Considerations for Outpatient Alcohol Treatment

Choosing outpatient alcohol treatment for yourself or for a loved one is a brave first step to recovery. Outpatient programs have some advantages over inpatient programs. At the same time, you need to be aware of their limitations.  With informed decision-making and planning, you can enjoy a successful journey to sobriety.

Advantages of Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment often requires taking leave from a job. Unless you have large amounts of paid time off, you could face decreased income for a period. In addition, your employer learns that you have an illness and need treatment. In outpatient programs, you can choose to continue working at your job during your normal shift hours. You do not have to share personal medical information with your employer.

Outpatient programs cost less than inpatient programs. When doing inpatient treatment, part of the fee covers lodging and meals. Clinically, outpatient programs offer many of the same services as inpatient programs. Centers offer medication evaluations and monitoring, group and individual therapy, educational programming, and relapse prevention training.

When you go home each day from an outpatient program, you have the opportunity to practice the skills that you learn in a real-world environment. If you encounter challenges, you can discuss those challenges with the treatment professionals.  Families at home can reinforce positive behavior change.  You may feel motivated to stick with treatment when your family and friends praise your progress.

Considerations When Choosing Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment may not be appropriate for patients with complex medical and mental health conditions. Severe withdrawal symptoms should be monitored in a safe environment. In an outpatient setting, providers rely on patients to adhere to their medication regimens.

Patients who have experienced multiple relapses tend to have more complicated issues that require intensive inpatient treatment.  Sometimes it is easier to change behavior in a new environment, away from the stressors of everyday life. Families, social networks, and job stress all contribute to addiction. Sometimes people dealing with addiction have abusive or destructive relationships. The process of change can start in the inpatient therapeutic environment, and then progress to the outpatient treatment stage when the patient is ready.

Before choosing an outpatient alcohol treatment facility, check with your health insurance provider and make sure that you understand your expected out-of-pocket costs.  Make sure that you have reliable transportation to the facility.

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, you owe it to yourself to find a means to recovery. For many patients, outpatient centers offer convenience and support.

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