Alcohol is a highly addictive substance, and once a person is hooked on it, detoxing is usually an uncomfortable process. It can also be dangerous. A minority of recovering alcoholics develop delirium tremens (DT), a potentially fatal condition that causes seizures and confusion. Because of the risk of DT, it’s generally recommended that people detox from alcohol in a supervised setting like an inpatient treatment program. But going to an inpatient program isn’t realistic for everyone, and it’s not the only option.
Detoxing from Alcohol on an Outpatient Basis
Detoxing from alcohol without going to an inpatient treatment program isn’t ideal, and it’s difficult for many people. However, it can be done. Look for a program that will help you detox on an outpatient basis instead.
This is a better option than self-detoxing for a couple of reasons. First, it’s safer and can make your withdrawals less uncomfortable. You’ll still have some medical supervision and the medical professional who evaluates you may be able to prescribe medication that will help you get through withdrawals more easily. Second, attending an outpatient program still gives you some accountability to others, though not as much as an inpatient program would provide. You’re less likely to relapse when you have to report your progress to someone outside the house every day.
If attending a recovery program really isn’t an option for you, you can detox at home. It’s not recommended, but it’s possible. If you try this, make sure to ask someone to stay at home with you for several days, just in case your symptoms become severe. You should not attempt to detox without supervision if you drink heavily or have been addicted to alcohol for years.
What Does Outpatient Detox Entail?
When you choose an outpatient alcohol detox program, you’ll go through most of your withdrawals at home. However, you’ll check in with a medical professional every day to ensure that you are not in any danger physically. The doctor who oversees your detox may prescribe you medication to help you get through the worst of your symptoms. You may be able to participate in group therapy and aftercare programs as part of an outpatient treatment plan.
In some ways, choosing an outpatient program gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re detoxing safely, but you don’t necessarily have to take time off work or school to recover. If your alcohol addiction is severe, though, an inpatient program may be a safer and more effective choice for you. Call us today at 800-411-8019 to learn more about your options for getting sober and living a more vibrant life without alcohol.