Outpatient Drug Program: What to Expect

Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all experience. If you are looking for flexible treatment, an outpatient drug program may be a good fit for you.

Substance Use Disorder: The Facts

Substance use disorder (SUD)  is a mental health condition that affects millions of Americans each year. It is estimated that 48.7 million people aged 12 and up, had a substance abuse disorder in 2022. This breaks down to about 17.3% of the population.
There are many substances that may lead to someone developing an SUD, including:
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription drugs
  • Opioids
  • Illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine
  • Inhalants
  • Nicotine
Substance use disorder is characterized by a strong need to continue taking substances despite the negative effects that they have on one’s life. The effects of this disorder are disastrous and can end up being fatal. Unfortunately, more than half a million people die each year from drug and alcohol use.

Texas Substance Use Statistics

Since 2019, Texas has seen an increase in drug-related deaths. In 2022 alone, 4,721 Texans lost their lives in drug poisoning-related deaths. Of the 254 counties in Texas, Bexar County ranked third in drug overdose deaths.

Getting Treatment For a Substance Use Disorder

A substance use disorder is a serious mental health condition that often requires professional treatment. Because substance use disorder looks different for everyone, there are several different levels of care available.
These can include:
  • Traditional inpatient programs
  • Detox
  • Intensive outpatient
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Aftercare
Getting in touch with a medical professional at a treatment center can help you determine what level of care is appropriate for you.

The Basics of an Outpatient Drug Program

An outpatient drug program is a type of treatment for substance use disorder that does not require a residential stay at a treatment facility. Usually, participation in an outpatient drug program is the next step following inpatient rehab or detox.
However, not everyone needs or has the availability that traditional inpatient programs require. The benefit of an outpatient drug program is that it allows individuals to receive treatment without disrupting their ability to tend to their responsibilities and day-to-day life.
Before being placed in a program, our caring clinicians will perform an evaluation and take into account each individual’s needs and goals in treatment. This evaluation helps determine what level of outpatient drug program will work best for every individual’s symptoms and goals for treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Drug Program

An intensive outpatient drug program (IOP) is a step down in care from traditional inpatient, partial hospitalization, or detox. While still a structured program, this type of outpatient drug program allows individuals to have a little more flexibility with their treatment.
Participating in this type of outpatient drug program requires individuals to attend several treatment sessions per week, each lasting a few hours. These treatment sessions often include therapy, group activity, skills training, and more.
A major benefit of attending an intensive outpatient drug program is that it puts individuals in touch with a community of others who are also on the road to recovery.

Is an Intensive Outpatient Drug Program Right For You?

An intensive outpatient drug program may be right for you if:
  • You are transitioning out of a residential treatment program and are ready to return to your regular life but still want support
  • You have already undergone detox
  • You have other responsibilities in your life but still want to address your substance use disorder
  • You have a good support system and a stable home environment 
  • You are medically stable and do not need 24-hour monitoring 

Continuum Outpatient Center’s Intensive Outpatient Drug Program

Our intensive outpatient drug program requires a twelve-week commitment from participants. Each week, we explore recovery-related topics, as well as teach healthy coping skills and emotional intelligence.
Our intensive outpatient drug program meets three times per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). To make treatment more flexible, we offer both morning and evening sessions. The morning session runs from 9 am to noon, and the evening sessions run from 6-9 pm. We also have telehealth.

Partial Hospitalization Outpatient Drug Program

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a more intensive form of care. While participants still return home each night, PHP sessions tend to be longer and more frequent than in an IOP.
A PHP involves more frequent counseling sessions in addition to skills training, group sessions, and therapeutic activities. The increased intensity and frequency of a PHP also helps individuals develop their integrity and ability to hold themselves accountable, both of which are key in recovery.

Is a Partial Hospitalization Program Right For You?

You or your loved one may benefit from a partial hospitalization outpatient drug program if:
  • You have just recently completed a residential program, but are not quite ready to go back to daily life
  • You don’t need 24/7 supervision but still would benefit from a highly structured treatment program
  • A less intense outpatient drug program wouldn’t be as effective for you
  • Without participating in a highly structured program, you would experience a high level of difficulty in maintaining recovery 
  • You would benefit from having access to addiction-related medical services
  • You are medically stable 

Continuum Outpatient Center’s Partial Hospitalization Outpatient Drug Program

Our partial hospitalization outpatient drug program operates on a closed model. What this means is that the same individuals who you start the PHP with will be the same people you participate with through the four-week program. This allows for trust and community to be built over time. 
We believe that it’s important to be able to share your truth without shame and work hard to create a judgment-free environment. Our PHP sessions are Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 3 pm. This includes breaks and a nutritious lunch made by our staff.

Outpatient Drug Program Services for Teens

Teens and young adults are at a higher risk of developing a substance use disorder. On the national level, a little over half of all teenagers have misused a drug at least once in their lifetime.
Texas is no exception. Nearly 20% of Texan middle school and high schoolers have used a prescription drug that wasn’t prescribed to them at some point. Additionally, 1 in 10 Texan teens aged 12-17 report binge drinking. By the time these teens reach their senior year, 24% of them are binge drinking.

