What is Outpatient Alcohol Rehab?

In this article, we answer some of your questions relating to outpatient addiction treatment. Unlike residential rehab, outpatient addiction treatment does not require you to leave your home in order to receive this particular treatment.

Below, we seek to offer our definition of outpatient addiction treatment. We then outline the specific types of outpatient addiction treatment. We list a number of reasons why you may opt for outpatient rehab over residential rehab, and we then outline what goes into a typical outpatient programme.

The definition of an outpatient programme

Outpatient includes the word ‘out’ because you return home at the conclusion of each treatment session. Thus, outpatient treatment does not prevent you from carrying out your responsibilities such as childcare or going to work whist you undertake this sort of treatment programme.

Below, we shall discuss the advantages and disadvantages of outpatient treatment. We shall particularly emphasise how outpatient treatment stacks up against residential rehab.

What are the different types of outpatient treatments?

There does not exist any ‘definitive’ form of outpatient treatment. The term ‘outpatient treatment’ is an umbrella term for many diverse forms of addiction treatment. The type of outpatient treatment that’s most suited to your needs will depend on a number of factors such as your budget, the amount of time you have available to invest in your treatment and the availability of outpatient treatment in your local area.

Below, we list some of the more common types of outpatient addiction treatment that’s commonly available throughout the United Kingdom:

  • Addiction counselling and therapy: both outpatient therapy and counselling help you identify the emotional causes of your addiction. It’s common for outpatient counselling and therapy to be offered as follow-up aftercare after the conclusion of residential rehab treatment
  • Intensive outpatient: this form of treatment typically takes place within a structured and supervised environment that’s similar to residential rehab. You will, however, return home during the evening. The focus is on helping you build up the tools needed to avoid relapse and to make the necessary lifestyle changes that are needed for your recovery to take place
  • Hospitalisation on an outpatient basis: this is a common option in the United Kingdom due to slashes in the NHS’s budget relating to addiction treatment. Here, you will attend the hospital for 2-3 days a week for around 3-5 hours per session

When should I consider outpatient treatment?

We generally recommend outpatient treatment for people suffering from less severe forms of addiction. If you feel your addiction has developed over the last few months, then it’s likely you could succeed by attending an outpatient treatment programme. However, if your addiction has existed for more than a year, then we typically recommend you undertake treatment at a residential rehab.

Under all circumstances, we only recommend outpatient treatment when you have available a solid support network in place. This could include having in place a supportive spouse or other family members who will assist you during the course of your outpatient treatment. If you do not have access to this level of support, then we generally recommend that you avoid outpatient treatment.

We also recommend outpatient treatment for people who have attended a residential rehab but who may now be struggling to abstain from abusing substances or certain behaviours.

Outpatient treatment is considered a must for people leaving residential rehab. This form of outpatient treatment is formally known as aftercare. In this situation, outpatient treatment helps you sustain your recovery. In fact, we do not recommend residential rehab that does not offer aftercare as part of the core treatment programme.

It is also worth mentioning the fact that outpatient treatment is much cheaper than residential rehab, at least in terms of upfront costs. Residential rehab typically costs several thousand pounds upfront, whereas the cost of outpatient treatment is spread over many months. Whilst it is true that the total cost of outpatient treatment spread over many months may exceed the cost of residential rehab, it’s also true that residential rehab will require a much steeper initial financial investment.

Thus, your ability to receive the benefits of outpatient treatment really depends on your current situation. If your addiction is severe, then it’s likely that outpatient treatment is not recommendable because you will require a medically assisted detox in a residential rehab clinic.

Considering the severity of your addiction

As mentioned above, we do not recommend outpatient treatment when your addiction is sufficiently severe. You may wonder what qualifies as ‘sufficiently severe’. Below, we offer some guidance in accurately answering this important question:

  1. You begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when your drug of choice is withdrawn
  2. A GP or other medical professional has advised you not to stop using drugs or alcohol without medical supervision
  3. You have experienced suicidal thoughts in the last two-week period
  4. You are addicted to a physically addictive substance such as alcohol, opiates or benzodiazepines
  5. Your addiction has existed for more than 12 months

If you answered yes to at least one of the above guidelines, then it’s likely that your needs will be much better served from the confines of a residential rehab clinic.

What happens during an outpatient addiction treatment programme?

Due to the many broadly different forms of outpatient treatment, this question is impossible to definitely answer in the space we have available to us here. However, we do provide some general guidelines on what you should expect when you begin an outpatient addiction treatment programme.

The typical outpatient programme runs for around 1-6 months. It’s even possible to attend programmes of an indefinite duration. Programmes of this nature are offered via Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Some outpatient treatment providers will offer cutting-edge therapy techniques that are often exclusively associated with residential rehab. These techniques include cognitive behaviour therapy, motivational interviewing, group therapy, one-to-one therapy, 12-step work, family therapy and psychotherapy.

Is outpatient treatment tailored to my needs?

The answer to this question is yes. All outpatient treatment programmes we recommend are fully personalised to your needs. A full treatment contract will be drawn up at the beginning of your treatment to reflect this fact. Depending on your circumstances, it’s likely you will require a blended treatment plan to include medications, clinical support, therapy and counselling and family therapy.

Locating outpatient treatment near me

To help you determine the suitability of outpatient addiction treatment for your needs, we offer you a free assessment. You can contact us for free on 0800 111 4108 in order to begin this assessment today. We then advise you on outpatient treatment providers in your local area.

We recommend that you read through the above questions and answers carefully. If you require further information, contact our advisors today and for free on 0800 111 4108.  Alternatively, you may also contact us through this website and a member of our team will respond shortly.