What to Expect in an Outpatient Detox

patient and doctor

What Is Outpatient Detox?

Everyone’s addiction journey is unique. No two journeys are the same. So not everyone requires residential treatment. Outpatient detox is a non-residential care option. It is specifically designed for people who have obligations for work, school, or family life. For a person struggling with addiction, outpatient detox offers the therapeutic attention needed to create a successful treatment plan. At the same time, outpatient detox offers the freedom to integrate one’s treatment plan into one’s life.

What Is Withdrawal?

Withdrawal occurs when an addicted person stops using a certain drug. It refers to the effects on their body and mind that result from the absence of the drug. Sometimes these effects are mild, as with marijuana. Someone withdrawing from marijuana might experience some irritability, but will likely be just fine. On the other hand, withdrawing from benzodiazepines and alcohol can be fatal. Often, these kinds of addictions require medical detoxes. For that reason, they are beyond the scope of outpatient detox. Therefore, those struggling with addictions to benzodiazepines or alcohol would be better served by an inpatient detox. As with recovery journeys, no two people experience withdrawal exactly the same way. Age, gender, weight, and overall physical and mental health can all affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Who Is Outpatient Detox For?

Outpatient detox best serves those whose home life provides them an anchor in their struggle with addiction. If you consider your home life to be balanced and peaceful, then outpatient detox might be right for you. Routine is elemental for successful recovery, and those in recovery are best served by routines that promote health and flourishing. If your current work/life balance is helping you thrive, then outpatient detox is an option for you.

What Happens During Outpatient Detox?

During outpatient detox, you will receive medication to help alleviate the symptoms of your withdrawal. You will be observed by medical staff to ensure that your symptoms do not get worse. You may have an initial meeting with a therapist for a psychological evaluation. If you and your therapist determine that your home life would support an outpatient program, you will be released following your evaluation.

What Can Outpatient Detox Treat?

Provided that an addict has a balanced home life, outpatient detox can successfully treat opioid addiction. For opioid detox, doctors typically prescribe Suboxone (1). Suboxone can be effective in both outpatient and inpatient detox for combating opioid addiction. Used in conjunction with therapy, as in a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) plan, Suboxone helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms. In outpatient detox, a doctor and therapist will work with you to create a long-term treatment plan that best suits your needs.

Is Outpatient Detox Right For Me?

The single biggest variable that can determine the success of outpatient detox is your home life. You, your doctor, and your therapist would need to agree, of course. But if your home life is level and peaceful, then outpatient detox could be right for you. The next things to consider are the withdrawal symptoms of the particular substance you’re battling. Some require more intense detoxes and treatment plans. Talk with your doctor and therapist for more information.

What If I Still Have Questions?

If you’re struggling with addiction, or have questions about Harmony Treatment and Wellness’ Outpatient Detox Program, call us now at 772-247-6180.



(1) https://journals.lww.com/journaladdictionmedicine/Abstract/2007/06000/Two_year_Experience_with_Buprenorphine_naloxone.8.aspx

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