Outpatient addiction treatment is a convenient way to recover from substance addictions. Alcohol use disorder is a common condition that can be addressed with outpatient rehab. If you have this condition, you might be wondering if the rehab center will first test you for alcohol addiction.
What happens first when I enroll in outpatient addiction treatment?
Before you actually get into different therapies, you will first go through an initial assessment, which includes drug testing. This is done to find out what kinds of substances you are addicted to, the severity of the addiction, and what therapies would be appropriate for you.
Without drug testing, recovery professionals cannot properly treat you. They first need to know what you have become addicted to and how bad it has become. Along with drug testing, rehab professionals will also ask some questions about your current lifestyle. Your answers will help them make a complete assessment, which in turn will give them the information they need to create a properly tailored treatment plan for you.
Why is testing necessary?
You might be thinking that drug testing is unnecessary if you’re entering outpatient addiction treatment. Since you have an alcohol abuse problem already, then it stands to reason that you have excess alcohol in your body.
Even then, drug testing in the initial assessment has a number of advantages that may not be that obvious at the beginning. Here are a few of them.
It helps determine the route of your treatment.
Drug testing is not just done as part of the initial assessment. It’s also part of the entire treatment process. You will be tested at different points in time, and the results will help recovery professionals better tailor your treatment for your needs.
If you’re getting better, treatments can be adjusted accordingly. If your recovery is slower, therapists can opt to perform more intensive treatments.
It encourages you to abstain from drinking.
Cheating drug and alcohol tests performed in rehab centers is very difficult. With that in mind, once you know that you’ll be tested, you are less likely to abuse alcohol before the test.
This in itself is already quite helpful in your recovery from alcohol use disorder.
It lets you celebrate your progress.
If your drug tests show improved results over time, you have reasons to feel good about your progress. Even small wins contribute a lot to your recovery once they add up as time passes by.
More so, testing gives you quantifiable data, not just relative or descriptive results. That way, you have a definite way of knowing how much you’ve improved.
You earn back the trust of your family and friends.
When you have an alcohol problem, chances are you also lose the trust of your family and friends. At worst, they may see you as a threat to their well-being.
But if you can show them the consistently improving results of your tests, it’s a good way to win back their trust. It shows them you’re really serious in your recovery journey.
It makes your self-assessments more reliable.
A lot of the time, your own feelings and thoughts about your recovery journey are inaccurate. You may think that a few small victories mean that you’re already living sober, or that one small mistake means you have already relapsed and treatment has failed.
With proper drug testing, you can keep yourself grounded in reality. The results of the tests will help you evaluate yourself better. In addition, they will help your therapists monitor your progress more accurately.
It helps you stay physically healthy.
Ongoing drug tests have a bonus: They give you consistent and easy access to healthcare services. Since these tests are administered by medical professionals, you can ask them about your overall health. They can help you formulate plans to live more healthily and to take good care of your body as you recover from alcohol use disorder. Also, you may receive advice on possible lifestyle changes you can implement.
Is outpatient addiction treatment useful for alcohol use disorder?
When your case of alcohol use disorder is either mild or in its early stages, outpatient rehab proves helpful in recovery. It’s also a good treatment option because it allows you to return home after each therapy session. Also, you can still go to work or school, as therapies are scheduled at certain times of the day only.
Outpatient rehab offers you a lot of freedom while on the road to recovery. This means you can still fulfill your responsibilities and do the things you enjoy while in treatment.
Are there any downsides to outpatient addiction recovery?
The high level of freedom you get from outpatient rehab is simultaneously its biggest drawback. Because you can do anything you want outside of therapy hours, it opens you up to a lot of temptations to drink again.
If your home has alcohol, you could be tempted to drink. If you pass by a part of your neighborhood that has lots of bars, you may feel the urge to grab a few drinks. Also, if some of your friends routinely drink alcohol, and you see them every day, they may encourage you to drink as well.
To avoid these, you can opt to have regular drug testing alongside your treatment. This helps maintain accountability, helping you stay sober throughout your recovery journey. Subjecting yourself to constant testing also shows your family and friends that you’re taking your treatment seriously.
Is outpatient treatment for everyone suffering from alcohol use disorder?
Outpatient rehab works best for those who have mild alcohol addictions, as well as those who are still in the early stages. If your case is more severe, your doctor may recommend that you enroll in an inpatient treatment program.
Here, you will have to live in a rehab facility for the whole duration of the treatment. This ensures the best recovery outcomes for any substance use disorder.