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Los Angeles IOP Drug Rehab for Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

How to Get the Most Out of Outpatient Rehab

By Linda Whiteside

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Table of Contents

‍So you’ve decided to get sober. Enrolling in an outpatient program is a good step, but your own attitude is also an important part of the equation. One of the biggest challenges people with substance abuse issues can face is how to get the most out of their outpatient rehab. It’s an important question to ask, because if you don’t feel like you’re getting anything out of your treatment program, it’s going to be that much harder to finish it.

What makes a recovery program effective or ineffective? The answer is in how the program is delivered. There are many programs available for people who struggle with addiction and co-occurring disorders. How we understand and implement the principles of effective outpatient addiction treatment has everything to do with success rates. Whether you are researching different treatment center options or trying to find ways to make your current program more effective, here are 5 tips on how to get the most out of an outpatient drug rehab program.

Set Realistic Goals

If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, you’ve likely been struggling with it for a long time. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make significant progress, but you have to be realistic about what is possible in a given period of time. Most people need a year or more to really make significant progress with their substance use and associated issues. Setting goals that are too short-term is likely to leave you feeling frustrated and defeated. You also don’t want to set goals that are too broad. Having too many goals at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Narrowing down your goals to just a few really important things can help you focus your energy in a helpful way and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Take Good Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is part of living a healthy life and something that is easily overlooked. Taking care of yourself means eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising. These activities, especially exercise, are natural treatments for addiction. It also means engaging in activities that you enjoy and spending time with the people who support you in positive ways. Engaging in self-care doesn’t require a huge investment of time. Some suggestions for how to take better care of yourself include:

  • Eating well-balanced meals and getting enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Engaging in enjoyable activities
  • Spending time with supportive people
  • Practicing self-compassion
  • Connecting with your chosen spiritual path
  • Taking care of your healthcare needs
  • Avoiding self-destructive behaviors

Find a Buddy

One of the best ways to keep yourself accountable is to find a “buddy” to support you in your recovery goals. Having someone you can check in with throughout the week can help you stay on track and maintain your positive momentum. Having a buddy can also help you avoid falling into the trap of comparing yourself to other people in your program. Whether you choose to share your program with your buddy or not, having a support system is important. In fact, studies have shown that social support plays a critical role in long-term sobriety and treatment success rates. Having someone to check in with can help you maintain your focus on your goals and prevent you from feeling like you are alone in your struggle. Having a support system can be especially helpful when you are experiencing a difficult time.

Commit to Treatment

Committing to your treatment is an important part of getting the most out of outpatient rehab. This doesn’t mean that you have to sign a contract promising to stay sober for the rest of your life. What it means is that you commit to doing your best while you’re in treatment and continuing to work towards your goals once you leave. There will be times when you are tempted to use substances again or engage in self-destructive behaviors. You will also have moments of feeling discouraged or like giving up. The difference between people who succeed in recovery and those who relapse is how they respond to these challenges. If you expect to have ups and downs and want to get the most out of your program, commit to doing the work you need to do in order to overcome your challenges.

Remember That Change Takes Time

There are a lot of false assumptions about how long it takes to recover from addiction. People assume that it’s either a quick or a long process. The truth is that it varies widely from person to person. You may have heard that it takes “twelve steps” to fully recover. While there are similarities between various programs, there isn’t any one one-size-fits-all program. That’s why it’s important to find an outpatient program that fits your needs. Finding a program that is right for you can make all the difference between success and relapse. There are even different styles of outpatient rehab. You may have to try a few before you find the right fit. Remember that while progress may not happen as quickly as you’d like, it does happen with time.

Find Meaningful Activities

Engaging in positive activities that are meaningful to you can help you get the most out of your outpatient program. It can also help you develop healthy emotional habits in place of destructive ones. There are many ways to find meaningful activities. You might choose to pursue an interest you have, learn a new skill, or volunteer in your community. Whatever activities you choose, the most important thing is that they help you feel like you are contributing and achieving something positive. Finding meaningful activities can help you stay engaged in your program while you are in treatment. It can also help you avoid the trap of boredom. Boredom can be a trigger for many people in recovery when they are not engaged in positive activities.

Outpatient Treatment at NuView Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA

NuView Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA is a leading provider of outpatient treatment for substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and other mental health issues. We offer a range of services, including individualized treatment plans, group therapy, and integrated dual diagnosis treatment. At NuView, we put a strong emphasis on peer-to-peer recovery. We are uniquely qualified to help your loved one overcome their addiction and get back on track. With a variety of treatment options and flexible scheduling, we’re ready to help. For more information, call our Los Angeles treatment center today for a free and confidential consultation.

You deserve to get the most out of your recovery. Whether you decide to go to an IOP or a partial hospitalization program, you can make the most of your journey to recovery. At NuView, we offer a range of levels of care to ensure that you find a flexible program that meets your needs. With the right attitude and some helpful tips, you can make your treatment program work for you and achieve long-term sobriety.

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Author

Written By: Linda Whiteside
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Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson
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Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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