The problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse are many and varied. Although the recognition of an addiction issue is the first and perhaps the most important step towards recovering from addiction, a person has decided to face the problem of abuse still has many hurdles to cross. One of the most challenging prospects facing a person who wants to stop abusing drugs or alcohol is the actual physical reaction their body may have when they stop using their substance of choice. This process, usually called detox, can be frightening and even painful, so it is often incredibly helpful to have support throughout the experience. For those who want to disrupt their lives as little as possible but still need help during this time, outpatient detox may be a good option. Outpatient detox is offered in many different contexts. For example, it can be part of a structured program, or it can be instigated by a private doctor. The methods of detoxification are many and varied. Some caregivers recommend that detox occur slowly, over a course of days or even weeks, with amounts of the substance being diminished day by day. The theory behind this method is that it will be less of a shock to the body, and will give the patient time to adjust his or her body to life without the substance. Others recommend that detox be immediate and complete; this is sometimes called the “cold turkey” method. Here, the theory is to create a break as soon as possible so all the worst symptoms of withdrawal will be experienced and completed in the shortest amount of time possible. Still other methods include replacement therapy or placebo therapy. Once an outpatient detox method has been selected, it is very important to follow the method as precisely as possible. Due to the nature of addiction, whether it be to alcohol or drugs, the likelihood of regressing into old, unhealthy patterns is high. Constant vigilance and strict adherence to the detox method is essential. Outpatient detox can be the first step away from addiction and towards a better life. With the help of outpatient detox and the determination to change, problems of addiction can be solved.