Outpatient Alcohol Treatment
The addiction to alcohol has become quite common since alcohol consumption is legal in most of the countries. This means that so many nations do not find anything wrong with consuming the substance despite that it does have certain effects on the human body. However, there are very few nations that are concerned with its usage, production and consumption. Consequently, they have various restrictions that pertain to it.
Due the legalization of drinking alcohol in various parts of the world, people are not ashamed to consume it in public, unlike the other illegal drugs like heroin, marijuana and cocaine. They consume it in social places and events, whereby, those that drink too much find it funny and actually make fun of their actions when drunk.
Such facts are a bit sad because addiction begins with finding the positive side of alcohol abuse. If you have become controlled by alcohol, then you know it began as just a normal phenomenon that went to the point of controlling. So do these governments that hardly care about alcohol consumption, and eventually addiction even understand the effect it has on its population?
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
The alcoholic drinks that you consume a certain amount of ethanol, which ranges from 3 to 50%, depending on whether it is a wine, spirits or beer. The ethanol comes from the fermentation of substances such as multiple sugar sources, grains and fruits.
Some researchers conclude that consumption of alcohol is actually good for if you take like just wine glass after meals. However, what happens when you tend to want more than you should take. Despite preventing issues like heart problems in small amounts, there is a very high possibility of developing an addiction, especially if you are developing issues that are too much to deal with.
Alcohol is an addictive substance because it is a psychoactive substance like other drugs such as marijuana. It affects your brain and body in various ways. If you tend to like the effects it has on you on a regular basis, you are likely to consume it more. Therefore, your body will end up wanting it just like you need food if these tendencies continue to take place.
Therefore, alcohol addiction is a progressive thing that takes place ass your body adapts to the alcohol effects. You may hardly notice its occurrence because it creeps in after you have already convinced yourself that consuming alcohol for its fun is not harmful.
As soon as you notice that you have a drinking problem, it is advisable to look for a way out through quitting. If quitting by yourself is difficult, since you always end up in relapse, you can seek professional help through various treatment programs. Among these programs is the outpatient alcohol treatment.
What Is Outpatient Alcohol Treatment
If you are struggling from alcohol addiction, the outpatient alcohol treatment could be exactly what you are looking for. It entails living at home with your family and receiving treatment at the same time during the day.
This means that you still maintain your freedom, whereby you can attend work or school and even functions, so long as you respect the treatment schedules set for you. Respecting them requires that you report for treatment when required, so that you can acquire help, and also avoid causing an inconvenience for those others that are scheduled to acquire the same treatment.
As you begin your treatment in an outpatient alcohol treatment facility, your sessions to acquire help from the clinical staff and therapists may take place daily. This is because you could be experiencing some withdrawal symptoms and are at risk of relapsing.
After you have reached the recovery stage, you are in a better place and therefore, you treatment sessions may become part-time, whereby, you only attend once or twice on a weekly basis. Therefore, it is likely that when you begin your outpatient program it is bound to last for about three months. However, this also depends on the presence on the issues regarding physical health or mental stability.
Since in this treatment you are hardly monitored closely, your alcohol addiction recovery is highly dependent upon your dedication to get well. The intensive care is not provided in this kind of treatment. So you must purse your sobriety with so much vigor that nothing can waver you away from your path.
However, as you held accountable for your treatment schedule in the facility, the treatment empowers you to pursue recovery at home using the support and guidance offered.
Signs That You Need Outpatient Alcohol Treatment
The following signs indicate that you have a drinking problem that can be dealt with through the outpatient alcohol treatment. The program is likely to succeed because you are not yet full addicted to alcohol.
- You often experience irritability signs and extreme mood swings.
- You constantly experience blackouts
- You like drinking alone, and could despise drinking with friends
- You have developed health challenges due to you drinking habits
- You have often been caught lying or making excuses about your drinking
- You do not care much about your responsibilities and obligations but instead prefer drinking alcohol most of the times.
- You have begun isolating yourself from others, especially family and friends
- You have experiences regular legal issues since your drinking is unpleasant.
- You have problems related to your work and school, since your drinking is out of control
There are other signs as well that indicate that outpatient alcohol treatment can be of help. However, it is not a full guarantee that the program will succeed, since the signs indicate that you are an alcoholic that could need intensive care. Nevertheless, it is worth trying.
- If your appearance has taken a turn for the worst, whereby, you look tired, irritable and unwell
- You tend to be intoxicated with alcohol on an alarming regular basis
- Your alcohol cravings seem to be getting out of hand.
