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Outpatient Alcohol Programs

Outpatient alcohol programs are those which don’t require you to live at the rehab facility all the time during your treatment.  Alcoholic patients are able to leave the property, stay at home, attend to work or study & family responsibilities and come back to attend the treatment program.

Quality outpatient alcohol programs will contain the same elements as the full time, inpatient, residential treatment centres – individual addictions counselling, lectures and group therapy.  Outpatients rehabilitation is usually held in the evenings or on weekends, which allows you to continue living life with minimal disruption.

Why consider outpatient alcohol programs? 

For some people it is simply not possible to postpone their outside responsibilities while they are in inpatient rehab.  A single parent might not be able to find somebody able to look after the children, or a businessman might fear financial problems if he is not available to manage his business.

Whatever the reason if you feel that you want help with your alcoholism but don’t need 24 hour supervision then perhaps outpatient alcohol programs are for you.  You should also make sure that you will be able to handle the detox from alcohol without medical help.  It can be unpleasant to deal with the shakes and anxiety that accompanies stopping drinking and many alcoholics relapse during this phase.

Outpatient alcohol rehab is more for those people who have ‘abuse’ rather than ‘addiction’ to alcohol. You will be tested regularly and if you drink while on an outpatient alcohol program you may be asked to rather transfer to an inpatient or residential program.

Ensuring your success in outpatient alcohol programs

Clients who are on outpatient alcohol programs will be required to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.  This is a fellowship that offers free support meetings for recovering alcoholics.  It is one of the most widely recognized support groups for this disease and many doctors and other clinicians strongly recommend regular attendance.

At AA the principle idea is that one alcoholic can help another.  Their members are given support by other members if they feel the need to drink.  In particular each member is encouraged to enlist the services of a more experienced member to become a ‘sponsor’.  This is not a financial sponsor, but rather somebody who has experience in working the program and can offer direction and advice.  Patients of outpatient alcohol programs are recommended to continue combining the professional help they receive from the addiction treatment consultants and attendance at AA after completing their rehab.

Another way to ensure success in outpatient alcohol programs is to remove the presence of alcohol from your home and work place.  This makes sense because as an outpatient you will be spending most of your time away from the centre.  You don’t want to expose yourself to easy temptation so make sure that you toss out the booze!

Your level of participation in outpatient alcohol programs is another key factor in determining the success of your treatment.  Some people are referred to treatment by courts, for example as a result of a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.  Even if you are not in treatment entirely of your own accord please try to approach it with an open mind.  If you give yourself over to the suggestions and learn the techniques taught you stand a much higher chance of not relapsing on alcohol and having to repeat the treatment process.

What makes outpatient alcohol programs successful?

The quality of any rehab program is determined by a number of factors that may be hard to quantify.  Staff competency, the worksheets used, the length of treatment, and the willingness of the patient to change their behaviour all play a part in the effectiveness of a program.

If your drinking is out of control and you are finding it impossible to stop independently please contact one of our addiction treatment specialists today.

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