Alcohol has long been the most consumed substance in the country. This could partially be because it's not considered by most to be an actual drug. It's viewed as something that's a fun pastime, or as a way to relax and unwind. Alcohol is prevalent at social events, and it's readily available to anyone old enough to purchase it. Many people don't realize how highly addictive alcohol is. This means that a lot of individuals become addicted to alcohol without meaning to.
Alcohol rehab is a type of treatment that is targeted toward alcohol recovery. It is for those who have used alcohol excessively and become addicted to it. The end goal for alcohol rehabilitation is to become permanently abstinent from using alcohol.
Much like other diseases (diabetes, kidney disease, etc.), it requires ongoing treatment. Otherwise, the individual is likely to relapse.
According to SAHMSA, alcohol use and alcoholism are on the rise in the U.S. This is evidenced by statistics from a recent survey, which state that:
Alcoholism is a problem that is not going away. In fact, it seems to only be getting worse.
It's not uncommon for people to be unaware of the alcohol treatment that's available for them. Alcohol treatment programs are necessary in order for alcoholics to stop drinking. People can spend their lives struggling with alcoholism. They may attempt to stop drinking on their own, only to relapse and have to start the process over. Going to alcohol rehabilitation interrupts the addiction cycle, and quite often, leads to successful sobriety.
Perhaps you've been battling alcoholism yourself. You may have known that you're an alcoholic, or you may have been completely unaware of it. Either way, know that there is so much you can do to recover and get your life back on track.
Because of the need for ongoing treatment, recovery occurs in stages. Each stage has its own goals, and these include:
If you're considering going to an alcohol treatment center, you probably have many questions about it. Getting treatment for alcoholism might be completely foreign concept to you. For this reason, it's important to get your questions answered.
After reading the above information, it may seem as though alcohol rehabilitation is going to be quite busy. You will be kept busy enough to keep your mind on things other than alcohol. However, you'll also have ample time to relax.
This is also an important part of alcohol rehab. Everyone needs time to unwind and just breathe. Outside of rehab, there are so many stressors tying you down. You may feel as though you're being pulled in multiple directions at all times. This is one reason why alcohol treatment is so important. You need a chance to decompress and focus on your recovery.
You'll find that the staff are all very helpful to you. If you're having a rough day, you'll be able to go to them and get support. This is especially important during the beginning part of your stay. However, it can be helpful to have that support as time goes on too. You'll always feel accepted and valued. You'll find that your thoughts and opinions matter. You'll never be left on your own to just “handle” what you're going through.
Finally, alcohol rehab programs are going to be goal-oriented for you. You'll learn what it means to set goals and set smaller goals to help you meet the large ones. You'll find out how to achieve what you've always wanted to do. Alcohol treatment is extremely personalized according to your needs and desires. Learning how to avoid a relapse is a big part of the rehabilitation experience. You'll be equipped with all the tools you'll need to do just that.
You may be entirely committed to going to an alcohol rehabilitation program. Still, one of the questions on your mind is going to be, how long does rehab last?
The answer is that it all depends on the type of rehab program you're attending. If you choose to go to an inpatient program, you can expect to stay for between 28 and 30 days. Long-term or residential programs are generally longer than that. Patients will stay in these alcohol treatment centers as long as six months. The average length of stay is around 90 days. There are some residential programs that will allow patients to stay even longer.
Outpatient programs are different. Many of them go for ten weeks or so. Although there are patients who will need to continue outpatient treatment for longer. Intensive outpatient treatment programs generally run for around 12 weeks. At that point, the patient is “stepped down” into a traditional outpatient alcohol program.
This is all very subjective. Today, professional alcohol treatment programs recognize that people are all different. Because of this, their needs vary. This has caused many programs to make adjustments for patients' needs, when necessary.
Yes, alcohol rehabilitation is successful, and has been successful for so many people. However, ongoing treatment is necessary for most people to help them remain in recovery.
In order for alcohol rehab to be effective, a number of different factors need to be in place. These include:
More than anything, people want to know, what can I expect when I go to alcohol rehab? It can be a scary experience when you've never done it before. There are various steps to the entire process.
