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What is Outpatient Care?

Unlike an inpatient program, which requires people to move into a facility for a specific period of time, an outpatient program allows people to stay at home and in their communities while they work on their addiction issues. Some programs have a set schedule, in which people who enroll are expected to appear in groups with other people at times that cannot be varied. Other programs have an appointment-based system that could accommodate issues such as work and childcare.

The main benefits of outpatient care involve convenience. For people who do not want to move out of their homes and abandon their responsibilities in order to deal with an addiction, an outpatient program can be a great option. They can get very real assistance, without dealing with the stigma and hassle that could come with inpatient care.

An outpatient program comes with no fees involving room and board. That could mean that these facilities are significantly less expensive than their inpatient counterparts.

Who uses Outpatient Care?

Outpatient programs are often considered a less intense form of addiction treatment care. There are no around-the-clock supervision services involved with these programs, and there are no clinicians available when a crisis hits in the middle of the night. As a result, these are programs that are often recommended for those who have:

  • Been through inpatient care before and need a treatment touchup
  • New cases of addiction, with habits that are not firm and fixed
  • Close sober partners who can assist in a crisis
  • Good mental health, aside from addiction

People like this really do need to deal with addiction, but they might not need around-the-clock care and supervision. They may succeed in programs that offer a lower level of help.

Drugs and alcohol abuse psycho education in schools

Did you know that the human brain is still developing in a person’s twenties? In fact, it does not fully mature until about age 25 – around the time you finish college, start a full-time job, and begin making longer-term plans for life. Anything you do up until this point can affect your brain’s progress, for better or for worse.

The brain is especially susceptible to change during adolescence – the years most often spent in the classroom, on the field, and validating friendships. This is the time in which a person’s learning capacity is at its greatest. It is also the time in which the brain is most vulnerable to disruptions in cognitive development.

Drugs and alcohol are some of the most detrimental, yet most common disruptions in teenage brain development. They manipulate the brain’s wiring and affect the way the brain processes and retains information – including the way a teen thinks, focuses, learns, remembers, and concentrates inside and outside of school.

Despite the risky nature of early substance use, drug abuse in schools and among adolescents is an all too common occurrence. Studies show that by senior year in high school, nearly 50 percent of teens have already tried an illicit drug. And this is just the beginning. About 66 percent of teens have drank alcohol by the end of high school, too.

If you are a parent of a high schooler, or even middle schooler, there is a great chance that your child will be (or has already been) exposed to drugs and alcohol. On average, teens choose to try drugs for the first time around 13 or 14 years old – around the start of high school. As a parent and role model, educator and caregiver, you have the ability to prolong or sway your child’s desire to try drugs during his or her school years.

In fact, some of the greatest factors in keeping adolescents drug-free are parental figures themselves: having strong, positive connections with parents and having clear limits and consistent enforcement of discipline established by parents, can help reduce teens’ willingness to try drugs. Combined with open education about the reality and risks of drug abuse in adolescence, parents can truly influence their child’s choices regarding drugs.

This especially crucial today, when drug abuse in schools is prevalent and drugs in high school are increasingly easy to get.

This is especially true of the drug marijuana, which has been deemed a gateway to other, more threatening substances. Adolescents and young adults no longer see a great risk in smoking marijuana regularly. They are also using it more regularly. This past year, daily marijuana use exceeded cigarette use among high school sophomores and seniors.

With proper education about the dangers of early drug abuse in school years, however, your teen can come to understand that there is no right time or place to use drugs. Knowing the long-term impact drug use can have on his or her brain, as well as his or her academics, can far outweigh the “fun” your teen may have giving them a try. 

Reality is, substance abuse and academics are directly correlated. Not only can drugs impair teens’ cognitive development, they can also affect students’ performance in school: their ability to memorise things, concentration in the classroom, prioritisation of assignments, likelihood to attend class, and even their overall IQ.

If you are concerned about your teen’s exposure to drugs in high school, middle school, or college, you are not alone. But know that now is a crucial time for your teen and his or her brain, and any suspicion of drug use should be acted on. Adolescent drug use can have a lasting impact on the brain, but early intervention, proper education, and tailored drug treatment can put your teen on the path to success.