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Alcohol abuse and alcoholism rob you of your health, your happiness, and your self respect and there is nothing wrong or even abnormal with wanting to tackle such a significant and entrenched problem with the most intensive and most successful form of therapy available, as in a residential setting.

However, due to the high cost, the disruption from work and the separation from family, most addictions professionals will recommend that most people start off with outpatient therapies as first attempt at bettering the problem.

In- or Outpatient Alcohol Rehab?

While participating in therapies on an outpatient basis you can maintain employment and continue to provide for your family. You can also be there to enjoy your family, tuck your kids in and spend time with your spouse. Outpatient therapy is also far less costly, and even those people unable to access state funded inpatient treatments may find that they can enter into outpatient programs, and often with no waiting period.

What is Outpatient Therapy?

You may participate in outpatient therapies of greatly varying intensity. At the most extreme, outpatient therapy encompasses whole days and differs little from inpatient with the exception that you return home each night to sleep. At the other extreme, outpatient therapy can be as minimal as free participation in 12 steps group meetings like AA, participation in a local peer support group, or weekly sessions with a psychologist.

Once you make the decision to enroll in outpatient therapy you can start within hours, literally. There are 12 steps meetings offered at all hours of the day in most major centers, and you can access this supportive therapy free of charge today.

Who Needs Inpatient Therapy?

But for some people, outpatient just doesn’t offer enough.

  • If you have previously tried outpatient therapy, and found that you could not maintain sobriety, you need to consider inpatient therapy as a valid next step.
  • If you have a very long history of intense abuse, you will find the first month or more exceedingly difficult while remaining in the environment of access and temptation, and you may want consider starting with a more intensive form of treatment.
  • If you have any form of dual diagnosis you may not benefit from outpatient therapy. Dual Diagnosis challenges complicate treatment, and although dual diagnosis patients can and do better substance abuse problems, they often require inpatient care to do so.
  • If you are pregnant, you need inpatient therapy.
  • If you are in danger of losing custody of your children or if your spouse may leave you, you need intense inpatient therapy.
  • If your drinking has started to have serious health consequences, you cannot take a chance, cannot waste any time, and you need residential rehab.

Go to a meeting today, get to rehab tomorrow

You can start outpatient therapy today. Get to a meeting, there is one in your area and even if you know that you need residential care, you have nothing to lose by seeking help this minute, and starting your journey back to health, even as you wait for residential care.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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