What to Expect When You Begin an Outpatient Detox Program


The phrase “knowledge is power,” is often attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, but it’s also been said that President Thomas Jefferson said it. Whoever said it first doesn’t matter, because it’s such a true philosophy. Entering an outpatient detox program, sometimes referred to as an ambulatory detox, can be scary. But when you know what to expect from your first call, you have the power to make a change in your life.

When you call High Focus Centers for the first time

The intake specialist who speaks to you will gather information about your needs to determine if an appointment at High Focus Centers is an appropriate first step. Ambulatory detox may or may not be right for you, but several programs are available that can fit a variety of needs. Our goal is to direct you to success. At the end of this call, you should either have an appointment to meet with one of our specialists or a referral to a partnering program that might be a better fit.

Your first appointment

When you come to the treatment facility for the first appointment, you meet with a licensed clinician who will help you understand the program, fill out the paperwork and insurance forms, and go over any questions you may have. The clinician will also complete a biopsychosocial assessment, which can take about one to two hours.

You should bring all prescribed and over-the-counter medications with you. Bring records of medical treatment in the past 30 days with you, and you should also know your medical history. It’s also important that you not use opioids for 18 to 24 hours before the appointment. You cannot receive initial doses of medication without the presence of active withdrawal symptoms.
We recommend that you bring a family member or a close, trusted friend with you, because we strongly encourage outside friend/family involvement in the treatment process. During the initial assessment, we will speak with this individual and provide them with education on the outpatient detox process. You will also be given a drug screen. Next, you will meet with a registered nurse who completes a medical assessment. We want to be sure that a safe detox can be completed in the outpatient setting. Finally, you meet with our Medical Director, who is an addiction-certified physician. Under their supervision, you will begin the detox process.

What happens if you aren’t a candidate for outpatient detox?

During your assessment, we will make recommendations for you based on what level of care you require. Success in treatment is based on many factors. If we cannot meet your needs, we will connect you to another program that offers the level of treatment you need.

Why choose outpatient detox instead of inpatient detox?

Although outpatient and inpatient detox have the same protocols, outpatient detox allows you to keep up with your routine, and gives you the opportunity to go home at night to spend time with family and sleep in your own bed. Inpatient detox is less flexible, but it does provide a restrictive environment to keep you from temptation. Outpatient detox can also be significantly less expensive than inpatient treatment, making it more cost-effective.

Call for an appointment today

If you’re struggling with addiction, call High Focus Centers today to take steps toward healing. Our program includes treatment that focuses on your physical and emotional needs. Ask as many questions as you want to be more comfortable when coming in for your first appointment.