Many parents grappling with addiction are hesitant to get treatment. As much as they need to get sober, they also need to take care of their family. Inpatient programs, which require them to live onsite, will separate them from their children for an extended period of time. Court-ordered mandates could do the same. In addition, residential and court-ordered treatment programs could also make maintaining a job difficult. The good news is that these aren’t the only types of addiction treatment programs available to working parents. Outpatient treatment is an effective addiction recovery program that can be a great option for working parents struggling with addiction challenges.
What Is Outpatient Treatment?
Outpatient treatment is a form of addiction rehabilitation that allows individuals to live at home or in a sober living program while they receive treatment for substance abuse challenges. This means that working parents don’t have to separate themselves from their children as they regain control of their lives. Outpatient treatment also allows individuals to continue working as they recover from addiction. Schedules for different programs vary, but generally, outpatient programs only require a portion of an individual’s time. This means that parents struggling with addiction challenges can live at home with their children, keep working to provide for their family’s needs and get the help they need to overcome substance abuse challenges.
Instead of living onsite at a rehabilitation center, individuals enrolled in outpatient programs attend pre-scheduled treatment sessions at the recovery center and return home after their sessions. The programs, which are very flexible, typically have services and sessions available during the day and evening. Some programs, such as group counseling and peer support groups, may take place at a set time each week, but individuals will be able to schedule their individual treatment sessions at times that work for them.
Here’s how the outpatient rehab process typically works.
How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?
Outpatient treatment works by providing individuals the same type of care residential programs do in a different, more flexible format. During treatment sessions, individuals participate in:
- Group and individual therapy sessions led by licensed clinicians. During therapy, individuals work with counselors to identify the root causes of their addiction. Therapy can also help individuals deal with past trauma, present struggles, and future challenges. Group therapy allows individuals to connect with others struggling with many of the same issues. These sessions also allow individuals to share and process their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and experiences in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
- Psychoeducational learning. This can include learning new coping skills, relaxation tools, and therapeutic techniques that can help individuals change addictive behaviors.
- Life skills classes. These classes can help individuals looking to recover from addiction challenges develop key life skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, cooperation, negotiation, decision making, self-management, resilience, communication, and empathy. These skills can help working parents develop healthier family, work, and social bonds.
- Conversations about family roles and structures. This can be especially beneficial for working parents. These conversations can include understanding the different types of family structures, solving relationship problems, improving communication, and creating a better functioning home environment.
- Mindfulness meditation. Meditation is a wellness practice that teaches individuals how to fully embrace the present moment. The practice benefits the recovery process by helping individuals relieve stress, regulate emotions, and respond intentionally to stress.
- 12-step programs. This component of outpatient programs aims to help individuals work through their addiction with 12 steps. Although 12-step programs can differ, most encourage individuals to admit that they have a problem, examine past mistakes, make amends, and learn how to adopt new, healthier behaviors.
Here at Meta Addiction Treatment, we offer 3 different categories of outpatient treatment.
- Partial hospitalization, our highest level of care, can last for 2 to 4 weeks.
- Intensive outpatient. This program is designed for individuals who have completed our partial hospitalization program or an equivalent outpatient program. The sessions take place Monday through Friday and range from 45 to 60 minutes.
- Outpatient. This program, which is designed for individuals who have completed higher levels of outpatient treatment, meets Monday through Friday in the evening. Group sessions last anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes while individual sessions last from 30 minutes to an hour.
How Does Outpatient Rehab Benefit Working Parents?
Outpatient programs can be an ideal form of treatment for parents who work and have a family. Because individuals can live at home, they can continue to take care of the daily needs of their household while receiving treatment. In addition, outpatient treatment tends to be more affordable than inpatient or residential rehabilitation programs.
Outpatient treatment can help working parents struggling with addiction get the help they need because:
- They won’t have to worry about being separated from their children. Many parents avoid getting help for their addiction because they fear that doing so will cause their children to be taken away from them. Even though there are several factors that ultimately determine whether a parent will lose custody of their child, enrolling in an outpatient program can allow a parent to remain close and continue to live with their child. Should a parent need to defend their parental rights in court, being enrolled in an outpatient program can show the court that the parent is serious about getting help.
- They can keep up with their children’s academic and extracurricular activities. Keeping up with a child’s academic progress and extracurricular activities is one of the many ways parents interact with and grow close to their child. By allowing individuals to continue to live at home, outpatient rehabilitation programs help parents maintain a relationship with their children. Instead of living onsite at a treatment or recovery center, parents receiving outpatient care can establish or maintain an active role in their children’s lives.
- They don’t have to take a leave of absence from work. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal provision that protects your job if you need to take as much as 12 weeks of leave for medical or family reasons. Fortunately, addiction treatment is covered under FMLA. As helpful as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is, individuals enrolled in outpatient treatment services often don’t have to take a leave of absence from their work. In many cases, outpatient treatment services can be arranged around their work schedule.
- They can work on mental health issues that may be contributing to substance abuse. Many people struggling with addiction challenges also deal with co-occurring mental health disorders. This can include bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, anxiety, schizophrenia, or panic disorder. When this happens, individuals are considered to have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Recovering from one condition without addressing and managing the other won’t result in a successful recovery. Individuals with co-occurring disorders require special treatment. The good news is that most outpatient programs can help individuals work on mental health issues that may be contributing to their substance abuse. This means that individuals can get substance abuse help and help for mental health challenges they may be facing while living at home with their families.
If you are a parent and are still unsure whether outpatient treatment is the right choice for your recovery and your family, this brief self-assessment can help you find out.
Helping Parents Get The Help They Need Without Leaving Their Family
Addiction can harm an individual’s relationship with their children as much as themselves. But there’s hope. Individuals don’t have to leave their children or quit their job to get the help they need. Thanks to outpatient treatment, individuals can often recover from addiction, maintain their work, and remain present in their children’s lives.
Contact us today if you or someone you know wants to recover from addiction without losing their job and sacrificing time with their family.