Alcohol abuse can take a very serious toll on the body. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous for people to stop drinking cold turkey, absent of any medical guidance, support, or supervision. This is why most treatment centers always have medical professionals onsite. These individuals are able to assist with medically-supervised detox so that clients have the best chance at making safe, healthy, and ultimately successful recoveries. This remains true whether rehab centers are structured for inpatient or outpatient alcoholism treatment.
Outpatient treatment for alcoholism is a good choice for anyone who is ready to address their substance use disorder head-on, without taking an extended amount of time away from their jobs, families, or other important responsibilities and roles. These treatment programs are structured with both freedom and flexibility in mind, while still providing patients with all of the help and support that they need for achieving sobriety and maintaining. It’s important to note that when it comes to treating alcohol addiction, licensed medical doctors can be helpful in a very vast range of ways. Not only can they assist in limiting the negative, physiological and psychological effects of alcohol withdrawal, but they can also identify co-occurring disorders that may lie at the very heart of patients’ addictive behaviors.
<h2>What Does Outpatient Treatment For Alcoholism Entail?</h2>
Much like inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment for alcoholism is a multi-pronged process. It starts with detoxification and withdrawal. People who drink heavily and who have relied on alcohol for any significant period of time can experience serious physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal that include:
and more. The longer and more severe a person’s substance use disorder has been; the more severe his or her withdrawal symptoms are likely to be. In some instances, during the later stages of alcohol withdrawal, these symptoms can progress to life-threatening. They can include visual and auditory hallucinations, difficulty breathing, significant increases or decreases in blood pressure, and seizures. The manifestation of these symptoms is referred to as delirium tremens or the DTs. Medication-assisted withdrawal helps clients successfully eliminate alcohol from their systems without suffering these and other ill effects. Moreover, when this medication is prescribed or administered in a professional setting, both the type of medication offered and the manner in which it is used do not pose any long-term challenges for those attempting to overcome alcohol addiction.
In many instances, the process of detoxification and withdrawal requires a short, inpatient stay. Once detox has been safely completed, patients can proceed to the outpatient portions of their programs. Inpatient detox, when performed as part of a largely outpatient program, can last between two and seven days depending upon the needs and circumstances of the individual, and the nature of the program he or she is enrolled in. Alcohol withdrawal typically begins within 12 hours of a person’s last drink and often peaks within just 24 to 48 hours. The lingering effects of alcohol withdrawal, however, can last for up to one full week or longer in some cases. Having access to trained medical professionals and medicinal support can make these efforts infinitely safer and easier.
Once a person has fully detoxed from alcohol, other portions of the recovery program can begin. Doctors are often key elements of outpatient treatment post-withdrawal, particularly when patients have co-occurring disorders. For instance, a person may be using drugs or alcohol to numb physical or psychological pain that is caused by an underlying medical condition. When this is the case, a doctor can identify, diagnose, and treat the medical condition so that there is no longer a need to rely on either alcohol or illicit drugs for self-prescribed pain relief.
In addition to addressing co-occurring disorders, outpatient treatment for alcoholism is designed to help people identify other potential causes of their substance use disorders such as early-life conditioning, past trauma, low self-esteem, and genetic predisposition among other factors. These are subjects that are commonly discussed in both private and group therapy sessions. When paired with life-planning and goal-setting, therapy and the resulting self-discoveries ultimately set the stage for success. By identifying their triggers and learning new and healthy coping mechanisms, those with alcohol use disorder can discover how to function normally in the world around them, while consistently maintaining their sobriety. If you’re ready to regain control over your life and want to learn more about getting treatment for alcoholism in an outpatient environment, call us today at 123-456-7890.