Seven Ways to Enhance Your Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient addiction rehab will not be successful unless you are committed. These tips will help you stay dedicated and get the most out of your treatment.
Overcoming the powerful disease of addiction requires professional treatment. When it comes to addiction rehab, there are two main options to choose from: inpatient and outpatient treatment. Inpatient rehab requires the client to live in a supportive therapeutic environment for a standard minimum of 28 consecutive days. Outpatient addiction rehab allows the client to attend daily or weekly treatment sessions, whilst returning to their own home.
Many addicts, especially in cities such as Hong Kong, may only be able to receive outpatient treatment due to their job and family responsibilities. A number of addicts in Hong Kong are also known as ‘high-functioning addicts’, which means that they are able to fulfil all their obligations whilst battling an addiction problem. These types of addicts may want to seek help, but cannot leave their work or families for the amount of time that inpatient treatment would require.
Whether or not an addict is high functioning, making one’s addiction public by asking for extended leave or involving the entire family could be what stops them from seeking help in the first place. Outpatient treatment has been proven to be as effective as inpatient treatment, and there are also ways to enhance outpatient treatment to make it that much more effective.
Benefits of Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Even though the level of immersion between inpatient and outpatient treatment varies, there are benefits to outpatient treatment that should not be overlooked. To begin with, the addict can continue to live in the comfort of his or her own home while seeking help. They can keep going to work, school or fulfil other social obligations in the meantime. A supportive network of family and friends can help assist their recovery, and they learn the skills that are required to live a sober life through education and therapy.
Since outpatient treatment does not involve around-the-clock care, it is typically less expensive than inpatient treatment. Other benefits of outpatient rehab include flexibility and group and individual therapy.
Making the Most out of Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Addiction treatment should always be personalised to be effective. Since outpatient treatment means that the addict still stays at home, they must take extra measures to ensure a successful outpatient programme. Some of the ‘Do’s’ for outpatient rehab include proper initial evaluation, meeting with experts, attending meetings, treating other psychiatric or medical conditions and, of course, staying committed to recovery.
Outpatient rehab has its own set of challenges since the addict is still exposed to the outside world. Here are some ways that you can enhance your outpatient treatment.
- Stay away from ‘triggers’: You have to realise what your triggers are. This mean distancing yourself from situations, people or places that cause a desire to engage in addictive behaviour. Since you are still able to attend places and see people with outpatient rehab, it is vital that you practice self-control and stay away from anything that makes you think about using or engaging in addictive behaviour. In some instances you might not be able to avoid the triggers completely, such as at work or when interacting with colleagues. In these situations, you must limit your interactions to a minimum. It can be helpful to come up with excuses to get yourself out of these situations.
- Join local support groups: There are a number of support groups in Hong Kong for a variety of addictions. Whether you are dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, food and sex addiction or anything in between, there are likely to be others in your area that are dealing with the same issues. Look for groups and start attending meetings on a daily or weekly basis. If you are not comfortable with meetings in person, then there are online support groups that you can join as well. Leaving your addiction and all things associated with it can leave you feeling lonely and joining a support group is a great way to counteract that by providing you with support and a sense of belonging.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Stress is a major trigger for addiction, and a great way to combat stress is to improve your diet and exercise. Aside from helping with stress management, doing these things will help you focus on something new and enhance your overall quality of life. Look for physical activities that you enjoy, such as yoga, cycling, dancing or sports. Hong Kong has a wide variety of activities that can easily be found online. For example, check out the Top 5 Places for Yoga on Hong Kong Island.
- Take up meditation: Meditation is also beneficial to practically anyone. There are several options for free meditation in Hong Kong, as well as paid alternatives. Mindfulness meditation is complimentary to various addiction treatment methods in outpatient rehab, since it helps reduce stress and allows you to make better decisions. According to a study conducted by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NADD), meditation can decrease relapse rates by up to 50%.
- Get a hobby: Addiction takes up a lot of your time, so you might notice that you have a lot of time on your hands once you stop your addictive behaviours. You want to avoid idle time during recovery because it can cause you to daydream and visualise using or engaging in addictive behaviour. You can either go back to hobbies that you once enjoyed or take up something new altogether. Some ideas for hobbies include photography, sports and language classes. There are plenty of hobbies worth trying out in Hong Kong, depending on what you are interested in.
- Be honest: A huge part of addiction involves lying and covering up. In order to have a successful recovery from addiction, you must learn to be open throughout the duration of the treatment. Do not be afraid to express your feelings, whatever they may be (such as loneliness, sadness, pressure or fear). When you do talk to someone, make sure it is a person that you can trust — whether it is a family member, friend, addiction counsellor or support group. Outpatient treatment will provide you with a counsellor who you can talk to about anything.
- Have a schedule: As we previously mentioned, idle time is not ideal. Come up with a daily and weekly schedule that includes your outpatient rehab addiction treatment, support meetings, work and family responsibilities and physical activities/hobbies and adhere to it. Creating a daily schedule can help eliminate feelings of boredom or time to daydream about addictive behaviours.
Regardless of whether you are receiving inpatient or outpatient treatment, realise that the path to successful recovery will not be an easy one. You must be completely committed to experiencing a better way of life, by making the necessary lifestyle changes. For more information on outpatient addiction treatment in Hong Kong, contact The Cabin Hong Kong today.