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Can Alcoholism Be Treated on an Outpatient Basis?

can alcoholism be treated on an outpatient basis
Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive condition that affects more than 15 million adults nationwide.[1] Many of these individuals continue to go to work, attend classes at their local school, and care for their families while suffering from this condition. If you are a busy individual with responsibilities who is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, you may be desperate to get the help you need while still being able to balance all of your responsibilities. Fortunately, alcoholism can be treated on an outpatient basis, so you can get the help you need without sacrificing time away from work, school, or family.

Can I Use an Outpatient Detox Program for Alcohol?

You should never attempt to detox from alcohol at home or without medical supervision. In fact, alcohol detox is best conducted on an inpatient basis where you can be monitored 24/7. This is because alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to detox from. Even though it is legal, alcohol can produce severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms like cognitive impairment, seizures, hallucinations, dehydration, and delirium tremens.[2] If you take the risk of detoxing on an outpatient basis, you also run the risk of medical complications. You could find yourself unable to obtain the medical care you need before severe consequences occur. As a result, it is always recommended that people detox from alcohol at an inpatient medical facility.

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

Alcoholism may be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Inpatient rehab programs are the same as residential ones. They require all patients to stay at the treatment facility, even overnight, for the full length of their treatment program. Inpatient programs provide around-the-clock support, medical care, and intensive counseling that is best for people with severe addictions or co-occurring disorders. Outpatient alcohol rehab programs vary in terms of intensity, cost, and scheduling. The different types of outpatient rehab include:
  • Day treatment – Patients spend several hours, Monday-Friday, at the treatment center, but are able to return home in the evening after therapy is over.
  • Intensive outpatient (IOP) – Patients spend 9-15 hours each week at the treatment center for scheduled therapy sessions only.
  • Standard outpatient (OP) – The lowest level of care in which patients only attend scheduled group and individual therapy sessions.
Which treatment program you select should be determined based on the severity of your addiction and your unique treatment needs.

Who Qualifies for Outpatient Alcohol Rehab?

Whether you have a family who depends on you to take care of them, a job that you can’t take that much time away from, or an education that cannot be put on hold for rehab, you may be questioning whether or not your alcoholism can be treated on an outpatient basis. Outpatient rehab isn’t right for everyone, so it’s important to consult with a trusted substance abuse counselor to determine which treatment program is right for you. You may qualify for outpatient alcohol treatment if you have:
  • Demonstrated motivation and willingness to do the work needed to stay sober
  • A safe, supportive, and sober living environment
  • Already completed a higher level of care such as inpatient rehab
  • Already detoxed from alcohol and are diagnosed with mild alcohol use disorder
  • A support group of sober individuals who can hold you accountable

On the other hand, you should not consider outpatient care for your alcoholism if you:

  • Have a co-occurring mental health condition that may require dual diagnosis treatment or put you at the risk for relapse
  • Are diagnosed with severe alcohol use disorder
  • Need medical supervision
  • Have a history of relapsing during outpatient alcohol rehab programs
can alcoholism be treated on an outpatient basis cta

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

How is Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Structured?

If you are seeking treatment for alcoholism on an outpatient basis, you may be wondering what outpatient services entail. While detox and medical services are usually offered at inpatient facilities, there is a long list of services offered by outpatient programs. These include:

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – This approach combines behavioral therapy and counseling with the use of treatment medications. Some of the most commonly used medications to treat alcohol use disorder are Vivitrol (naltrexone), Campral (acamprosate), and ReVia (naltrexone).[3]
  • One-on-one counseling – You will meet with your substance abuse counselor on an individual basis at least one time every week to discuss personal issues, your progress in treatment, your treatment goals, and any concerns you may have.
  • Group therapy – Groups are at the foundation of addiction treatment. Most outpatient sessions are structured in the form of group therapy where you work with other like-minded individuals to reach a common goal of sobriety.
  • Additional services – These may include case management, vocational rehabilitation, job training, or life skills therapy. These services are delivered on an as-needed basis.

A major focus of outpatient alcohol rehab is relapse prevention. Since you are not under constant care and supervision, you need to learn how to live and complete day-to-day tasks without drinking alcohol.

Start Outpatient Alcoholism Treatment in Woburn, Massachusetts Today

When it comes to the alcohol rehab and recovery experience at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we incorporate 12-step immersion, the careful development of a personalized treatment plan, and an effective combination of therapeutic and holistic treatment methodologies. We offer a variety of outpatient programs that are flexible enough to fit any and every schedule.

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, let us help you. Call today to get started.


Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC
Clinical Director

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