- Your behaviors make you unrecognizable
- You are never able to turn down alcohol offers
- You have mental health problems like depression due to too much alcohol
- You have lost interest in many things that you cared about before.
Regardless of these signs, consider that for it to work, the following conditions should be present. They include;
- Your addiction to alcohol is new or mild
- Committing to a residential treatment is quite impossible for you
- Your health is good but you are still in need of therapy
- You wish to pursue sobriety as you go about with your daily life
- You have a conducive environment that can help pursue sobriety without challenges.
Despite wanting to seek alcohol treatment in an outpatient facility, it is good to be realistic. Therefore, if the following elements accompany your situation, know that this approach is bound to fail. So seek inpatient treatment.
- You have struggled with your addiction for quite a while.
- Your home is hardly stable or even supportive of your sobriety goals.
- You addiction is quite deep that it requires daily medical assistance
- You have tried rehabilitation but failed in the past. Probably did not complete it.
- You seem to have a sever occurrence of mental disorders.
- You have challenges in keeping commitments without supervision.
The outpatient alcohol treatment entails several services, which include the following;
- Family education
- 12 step-philosophy
- Individual and group counseling
- Community reinforcement approach
- Psych educational groups
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Health and fitness awareness
- Motivational interviewing
- Trauma/grief counseling
- Case management
- Nutritional coaching
- Relapse prevention, recreational therapy
- Sober living housing
Types Of Programs
The program that your doctor will recommend while under the outpatient alcohol treatment will depend on his analysis on you. If you have special needs you could do some programs and leave out others, or you can one program at a time. They include the following programs;
- Day Treatment
According to researchers, the day treatment seems to be the most intensive. The most meetings take place in every 5-7 days of every week. During these meetings, you may be expected to partake in half or full day programs.
Normally, the day treatments take place through a structure, whereby, you the daily schedule includes counseling, detoxification, various types of therapies, depending on your needs and support groups. after you have concluded your expected schedule, you are allowed to go home and spend time with your family.
While partaking in your schedule, you cannot compare to anyone else’s since the different conditions that you also have make the length of your treatment programs to be different. As a result, you could be treated for fewer or longer weeks than others, depending on your ability avoid temptations or overcome drinking urges.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs
The intensive outpatient programs highly favor people with stable and strong support system at home. You will often have the support and love of your people and thus the flexibility of these programs will hardly affect you. These programs have a greater flexibility compared to day programs because they entail meetings that can take place either during the day of evening.
With this flexibility, you are in a better position to stay committed to meetings that take place during the day or night. Despite that these meetings could be more often at the start, they are programmed to help you achieve various recovery goals. Upon their achievement, the holding of these meeting becomes less intense.
Persons that are eligible for this sort of treatment have a living situation that is very sober, thus conducive for recovery. Also, they have developed coping mechanisms that are quite strong. They have completed partial hospitalization of inpatient treatment programs.
These individuals, through their coping mechanisms, are able to function as normally as possible in their daily lives. Lastly, the doctors have advised that they proceed with mental health support.
- Continuing Care Groups
The continuing care groups are quite helpful after you have achieved recovery. They give you the will power to continue pursuing sobriety among others like you. What’s more, you are in a better position to express your achievements and challenges, thus acquire advice on the way forward. Continuing care group meetings are dependent on what the members want. The most hold their meetings for like one or two hours every week.
Benefits Of The Outpatient Alcohol Treatment
The outpatient alcohol treatment is quite beneficial to you, especially if you take it seriously. It does not only help you recovery from alcohol abuse and addiction, but also encourages you push forward with life’s challenges despite the urge to rush back into alcohol.
- This alcohol treatment program is structured to allow you to conduct your daily errands. For example, it is easier for you to attend to you school work, job and family, and still make it for the meetings. Therefore, it tends to be quite convenient for somebody that has a load of responsibilities.
- As it is convenient to you. It is also flexible as it provides you with multiple options. For instance, if you have been committed all day and thus have missed you counseling sessions, or perhaps feel that you want more counseling, they are available on weekends and at night. Such flexibility increases your chances of fast recovery.
- While this treatment, you are advised to go practice everything that you learn immediately you leave the facility. This kind of practice is good because you will not be overwhelmed by trying to practice all you have learnt all at once. Instead, you will go step by step. This is healthy for you.
- The opportunity to attend the support groups as you undergo treatment is very recovery friendly. As you listen to other peoples stories and connect with their struggles, you feel encouraged to do better since others could have already been in worse situations, but instead gained courage to change. This is quite motivational.
