There are countless treatment programs out there for overcoming addiction, but it’s essential to find the one that’s right for you. If you’re a working professional, outpatient rehab is often the best choice, providing the flexibility and support you need to stay sober without taking time off from work and other important commitments. At Choice House, we want to make sure you have the best chance at lasting recovery, so we’ve provided ten reasons why outpatient treatment is perfect for those with a full-time career or busy schedule to consider while getting sober.
- Avoid taking a leave of absence from work
When most people seek help for a drug or alcohol problem, they request a leave of absence from work. Whether it’s to enter residential treatment or escape from the daily grind, this approach can help some focus on their recovery. But not everyone wants to take a significant amount of time off from their careers, nor is it always possible to do so.
If you prefer to keep working, outpatient treatment gives you that option. You’ll be able to arrange your schedule and ensure that you get the support you need, but without feeling like you’re missing out on something important. If you do decide to take a break, you’ll still be able to contact your boss or clients and keep up with the latest developments.
- Integrate recovery into your daily life
One of the most common reasons people get drunk or high is to cope with stress. And no one knows stress like busy professionals, who regularly put in long hours at the office. But self-medicating with drugs or alcohol does more harm than good, providing only temporary relief at the expense of your health and mental wellness.
Residential treatment might seem appealing because it takes you away from the stress of daily life, but this can also be problematic. After spending so much time in such a supportive environment, you might have trouble readjusting to the real world, and things that you could handle before may suddenly feel overwhelming. Without enough time to practice your coping skills, you’re ill-equipped to deal with the stressors that await after rehab.
Sober living and aftercare make this transition easier, but outpatient programs let you integrate recovery into your daily life, so you can immediately utilize the tools and techniques you’ve learned and discover which strategies work best. If you do experience an obstacle that seems impossible to overcome, you can rely on the support of your peers and treatment providers to help you through.
- Flexible scheduling
Residential treatment is intensive and highly structured. When you’re enrolled in this level of care, you live on-site at the rehab facility and adhere to the same schedule as everyone else, making it impossible to tend to your daily responsibilities. The lack of flexibility means residential programs are often impractical for working professionals.
In contrast, outpatient treatment can accommodate your busy schedule, whether you work a 9 to 5 or the graveyard shift. Most programming takes place in the evenings, leaving you plenty of time to spend at home, in the office or on the go. For those who can’t put their careers on hold for rehab, this flexibility makes getting sober a real possibility.
- No disruption to your career
It might seem counterintuitive, but getting help for a drug or alcohol problem is one of the best things you can do for your career. Addiction is a disease, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those who are in recovery. That means you can’t be fired for seeking treatment, but you can be fired if you don’t admit you have a problem and your job performance, attendance and productivity continues to decline.
Outpatient services can help you get sober without disrupting your career, so you don’t have to stall your climb up the corporate ladder while in treatment. You can take some time off if you prefer, or choose to keep working; whatever you decide, addressing your problems with drugs or alcohol will have a positive impact on both your personal and professional life, helping you refocus on the things that are important to you.
- Privacy & confidentiality
If you suddenly request a leave of absence from work, your co-workers might suspect that you’re going to rehab. Especially if your performance, attitude or behavior have changed in recent months. Even though there are certain protections in place to keep you from getting fired while in treatment, you still may not want everyone to know about your addiction.
Outpatient programs let you maintain your normal routine, so no one at work has to know you’re in rehab unless you tell them. As a professional, you’ll also be able to keep up with clients, customers or projects since you won’t be gone for an extended period of time, making sure your career stays on the right track.
If you’re concerned about your privacy, outpatient providers are fully committed to ensuring a safe and confidential environment for prominent or high-profile clients. We know your reputation matters, so Choice House offers an IOP for professionals where you’ll be surrounded by those in a similar position. Additionally, no information regarding your treatment or substance abuse history will be shared without your consent.
- Stay close to your friends and family
Many people travel far and wide for a suitable inpatient program, making the commitment to live out of state for several months while getting sober. This might be ideal in some situations, like if you need to get away from an unhealthy scene or social group, but moving across the country for rehab also separates you from your support network at home.
If your friends and family are a positive influence on your life, staying near them can help you better navigate the recovery process and overcome any challenges you might face. It also gives you a chance to repair your relationships and get your loved ones involved so they too can heal. Outpatient treatment allows you to do this, provided that your home environment is safe and supportive. If you have a spouse, child or an ailing parent to care for, it also makes sure you’re able to meet your family obligations while in rehab.
- Continue earning an income while in recovery
If you’re like most people, you have bills to pay. You need to work to earn a living, so you can’t just quit your job or take a few months off. With the added expense of going to rehab, a steady income might be even more important to help you cover the costs.
The good news is while in an outpatient program, you can continue working either full or part-time so you don’t miss a paycheck. You’ll go to therapy, addiction counseling and group meetings in the evenings, spending only 10 clinical hours a week at a treatment facility. This shouldn’t interfere with your day job and allow you to manage other responsibilities as well.
Furthermore, outpatient treatment is more affordable than residential programs, limiting the financial drain on your wallet. You can also save on child care and other expenses typically associated with rehab, making outpatient care ideal if you want high-quality treatment that fits into your budget.
- Improve your work performance and productivity
It should come as no surprise that addiction won’t improve your performance at work. Certain drugs might make you feel like you’re on top of the world, but as the long-term effects set in, your health, concentration and mental acuity will begin to suffer.
Enrolling in an outpatient program will help you get sober so your career won’t go off the rails due to frequent absences, low productivity and a ruined reputation. Once you stop relying on drugs or alcohol to get through the day, you won’t miss as much work, be able to handle stress better, meet your deadlines and feel more level-headed. You’ll become someone your boss and colleagues can rely on, opening you up to even more growth and career opportunities.
In outpatient treatment, the best part is that you can accomplish all of this without leaving your job. Flexible programming means your productivity and work performance won’t be affected by a long absence, so you can keep making progress toward your professional goals while getting sober.
- Stay busy to avoid temptation
For some people, drinking is a part of work culture. Whether you’re wining and dining clients or going out to the bar for happy hour, this can put you in a difficult position if you’re trying to get sober. You might feel like you can’t say no, but your recovery groups can help you find the strength to do what’s best for you. Having meetings to attend after work also provides a good excuse, making it less tempting to go out drinking with your co-workers.
- Repair your reputation
Finally, enrolling in outpatient treatment can help you repair your reputation. During active addiction, you might end up doing things you never thought you would do, like lying, cheating or stealing, to support your habit. As a professional, this kind of behavior can sabotage your career and harm your credibility, but it is possible to redeem yourself.
Getting sober is the first step to turning things around. Once you’re in control of your addiction, you can start repairing the damage you’ve done and regain the trust of your clients, co-workers and friends. This might seem daunting, but it will come naturally as you begin making the right decisions. Once you address your issues with drugs or alcohol and become accountable for your actions, people will start to see you differently and recognize the progress you’ve made. When you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.
Choice House in Boulder, Colorado, offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for professionals that need a more flexible approach to recovery. Requiring only 10 clinical hours a week, you’ll find the support and guidance you need to overcome addiction by attending individual and group therapy sessions in the evenings. Each week, different themes or topics are covered to help you build the skills you need to maintain lasting sobriety. To learn more about IOP for professionals at Choice House, contact or call us today at 303-578-4975.