Alcohol addiction is often misunderstood. Some people drink a glass of wine a day and never develop an addiction to it. Others can do the same with beer. You may be different. You may be experiencing trouble limiting your alcohol intake. That’s not as uncommon a problem as you may think.
Alcohol Use Disorder
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that 14.4 million people over the age of 18 have an alcohol use disorder. These are individuals who may need professional help to stop using alcohol. You may not need to enter into a detox or inpatient program to get help. Outpatient therapy may be beneficial to you.
What Is Outpatient Therapy for Alcohol?
Outpatient therapy is addiction treatment that allows you to live at home while still receiving counseling and other therapies on an intense schedule, often several times a week.
Could Outpatient Therapy Be Right for You?
Not everyone should consider outpatient care. Some people may be unable to recover without round-the-clock care in a location away from their current environment. If you’ve used alcohol for a long time or are a heavy drinker, you may require detox services.
But if your addiction is less severe and your detox mild–or if you’ve already been through a residential treatment program and would like continued care–outpatient therapy may be just what you need.
To know whether outpatient care might work for you, consider the following:
1. Do you have a safe home environment?
This is one of the most important factors in determining if outpatient therapy is right for you. A safe home environment should:
- Be drug- and alcohol-free.
- Offer stable support.
- Not have too many triggers that could lead you to want to drink.
- Provide you with access to healthy meals.
- Be shared with people you trust to support your goals.
With a safe home environment, you can feel good about coming into a facility for outpatient care.
2. Are you committed to no longer drinking?
Addiction is not just a mental decision. It is also a physical one. That is, your body and brain may be dependent on alcohol. Physical dependence makes it very hard for you to stop using on your own. Even if you have a strong commitment to stop using, you may still fall victim to alcohol because your brain depends on it to function.
If you don’t have strong cravings or withdrawal symptoms, outpatient therapy may work well for you. If not, you may need to enter a monitored detox program followed by inpatient care.
3. How hard would it be to leave your job or other obligations?
Some people find it easier to take a break from family and friends. They move into a residential therapy program for a set number of weeks to focus on themselves. Others have a harder time leaving home, for a variety of reasons.
If you want to live at home so you can continue to work, it may be a good idea to consider outpatient care. That works well as long as you still dedicate time to working on yourself in addiction therapy.
4. Are you worried you can’t afford residential treatment?
While finances should not be the biggest decision-maker for you, the cost of treatment can be difficult for many people, especially those without insurance. If you, like many others, want to keep costs down, and if all of the above criteria fit your situation, then outpatient therapy can help you.
Generally speaking, outpatient care costs less than inpatient care. It may also be covered by your health insurance.
5. Do you want to include family and friends in counseling?
Many inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities offer family education and support. The extent to which the family can be involved depends on the facility. Family therapy can help with many aspects of addiction, such as:
- Working through feelings of blame
- Facing past trauma
- Overcoming communication problems
- Teaching loved ones about your addiction
- Learning how to live with addiction within your home
Making the Decision to Get Help
At the end of the day, outpatient therapy provides many men and women with effective alcohol addiction treatment, including one-on-one support and guidance as you work on getting and staying sober. Outpatient therapy allows you to learn how to manage addiction within your lifestyle–a key advantage for many people. Our recovery mentors at DK Solutions can help you decide whether outpatient therapy is right for you.