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Why We Recommend Following Inpatient Treatment with Outpatient Care

Transition From Inpatient to Outpatient Care 

Some of the most effective treatment plans for addiction recovery involve stages that have no definite end:

  • First stage: you enter addiction recovery treatment
  • Second stage: you leave treatment and embark on early recovery
  • Third stage: you settle in a routine of maintaining sobriety with recovery support and relapse prevention techniques  
  • Fourth and final stage (which can last a lifetime): you continue to engage with the recovery community, accessing and offering support 

If you will soon complete residential/inpatient addiction treatment, you may wonder when or if to start outpatient treatment. Especially in stage 2, early recovery, outpatient care can provide the crucial boost in support you need as you transition to life at home and work. Those first few months after finishing your program are challenging, putting everything you’ve learned and all the progress you’ve made to the ultimate test. 

After residential treatment, you’ll likely be at the most psychologically vulnerable point in your recovery—and enrolling in intensive outpatient treatment will help ensure you are receiving as much guidance, structure, and support as possible. 

Additionally, Waypoint Recovery Center has two locations in North Charleston and Cameron, and we provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment options at each. This is unique, as many people in recovery tend to enroll in residential plans in one location and later go to outpatient care in another facility with no connection to the first. Waypoint finds our patients enjoy greater success when they can build a relationship with us as residents and later strengthen that bond in the same spot with the same people when transitioning to aftercare.   

Understanding The Transition From Inpatient to Outpatient Care 

Inpatient programs usually begin with medical detox and then focus on intensive therapy and relapse prevention education. You’ll learn how to prioritize your health, process the underlying reasons for your addiction, establish boundaries as needed, and build a sober community. The structure of inpatient stays centers around the following:

  • Learning how to live in a monitored environment where possible triggers, cravings, and temptations to behave poorly are removed almost entirely
  • Enjoying the focus that you can achieve when you take time off from work or your home environment
  • Constant individual and group therapy sessions to improve your mental health and identify any undiagnosed, underlying mental health issues
  • Medical and psychological supervision
  • Constant opportunities to be held accountable for your actions and rewarded for your progress 

Outpatient care focuses on putting all that theory into practice while simultaneously supporting you as you transition to less controlled environments. Factors of focus shift to the following in outpatient:

  • Getting back to a work-life balance and a more flexible, unrestricted schedule that you can discuss and reflect on with your peers and counselors
  • Ability to bring personal stories, challenges, and triggers to the table in therapy
  • Learning how to cope with the stresses and challenges of life in an healthy way

To go from one intensive treatment plan to a less strict one isn’t a sign of failure, weakness, or incompetence. Sobriety is a huge learning curve, and it makes sense to take that learning in stages.

One of the unique benefits of outpatient treatment is that your own progress and comfort level determine the duration. Participating in support groups, 12-step plans, recovery coaching programs, continuing care and recovery management classes, and even attending religious meetings are all forms of outpatient care that you can participate in indefinitely throughout your lifetime to guarantee you continue to thrive. 

Shift From Inpatient To Outpatient Addiction Recovery Programs 

The shift from inpatient to outpatient isn’t always smooth, and the transition can be difficult to navigate. That’s why Waypoint offers alumni services and constant, round-the-clock availability to provide you with answers to logistical and development questions concerning your recovery. Contact us today to speak with one of our team members about the best types of aftercare services for you and your family, along with what to expect as you go from a resident to a free agent moving through the world. Sobriety is more than possible to maintain when you have a community behind you—and we want to be part of the community. 


waypoint recovery center

For more information about Waypoint Recovery Center’s substance use disorder treatment services, please contact us anytime at (854) 214-2100.

Our Locations

Outpatient Treatment
5401 Netherby Lane, Suite 402
North Charleston, SC 29420
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Inpatient Treatment
499 Wild Hearts Rd
Cameron, SC 29030
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