Because of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms that can develop during detox, outpatient detox is risky. However, there are some clinics that offer this method detoxing from alcohol to their patients.
Some outpatient clinics offer detox themselves, or they may refer the patient to an actual detox center. Detox should begin fairly quickly after the person has consumed his or her last drink. The patient will be assessed for the type of detox that will work for them. Most of the time, this will be in the form of medications. The outpatient detox center will prescribe certain medications that are to be taken at home.
What is Outpatient Alcohol Detox Like?
The actual detox process will not begin in the outpatient clinic. It can take several hours before symptoms start to become apparent. Patients will generally start to experience symptoms within the first eight hours. The medications may eliminate some of the more serious symptoms.
Patients will be instructed to return to the clinic on a regular basis; most likely, daily. They should be given a phone number to call in the event of an emergency situation. This might involve any signs of the development of DTs. They will be monitored closely, and then referred to an outpatient rehab at the right time. This is generally once most of their withdrawal symptoms have subsided.
During outpatient alcohol detox, patients will also be educated on addiction. They may work one-on-one with a counselor, or they may work in a group setting. Patients are often advised to begin attending a 12 Step program right away. This also helps to prepare them for the treatment that is to come.