Alcohol Outpatient Treatment Questions
Am I addicted?
The boarder line between drug abuse and drug addiction can be rather slight, like crossing the border between one U.S. state and another. The individual’s physical and psychological makeup will determine exactly where that border is. We will start with a medical explanation of addiction.
Preoccupation with USE!
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Drug dependence is characterized by impaired control over the drug, preoccupation with use, continued use despite negative consequence, and sometimes evidence of physical dependence on the drug.
Various factors, such as your personality, your genetic makeup and peer pressure, affect your likelihood of becoming addicted to a drug. In addition, some drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, more quickly produce a physical addiction than other drugs do for many people.
“Physical addiction appears to occur when repeated use of a drug alters reward pathways in your brain. The addicting drug causes physical changes to some nerve cells (neurons) in your brain. Neurons use chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate.
Neurons release neurotransmitters into the gaps (synapses) between nerve cells; neurotransmitters are received by receptors on other neurons and on their own cell bodies.
The changes that occur in this communication process vary with the type of drug to which you're addicted, though researchers have discovered that addictive drugs, such as cocaine and morphine, affect some areas of the brain in the same manner.
If further research confirms findings such as this, it would be possible to develop more effective medications to combat addiction to more than one drug.”
In simpler terms, addiction is when you lose control over the drug.
It controls you.
You crave the drug, and you center your thoughts on getting the drug, using the drug and getting more drug.
It is no longer a choice that you can overcome with will power. As the drug takes control over a person’s life, they lose interest in life’s activities, personal relationships other than the ones with fellow users, and the person ignores any health, social or legal consequences.
If you believe you are addicted and asking this question, you are far better off than many addicts. We encourage you to seek help.
Alcohol Outpatient Treatment is usually a daily program at a treatment center or hospital that provides most of the same services as inpatient programs but you go home a night rather than stay at the center.
The treatment can include individual therapy, group therapy, detox treatment, and many other programs to meet the needs of a recovering alcoholic.
But because it is done on an "outpatient basis the patient must control their use on their own. That's why the success rate for outpatient programs is MUCH lower than inpatient. Relapse is common and many stop the program once they start using.
There are many things to keep in mind when choosing a treatment approach. Foremost is the fact that everybody has an individual need and treatment programs must be tailored to meet that need. One size fits all does not apply.
Recovery needs to take place in the right setting, with the right services and treatments to best effect a positive outcome.
Even if a person does not voluntarily check-in to a treatment program, it does not mean the treatment will be ineffective. Many people present themselves for treatment by court order, not of their own free will, and can receive the same benefit as those who are there voluntarily.
When a person is ready for treatment it is important for that treatment to be ready for him/her. Services must be available, because if a person has to endure being put on a waiting list, or has to drive long distances to receive treatment, the odds are against them from the get go.
It’s easy for people to fall between the cracks if help is not readily available.
In many cases, people entering treatment need to go through medical detoxification. While it is an important first step in the treatment program, detox is not the whole answer to the problem. People need to get the drugs out of their system, but that does not address the long-term problems of addiction.
Must meet your needs!
Alcohol Outpatient Treatment programs need to meet the needs of people, beyond the physical and emotional addiction problem itself. We are body, mind and spirit. Intervention that does not include all of a person’s needs falls short of the minimum goal of the program.
Alcohol addiction is as much about the spirit as it is about the mind and body. Many addicts going into recovery has legal problems to sort out, job problems, social integration problems. Every aspect of the person’s life needs to be addressed.
Needs change and Alcohol Outpatient treatment programs need to change as those needs change. Progress or the lack of progress needs to be assessed on an ongoing basis.
What was necessary in the first phases of treatment may need to be changed as time goes on. Perhaps a patient is on medication initially, but will later require counseling or psychotherapy. There may be family matters to work through, or vocational training.
For more answers to Alcohol Outpatient Treatment questions go to Treatment
Summary of Alcohol Outpatient Treatment
Alcohol Outpatient Treatment can be effective to help the alcoholic stop drinking if he/she are truly committed to the program and can refrain from drinking. For some, inpatient is required to detox and keep the alcoholic from having any access to it so that they can "learn" how to live without drinking.
Alcohol Outpatient Treatment usually includes a 12 step program so that the patient can have long-term support for recovery even after they have successfully completed the outpatient process.