Ambulatory detoxification is an outpatient treatment method that combines prescribed medication with counseling and other services to help patients who struggle with addiction overcome their substance dependencies. Services may include everything from taking a routine medical and family history to watching vital signs and prescribing medications to block substances from being absorbed by the body.
Overcoming an addiction can take a while, but all ambulatory detoxification treatments are outpatient services. Patients are free to go home once they have been treated. They don’t need to stay overnight in a hospital. The exact amount of time that treatment takes depends on a patient's level of dependence and symptoms. Once patients are sent home, another treatment option may be recommended to help them remain on the road to recovery.
Ambulatory detoxification provides patients with many of the resources that an in-patient detox program would without the requirement to stay overnight. Because only outpatient services are provided, the cost of and time commitment required by ambulatory detoxification programs is usually much less than those of in-patient programs.
Anyone who is dependent upon a substance may benefit from ambulatory detoxification. It can be used to treat everything from mild chemical dependencies to serious alcohol and narcotics addictions.
Patients who are interested in an ambulatory detoxification program should look for a conveniently located program so they can easily get treatment when they need it. They should also look for a program that’s led by a physician who is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Although nurses and physician’s assistants may administer some of the services, it’s important to have a doctor on staff who is an expert in the addiction recovery.