Why Is Outpatient Detox Beneficial?

doctor taking patients blood pressure

If you are struggling with addiction or dependence on substances such as pain medication, benzos or heroin, trying to stop using can feel impossible. One of the biggest barriers to getting off these drugs is the withdrawal period. Even though you may want badly to quit, the symptoms of detoxing are so severe that they interfere with normal life. It is hard to go to work, take care of family or even perform the most basic tasks when you are in the midst of withdrawals.

This issue can keep people stuck in the vicious cycle of using for years, even though they desperately want out. It can seem like there is no good solution. If you or someone you know is struggling, there is a way out. Detox clinics can help.

Types Of Detox Services

There are two main types of detox services: Inpatient detox, and outpatient detox. Just as it sounds, inpatient detox involves checking into a detox facility that provides round the clock care. The time frame for an inpatient detox varies anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on the program.

In detox, you will be assessed, your vitals taken and the detox process will be monitored. You may be given medication to aid in the detox process that will help you be more comfortable. The type of medication will depend on what type of drug you are dependent on, how much you were taking, and for how long.

Typically, people who are very dependent on alcohol will be prescribed medication to help their withdrawal symptoms, and monitored closely. For some people, detoxing from alcohol can be dangerous without medical supervision. This also goes for detoxing off benzos. Benzos are highly addictive and tolerance develops quickly. Examples of benzos include Xanax, Ativan and Valium. If you are addicted to these substances you should always seek out medical help before quitting on your own.

For people detoxing from opiates, the same process applies, however in many detox facilities, the patient is prescribed a replacement drug, such as buprenorphine or methadone. The dosage is tapered down over a period of time and then finally discontinued. This strategy helps minimize withdrawal symptoms.

In outpatient detox, there is far less monitoring. You will be assessed, undergo an intake process and will be assigned a counselor who will work with you to create a treatment plan, just like inpatient detox. However, you will not be staying. Instead, you will go to the outpatient facility daily to check in, and if applicable, receive any medication.

What Are The Advantages Of Outpatient Detox?

Physical dependence on drugs can feel like a prison. You want to stop, but you just can’t seem to. Outpatient detox offers a way out of that prison and still allows you to live your life, to go to work, to care for your family.

You will detox over a period of days or weeks. With opiates, the length of time it takes to completely taper off your opiate replacement will depend on you and your counselor. There are many variables, and each person’s physiology and circumstances are different.

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Is Outpatient Detox Right For You?

Outpatient detox is not right for everyone. In some cases, inpatient is the best option, and the safest. Opiate replacement therapy is very effective, but you have to be willing and able to adhere to the program, and this means not using. As part of the detox program, you will be regularly tested to determine if you are using drugs, and if it is found that you are, you may be dismissed from the program.

Outpatient detox works best for people who are highly motivated to stop using substances and have the ability to show up at their appointed times, follow the guidelines of the facility and take their replacement medication as directed.

Addiction Vs. Dependence

While detox is important, it only addresses the physical dependence on substances. For some people, such as those who have inadvertently become dependent on pain meds, for example, this may be sufficient. However, if you have become addicted, or psychologically dependent on drugs or alcohol, then detox alone will not be sufficient to kick the habit. People who are addicted may go through detox numerous times just to go back to using within days, weeks or months. The addiction must also be addressed in order to successfully overcome the problem and stay off drugs long-term.

 Other Services Provided By Outpatient Detox

Fortunately, most detox facilities also provide help with addiction. Your counselor will be able to help determine whether you would benefit from addiction services. You will meet with your counselor regularly, and he or she can suggest strategies to help you remain free of opiates or whatever substance you are detoxing from. This may include participating in 12 step meetings, an intensive outpatient program or even an inpatient rehab after you have completed detox.

In addition, most outpatient detox clinics can refer clients to other agencies that can assist with counseling, housing and job assistance or other types of assistance, and can also provide testing for HIV and Hepatitis C.

Help Finding An Outpatient Detox

If you are struggling with dependence on alcohol, opiates or benzos, and you are ready to be free, outpatient detox can help you. For more information, and to locate a detox center near you, contact Recovery Hub 888-220-4352 and speak to a friendly, knowledgeable representative who can connect you with the help you need.

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