5 Things to Expect from Your Outpatient Alcohol Rehab

Outpatient Alcohol Rehab

An outpatient program differs from an inpatient program in that the addict is not required to check into the facility as they undergo rehabilitation. Its main advantage is that it is a more convenient option for those who have responsibilities to attend to.

The advantage of the inpatient program is that it shields the addict from external triggers and influences. It cuts off easy access to drugs and limits influences from friends or family. It is considered to be a more suitable option for people who have had a severe case of alcoholism. Here’s what to expect from an outpatient alcohol rehab.

Initial Assessment

Before the outpatient program begins the addict has to be assessed first. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the extent of the addict’s addiction and to establish if there are underlying psychological issues.  

This assessment will determine the type of treatment the patient will receive as they are undergoing recovery at the alcoholic rehab centers. The staff at the rehab center will review the patient’s medical history and also conduct a number of tests to establish the patient’s physiological and psychological profile.

Withdrawal and Detox

Detox is one of the first stages that the patient will go through once they check into rehab. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Many people avoid going into rehab because they are afraid the withdrawal symptoms may be too much to bear. This is particularly true if the addict has tried to quit “cold turkey.”

Medical detox is performed and the severity of the addict and his medical history is kept in mind during this stage. The purpose of medical detox is to safely remove chemicals and toxins from the body, to prepare the addict from a life free of drugs.

Alcohol can be a risky substance to withdraw cold turkey, particularly for heavy drinkers. It can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as cardiac arrest and even death. Opiate withdrawal is not as dangerous but it can have painful withdrawal symptoms. An addict is given medication to remove harmful chemicals from the body and to reduce the severity of some of these symptoms of withdrawal.


Professional alcoholic rehab centers view addiction as an illness that can be treated using scientifically tested methods. These professional facilities continually update their strategies based on new scientific developments in treating substance abuse and alcoholism.

One-On-One Therapy

Most outpatient programs have individual therapy sessions that they require their patients to attend several times a week. Trained staff conducts the sessions. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is one of the therapies used in individual counseling sessions. CBT is designed to find the cognitive pathways that triggered addiction or cause the underlying mental issues.

Family Therapy

People struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism are encouraged to join a family therapy session when they get into an outpatient program. It has been shown to be particularly useful in helping teenagers with a substance abuse or alcohol problem. Addicts undergoing the outpatient program need the support of the family to stay away from drugs and other influences in their immediate environment at home.

Group Sessions

Addicts can benefit from the experiences of other addicts who are already undergoing treatment for their addiction. The sessions are conducted by qualified professionals, who encourage addicts to share their experiences and ways of overcoming their addiction.


Outpatient programs should have an aftercare program for those who have already undergone rehabilitation. This helps to reduce chances of a relapse. It may involve individual counseling sessions as well as group sessions. It may also include providing vocational training to help addicts start a new life after recovery.

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