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Alcohol Treatment Help - Outpatient or residential treatment: what's my best option?

Published 27/11/2008


If you or someone you love has recently decided to seek treatment for a drinking problem, then as bad as things may seem, congratulations are in order. This is a courageous step to take and it's one that offers the best chance of giving up drinking and staying alcohol free.

The next decision is not an easy one, either: is an outpatient or residential rehabilitation programme the best choice?

For some people, outpatient care offers a flexible approach and the opportunity to maintain links with family, home and work. But research conducted over the last few decades shows a clear link between positive outcomes in giving up drinking and longer, more intense treatment programmes.

In this respect, a residential rehabilitation programme has much to offer. In order to stop drinking, most people with alcohol dependence problems need to change both their behaviour and their surroundings. Going into a residential programme assists in removing an individual from the influences that led them to drink in the first place.

In addition, they will also find themselves in the company of people pursuing the same goal -- a powerful incentive to make the necessary changes. Backed up by counselling and one-to-one therapy, this can provide the basis for healthy living in future.

"We like to see ourselves as providing a retreat," says Sue Allchurch, research director at Linwood Manor. "We offer clients an escape for a short time from outside pressures to allow time for reflection and re-grouping. For many, the relief of slowly unwinding in a peaceful, supportive atmosphere has a very beneficial effect in helping them to achieve their goal of recovery."

In fact, she says, there are many situations where residential rehabilitation is strongly recommended over an outpatient alternative. It should be strongly encouraged if:

- the individual needs to undergo a period of medically supervised detoxification prior to embarking on a period of intense therapy;

- the individual has previously tried outpatient care and found that they could not maintain sobriety;

- the home environment offers too much temptation or insufficient support to enable the individual to maintain their commitment to not drinking;

- the individual is in danger of losing their house, job or spouse as a result of their drinking;

- the drinking has started to have serious health consequences and the individual cannot afford to waste any time in getting well.

If you or your loved one are ready to experience life without the daily grind of having to drink, effective help is available at reasonable cost. Please contact Linwood Group for confidential help and advice.

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