The Difference between Outpatient and Home Detox

  • Added:
    Aug 05, 2014
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The Difference between Outpatient and Home Detox Photo by Colin Armstrong

When an individual first arrives at a doctor's office or clinic looking for help with rehab, a doctor or nurse must assess the severity of the individual's problem. Where a full-blown addiction is diagnosed, detox is the first step in recovery. Detox can be administered under one of the following three treatment models:

1. inpatient detox
2. outpatient detox
3. home detox.

Inpatient detox is what you normally find with residential rehab centres operated by private entities. Outpatient and home detox can be provided by private clinics, charities and the NHS. We assume most people are familiar with inpatient detox; here is what you need to know about the differences between outpatient and home detox:

Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox is the preferred choice among NHS doctors dealing with alcohol and heroin issues. It might be used for other sorts of addictions as well. An outpatient programme requires the individual to visit a facility on a daily basis throughout the term of treatment. Daily visits are necessary to monitor progress and administer prescription medications.

Some residential drug and alcohol rehab clinics also offer outpatient detox to those with less serious problems. The one downside to outpatient detox is that the individual continues to exist within his daily routine and normal life. The distractions and temptations of that life might be too much to overcome with outpatient detox.

Home Detox

The idea of home detox arose from the reality that there are some people in need of help who cannot get to an outpatient clinic or a residential rehab facility. Under this treatment option, detox is conducted in the individual's home, under the supervision of a registered nurse, and with the help of family and friends.

Home detox begins with a medical assessment by the nurse. He or she will then prescribe certain medications where appropriate. Throughout the course of the next 7 to 10 days, the nurse will visit the home to check the progress of the individual undergoing detox. The nurse will also administer the prescribed medicines.

Home detox is a very good option when getting to a local alcohol or drug rehab clinic is not possible. However, success requires a strong support system from committed family members and friends. An individual's family setting must usually be evaluated before he is approved for home detox.

Medical Supervision

We cannot stress enough the need for medical supervision where detox is concerned. Detox is considered a medical emergency due to the potentially harmful effects of withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, you should never attempt detox on your own. If you need help for an alcohol or drug addiction problem, make an appointment to see your GP or contact one of the many addiction referral services operating in the UK.

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Providing free and confidential referral services to addicts and their families is the mission of They are an independent organisation focusing solely on alcohol and drug rehab, working with the best rehab centres in the UK and abroad.

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