Addiction Recovery

Important Things To Know About Assisted Outpatient Program

December 6, 2021

Learn everything you need to know about the AOTs or Assisted Outpatient Treatment programs today!

Addiction can come in different levels and manifest various symptoms and even varied results depending on the individual. Nonetheless, addiction and other serious mental or psychological illnesses must be addressed with the right treatment. Due to this reality, various options have emerged to address addiction, and one of these proposed solutions is the assisted outpatient treatment programs or AOT.

Treatment and rehabilitation of individuals suffering from serious mental illnesses such as addiction must be assisted to be less of a risk to themselves and others. This is why an organized and systematic approach such as AOT programs is crucial so that everyone may live safely together. 

What is Assisted Outpatient Treatment anyway? It is the practice of providing community-based mental health treatment under civil court commitment, as a means of (1) motivating an adult with mental illness who struggles with voluntary treatment adherence to engage fully with their treatment plan; and (2) focusing the attention of treatment providers on the need to work diligently to keep the person engaged in effective treatment.

assisted outpatient treatment program
Source: Unsplash

What Are Assisted Outpatient Treatment Programs?

As a result of substance addiction and other mental illnesses, some individuals struggle to take care of themselves. Due to the difficulty of being responsible for one's care and the possible rejection of more conventional treatments, these individuals suffer more and may do self-harm, harm others, or be involved in activities that may result in unfortunate circumstances.

This is the rationale that supports assisted outpatient programs in various communities. Where AOT programs are present, treating individuals with mental health disorders is done wherein a patient can live in their community while undergoing treatment.

Here are some essential elements of an AOT Program:

  • Individuals who appear to be non-adherent with their prescribed treatments for mental illnesses but qualify under AOT criteria have to be identified and enrolled in AOT programs.
  • Apart from current mental illness, an individual who needs supervision and has a history of lack of compliance with treatment is eligible for AOT.
  • When these individuals have been identified, either or both the mental health system or community members may initiate an AOT petition as needed.
  • An AOT Program must ensure that the rights of participants and patients are safeguarded and clear communication lines among parties involved, such as health practitioners and members of the judicial system, are protected.

How Are They Different From Other Outpatient Treatment Programs?

Mental disorders and addiction treatment may have various programs and modalities since treatment approaches diversify and evolve. Outpatient treatment programs are treatments that are not in a hospital setting.

Outpatient care usually involves treatment that does not require a person to have prolonged stays or visits to a hospital or facility. The treatment provided in outpatient programs usually includes therapy, consultations, counseling, medical treatment, among others.

An AOT Program, for example, involves regular visits to a licensed psychiatrist and a social worker. Often a community health worker visits the individual to help in medication, monitoring, and evaluation. An AOT Program involves the judiciary system, and reports are made to the courts.

On the other hand, other outpatient treatment programs such as intensive outpatient therapy or programs allow a person to go home after each session in a treatment facility and continue with their daily lives. Based on its name itself, these treatments are intensive since certain regulatory agencies and companies demand intensive outpatient therapy.

Generally, an intensive outpatient program has goals such as

  • Determining harmful habits
  • Teaching participants skills to cope
  • Teaching ways on how to ask or request help
  • Learning and training how to receive support
  • Improving self-awareness and mindfulness
  • Improving problem-solving skills

Some facilities provide long-term and short-term residential treatment, generally in non-hospital settings. These are usually modeled from therapeutic communities wherein the focus is to develop a sense of accountability and personal responsibility. Resocialization and self-awareness activities are some of the things designed for these types of treatment.

what states have assisted outpatient treatment
Source: Unsplash

What Is The Success Rate of Assisted Outpatient Treatment Programs?

According to the reports based on two studies conducted on the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Law, AOT has a significant effect on reducing arrest, hospitalization, homelessness, and incarceration of people suffering from psychiatric disorders.

In one of the research projects conducted during AOT based on a court order, participants experienced lesser adverse effects. Compared to the three years before the participation of individuals, the study found out that:

  • 74 percent fewer experienced homelessness;
  • 77 percent fewer experienced psychiatric hospitalization;
  • 83 percent fewer experienced arrest; and
  • 87 percent fewer experienced incarceration.

It is crucial to note that intensive outpatient treatment, but without the court order for AOT, is less effective in reducing hospitalizations. On the other hand, the same treatment, coupled with AOT, has significantly lessened the hospitalization rates and length of hospital stay.

There has been a stark difference in the hospitalization rate among participants in the AOT Programs. This decline in hospitalization rates has also been reflected in how the usual long hospitalization periods have decreased.

success of outpatient treatment program
Source: Unsplash

What States Have Assisted Outpatient Treatment Programs

According to Mental Illness Policy, 43 states in the United States have some form of AOT Programs. However, these programs still need to be implemented widely and better in terms of implementation. However, in 2017, according to Treatment Advocacy Center, forty-seven states permitted AOT. This excludes Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

There are numerous benefits of outpatient programs and treatment centers such as Another Chance that provides one of the best treatments through its Outpatient Treatment Programs and Intensive Outpatient Programs to help you or your loved ones towards healing and wellness.

Treatment of individuals who are suffering from serious mental illnesses such as addiction has to be a commitment for these people to be less of a risk to themselves and others. AOT as a court-ordered treatment is one of the ways to realize this goal of more rehabilitation and less hospitalization.

Several studies have established that AOT effectively lessens the chance of hospitalization, arrest, and incarceration thanks to its execution which is done through an organized and systematic approach to living safely and healthy together. Give Another Chance a call at (971) 272-8968 to check if you qualify for our outpatient program today!