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Outpatient Therapy Can Present Challenges for Alcohol Use Disorder Patients

Alcohol use disorders are different from many other substance use disorders in many ways, although all these conditions have distinctive characteristics. The fact that alcohol is a legal substance can make things less complicated for many patients in some ways. 

Alcohol Use

However, in other ways, the legality and broad societal use of alcohol can also make the recovery process more layered. Patients who have successfully finished with the alcohol detox process and inpatient therapy at professional centers like will usually start completing outpatient therapy next. 

Alcohol is available at most grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants. While it’s relatively expensive, it’s still much cheaper than almost all illegal drugs. People who have reached the outpatient stage of their alcohol use recovery will have to rely on their own willpower to at least some extent to avoid purchasing more alcohol.

It is important to note that a recovering alcohol addiction patient hasn’t necessarily had a major relapse because of only one drink. Patients should always discuss situations like this with their therapists.

Some patients might only have a couple of alcoholic drinks during a relapse. However, it could be a more severe relapse for other patients. Even the people who have avoided suffering from a substantial relapse should be aware of the potential for something more serious. 

Moderate Consumption

Most of the patients who have suffered from alcoholism will have to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages for the remainder of their lives. While willpower is a factor here, it’s also true that recovered alcoholics might not be able to physically get as much out of moderate drinking as individuals who have never truly had alcohol use disorders.

Alcohol is capable of changing the brain permanently. A person’s overall tolerance to alcohol will typically decline as they use it less and less. However, they still won’t be the same as they were before they became dependent on alcohol, and may not be able to adopt the habits of people who only consume alcoholic beverages on occasion.

It’s also worth noting that some researchers will assert that alcohol has negative overall health consequences in even small amounts. Patients who have used alcohol very heavily in the past might still be trying to get back the level of health that they had before, and consuming more alcohol might disrupt the process. 

Social Circumstances

While it might seem as if almost all adults drink very regularly, plenty of adults avoid alcohol altogether. Many of these individuals may never have had alcohol use disorders before, and have chosen not to drink for a lot of reasons. There are signs that it’s becoming increasingly common to be completely sober as an adult today. 

It might be relatively easy for people to form social groups of sober individuals today. Many modern people are increasingly tolerant towards individuals who want to enjoy recreational activities without alcohol. 

There’s a lot of awareness of alcohol use disorders now. People are able to talk about the condition online. Mental health awareness and acceptance have also increased in recent years, making things potentially easier for the people who want to be able to rebuild their lives after experiencing problems with alcohol.

Finding friends who are not interested in drinking might be easier for a lot of people today, and they won’t necessarily have to specifically socialize with other alcohol use disorder patients. Their new friends will be very likely to sympathize with what they’ve gone through, and they won’t exhibit behavior that could prove triggering to the people who have struggled with alcohol use in the distant or recent past.