Is It Possible to Treat Alcohol Withdrawal on an Outpatient Basis?

The traditional stereotype of alcohol withdrawal treatment program puts a patient under the watchful eye of a team of doctors, bright lights and needles. Fortunately, this image of alcohol treatment centers is no longer the representation of the way that professionals cure their patients.

Today, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are treated as holistic problems instead of a preventable disease. Older methods of treatment tended to place blame on individuals. Bedside manner was reduced to trying to force behavioral changes from people. This was a strategy that had mixed results.

When alcohol treatment centers decided to move alcohol withdrawal treatment into a more holistic space, outpatient withdrawal treatment became a much more viable option. In some cases, patients performed better under the more flexible conditions of an outpatient program. Medical professionals were finally able to address the idiosyncrasies of the individual when assessing him as a unique patient rather than another case of a particular disease.

So what advantages are there to holistic outpatient withdrawal treatment? Let’s take a look at some of the most important things.

Keeping a Normal Life

Clients who adhere to an outpatient alcohol withdrawal treatment program have the ability to live their own lives. Patients can continue working, going to school and socializing. For some people, disruptions would cause more problems and addictive behavior, not less.

Creating a Flexible Healing Program

An outpatient program recognizes that each individual heals on his own terms. No matter how well equipped and well staffed they are, alcohol treatment centers can only do so much. The true healing in a patient begins when that patient makes a personal decision to change his life.

More Privacy

Certain patients respond to having privacy better than others. If maintaining privacy is an important part of a person’s emotional makeup, then they will probably perform much better under an outpatient program. Under an inpatient program, patients are required to report to doctors at certain times. Meals and showers may sometimes only be taken during certain hours. The patient also has to let family members, friends and business associates know where he is. If can often be quite embarrassing for a person to admit that he is checked into a treatment center with alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Faster Application

The lessons that a client learns can be immediately used in the real world in an outpatient program. As a matter of fact, this becomes an essential part of the program. Many people learn better through application than through theory. Any patient who fits this description will probably perform more efficiently under the auspices of an outpatient plan.

Equivalent Treatment Quality

Contrary to popular belief, the treatment quality of an outpatient plan for alcohol withdrawal symptoms is just as good as an inpatient program, all else being equal. Although a person on an inpatient plan has closer proximity to certain treatments and doctors, there is actually no treatment that is used in house that cannot be given in an outpatient capacity. The improvements in medical technology over the past few years have increased the connection between doctors, pharmacists and patients. Now that everyone can reach anyone anywhere, there is less of a reason for a patient to go through an inpatient treatment if it is not the preferred methodology.

More Affordable Care

Outpatient treatment programs for alcohol withdrawal symptoms are far less expensive than inpatient treatment programs. Patients save on housing, food, ER stays, clinic fees and a great deal of the additional overhead that often comes with an inpatient stay (even a short stay).

Who Should Use Outpatient Care?

Even with the many advantages of outpatient care gives to patients, family decision makers should consider the following points when deciding on outpatient care.
• Does the patient have multiple conditions? If so, then an inpatient diagnosis may be the best option.
• Has there been a recent physical episode? This patient may want to stay in closer proximity to doctors and treatments at the center until he is stabilized.
• Has the patient responded better to a controlled environment in the past? This is a client that may thrive in an inpatient capacity until he receives techniques to take into the real world.
• Is there an environment that is causing some sort of addictive behavior? If the patient is exhibiting addictive behavior because of problems at home, then a change of environment may be in order. This is a time that inpatient care may benefit.

Considering all of the available techniques that are proven today, it is very possible to treat an alcohol withdrawal case on an outpatient basis. All patients should be made aware of all of their choices before making a commitment.

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