At-Home Treatment for a Substance Use Disorder

At-home treatment is an option for substance abuse treatment that brings medical staff, therapists, and medication to your home. It provides an opportunity for people to receive treatment who may be unable to travel to an inpatient rehabilitation facility.

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What Is At-Home Treatment?

Accepting the fact that you have an addiction is the first step in starting treatment for a substance use disorder. The usual signs of an addiction are similar, whether it be an addiction to alcohol, opioids, or stimulants. Physical symptoms like change in appetite, decreased hygiene, or suffering from withdrawal symptoms should be noted, as well as psychological and social symptoms like lying, keeping stashes of the substance, financial difficulties, or giving up things you used to care about. Once you have decided to seek treatment, the amount of information on treatment options may be overwhelming. For some, it might seem impossible to commit to an inpatient rehabilitation facility for over a month. This is not a good reason to postpone potentially life-saving treatment. At-home treatment for a substance use disorder can provide access to medication-assisted treatment and therapy while going to sleep in your own bed every night.

At-home treatment programs set clients up with a plan to achieve and maintain their sobriety. Certain programs may provide a nurse, therapist, doctor, and case manager to come to the patient’s home and work with them on their schedule. Peer support, like 12-step meetings, may be arranged. In some cases, 12-step meetings can be done online if the patient is unable to leave their home. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are some of the many platforms that offer meetings via phone or webcam.

One of the ideas behind at-home treatment is that teaching clients to maintain sobriety in their own homes, where they likely have access to their substance of choice, is a way to help them commit to long-term changes in their life. Sometimes, when someone attends inpatient rehab, it is easier for them to stay sober while living at the rehabilitation facility. However, when they leave the facility and come home, those old habits may be a lot more difficult to not fall back into. If an individual learns how to cope and resist temptation in the same environment that they used to abuse drugs in, it may offer them better success. In a National Public Radio (NPR) interview with Dr. Stuart Gitlow, the past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Dr. Gitlow said, “Treating addiction at home makes sense because it’s the exact place where people learned all their bad habits.”

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Online Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications for those with a substance use disorder. Medications like methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, and naloxone are used to manage dependence to opioids like heroin, codeine, and oxycodone. Opioid treatment programs (OTPs) provide medication and counseling to individuals who are working towards recovery. MAT has been shown to increase retention in treatment, improve survival, decrease illicit drug use, decrease criminal activity, and increase individual’s ability to maintain employment. Medications can also be used when treating an alcohol use disorder. The most common drugs used are disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone.

By law, those who are undergoing MAT must also receive counseling. High risk patients, like someone who is still abusing illicit drugs, will likely be required to travel to a facility every day to get their medication. Some lower risk patients may be able to take home a supply of medication to administer at home. Some programs provide MAT to people who do not live near a facility. These programs may deliver the medication to the patient’s home, offer weekly check-ins via telemedicine, and offer 24/7 virtual support. While this may not be ideal for a high-risk patient, it provides others with the opportunity to receive life changing treatment medications at home.

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What’s the Difference Between At-Home Treatment and Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehabilitation for a substance use disorder lets patients continue living at home but requires them to check into treatment at scheduled times, sometimes every day. Patients may receive MAT, undergo therapy, and create a continuing care plan. The main difference between at-home treatment and outpatient rehab is that at-home treatment does not require someone to travel to a facility. The treatment is brought to their doorstep. Daily check-ins are there to hold patients accountable, and some may submit to urine screening or GPS tracking. These extra measures work as a way to hold patients responsible and to not seek out drugs or alcohol once their last session of the day is over.

At-home treatment may not be the best plan for someone with a severe addiction. An inpatient rehabilitation facility will likely be the safest and most successful option for certain individuals. However, recovery is a life-long journey and at-home treatment is an option to continue treatment while maintaining life’s other responsibilities. At-home treatment can be a cost-effective option, with some programs charging about $38,000 for an entire year. Insurance may cover part or all of treatment.

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Is At-Home Treatment Right for Me?

Deciding on a treatment plan depends on many factors, including the severity of the addiction, finances, insurance coverage, and personal preference. Different rehabilitation centers offer different levels of care and amenities, so it is important to research what your options are and what is important to you while seeking treatment. It is always wise to consider a medically supervised detox, especially from substances like alcohol that have potentially life-threatening detoxes. A treatment provider can help you weigh your options and talk about what the best option for your needs are. Don’t wait; start your journey towards recovery today.

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Entrepenuer Keir Weimer created a system called the Live Free Lifestyle to give purpose to his life after realizing he had a serious problem with alcohol. A tragic accident that claimed the life of Weimer’s friend and landed Weimer in prison for 3 and a half years was the beginning of Weimer’s motivation to live differently.

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