • Through one-on-one therapy sessions, those transitioning from residential to intensive outpatient treatment can continue to express concerns they may otherwise feel uncomfortable sharing at home or in a group setting

Group Therapy

  • They continue to provide those in recovery with a community in which they can feel safe interacting in
  • The structure of individual and group therapy sessions is often seen as a source of solace for an otherwise chaotic time in recovery
  • Healthy reinforcements are offered, which is vital for recovery success
  • Peer recovery connections can help individuals continue to build their support network
  • Group leaders can provide clients in recovery with continuously useful and relevant tools to aid their long-term recovery

12-Step Support

12-Step support groups help many in recovery maintain that stability they’ve built thus far in recovery. Through weekly meetings, the transition from residential to outpatient will seem seamless as independent living become paired with a similar structure they experience before. One person shared their experience with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) through Recovery & Me, a website that shared individuals’ stories of courage and triumph in recovery. Here is an excerpt from their story:

“…I made the decision to become part of A.A…not just in A.A. I attended hundreds of meetings my first 2 years…I needed to process what these people had and what I wanted…I’ll forever be grateful to [A.A.] as well as everyone else along the way. They’ve taught me to be of service; to pass it on; to do the next good thing…”

The 12-Step model has helped so many people build a life of recovery through sponsorship, support and dedication.

Family Counseling

It can be a major transition for family members when loved ones return home from residential treatment, so it’s important that everyone in the family has an opportunity to continue working together through this. Communication issues can arise, especially if it’s been awhile since the family has truly spent time together. The structure of home life will change as loved ones regain certain roles, and time spent navigating these routes can be stressful and difficult to overcome at times. At Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program in Sumner County, Tennessee, family counseling is included in outpatient services because that transition is such a vulnerable, crucial time in a person’s life.

Additional Benefits

Outpatient treatment programs make it easier for those in recovery to pursue work, education and family-related responsibilities. While at home, a person transitioning can continue to receive the same intensive support they’ve received throughout residential treatment – while also being able to socialize themselves back into their own daily routine.

Who Qualifies for the Intensive Outpatient Program

Those who have a stable, supportive home environment are best suited for the outpatient treatment program because they have people at home who can help reinforce sober-living practices. In addition, it’s important that those who attend this type of program do not require medically supervised detoxification; those in outpatient programs have typically already undergone this type of service in residential treatment. Lastly, self-motivation is incredibly important for those attending outpatient services. Independent living takes some time to get used to after some time spent in recovery – and motivation is needed as a person works hard in their outpatient treatment program.

Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program in Sumner County Tennessee is designed for people whose needs and schedules vary. A quality intensive outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program will be designed to treat the whole person, not just the addiction. Take the first step by contacting us at 615-356-2700. Recovery is possible, and Hendersonville Treatment can help.