Research published in the journal Addiction Science and Clinical Practice suggests that people who ask for treatment help for a marijuana addiction have used the drug almost daily for more than 10 years, and they’ve tried to quit using the drug more than six times before. Overcoming a habit that is this persistent, and this long lasting, can be difficult. Outpatient treatment programs may provide the help people need in order to recover.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient
Addiction treatment programs can provide help on an inpatient basis, allowing people to live within the walls of the treatment facility while they learn healthy habits that could help them to control their addictions when they return to their communities. This type of program can be of immense help to people who struggle with temptation when they’re living at home, or who have serious mental health issues or other concerns that must be addressed before they can live at home, but not everyone needs the intense help an inpatient program can provide.
In 2010, the Treatment Episode Data Set study found that outpatient care represented about 57 percent of all addiction treatment provided, and that 84 percent of people who had treatment for a marijuana addiction got that care on an outpatient basis. It’s unclear why people who have marijuana addictions can obtain outpatient care while others cannot, but it is clear that many people are choosing to obtain this care for the marijuana problems they’re struggling with. It’s possible that some people chose outpatient care due to cost concerns, as these programs tend to charge smaller admission fees when compared to inpatient programs. It’s also possible that some people chose outpatient programs because they just seemed less disruptive. In an outpatient program, they could still live at home and perhaps even remain on the job.
Outpatient programs might allow people to maintain a semi-normal life, and that life might even resemble what the person’s life looked like before marijuana took over, but that shouldn’t imply that outpatient programs are easy or that the help provided is somehow diminished. The truth is that outpatient programs provide many of the same lessons that inpatient programs do.
In an outpatient program, the person will learn to:
- Identify cravings for drugs
- Spot high-risk relapse situations
- Practice skills that could prevent a relapse
- Repair family relationships
- Develop healthy lifestyle habits
All of this work takes time to complete, and people may be asked to stay enrolled in their outpatient programs for weeks, or even for months. Treatment sessions might be held daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the severity of the problems the person is facing, and skipping sessions could result in a relapse. Those who participate in an outpatient program might need their family members and friends to help them stay motivated, and stay active in therapy, so they don’t slip back into bad habits.
At Axis, we provide both inpatient and outpatient programs for addiction. Our counselors work hard to ensure that clients get just the right kind of help, at just the right time, and we’re happy to help you understand your options and make the best decision that will meet your individual needs. Please call our toll-free line to speak to an expert.