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About Outpatient Detox / Ambulatory Detox

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If an individual has been assessed and found to be physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, they may be eligible for outpatient detox. Many centers offer ambulatory, or outpatient, detox, which allows the client to go home at night and return each morning for treatment.

Special Precautions for High-Risk Detox

At times during assessments, physicians will find that an individual needs a higher level of supervision during detox, and these clients are referred to inpatient, hospital-grade detox. This is common among those who have a history of heavy alcohol use or who are dependent on benzodiazepines. Both of these substances can pose a threat to the individual’s health and wellbeing during withdrawal. Serious symptoms of withdrawal from heavy alcohol addiction and benzodiazepines include psychosis, seizures, hallucinations, and tremors, and can lead to serious medical conditions and even death. 

Ambulatory Detox for Alcohol Withdrawal

If eligible and approved by a physician, an Ambulatory Detoxification Program typically lasts 3-5 days for alcohol and requires attendance at a treatment center for 5-6 hours daily under the care of a nurse and the supervision of a physician. Medication-assisted detox means you are able to take medications that will ease withdrawal symptoms, making the patient more comfortable and better able to focus on their recovery. During medical detoxification, it is important for patients to participate in individual and group education and counseling sessions as they are capable. This lays the foundation for the full treatment program and rehab they will participate in after detox. 

Ambulatory Detox for Drug Withdrawal

Ambulatory detox for other drugs (sedative-hypnotics and opiates) typically lasts longer, depending on the substance of abuse. In the case of opiate addiction, the medication Suboxone can be used to prevent withdrawal symptoms, free the person from cravings and keep them from a fast relapse. Most clients who participate in Suboxone assisted detox programs generally spend most of their first day at a treatment center, and then two to three hours per day during the rest of their detox. Patients withdrawing from drugs in an ambulatory detox program participate in group and individual counseling sessions, in order to help keep the person motivated and on the right track, and to get an early start on the rehab that should take place in the next phase of treatment.

The Cost of Ambulatory Detox

Medication-assisted detox is usually covered by insurance, and most centers work with all major insurance companies to make the most of clients’ benefits. We can help clients by obtaining pre-authorization from the insurance company when required. For those who do not have insurance, some centers work with clients on self-pay prices and options. We also accept most types of credit cards for self-pay and co-pays. Northland can also assist in signing up patients with emergency Medicaid coverage.

Benefits of Outpatient Detox

Ambulatory detox differs from other detox programs because it is shorter, less intensive, and much more convenient. Outpatient detox and treatment have been shown to be safe and effective for selected patients. Because it does not require a stay at a facility, this type of detox is far more cost-effective than in-patient care. In addition, while attending outpatient detox, a patient does not have to explain absences from home to those who don’t need to know about the addiction.

Outpatient detox is an effective and more convenient detox protocol for most patients. Call us if you have further questions or for a referral to an outpatient detox facility.