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Outpatient Detox in Atlanta

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What is Outpatient Detox?

Detox involves the process of getting all of the drugs or alcohol out of your system after you stop using substances. Each person’s experience with this process will be different, depending on a number of various factors, including:

  • What substance you have been abusing
  • How long you have been addicted
  • How much of the substance you were using
  • How often you were using
  • The method you used (smoking, injecting, snorting, or swallowing)
  • A family history of addiction
  • Medical conditions
  • Underlying mental health concerns

Unlike an inpatient program, outpatient detox in Atlanta does not require overnight stays. Instead, patients are able to return home each night, attending treatment at the facility daily. Visits will typically last just 30 to 60 minutes with our doctor or nurse practitioner, with the aim of monitoring your symptoms and addressing them as needed. Most people complete treatment in about a week, though some may take up to two to three weeks, depending on how severe their addiction and withdrawal symptoms are.

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How Does Outpatient Detox in Atlanta Work?

On your first day of detox, the facility staff should conduct a physical exam, ask you about your substance abuse history, and discuss your concerns. This should give the staff an idea of what withdrawal symptoms you may experience, and they can use this information to help build your detox program. If an individual has been physically dependent on alcohol or benzodiazepines, our staff often recommends inpatient detox as the risk of dangerous and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms is high in some cases.

During outpatient detox, medication for opioids and other substances can be prescribed to ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and reduce any cravings. Typically, a Medication-Assisted Treatment program is used for those that have been addicted to opioids. Medications such as Suboxone, Vivitrol, or Naltrexone can be prescribed to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay and help prevent relapse.

In addition, anti-nausea medications, and non-narcotic painkillers can be prescribed to alleviate aches, pains, and other uncomfortable physical withdrawal symptoms. During the initial detox phase, clients often partake in either our Georgia Partial Hospitalization Programming or our Atlanta Intensive Outpatient Program to maintain support around their recovery. Oftentimes, without this, relapse can be common.

The Side Effects of Detox

Detox is not a simple and easy process. Having the support of a detox program means that many medical and psychological side effects from detox can be reduced or eliminated through assistance from clinical professionals.

Unfortunately during detox, you are likely to experience a number of psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms. When someone becomes physically addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brain begins to adjust to the presence of these substances, ultimately needing them to feel “normal.” Withdrawal is an inevitable response to the absence of these substances and when a person undergoes detox, the body attempts to reach homeostasis while it rids itself of these harmful chemicals of drugs and/or alcohol.

These withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on what substance you were abusing and may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Tremors or shakiness
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Nightmares
  • Headache
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

Detox Withdrawal Symptoms and Timelines

Benefits of Outpatient Detox in Atlanta

The biggest advantage to an outpatient detox is that you are able to continue to fulfill any work, school, or family obligations you may have. They provide more freedom and flexibility than inpatient programs and are usually less expensive. In addition, family, friends, and support systems can be more readily available to help guide you through this process.

While outpatient detox can be ideal for those with obligations, it is not for everyone. Those who are struggling with alcohol, benzodiazepines or those who may experience severe withdrawal symptoms may be referred out to an inpatient detox.


The Three Steps of Outpatient Detox in Atlanta

No matter which treatment facility you choose, an outpatient detox program should involve three key steps in order to be successful. These steps include:


On your first day of detox, the facility staff should conduct a physical exam, ask you about your substance abuse history, and discuss your concerns. This should give the staff an idea of what withdrawal symptoms you may experience, and they can use this information to help build your detox program.


As you continue treatment, your symptoms should be mostly controlled by medication until you have successfully detoxed. At this point, you will be considered medically stable.

Treatment Preparation

While in detox, you should also be discussing your options for continuing treatment. Detox is just the first step in the process; by the time you complete it, you should already have a plan for additional programs to attend to complete your addiction treatment.

Is an Outpatient Detox Program in Atlanta Right for Me?

As with all addiction treatment programs, not everyone will benefit from outpatient detox. For people with a strong support system, a stable home environment, and responsibilities that they cannot put off, an outpatient program can provide them with the tools that they need to begin addiction treatment.

However, people who are addicted to certain substances are unlikely to find success at an outpatient detox program. For those who are severely addicted to alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids, withdrawal can involve very serious, life-threatening symptoms. These are best treated at an inpatient facility where you can have 24-hour care, in case of an emergency. In addition, some studies have found that some opioid outpatient detox programs do not provide enough aftercare support for patients, which causes a significant increase in the chance of relapse. 

If you have an addiction to opioids and are still interested in outpatient detox, be sure that the facility you choose has appropriate programs available for you to continue on your recovery journey. Make sure that you discuss all of your symptoms and concerns with a physician who is experienced in addiction treatment. In the end, they will be the best judge of whether or not you are a good candidate for outpatient detox.

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