When is Outpatient Alcohol Treatment an Ideal Option?

alcohol treatment

Outpatient alcohol treatment has generally proven to be more effective than inpatient treatment, but some support at home is needed.

There are similarities between inpatient and outpatient alcohol treatment: both offer detoxification from all substances (alcohol, anesthetics, benzos and opiates); both utilize medication assisted treatment to detox individuals off their substance of choice; both offer group and individual therapy and teach coping and relapse prevention skills. However, the key difference is in outcomes; Outpatient detoxification and treatment deliver much better results relative to inpatient treatment.

Benefits of Outpatient alcohol treatment

Outpatient detoxification, alcohol and drug treatment offer multiple advantages for the patient. Firstly, health insurance companies authorize longer length of treatment, and outcomes improve with longer treatment.

In outpatient detoxification/ alcohol treatment, the patient is able to go back home at the end of each day and apply coping and relapse prevention skills learnt in treatment in a real life environment – they come back to treatment the next day and process it and make adjustments. Family can be more involved in treatment and family interventions bring the patient and their loved ones closer by dissolving conflicts – this also helps to elevate the support the patient receives at home permanently.

Outpatient detoxification/ alcohol treatment also allows the patient to be in touch with family and work, which lowers the stress for the patient, However, for outpatient detoxification/ alcohol treatment to be fully effective, the patient would need some level of support at home from family of other loved ones.

While therapy to teach relapse prevention and coping skills happen in an inpatient setting also, the patient gets no real time experience applying these skills. The patient is isolated from their home/living environment and the skills they learn are on a theoretical level and have never been tested in the real world. When patients return home after alcohol treatment, they have lost access to their treatment providers and receive no guidance when they are unable to apply the skills learnt while in treatment.

Consequently, relapses are more common after inpatient detoxification/ alcohol treatment.

Outpatient alcohol treatment in NJ helps patients overcome their addiction to alcohol and they also learn how to identify and avoid triggers. Ambulatory (outpatient) alcohol and drug treatment/rehab programs include detoxification, partial care and intensive outpatient (IOP) services. Detoxification and partial care programs run during the day, while IOP programs typically run in the evening.

Given the above facts, it is easy to see why Ambulatory (Outpatient) Detoxification and other outpatient programs are becoming more common.


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