Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Detox in Las Vegas, NV
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Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Detox in Las Vegas, Nevada

The steps to addiction recovery are not always easy, especially the first few. Having withdrawal symptoms can feel like the worst thing in the world, and depending on the person and the substances used, like they are literally going to die. But outpatient detox at a clinic, doctor’s office, or substance use treatment center can help keep you or your loved one as safe and comfortable as possible during this process.

In Nevada, as of March 31st, 2020, there were 11,573 patients in treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) in a total of 109 centers qualified to offer drug rehab.3 Outpatient treatment programs make up roughly 94% of substance use treatment care in the United States, and 93 of 109 drug treatment facilities in Nevada offer some type of outpatient treatment.3 While not always the right setting for those with severe substance use disorders, outpatient programs offer access to much-needed, evidence-based treatment for many people with mild to moderate substance use disorders.4,5,17

What Is an Outpatient Detox Program?

Outpatient detox programs let you get treatment without being admitted into a hospital or entering a residential rehab program for an extended time. You go to appointments at set times during the week and then go home at night. This is in contrast to inpatient detox programs, where you live at the treatment center for the length of treatment. In Nevada in 2020, 28 substance abuse treatment centers offered outpatient detoxification.3

Each person has unique needs to consider when choosing a treatment program. Below are some questions to explore as you decide on a treatment program to meet your recovery needs.

  • Are you willing and able to follow a treatment plan? Outpatient programs offer more freedom than the traditional inpatient setting. For some, this supports and motivates them to start the recovery process. Others have a harder time following a treatment plan in the same substance-using environment as before.5
  • Do you have other mental health disorders? About half of people who have a substance use disorder also have a mental health condition.7 This is known as co-occurring disorders. Not every treatment program may be equipped to treat co-occurring disorders.
  • Do you have any significant medical problems? Withdrawal can cause uncomfortable physical symptoms and may affect or be affected by current or previous medical conditions.2 It’s important to talk about your risks and medical history with your care team.
  • Do you belong to any peer support groups or have supportive relationships? Strong community and social support systems can make it easier to maintain your recovery.9 Addiction can be isolating, and it can be tough to find healthy support. Sometimes, being around others going through the same process can help advance your recovery.9 There is strong evidence suggesting that mutual-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and SMART Recovery can lead to better patient outcomes.18
  • Have you gone through medically managed withdrawal before? If you’ve gone through withdrawal in the past, how severe were your symptoms? A strong clue of how severe your withdrawal symptoms may be is how severe these symptoms were in the past.10 Having severe withdrawal symptoms in the past, such as seizures, puts you at risk of having them again. With some substances, such as alcohol, it is likely for withdrawal symptoms to be more severe and the withdrawal period to be more medically complicated for those who have gone through detox in the past.10
  • Can you travel to appointments? Outpatient programs require travel to and from treatment sessions.1 You’ll need transportation you can count on to get to your appointments on time. Some programs may be able to help with this.

What is the Outpatient Detox Process?

A typical first step of detox is a detailed assessment and medical history-taking.1 After the assessment, you and your care team will decide which program may best meet your needs and create a treatment plan. Here are some areas that the treatment plan might focus on:1,6,8,16

  • Your goals. What do you hope to get out of treatment?
  • Safety considerations. Will you be safe at home?
  • Physical assessment. What physical problems should they be aware of?
  • Stage of change. How ready are you to change and sustain progress?
  • Housing needs and environment. Will you need any housing assistance or help with your living environment?
  • Access to substance(s). How easy is it for you to get and use substances when you’re trying to detox?
  • Current responsibilities. Do you have children, work, or other responsibilities that might be hard to manage while inside inpatient treatment?
  • History of substance use. How has your use been and how have your previous attempts to recover gone? What barriers have you faced?

You can expect to come away from the assessment with a detailed plan for your recovery. In most cases, your outpatient treatment program will include attending scheduled appointments or groups during the day and going home at night.4

Are Medicines Used in Outpatient Detox?

Depending on what type of substance(s) you used or the symptoms you’re having, your care team may give you prescription medicines to help treat the discomfort of withdrawal and prevent relapse.12 Common medicines used in treatment include:1,12,13,19

  • Benzodiazepines can help prevent seizures.
  • Buprenorphine and methadone can help reduce opioid cravings and ease opioid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Lofexidine helps reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Clonidine is used off-label (used to treat a condition that it is not FDA-approved to treat) to also help reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Gabapentin and certain anticonvulsants are sometimes used off-label for outpatient alcohol withdrawal.
  • Other prescription and over-the-counter medicines may also be used to manage specific symptoms.

How Long Does Outpatient Detox Last?

On average, people spend about 3 to 7 days in outpatient detox.16 But the exact timeline depends on several factors, such as:1,2

  • Which substance(s) you use.
  • How much you take and how long you’ve taken it.
  • Your overall health and medical history.
  • Your withdrawal symptoms.

Choosing the Right Outpatient Detox Program in Nevada

If you are ready to take the next step in your recovery journey, there are 93 outpatient detox centers in Nevada, making care easy to find.3 American Addiction Centers (AAC) also offers outpatient detox services in Nevada and across the nation.

When looking for an outpatient detox near you, you may want to think about the following:

  • Centers that are trained in specific populations. Having clinicians trained in aspects like sexual orientation, veteran status, gender, and gender identity can greatly benefit patients.14
  • Medical staff. Medication-assisted detox and having access to medical staff can be helpful in easing withdrawal symptoms and reducing risks.8
  • Treatments offered. Behavioral therapies and medication management are helpful for people with co-occurring mental health disorders.11
  • Your recovery plan. Will the treatment center be able to meet your treatment needs? Is it important that you have access to peer support groups, sober living, and other support?9
  • In 2020, 94% of substance abuse facilities in the United States were accredited or licensed.3 If the program you are choosing has an active accreditation from a governing body such as CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), it means that staff are highly qualified, and services follow certain quality standards.15
  • In Nevada, 40.4% of facilities accept state-financed health insurance other than Medicaid and 81.7% accept Medicaid.3
  • Other costs. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll want to ask the treatment center about payment plans, sliding scale fees, and total cost of treatment.

It can be helpful to discuss these factors and more with your support system and your care team. Finding treatment that meets your specific needs can lead to a better treatment outcome.8

What Happens after Outpatient Detox?

After outpatient detox, your recovery journey will continue to evolve. Detox is an important first step to help manage an SUD, but alone, it is often not enough to support long-term abstinence (not using substances of abuse).11 Rehab programs, medication management, mutual support groups (such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous), and individual or group therapy can help you continue and maintain your recovery.1,11

Finding Outpatient Detox in Las Vegas

Detox from substances is an important first step to addiction recovery. AAC is a leading provider of medical detox in Las Vegas. If you feel ready to start, AAC is CARF-accredited and can help you find treatment that is right for you, even if you’re not in Nevada. Call to talk to us about your options. It’s free and confidential. Not ready to talk? You can start the process online by filling out the form below.

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