The detoxification process can be a frightening, sometimes-dangerous ordeal, especially if those suffering from a substance use disorder (SUD) try to brave it themselves. The physical, emotional, and mental struggles can discourage people from wanting to detox, ultimately lengthening the dependence on substance use.
However, those looking to live a sober life don’t have to do it alone. Once the decision to start the recovery process is initiated, individuals must decide between inpatient or outpatient detox. With the right treatment plan, individuals can complete the detox process.
What Is Detox?
The detox process is characterized by emptying the body of substances to recalibrate internal systems. According to a 1998 article by Motoi Hayashida on “An Overview of Outpatient and Inpatient Detox,” published in Alcohol Health and Research World, detoxification objectives include relieving onset withdrawal symptoms and treating existing medical or psychiatric circumstances.
The goal of removing toxic substances from the bloodstream is to prepare clients for long-term treatment, encourage them to maintain a substance-free state, and incorporate positive influences to ensure prolonged success in sobriety.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Detox
Inpatient and outpatient detox usually consist of the same overall purpose, but the two differ in the environment and regulatory practices.
- Inpatient detox: During inpatient detox, clients go through intake procedures at a hospital or other medical facility and normally stay for 5 to 14 days, depending on the severity of substance dependence.
- Outpatient detox: Outpatient detox (OPD) also entails traveling to a medical facility for treatment. However, clients opting for OPD usually do not require an overnight stay in a hospital or facility and are instead able to return home. Outpatient detox can occur for around the same timeframe as inpatient detox; however, OPD normally ranges from 15 to 30-minute sessions, with initial meetings extending to 1 to 2 hours.
Both inpatient and outpatient detox requires active commitment. Treatment is done in conjunction with therapy and counseling. However, intake procedures, detoxification, and treatment plans may vary depending on the treatment facility.
Is Outpatient Detox Safe?
Because of the secure, 24-hour monitoring of inpatient detox, outpatient detox can seem like a less-safe method for overcoming withdrawal symptoms. However, OPD is just as safe as inpatient care.
Clients are closely supervised while in treatment, regardless of the inpatient or outpatient detox specifications. Due to the contained environment, the level of supervision and possible reliance on hospital staff is higher for inpatients.
OPD Is Effective for Mild to Moderate Symptoms
OPD encourages clients to take the initiative and be motivated when continuing treatment, as it requires physical travel between the medical facility and the client’s home.
OPD can be the most optimal treatment for persons suffering from mild-to-moderate withdrawal symptoms.
Mild-to-moderate symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of appetite
Mild-to-moderate symptoms can be manageable, but it requires being honest and open while going through withdrawal. Active communication helps medical professionals and facilities manage people’s discomfort and creates a more comprehensive awareness of possible side effects or underlying health issues.
Detox facilities can work in tandem, with clients having resources and referral access to local inpatient or outpatient services. Clients who select long-term outpatient treatment after detox may benefit from attending the same or a joint treatment facility.
The transition from detox to longstanding rehabilitation is made easier by clients remaining under the “umbrella” of the treatment and expertise they have already received. Patients’ important information and experiences during detox are communicated to the adjoining rehab setting, and medical professionals can effectively welcome outpatients and create treatment plans based on the provided data.
Benefits of Outpatient Detox
There are many advantages to outpatient detox. For one, OPD is typically more cost-effective when compared to inpatient detox, as outpatients incur fewer treatment costs. Outpatient allows more freedom and flexibility; it also helps ease those who have completed the detox process back into normalcy.
Continue Everday Activity
Employment, social commitments, and relationships usually go unhindered when people decide to go through outpatient detox and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). In fact, according to Hayashida (1998), “Most outpatients [tend to] experience greater social support than inpatients,” with the exception of those experiencing problematic personal and professional circumstances.
The tools and education garnered by clients during detox and IOP should reflect their experiences in and out of treatment. Clients should be able to actively apply parts of their treatment plans to their day-to-day lives. Having a healthy foundation is paramount in the recovery process, as it is key to long-lasting sobriety.
The detoxification process can be an overwhelming and stressful procedure, but it doesn’t have to be. Acute withdrawal symptoms tend to make people hesitant to start and finish detox. Outpatient detox may be the best treatment plan for clients looking for a more cost-effective option that allows more freedom and flexibility during the withdrawal timeline. At Vanity Wellness Center, we understand how uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can be, and we aim to provide a full-spectrum outpatient detox that makes the process less challenging. Our OPD procedures are tailored to the individual and allow clients to detox from the comfort of their homes. Our medical professionals will provide a thorough examination to help you overcome difficulties you may experience elsewhere. When you reach out for help, you embark on the path to a healthier, substance-free life. To learn if outpatient detox is right for you, call us today at (866) 587-1737.