Outpatient Alcohol Detox Programs

Outpatient alcohol detox programs allow some people to detox from alcohol at home. These programs are not right for everyone, and they do not provide the same level of care as inpatient programs.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Outpatient programs for alcohol detox are best for people who are not going through serious withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.

Since alcohol withdrawal can be so intense, detox often needs to happen at an inpatient treatment facility.

Sometimes, if someone is very unlikely to go through serious withdrawal, and they have a stable home environment with supportive family members and loved ones, outpatient detox may suffice.

How Does Outpatient Alcohol Detox Work?

Outpatient detox works very similarly to outpatient treatment for alcohol addiction.

Instead of living full-time at a treatment center for a period of time, outpatient detox involves visiting a treatment center each day for a short period of time, then returning home.

Daily visits to the rehab center usually involve checking on withdrawal symptoms and monitoring the client’s condition.

Medications, supplements, and nutritional recommendations might be given to the client to implement at home.

Withdrawal from alcohol can be very intense, especially after a long period of alcohol abuse. For this reason, outpatient detox is not for everyone.

Treatments Available In Outpatient Alcohol Detox

Most of the same treatments are available in outpatient alcohol detox as in inpatient detox. The difference is that without full-time medical monitoring (“medical detox”), the risk is higher.

The following treatments and interventions may be included in outpatient detox:

  • medications such as benzodiazepines to help with symptoms
  • medications such as naltrexone to help with cravings
  • supplements
  • vitamins
  • nutritional advice
  • daily check-ups at a rehab center and adjustments to the treatment plan

How Long Does An Outpatient Alcohol Detox Program Last?

The detox process looks different for everyone. People who are recommended to take part in outpatient detox usually will have less severe withdrawal symptoms.

In general, outpatient detox lasts around a week. It could go on for anywhere between three to 14 days.

It is important to remember that alcohol detoxification is only the first step in an addiction treatment plan for alcohol abuse.

Alcohol treatment may continue for months or years after detox. If outpatient detoxification is successful, inpatient rehab may not be needed, and the client may be able to continue with an outpatient rehab program.

This is usually true for people with only mild alcohol use disorders who do not have a long history of alcohol addiction.

Risks Of Outpatient Alcohol Detox

Alcohol withdrawal can be severe and even life-threatening. It is sometimes unpredictable. Therefore, there is always some risk involved in outpatient detox.

Inpatient alcohol detox is a form of hospitalization. This environment is much safer because clients are constantly monitored by healthcare professionals.

If severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens develop, hospitalization is necessary.

This is why outpatient alcohol detox is only for people who have a strong support system at home and are unlikely to have severe withdrawal.

Treatment Options For Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol addiction is a serious and life-threatening substance use disorder. Alcohol abuse usually requires treatment at a certified treatment center.

The best alcohol abuse treatment programs provide a seamless transition from detox into the recovery process. Treatments such as group therapy and medication-assisted treatment have been proven to work.

Find Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

Bedrock Recovery Center is a state-of-the-art rehab center located just outside Boston, MA. We offer alcohol treatment programs in addition to drug rehab plans.

At Bedrock, we believe that each client should have a treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs. We prioritize evidence-based treatments and aftercare planning to give our clients the best chance at making a long-term recovery.

Are you ready to start your recovery journey? Call our helpline today to learn more about our alcohol detox programs and other offerings.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states/types-treatment-programs
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://store.samhsa.gov/product/TIP-45-Detoxification-and-Substance-Abuse-Treatment/SMA15-4131
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions
  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000764.htm

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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