When you first enter the alcohol treatment program, you'll undergo an assessment during the intake process. This assessment is critical because it will determine the type of treatment you need. You'll go over a number of different factors in your life. These include:
An admissions staff member will likely go over most of this with you. You'll receive a physical from the medical team. Any medical issues you may have will be addressed and treated during this time as well.
Once your initial assessment has been done, you'll be ready for the next phase of treatment.
Detoxing from alcohol is critical for alcoholics. Because alcohol is such a readily available drug, it's considered by most to be safe. However, it is anything but safe. This perception actually makes it one of the most dangerous drugs on the planet. Alcohol detox is usually required for alcoholics for this reason.
Alcohol withdrawal can begin within the first six hours of the last drink. Symptoms are usually mild at first, and then they increase in severity. The detoxification process is closely monitored by medical staff to ensure the patient's safety. There are different methods of alcohol detox, and the right method will be chosen for you. You may be recommended for detox medications to help with your withdrawal symptoms. You may be placed on a holistic detox program that only involves improving your overall health. This will involve nutritional changes and exercise. Additional treatments may be implemented as well, during detox.
The goal of detox is to help you get through the worst of the physical aspect of your addiction. This is the stage where most people relapse if they're trying to quit drinking on their own. Alcohol detox keeps that from happening. It also helps to fend off any medical complications that can result from the detoxification process.
You'll find that therapy will make up the bulk of alcohol treatment for you. There are many different types of therapy that you'll encounter.
Individual therapy sessions will be implemented for you right away. These will involve sitting down with a therapist to talk about your alcoholism. You'll learn a great deal about alcohol addiction in general during these sessions. You'll also learn why you chose to start drinking in the first place. It could have been a number of reasons. It's possible that you drink because:
Whatever it is, your therapist will help you find out. Once you find out the underlying issue, that will be treated as well as your addiction. There are many different types of therapy that can be utilized to help you. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is something you might experience. EMDR is another one. The type of therapy you need will be chosen for you by your therapist, based on your needs.
You'll also participate with group therapy sessions. Group therapy is something that often makes people nervous. It's difficult to share about your addiction and experiences among strangers. However, you'll soon become comfortable and even make friends with other patients. This will help you open up and talk about your alcoholism. You'll learn so much during group therapy, and it will become one of the most rewarding experiences.
Family therapy sessions are another important part of alcoholism treatment programs. Your family is your strongest support system. There is a good chance that you've damaged some really critical relationships in your life. That's what alcoholism leads people to do. During family therapy, you'll be able to repair those relationships and make them stronger.
You'll experience many other types of therapy as well. Your treatment plan will be designed according to what you need from alcohol treatment. You may experience:
Just like there are different types of people and addictions, there are also different types of treatment. No one method is right for everyone. When you first contact the rehab facility of your choice, you'll get a preliminary assessment. This usually takes place over the phone. During your assessment, you'll talk about your addiction, and give a brief history. At that point, you'll be recommended for the type of treatment you need. You may be recommended for:
Once you know what your recommendation is, you'll begin the process of setting up your admission.
Once alcohol rehabilitation is over, the healing process isn't over. This is such an important part to remember. Ongoing treatment for alcoholism is absolutely essential. Without it, you're likely to revert back to the same old habits of drinking again. That could eventually put you in an even worse position. It could also put you at risk for overdosing on alcohol, or alcohol poisoning.
Keep in mind that this does not mean you'll in an inpatient facility for a long time. Many experts recommend a type of step-down approach to alcoholism treatment. This might mean that you would attend an intensive outpatient program for a while afterwards. It could mean that you move on to outpatient treatment. It could also mean that you begin attending an AA meeting near you.
Remember, alcoholism is a disease. Like all diseases, it requires ongoing treatment in order to keep you healthy. The goal is for you to remain abstinent from alcohol. In order to achieve that goal, you need treatment. While the type of treatment you receive will change, the message will always remain the same.
