Why Is Outpatient Alcohol Rehab the Right Choice for Me?
Outpatient alcohol rehab is a popular and effective way to treat an alcohol use disorder (AUD). With outpatient rehabs, individuals have the opportunity to get help for their AUD without interfering with daily responsibilities like work, school and family obligations.
While each outpatient program offers various services, many involve medication-assisted detox, alcohol counseling sessions, different types of therapies and support groups. A comprehensive treatment plan treats the whole person, rather than just the disease. This provides the greatest chance for overcoming potential triggers and achieving long-term sobriety.
If you suffer from a drinking problem, you are not alone. Our treatment specialists will be able to discuss rehab options that best fit your needs, as well as walk you through the entire recovery process. You owe it to yourself to live a healthy, fulfilling and alcohol-free life. Call us today to learn more about alcohol treatment facilities nearby.
What Is Outpatient Alcohol Rehab?
Outpatient alcohol rehab centers help individuals overcome a dangerous drinking behavior, and learn how to recognize and prevent triggers. Many outpatient programs meet every day for the first several weeks or even months. Afterwards, the number of meetings will begin to lessen based on how far along an individual has come in their recovery.
Although there are many similarities between an inpatient and outpatient rehab program, they also have their differences. Outpatient programs are usually not as intensive and give you the freedom to work or go to school while getting treatment. They’re a great option for those who have a stable home environment and do not have a serious drinking problem. However, while outpatient facilities are a great alternative to the 30, 60 and 90-day inpatient programs, they’re not for everyone. For instance, if a person has been struggling with a long-term drinking problem, they may want to consider a more intensive treatment method.
Types of Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Programs
There are several types of outpatient alcohol rehab programs offered around the country. The three most common types are day treatment, intensive outpatient and continuing care groups. Depending on your specific needs, your doctor or treatment specialist may recommend certain programs over others. Sometimes you can even start with one program and move to another during your recovery journey.
Here’s a breakdown of each different type of outpatient alcohol rehab program:
Day treatment is the most intensive outpatient rehab program. Typically, patients are required to meet five to seven days each week, and may partake in either full- or half-day programs. Since day treatments are more structured, a person’s daily schedule involves medication detox, counseling, support groups and other types of therapies. At the conclusion of each day, individuals are able to go home and be with their loved ones.
The length of day treatment programs varies based on a person’s condition. For some, it may only take a few weeks to complete a day treatment program and move on in the recovery process. For others, it can take longer to feel confident in overcoming urges to drink or giving into temptation.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive outpatient programs are often much more flexible than day programs. They usually include meeting times during the day or evening, which is extremely beneficial for individuals who have other scheduled commitments. When a person first starts an intensive outpatient program, meetings are frequent. However, as they achieve various recovery goals, meetings will be held less often.
Intensive outpatient programs are a great option for people who have a strong, stable support system at home. This gives them the opportunity to meet with treatment specialists during the day, learn about how to prevent an alcohol relapse and apply what they’ve learned to everyday situations.
Continuing Care Groups
Generally, continuing care groups are the final step in the recovery process. These help individuals maintain their sobriety and provide an outlet to talk about accomplishments, as well as challenges. While meetings are often based on what members prefer, many continuing care groups meet about once a week for an hour or two.
The availability of community care groups often depends on where a person is located. For instance, medium-sized to larger cities may offer a broader range of support groups that cover certain recovery topics or are gender-specific. In smaller areas, continuing care groups can sometimes be limited and require a person to travel longer distances for treatment.
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Benefits of Outpatient Rehab Programs
When looking over treatment options, it’s important to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of an outpatient rehab program. Outpatient programs have seen an increase in demand over the past couple of decades due to the number of benefits they offer, like going home at the end of each day.
Several benefits to outpatient alcohol rehab include:
- Good balance between work, home and rehab
- Minimal disruptions to daily life and priorities
- Often costs less than traditional, inpatient rehab
- Close to home and a person’s support system
- The chance to practice what you learn in real world situations
- Attend counseling sessions with family and friends
However, while there are many benefits to participating in an outpatient treatment program, there are also some disadvantages as well. For example, some people may continue drinking when they’re not under supervised care. In an outpatient setting, a person is still in close proximity to their old friends and triggers, making it challenging to stay sober. In addition, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are sometimes tricky to treat in an outpatient program without the 24/7 assistance of medical staff.
How to Choose an Alcohol Outpatient Rehab
After a person has decided they’re ready to seek alcohol treatment, it’s time to find the right rehab program that will fit their needs. The best way to get started is by writing down a list of priorities of what is most important during treatment. It can include a certain specialty that the program focuses on, amenities, types of therapies and activities, and ongoing maintenance resources. Once this list is compiled, a person can start to narrow in on exactly what they’re looking for.
Some questions to think about while reviewing outpatient rehab options are:
- What types of treatment methods does the facility use?
- What does the rehab schedule look like? Is there an option for half or full day?
- Are staff and treatment specialists properly certified?
- Does insurance cover treatment or does the facility offer financial assistance?
- How successful has the program been with other recovering alcoholics?
- Are family and friends allowed to participate in some therapy sessions?
- What happens after rehab? Will they refer you to local recovery groups?
- What types of services and amenities are provided?
- Is the program structured or more flexible? Will staff help create a recovery plan timeline?
Outpatient treatment rehab offers various therapies and services for those struggling with alcohol abuse. Each one is a step toward an alcohol-free life and maintaining sobriety.
In many cases, outpatient rehab programs are more affordable than inpatient facilities. Some facilities also now offer financial assistance and sliding payment scales to help offset the initial costs.
The longer a person sticks with outpatient rehab, the greater the chance for long-term sobriety. This can take anywhere from a few months up to a year, depending on each individual’s condition.
Get Help Today
There’s no better time than today to get started on your recovery. An outpatient alcohol rehab facility can help you get back on your feet and live life to the fullest.
Get the help you deserve by talking with a recovery specialist today.
- Medical Reviewer — Last Reviewed: March 25, 2019
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Types of Treatment Programs. December 2016. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states/types-treatment-programs
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. December 2016. https://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/substance-use-disorders
Cigna. (2016). Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment for Substance Abuse. December 2016. https://www.cigna.com/healthwellness/hw/medical-topics/inpatient-and-outpatient-treatment-for-substance-ad1101
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment. December 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64094/
UNC Medical Center. Alcohol and Substance Abuse. December 2016. http://www.uncmedicalcenter.org/uncmc/care-treatment/alcohol-and-substance-abuse/
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