One of the primary reasons addiction treatment professionals push so hard for clients to attend residential treatment is for the protection of the client. Left to make their own decisions, most clients will at least contemplate forgoing treatment in favor of using drugs or drinking again. After all, they are suffering from the disease of addiction, a disease that looks to strike whenever the opportunity arises. From the time someone checks into a residential treatment program, they are under the care of addiction treatment professionals who know what it takes for a client to recover from an addiction issue.
The rehab staff members are devoted to making sure each client follows the rules and makes an honest effort to get clean. To ensure residential treatment clients stay on the right path, the progress of each client is heavily monitored. That includes drug testing to make sure no one has brought anything unexpected into rehab from the outside. Clearly, the use of drugs or alcohol while in treatment will completely derail any attempts at recovery.
The question at hand is why are outpatient clients not held to the same standards as residential treatment clients? In fact, they are held to the same standards. It is simply a matter of more trust being given to outpatient clients out of necessity. After all, it is very difficult to monitor the behavior of someone who is only in view for no more than a few hours a day. In the following sections, we will address how outpatient clients are held accountable for their actions when participating in an outpatient treatment program.
Accountability for Outpatient Clients
There is a lot of reasons why certain clients prefer outpatient treatment over residential treatment. Sometimes, it is simply a preference thing. Other times, there are logistical issues that make attending a residential treatment program impossible. As a point of reference, here are some common reasons clients prefer outpatient treatment over the inpatient option;
- Affordability: outpatient treatment is more affordable for clients who have to pay for treatment out of their pockets
- Inability to forgo responsibilities at work or school
- Cannot miss time from work because of financial concerns
- Client has primary care responsibilities for a child or elderly adult
- Moderate addiction issue makes residential treatment unnecessary or overkill
Regardless of why a client opts to participate in an outpatient treatment program, they still have rules they have to follow. Failure to follow the rules usually leads to one of two disciplinary actions: referral to a residential treatment program or expulsion from the rehab facility if residential treatment is not acceptable.
What are the rules? While the rules might vary from one rehab facility to the next, there are some rules that are considered universal. That would include the following:
- Must show up for all scheduled appointments on time, every time
- Client must show a commitment to making progress at every step along the way
- There is zero tolerance for alcohol or drug use unless a physician or psychiatrist prescribes an acceptable medication
- Must be willing to submit to random drug testing
We are going to focus on the last two rules.
Zero Tolerance for Alcohol or Drug Use
This one doesn’t need a lot of explaining. Recovery is not possible until a client is ready to completely stop abusing drugs or alcohol. By zero tolerance, we are referring to the fact that clients who violate this rule are subject to immediate expulsion from the treatment program.
Random Drug Testing
Yes, outpatient clients are required to submit to random drug testing. In some facilities, it is not random at all. Every time a client reports for treatment, they must first drug test. Unfortunately, the honor system seldom works in an addiction treatment environment. The allure of drugs and alcohol is too strong, and the ability of clients to just say no is too weak. That is a dangerous combination that almost always leads to relapse if clients aren’t made to be accountable.
There you have it. You can expect the same level of accountability as an addiction treatment client regardless of which type of program you go through. The most important thing is for you to get yourself into treatment as soon as possible. For more information about our addiction treatment programs, you can call one of our staff members 24/7 at 772-934-6580.