Is Outpatient Detox Really A Good Option Or Not?

outpatient detox

When you are seeking help with addiction, detox can put your body through painful withdrawal symptoms. Medical help is often necessary as a hasty detox can sometimes lead to death. The goal of any detox facility is to help you overcome your physical and psychological dependence on alcohol or substances and to relieve your withdrawal symptoms.

Getting professional help at this stage is crucial. You need the support of your family, friends, and medical professionals. Together, they can guide you to a healthier state of being. When you are ready to check into a detox facility, you can select one based on the following factors:

  • Which substance: Some detox facilities treat for all substances and some specialize in just one or two. There are alcohol detox facilities only, for example.
  • Cultural preferences: If religion is a central part of your life, you may want a detox center that is faith-based. Or you may prefer an all-male or all-female center. Select a detox facility where you will feel most comfortable.
  • Insurance: Make sure that your health insurance covers the detox center of your choice. Some insurance companies will cover the whole cost and others will cover part of the cost. Make sure you are financially prepared.

Once you have narrowed down facilities by substance, preference, and insurance, you will have to make additional choices. There are two types of detox facilities. One is an inpatient detox facility and the other is an outpatient detox facility. Both will evaluate your condition to see if your condition is mild or severe. They will then stabilize you and provide treatment. Both also offer medical support to help you detox safely. However, there are differences.

  • An inpatient detox facility means you stay at the facility for as long as you need it. You are cut off from the outside world and from your temptations. Your detox takes place in a safe environment surrounded by a team that is there to ensure your well-being.
  • An outpatient detox facility lets you stay at home, where you can continue to work or meet your daily obligations. Every day, you are required to check in. As with an inpatient detox facility, you have medical support to ease your withdrawal symptoms.

The duration of your treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms.

The Benefits of Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox usually requires you to travel to the outpatient facility on a daily basis. You can come alone or have someone drive you. Your sessions can be in the morning or evening, whichever is easier for your schedule. The initial visit will last the longest as lab tests must be done. Subsequent visits are shorter. The entire treatment can last anywhere from 3 to 14 days. Here are the advantages to using an outpatient detox center:

You Can Continue Your Daily Routine

When you have hit rock bottom and are ready to change your lifestyle, there probably have already been months of disruption to your daily life. Missed work days is common. Being able to get back on track with your life while detoxing is important for many. Bills still need to get paid and an outpatient detox lets you attend to your daily routine.

Being able to stay at home also means your family and friends can come to your aid. They can help monitor your health and provide you with emotional support. If you have children, being able to see them daily is incredibly helpful.

Outpatient detox centers are less time consuming than inpatient centers. If you have daily obligations such as long work hours, it may not always be feasible to spend hours at a detox center. Another benefit of having a daily routine is that you learn to withdraw from drugs without complete dependence on a medical staff. This inner strength is a resource you’ll need in the future for your long-term treatment.

You Have Access To Medical Support

When you check in daily, your medical state is monitored for two reasons. One, the outpatient detox staff ensures that you have not relapsed by making sure there are no drugs and alcohol in your system. Two, the outpatient detox staff ensures that your body is safely detoxing.

The staff also provides you with a plan based on certain criteria. These criteria can be:

  • The severity of your addiction
  • Your age
  • Your physical health
  • The substances in your body

Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can affect each person differently and the staff at your outpatient detox facility needs to monitor your withdrawal symptoms.

  • Alcohol withdrawal can cause tremors, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, dehydration, and nausea.
  • Heroin withdrawal can cause diarrhea, muscle cramps, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Often medication like methadone or buprenorphine is administered to ease the withdrawal symptoms.
  • Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, etc.) withdrawal can cause muscle aches, irritability, insomnia, and restlessness. Like heroine, medication is often administered to ease the withdrawal symptoms. This medication is often Valium or Librium.
  • Cocaine withdrawal can cause muscle pain, lethargy, shakiness, weakness, irritability, and insomnia.

The Cost of Treatment

Few people can afford to take extended vacations, which is what an inpatient detox facility financially amounts to. You’re spending money to pay for the facility and you’re not earning an income. This kind of treatment is luxurious but too expensive for most people to realistically consider.

Outpatient detox offers the same end results with more affordable costs. This is a big bonus. Bills may have already gone unpaid with addictive behavior: missing work, getting fired, and so on. Having to pay a detox facility while not working can be a double whammy.

Overall, detox facilities play critical roles in drug and alcohol recovery, especially when the treatment plan is combined with medications. There is no final answer to how successful a detox plan will be but it does depend on your willingness to get clean and stay clean. However, counselors at detox facilities can help you with an effective long-term treatment plan for staying clean and healthy. If you are ready to get started, call us today at 866-802-6848

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.