(FAQ) I can’t take time off of work to go to rehab. What are my treatment options?

What are my treatment options if I don’t have time for rehab? 

Rehab is a luxury that many drug abusers may not be able to afford. Inpatient rehab requires at least 28 days of complete devotion to addiction recovery. Many rehab treatment programs are even longer. Patients will need to live within the treatment facility. They receive medical detox, meals, behavioral therapies, counseling sessions and just about everything they need at the treatment center. 

Unfortunately, this amount of devotion is not possible for everyone. Many drug abusers have families to take care of and work responsibilities. If their children are young, they might not be able to leave them with someone else. They might also not be able to take time off of work, especially if their family is relying on their income. If you're seeking addiction treatment, but can't take time off of work, here are several other options that can help. These options offer a lower level of care; however, they can be just as effective.

Common Reasons Why Drug Abusers Don’t Make It to Rehab

Only approximately 11% of Americans who need addiction treatment actually actively seek it or get it. The majority of drug addicts and abusers don't get any help at all. While some are in denial, others choose not to get help because they can't take time off work. A residential rehab program requires a lot of dedication and commitment. The patients will live at the rehab for the entirety of the treatment. The treatment can go on for anywhere from 28 to 90 days. 

There are many reasons why a person might opt out of a spot in a residential rehab center. Some of the most common reasons why people are hesitant to seek help from an inpatient rehab center include: 

  • Having to work and not being able to get time off work. Most drug abusers feel ashamed of their addiction. They're not ready to disclose the fact that they struggle with an addiction to their employer.
  • Having to work in order to have money to pay the bills. Rehab already costs a fortune. Many people can't skip work because they have bills to pay.
  • Not being able to get time off from school. College students, especially, are on a strict time schedule. They are unable to simply pack up their things and go to rehab.
  • Having to take care of children. Parents with young children can't leave their children alone or behind. They have a responsibility to take care of their child.
  • Having other responsibilities, like having to take care of elderly family members.

The main reason why most drug abusers decide to give up their spot at an inpatient rehab center is because they have work. After all, over 75% of substance abusers are employed. These drug users are scared that they'll lose their job if they take time off work for addiction treatment. They’re also scared to let their employers know about their addiction in case it harms any career advancements.

A Look at Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

The best alternative for those who don't have time for residential rehab is an intensive outpatient program (IOP). IOP means that patients can schedule their treatment into their week. There's no set time and no set schedule. Patients get all the flexibility they need. They can schedule sessions and check-ups after work, so they don't miss any work. Or, they can schedule sessions in the middle of the afternoon when the kids are at school if they're a homemaker. 

Treatment Options for Addiction

IOP requires a commitment of 3 days per week. Patients are expected by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) to get 9 hours of therapy each week. They may also need to schedule check-ups with the medical professionals at the rehab center. If they are taking part in a long-term detox program, they'll also take this opportunity to refill their prescriptions. Patients who require more attention and help can schedule in more hours each week for addiction treatment. Most consensus panels recommend anywhere from 6 to 30 hours of treatment each week. 

There are many benefits involved with choosing IOP. Patients can schedule in appointments whenever they have free time. They can maintain their daily schedule without interrupting a thing. The cost of IOP tends to be more affordable than residential treatment. This type of program usually lasts about 90 days. This gives the brain ample time to reset back to its original state and condition.

For those who would enjoy an even lower level of care, standard outpatient programs will do the trick. Standard outpatient programs don't have any requirement at all. They're similar to IOP in the sense that patients will still need to go in for check-ups and to take part in behavioral therapies and counseling sessions. Other than that, the structure of a standard outpatient program is quite different. It’s much more lenient and flexible. Patients can pick and choose: 

  • When they would receive treatment
  • How long the length of each treatment session should be
  • The type of treatments to try
  • The type of medications to continue
  • How long to continue the outpatient program for 

Each aspect of a standard outpatient program can be customized. The alterations will depend on the needs and expectations of each patient. For many patients, an outpatient program can work very well in treating their addiction. A standard outpatient program is best for mild addictions. It’s also a great option for those who have already gone through the recovery process before. For moderate to severe addictions and for first-timers, an IOP would be a more suitable choice.

Get Additional Support from Support Groups

Those who require even more support should consider joining a support group outside of the rehab center. Some treatment facilities will even host their own meetings. 12 step programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, will do the trick. These support groups are tight-knit and members go out of their way to help and support one another. Everything discussed in the meetings is confidential, and members can feel free to share their own personal experiences and struggles. It's definitely a freeing experience. 

Those who are interested in joining an AA or NA meeting should look here for more information. It's best to attend the same NA and AA meeting each week. This makes it easier to build a rapport with others in the group. Social support can be a huge determining factor when it comes to whether the recovery is successful. 

Other than NA and AA meetings, there are also other options to choose from. SMART Recovery meetings are equally as effective. Instead of taking a religious-based approach, SMART recovery meetings take a scientific-based approach. Choose a support group that seems to fit your beliefs. You'll find like-minded people who are in the same situation. Partner up with a mentor for even more help. Your mentor can help you stay sober when you’re on the brink of relapsing.

Take a Look at Our Other Options

If you can't take time off work to go to rehab, don't worry. There are plenty of other options available. Residential treatment programs are not your only shot at recovery. Contact us, and one of our addiction specialists can walk you through the alternatives that are available. We'll assess the severity of your addiction to determine what other treatments will be most effective. We can also tailor the treatment to meet your needs and expectations. 

Break free from your addiction and live a healthier life by reaching out to us. We’ll take care of the rest.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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