Our Teen Outpatient Program

Adolescence is a difficult time as is, and care must be taken when treating teens. Our program for teens is great for those who are transitioning out of an inpatient program or for those who do not need the level of supervision that traditional inpatient provides.
Our teen program meets three days a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Weekday meeting times are from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and Saturdays are from 9 am to 1 pm.
Our program will help teens explore their emotions as well as learn to identify risks and manage them. Teens will also learn relaxation exercises, problem-solving skills, and mindfulness. To keep things fun, Saturday’s session includes a morning experiential outing.

What to Expect From an Outpatient Drug Program

While every outpatient drug program is different, at Continuum Outpatient Center, you can expect our masters-level clinicians and staff to provide the following benefits:

Individualized Care

Substance use disorder is a complex, multifaceted disease. For treatment to be effective, we understand that it needs to be specified to each individual’s needs. Our intake staff will help patients identify their needs and goals in treatment. From there, we create a custom treatment plan. 

Dual Diagnosis Model

More often than not, those who are struggling with a substance use disorder are struggling with additional mental health concerns. For example, around 6 out of 10 people with a substance use disorder also have another mental health condition. 

At Continuum Outpatient Center, our treatment program operates on a dual diagnosis model. What this means is that in addition to receiving treatment for substance use, treatment will also address any underlying mental health conditions. 

Therapy Options

We understand that struggles with substance use are not a surface-level problem. Our therapy sessions provide all of our patients with the safety and support needed to dig deep and uncover what is fueling their substance use.
Through therapy, patients will learn to challenge their underlying substance use patterns while also learning communication and life skills.
Some therapeutic modalities used in our outpatient drug program include:
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy helps individuals uncover problematic thinking patterns and learn how to shift them to promote growth and healing.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT helps patients learn how to regulate emotions, cope with stress, and live in the moment. 
  • Trauma Therapy: Trauma is a major gateway to substance use. Addressing trauma in a therapeutic space can help individuals overcome and work through it.
  • Relapse Prevention Strategies: We work hard to equip everyone with tools to help prevent relapse in the future.

Group Sessions

We believe in the healing power of community, so most of our outpatient programs involve group sessions.

These sessions put individuals in touch with others who are embarking on a similar journey of healing. Group sessions are shame-free zones where patients can share their truths without judgment. 

Yoga and Expressive Arts

Practices like yoga and mindfulness help unify the mind and body. Self-expression, either through movement or art, can help patients rediscover who they are without substances.

At Continuum Outpatient Center, we hold space for individuals to express themselves authentically through yoga and art. Trauma-informed yoga classes and expressive art are a cornerstone of our outpatient programs.  

Recovery as a Personal Growth Journey

Participating in an outpatient drug program provides individuals with the opportunity to both free themselves from substance abuse and completely change their life. Once patients start this journey of personal growth, the sky’s the limit for what they can accomplish.

At Continuum Outpatient Center, our outpatient programs are designed to:

Build Resilience

Resilience is the ability to withstand difficulties and pressure. It is also the ability to overcome adversity. Developing resilience takes time and effort, but is something that everyone is capable of. Through treatment, individuals will learn about their resilience and improve upon it.

Sharpen Self Awareness

Self-awareness is key to personal growth. Having self-awareness means knowing one’s self deeply. It’s the ability to identify one’s feelings, their causes, and what to do about them. 

Developing self-awareness will also help individuals learn how to make decisions that are best for their health and well-being. 

Overcome Trauma

Our trauma doesn’t have to define us. While it may be painful to look back at, addressing trauma is key to personal growth and recovery.

Imagine for a moment what it would feel like to set down trauma and be at peace with it. Our approach to treatment empowers all of our patients to work through their past and achieve greater freedom.

Learn Skills to Overcome Adversity

Nobody is born with all of the answers on how to cope with difficulties in life. We can only learn from what we have been shown, and unless we seek out new coping tools, we will continue to repeat old patterns. Through our outpatient drug program, individuals will learn a wealth of skills to overcome adversity.

Heal and Strengthen Relationships

Substance use disorder can cause major rifts in one’s relationships. The use of substances can lead individuals to act or do things that break the trust of their loved ones, things they otherwise would never do.

Our program is designed to help everyone heal their relationships with loved ones, learn better communication, and strengthen their interpersonal skills.

Build Connections

Community is key to recovery. Through our outpatient drug program, patients will build strong connections with others. They will move forward through treatment knowing that they have a whole group supporting them and their growth journey.

Relapse Prevention Strategies

We want all of our patients to be successful upon completion of our outpatient drug program. This is why we teach evidence-based relapse prevention strategies. Through treatment, patients will reclaim their power and learn how to avoid relapse.

Get in Touch With Us Today

Substance use disorder does not have to control your life. Reclaim your story and come home to yourself by working with our compassionate and supportive team. We will work with you every step of the way during recovery. 

Give us a call today to start your journey to reclaim your life.