Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction can wreak havoc on a person’s life. While you may think of addiction treatment as being an inpatient rehab centre, many treatment centres offer outpatient services too. Outpatient programmes allow a person to detox and recover from alcohol addiction while maintaining their usual daily activities. Receiving treatment as an outpatient allows you to continue spending time with loved ones and attend work. You can go about your daily life while receiving dedicated support for your addiction.

What Is Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

Alcohol addiction treatment helps a person overcome their addiction to alcohol. Even though alcohol is a culturally-accepted substance, it harms the lives of many people around the world. Alcohol is an addictive substance due to the pleasurable feelings it produces. If you are suffering from an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), you might be wondering what treatments are available. There are a few different approaches to combat alcohol addiction: at-home detox, medical detox programs, inpatient care at a rehab centre, and outpatient care at a treatment facility. The method of treatment you choose will depend on the severity of the addiction and individual circumstances.


Alcohol Addiction Detox

Throughout an addiction, the body develops a tolerance to the substance. This results in a person having to increase the amount of the substance to achieve the same effect. Over time and repeated use, this will result in physical dependence on the substance.

This is true for alcohol addiction.

Once your body has developed a physical dependency on alcohol and you suddenly stop drinking, your body will go through withdrawal. Withdrawal can cause difficult symptoms that vary in intensity. Some common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and anxiety. Due to these symptoms, it is important to consider how you will detox from alcohol safely.

There are different ways people choose to detox. In cases where the addiction is mild, a person may choose to detox at home without supervision. Alcohol detox can be dangerous, so it is usually not recommended to choose this method. In more severe cases, a person may opt for inpatient or outpatient care from a treatment facility. Severe withdrawal can cause symptoms like seizures, auditory hallucinations, and visual hallucinations. For this reason, it is safer to avail of a supervised detox programme.

There are some medications for those going through alcohol detox. Using medications such as Disulfiram, Acamprosate, and Naltrexone can help inhibit drinking ability and cravings for alcohol. While medication is not used in every case, it is beneficial for those who require it.

Alcohol detox is not an easy process. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, and nausea can cause extreme discomfort. Finding the right support during the detox process can help with the mental and physical symptoms. This, in turn, can prevent relapse.

Alcohol Addiction Rehab

One method of treatment is attending an alcohol addiction rehab centre. A rehab centre will support you through alcohol detox and the journey of addiction. A rehab centre will typically offer both inpatient and outpatient services. An inpatient rehab program has patients stay at the facility, typically for a minimum of 28-days, depending on the centre.

The first step in rehab is the detox process. After this period, rehabs usually offer services such as addiction counselling, family therapy, and support groups. Rehab will not only help you detox from alcohol. It will also provide skills and support for life after addiction. At rehab, you will learn about addiction, explore your history of substance use, and learn effective tools to cope with cravings.


How Can Addiction Treatment Be Outpatient?

Outpatient treatment is more flexible than inpatient, as we understand that everyone can’t put their lives on hold and attend an inpatient program. An outpatient remains at home but attends the rehab centre for a specific amount of time each day or week. You may choose the outpatient treatment as you can continue to attend work, school, or care for family members. During the detox period, an outpatient may opt for an at-home detox program. This process will allow a person to remain in their own home while receiving treatment and supervision during withdrawal.

Who Will Help If I Need Help During the Process?

As an outpatient, you will still have full access to support. For an outpatient detox at home, you will be assigned a designated supervisor who will visit you at home. For more support, there is a team of trained nurses at the treatment facility that you or your supervisor can contact if needed. Furthermore, there will be a doctor assigned to your case.

Designated Supervisor

An at-home detox program will assign you a supervisor. The supervisor will make home visits and will monitor your withdrawal symptoms.


The treatment centre is equipped with a team of nurses. If you have any medical concerns, a nurse can check your vital signs. Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea can cause dehydration. In this case, a nurse may administer an IV drip.

Contact the Doctor Assigned to Your Case

If you have medical concerns, you can contact the doctor assigned to your case. For example, if you experience withdrawal symptoms that are worse than you initially expected.


What If I Feel Worse Than Planned?

Withdrawal can be challenging. If you are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, such as delirium or hallucinations, you or your supervisor can contact the doctor assigned to your case. In case of an emergency, contact the emergency services or dial 999 immediately. You should inform the addiction treatment team of this occurrence.

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    Jason Shiers
    Author / Jason Shiers / Dip.Psych MBACP
    Jason Shiers is a Certified Transformative Coach & Certified Psychotherapist who is a specialist in addiction, trauma and eating disorders. He has been working in the field of addiction for 25 years now.

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