Alcoholism has been a significant problem for about as long as humans began to drink it. Alcohol can have powerful effects on the brain, and when it’s misused too much for too long, it can lead to a serious substance use problem. Alcoholism is officially diagnosed as an alcohol use disorder, and it’s one of the most common forms of addiction in the United States. In Miramar, FL, alcohol can pose a public health problem as binge drinking, and addiction contributes to medical problems, car accidents, and increased costs related to health care.
Thousands of people die from alcohol-related causes in Florida each year. Alcoholism is a chronic disease, and it can get worse over time when it’s ignored. Still, alcohol use disorders can be treated with a variety of approaches, including outpatient treatment. Learn more about alcohol rehab in Miramar and if outpatient treatment is a good option.
Miramar Alcohol Addiction Statistics
Alcohol remains among the most commonly misused addictive substances in the United States. In Florida, alcohol is the most commonly found substance in deaths that are related to misuse. In 2019, it was present in 5,385 deaths in the state that were investigated by medical examiners. It was the primary cause of death in 989 of these cases. In fact, alcohol was found in more than 18% of decedents in 2019. Other commonly misused drugs in Florida include heroin, the benzodiazepine alprazolam, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Alcohol is commonly mixed with these substances intentionally or accidentally. When mixed with these other drugs, alcohol can be dangerous, leading to a deadly overdose more easily.
A 2019 study found that as much as 18% of adults in Florida drink heavily or binge drinks. Around 21% of men and 15.1 percent of women binge drink in Florida. Alcoholism is expected to get worse through the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida. Alcohol sales increased dramatically during the pandemic, with an increase as high as 35.7% during peak months. Increased alcohol use could also increase the number of alcohol use disorders in places like Miramar and Broward County.
How Does Outpatient Treatment Work?
Outpatient treatment refers to medical and clinical levels of care that involve treatment during the day while you live independently at night. This is instead of inpatient treatment, which involves staying in a treatment facility while you go through treatment. Outpatient treatment is split into three levels based on the amount of time you spend in treatment each week. Partial hospitalization services represent the highest level of care in outpatient treatment. It involves a treatment schedule that’s similar to a part-time or full-time job with a minimum of 20 hours of treatment services each week.
Intensive outpatient treatment is the next level and involves more than nine hours of treatment services each week. Finally, outpatient treatment with fewer than nine hours of treatment services represents the lowest level of care in formal addiction treatment. Though it only involves a few hours of treatment each week, it’s often an important step between addiction treatment and complete independence.
Outpatient treatment can involve a variety of therapy options, including individual, group, and family therapy. Behavioral therapies are also common in outpatient recovery. Behavioral therapies are a group of approaches to treatment that involve methods to address, identify, and change unhealthy behaviors. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most commonly used approaches to treatment, and it can be instrumental in forming a relapse prevention plan.
Is Outpatient Treatment Good for Alcohol Use Disorders?
Alcohol is a commonly misused substance in Miramar, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t very dangerous. Alcoholism can lead to a number of health issues when it isn’t treated. But quitting alcohol in an unsafe way can also be life-threatening. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol can cause some uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Depressant withdrawal can cause symptoms like seizures, heart palpitations, panic, chest pains, delirium, stroke, and heart attack. Alcohol withdrawal is also associated with a condition called delirium tremens, which is marked by the sudden onset of these severe symptoms. Delirium tremens can be deadly in some cases, especially if you go through alcohol withdrawal alone. However, delirium tremens and other dangerous symptoms can be treated to help avoid serious complications.
Since alcohol can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, is outpatient treatment safe and effective for alcohol use problems? Outpatient treatment is useful as part of the continuum of care in addiction treatment. Someone that has become dependent on alcohol and would like to quit may need higher levels of care. But outpatient treatment can be effective in treating alcohol addiction as part of the continuum of care.
Treatment may start with medical detox, the highest level of care in addiction treatment. Detox is ideal for people that are likely to go through severe withdrawal symptoms. It involves 24-hours of medical treatment and monitoring each day. You may also be treated with medications to help ease symptoms or taper you off alcohol. Benzodiazepines are sometimes used for this purpose.
Inpatient and residential treatment is the second-highest level of care and involves medical monitoring or clinically managed treatment services. This is for people that have medical or psychological issues that need monitoring. Residential services may be helpful for people that can live independently without jeopardizing their sobriety.
Outpatient treatment is reserved for people who have enough coping skills and relapse prevention strategies to live independently without risking their health or sobriety.
Who Needs Outpatient Treatment?
Outpatient treatment is an important level of care in the treatment of alcohol use problems for many people. Since you’re allowed to live independently, you may start to take on more goals and responsibilities outside of treatment. As you encounter challenges in the real world, you will still have support from therapists and clinicians to help you address them.
When you first enter an addiction treatment program, and at each stage along the way, doctors, therapists, and clinicians may use something called the ASAM Criteria to help determine the level of care for your needs. The criteria involve six important factors of consideration when it comes to alcohol addiction treatment. Based on that criteria, someone with an alcohol use disorder that’s a good candidate for outpatient treatment may have the following traits:
- Low risk of dangerous withdrawal. Someone in an outpatient treatment program for alcohol won’t have a high risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. You may have already gone through a detox program, or you may not have used alcohol recently enough for withdrawal to be likely.
- Low risk of serious medical complications. Alcoholism and addiction are sometimes associated with other serious medical needs. These needs may be addressed in or alongside treatment. However, if you need intensive medical treatment or monitoring, an outpatient program may not be for you. Outpatient treatment is ideal for someone with stable health and biomedical conditions.
- Stable mental, cognitive, and emotional conditions. Mental health issues are common in people that seek treatment for alcohol use problems. They can be addressed at every level of care in addiction treatment. However, severe mental, emotional, or behavioral issues may require a higher level of care than outpatient treatment.
- Ready to make a change. A person’s readiness to change is an important consideration in addiction treatment. Some people arrive at treatment without seeing the need to change their behavior. They may enter treatment just to make loved ones happy, or they may be there as part of a court order. Someone that’s not ready to change may need higher levels of care. But someone in outpatient treatment should see the need to make a change and be willing to take action.
- Low risk for relapse or continued use. Since recovery is a lifelong pursuit, relapse is always a risk. But if you have a severe substance use problem and you’re in the early stages of recovery, you may be more likely to relapse in a low level of care. Outpatient treatment is reserved for people that have some tools to resist cravings and compulsions to drink but still need to pursue recovery.
Positive living environment. Where you live while you go through addiction treatment can have a big impact on the success of your recovery. Because outpatient treatment involves independent living, it’s important that you live in a place that won’t work against your recovery. If you live with someone that still drinks heavily or keeps alcohol in the house, you may need to find a better recovery environment. Residential treatment is sometimes used to improve your living arrangements through treatment.