Structure is a critical element in any effective outpatient program. In outpatient settings, structure is created by defining for clients the activities that are required parts of their treatment involvement. These activities include attendance at the individual and group sessions of the program, participation in community self-help groups, and the scheduled daily activities that minimize contact with drugs and other high risk situations. The structure provided by treatment helps to define for the client exactly what is expected of him/her in treatment and provides a “roadmap” for recovery.
This information can be useful in reducing the anxiety that is commonly experienced by substance dependent individuals upon treatment initiation. Functioning within a structure can decrease stress and provide consistency and predictability which are all incompatible in an addict’s spontaneous, unplanned, chaotic lifestyle.