When to Choose Outpatient Treatment for LSD Addiction

When to Choose Outpatient Treatment for LSD Addiction

You have a variety of options as to where to begin treatment

You have many options for LSD addiction recovery. Treatment is offered on a continuum of care. This means there are varying intensities of treatment to choose from. There are no hard, defining lines between these types and levels of care. You are welcome to move up or down in intensity of treatment as needed. You have a variety of options as to where to begin.

The Continuum of Care for LSD Addiction Recovery

The least intensive options for LSD addiction recovery are free, community-based programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery. Many of these are based on the 12-step system. They are useful tools for maintaining long-term recovery. They are most useful when used in combination with more intensive treatment options. The Department of Veterans Affairs[1] explains, “Alcohol-dependent individuals who participated in [self-help groups] in the first and second years after intensive outpatient treatment were more likely to be abstinent in the second and third years, respectively; attendance at two or more meetings per week was associated with less severe relapses.” Support groups are valuable as follow-ups to intensive outpatient or inpatient care. They may not provide the care needed to function as a primary approach to recovery.

The next step up in care is outpatient care. Outpatient care comes in a variety of intensities and commitment levels. Intensive outpatient treatment typically involves more than 9 hours of therapy, service and care per week, while non-intensive programs involve less. Outpatient treatment can range from weekly therapy meetings to day treatment that addresses co-occurring physical and mental health concerns.

Inpatient treatment offers the most structure and support. Patients stay at a treatment center for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months based on need and program. Group therapy and individual therapy are standard components of this type of care. Inpatient programs may also offer alternative or holistic therapies such as equine therapy, adventure therapy, yoga and more. Staff members are available 24 hours a day.

If you are concerned for a friend or family member, consider intervention. This level of care comes right before any level of treatment or after one form has not provided all the tools and skills your loved one needs to maintain sobriety. Interventions involve establishing consequences for continued drug abuse. They use compassion and concern to urge a loved one into the appropriate level of care. A professional interventionist can provide an assessment and help you determine this best level.

Choosing Intensive Outpatient Addiction Treatment

There are three times to choose outpatient care. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration[2] (SAMHSA) suggests choosing intensive outpatient treatment (IOT) as an entry point to care, a step down level of care, or a step-up level of care. A professional assessment will help determine if outpatient treatment is an appropriate entry point for recovery. When you choose outpatient care as a step down level, you are, “transitioned to the IOT program from an inpatient or residential facility. In this case, the client may have been stabilized in a hospital facility or residential treatment program and now needs intensive treatment services to achieve or maintain abstinence as well as address other problems.” Leaping from inpatient treatment to home life is too abrupt of a change for many. Few people go from needing intensive care to none at all. Outpatient care helps ease the transition between 24-hour care and unsupervised self-support. Intensive outpatient care may also work as a step-up option for recovery. You may choose IOT if you have, “been unsuccessful in outpatient treatment or continuing community care and [are] assessed as needing an intensive and structured level of care to regain abstinence, work on relapse prevention skills, and address other issues.” When one level of care doesn’t work, recovery is still within reach. Talk with a professional about stepping up your treatment program. Understand that addiction is not linear. You can move from one level of care to another as needed.

The Six Dimensions of an Addiction Assessment

A professional assessment is always your most valuable tool for determining when to choose outpatient treatment. The American Society of Addiction Medicine[3] suggests using, “six dimensions to create a holistic, biophysical assessment of an individual to be used for service planning and treatment across all services and levels of care.” You can explore these dimensions of an assessment to get an idea about the level of care that is best for you. The dimensions involve the following:

  • The potential for withdrawal symptoms
  • Current physical health
  • Current mental health or the presence of co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Willingness to change through participation in treatment
  • Treatment and relapse history
  • Current living environment

Call our toll-free helpline to ask questions about any of these dimensions. We are here to discuss your or a loved one’s recovery needs. We can provide a free initial assessment and help you determine your best level of care. We can connect you to the professional resources that match your unique recovery needs. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day. Please reach out today.


[1]    http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/providers/sud/selfhelp/docs/4_moos_timko_chapter.pdf. Outcome Research on 12-Step and other Self-Help Programs.” Department of Veterans Affairs. 2008. Web. 15 Aug 2016.

[2]    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64088/. “Intensive Outpatient Treatment and the Continuum of Care.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2006. Web. 15 Aug 2016.

[3]    http://www.asam.org/quality-practice/guidelines-and-consensus-documents/the-asam-criteria/about. “What Is the ASAM Criteria?” American Society of Addiction Medicine. May 2011. Web. 15 Aug 2016.