- The outpatient alcohol treatment only requires you to pay for the services. They rest is just about moving to the facility. This is so much cheaper than paying for inpatient treatment, which will cost more due to the room and board.
Drawbacks Of The Outpatient Alcohol Treatment
Just like almost everything else, outpatient alcohol treatment also has drawbacks. It is not perfect and this explains why most relapse victims end up in inpatient treatment after failing to respond to outpatient.
- As you pursue this treatment, you continue to live in the same environment that put you nto addiction. This environment is composed of the negative influences, triggers and risks that resulted in alcohol abuse and addiction. This exposure could jeopardize your sobriety.
- Since you travel down the same roads, you have access to alcohol. Therefore, fighting the temptation to drinking will be a very hard task. Those that make it tell about it all the time since it is quite an achievement.
- Access to care when you need it most is quite limited. It is quite impossible for the counselors or clinical staff to come to you whenever you are in need. This means that only goes to them.
- While under treatment in an outpatient facility, you tend to see others like you on a limited basis. Despite that you will share your stories; you will hardly form the bonds that you need in recovery. This is different from inpatient since inpatient is all about the patients in that facility.
- As you go back home on a daily basis after treatment, you are likely to find other issues that also require your entire attention. This will cause you to forget to practice what you learnt since these are unavoidable distractions.
What To Expect
As you pursue outpatient alcohol treatment, do not feel scared at all. Yes is it another activity that you will have to add to your daily schedule. The most important part is that you will benefit from it. As you do so, focus on the following pointers;
- Prepare for an intake assessment
As soon as you are accepted in the program, do expect to undergo an assessment. This is normal procedure that the doctors use to know how they can treat you best. It is possible that you will feel as if your privacy is under invasion due to the nature of the questions as well as the drug tests and physical examination.
However, it is nothing to worry about because without this data, you may not receive the care that suites you.
- Opening up about your emotions
Many people hardly know how to express their emotions. However, this should not worry you since therapists and counselors are trained to dig information from you. This entails understanding what you really feel about certain things, so that they trace the origin of your alcohol abuse. Therefore, in this stage, all they require is utmost honesty from you. Do not hold back regardless of the sensitivity of the information. After all it stays confidential.
- Be open to numerous possibilities
The most important part about alcohol treatment, aside from recovery is learning. As soon as you understand your addiction and its cause, you will learn more about yourself. Understanding yourself is quite essential for your recovery and growth afterwards. So be open to learning many things that will be very useful after you leave the program.
- Have readiness to proceed with care
The beginning of the outpatient treatment is barely a scratch on the surface. What matters more is the steps you in your recovery period. Aftercare is very important because it entails practicing everything learnt in the facility. As you draft your relapse prevention plan, include participation in outside peer groups since they will help with the continuation of therapy.
- Understand the need for boundaries
As mentioned earlier, outpatient alcohol, treatment pertains a lot of freedom and less of supervision. This should not drive you into relapse, regardless of the temptations out there. Therefore, set some boundaries for yourself, as well as others around you.
People that claim to care and love you should know that alcohol is not welcome in your presence. They also need to stop reminiscing about their fun times while out drinking when you are around. If they cannot respect these boundaries, you need to take action. Additionally, if you feel challenged keeping up with the boundaries that you have set for yourself, then ask for help as soon as possible.
Choosing An Outpatient Facility
For you to reach the recovery process, it is important that you wisely choose the outpatient treatment facility. You must differentiate between those that offer quality services from those that are just after quantity.
Otherwise, failure to conduct good research on the best facility could land you in one that gives services for the sake of giving. Find out about prevision successes and compare. They will not be perfect since some patients may have bad experiences, however, the majority of the good responses can tell a lot.
This part may be tricky if your resources are limited. Therefore, be creative in getting your resources. You may use credit cards or borrow from family and friends. As soon as you can access the treatment, focus on saving so that you can return whatever you borrowed. This will help avoid frustration from debts which could cause a relapse.
In conclusion, it is quite alarming at the rate at which alcohol addiction is escalating. The rules govern it sales are also not well followed to the latter since people are always after money. The powerful and rich take advantage to produce toxic and cheap alcohol that may leave the poor people in deeper health issues.
If you notice that you alcohol consumption is getting out of hand, try quitting on your own. If this fails, seek help from an outpatient facility, since it is flexible and cheap. Furthermore, it will allow you to carry out your daily tasks as usual. Remember to set boundaries so that you can avoid triggers and cravings.
If your environment can cause your relapse, then find an alternative to stay sober. Also remember that if your addiction is deep, you will need more than what this treatment can offer.