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What to Expect in Outpatient Alcohol Treatment

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Recovering in an outpatient program may include counseling, group therapy, and more.

Alcohol abuse can take over a person’s life but many of those who suffer from alcohol addiction are unwilling to give up their lives for recovery. It is because of this reluctance that many patients opt for outpatient alcohol abuse treatment programs. Instead of committing themselves to a 24/7 rehabilitation clinic where they have to give up their work, their personal lives, and their family, they can get treatment that can be worked into their existing schedule. Many people don’t know how outpatient alcohol treatment works so they often avoid treatment completely; however, there are many options available to those who want to try out patient treatment.

Treatment Options

There are many types of outpatient treatment programs including: day treatment programs, group therapy sessions, or individual therapy sessions. Day treatment programs are ideal for those who suffer from a more intense or long term addiction. These programs have many levels of treatment and often provide a wide variety of hours and days that treatment is administered.

Usually treatment sessions can last anywhere between 2-4 hours and are usually done over a period of several days during the week. Those participating in these programs can usually pick the days and times that will work best for them.

For those who have started coming to terms with their addiction or have made it through an addiction program, group therapy sessions are sometimes a better fit. Group therapy sessions provide patients with other individuals who are in similar circumstances and gives them a support network to rely on. Many people immediately think of large group meeting sessions like Alcoholics Anonymous; however, there are other options available.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, smaller group therapy usually composed of two or more people are far more effective than larger groups like AA.
These small groups can meet much more often and usually incur little to no cost.

For some patients, more than two people can be too many. They prefer individual therapy sessions, which are usually given after a person has completed an in house rehabilitation program. Individual therapy is sometimes considered less effective due to the fact that the patient lacks a like minded support system; however, therapists and counselors are equipped with tools to help their patients effectively.

Effectiveness of Treatment

Those who participate in outpatient alcohol treatment are more likely to remain sober than those who don’t participate in any treatment or to those who go straight from inpatient treatment into the world. Because outpatient treatment programs focus on creating a support network and helping the patient learn to identify risks in their daily environment, it allows patients to better adapt to the challenges around them. Patients who work with medical personnel for their outpatient treatment are usually assessed on an individual basis on a consistent basis by clinical staff that can better understand the day to day tasks that each person faces and adjust the outpatient treatment as needed.

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