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How Does Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Work?

How Does Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Work?

Local Outpatient Alcohol Treatment

Harmony NC offers outpatient alcohol treatment. We offer treatment options that allow you to remain at home. Sustaining the routines of your life may prove a crucial element for your recovery. That’s the heart behind our IOP in Charlotte, NC. If you’re seeking intensive outpatient in Charlotte, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, you will learn: 

  • What is outpatient alcohol treatment? 
  • How are intensive outpatient programs(IOP) different from other kinds of therapy? 
  • What is IOP designed to treat? 
  • How can I tell if IOP is right for me? 
  • How can I enroll in an outpatient alcohol treatment program? 

What Is Outpatient Alcohol Treatment?

Outpatient treatment is not residential. This means that you don’t have a room at our facility. You remain in your own home. Doing so allows you to maintain your daily rhythms. You have the autonomy to conduct your own life as you see fit. 

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) allow the advantage of being in one’s home environment. You will commute to our treatment center three days per week. A typical day will last around 3-4 hours. In that time, you’ll learn practical ways to implement recovery into your daily life. 

How Are Intensive Outpatient Programs Different From Other Kinds Of Therapy?

Treatment programs operate on a spectrum. They vary with regard to how much freedom they offer. Now, we will examine an overview of the different levels of treatment. 

  • Total hospitalization: Most people will only remain in total hospitalization for 3-10 days. They receive 24-hour residential care. Healthcare providers generally reserve this level of treatment for people demonstrating an immediate danger to themselves or others. 
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): Persons in PHPs commute to a treatment center 3-5 days per week. Each day lasts 4-6 hours. PHP is nonresidential, which means that those enrolled return to their own homes. 
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): One step below PHP, and the focus of our current article. IOPs may last for several weeks. Someone in this program will commute 3-5 days per week. Each day lasts around 3 hours. 
  • Outpatient/aftercare: The least restrictive level of care. Included here are individual appointments with your therapist or counselor. 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous also fall under this category. 

What Is IOP Designed To Treat?

Outpatient alcohol treatment is different from outpatient detox. Detox treats the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Alcohol withdrawal can produce severe symptoms, like seizures. As such, withdrawal can be fatal. The purpose of outpatient detox is to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. Detox provides medical attention to people experiencing these symptoms. 

IOP lasts longer than detox, usually at least several weeks. IOP’s purpose is to help people recover from alcohol use disorder and alcohol dependence. Controlling alcohol cravings on one’s own is a formidable task. Your treatment provider may speak to you about medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT works with therapy to aid in your recovery. 

Is Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Right For Me?

The Greek historian Xenophon noted the inscription “know thyself.” His records indicated that the phrase appeared on a temple to the deity Apollo. For a person seeking recovery, knowing oneself is pivotal. 

Remember that diagnosing yourself will not necessarily help your recovery. Even a diagnosis from a healthcare provider only serves to guide the provider’s course of action. Do not waste undue amounts of time attempting to find a diagnosis. Rather, consider some of these examples. Doing so will help you determine if outpatient alcohol treatment will help you. 

Binge Drinking

Around 88,000 people die each year from drinking too much. But how much is “too much?” According to the CDC, “too much” is 5 or more drinks in 2 hours for men. In women, “too much” is 4 or more drinks in 2 hours. Binge drinking increased drastically during the COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Heavy Drinking

The CDC defines heavy drinking as 8 or more weekly drinks for women. For men, it’s 15 or more weekly drinks. Short-term side effects of heavy drinking include domestic violence, an increased likelihood of traffic accidents, and alcohol poisoning. Long-term side effects include impairment of the immune system, cardiovascular diseases, and deterioration of one’s mental health. 

Alcohol Use Disorder

Perhaps ironically, most people who engage in binge drinking do not have alcohol use disorder. So, what do we mean by “alcohol use disorder?” In simple terms, it means you can’t quit drinking on your own. Despite the negative consequences, you can’t not drink. Again, don’t get sidetracked by jargon and diagnoses. Instead, know yourself. 

Could you stop drinking, right now? At this very moment? If you can, then why don’t you? But if you cannot, you might consider outpatient alcohol treatment. 

Alcohol Dependence

As you consume something over time, it changes your brain. Alcohol alters the brain on a biological level. If you find alcohol necessary to perform your daily obligations, you may suffer from alcohol dependence. Can you wake up in the morning and function without drinking? Do you count on alcohol to relieve stress? These could be symptoms of alcohol dependence. 

How Can I Enroll In An Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Program?

Now, you know what an outpatient alcohol treatment program is. It offers a schedule that allows you to get the help that you need. At the same time, it allows you to preserve the structure of your life. You can sleep in your own bed. You may maintain your responsibilities, like your job and your family.  You get to have the freedom that you need in order to facilitate your recovery. Autonomy and freedom represent crucial elements in your recovery journey. 

Harmony NC has outpatient alcohol treatment in Charlotte, NC. We’re local to you. And we’re here to help. Don’t wait any longer to seek the treatment you need. All it takes is one step. And that one step can change a life. Hope is real. And recovery is within your grasp. You have the power to change your life and your future. Don’t wait any longer. 

If you or someone that you love is struggling with addiction to alcohol, an outpatient alcohol treatment program at Harmony can help. Call us today at 704-970-4106

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