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This is the question that many people ask. They often wonder why they would need to seek out professional treatment for alcoholism. Just as they started drinking on their own, they feel they should be able to stop on their own. Usually, they just don't understand how powerful alcoholism can be.
Let's talk about some of the reasons why you might want to seek alcohol rehabilitation.
Alcohol rehabilitation has many benefits. Some of these include:
Sometimes people believe that they're only abusing alcohol when they're really alcoholics. You'd be surprised how often this occurs. Prior to committing to rehab for alcoholism, it can be helpful to know the difference between alcohol abuse and addiction.
Alcohol abuse occurs when someone drinks too much, but doesn't feel compelled to drink regularly. Incidentally, most people think they are alcohol abusers, and not alcoholics. Some of the signs of alcohol abuse include:
Alcoholism is very different from alcohol abuse. When someone is an alcoholic, drinking is in charge of their life. It is most likely their highest priority, and nothing compares in importance.
Some signs of alcohol addiction and alcoholism include:
Can you see the differences between these two?
It is important to remember that while alcohol abuse and alcoholism are different, they are still related. Alcohol addiction always begins with alcohol abuse. One person can remain in alcohol abuse for years without becoming an alcoholic. At the same time, another person can abuse alcohol for only a few weeks before alcoholism sets in. Everyone is different, and anyone who drinks excessively is at risk.
This may be the question you're asking yourself right now. It could be a confusing time for you because you've never thought of yourself as an alcoholic. Please know that you're not alone. So many people share these exact same feelings. It's important for you to find the answer to the question of, am I an alcoholic? Once you do, you'll know what steps you need to take to recover.
You can begin by looking over the above signs and symptoms of alcoholism. Do any of these fit you right now? Remember, even if you don't feel like an alcoholic, you still could be. So many people remain in denial for most of their adult lives. That doesn't need to be the case with you.
If you're still not sure, you could take an alcoholism quiz. This quiz will ask you more questions about your relationship with alcohol. It may give you the direction you're lacking in your life right now.
If you are an alcoholic, an alcohol treatment program is definitely what you need, without question. Getting the proper treatment will help you so much. Without it, you're likely to remain an alcoholic.
An inpatient alcohol rehabilitation center is a place that offers treatment to alcoholics. It is probably the most widely recommended form of alcoholism treatment in the United States. There are really good reasons for this. Inpatient alcohol treatment centers offer so many benefits to patients who need alcoholism recovery. These benefits include:
The pros of inpatient rehab include:
The cons of inpatient rehab include:
It's important to look at these lists of pros and cons and weigh them against each other. You may even have your own list of pros and cons that you need to look at closely.
As an alcoholic, you should be prepared to have inpatient alcohol treatment offered to you. It may very well be the option you're given for treatment. These programs are generally 30 days in length, and they require a strong commitment to recovery. If you are able to make that commitment, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
Outpatient rehab for alcohol is a program that allows you to live at home while receiving treatment. These programs do tend to cost less than inpatient programs. This is one of the reasons why many people choose them. They also appreciate the convenience of being able to get help and still work and care for their responsibilities.
These are programs that only involve therapy with an addiction therapist. Appointments are usually scheduled weekly or monthly at first, depending on the patient's needs.
These programs are much more intensive. They are for those who need medical monitoring but who have a good home environment. This might be appropriate for someone who needs a high level of care, but who has a support family. Partial hospitalization programs usually go for three to five days a week, for several hours at a time.
These programs are also known as IOP programs. They are very much like inpatient programs. Someone going to an IOP will go to appointments several times a week during the evening hours. This allows them to continue to go to work and still be treated for alcoholism.
Like anything, there are both benefits and limitations to outpatient alcohol rehab.
The pros of outpatient rehab for alcoholism include:
The cons of outpatient alcoholism treatment programs include:
As you consider the type of alcohol treatment that's right for you, these are important to think about. You'll want to weigh your own pros and cons in your mind before making a decision.
It's very important to understand the differences between inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. While they might seem similar, there are some things that set them apart from one another.
People who choose inpatient treatment have access to quality care around the clock. They are able to get support from professionals at any time of the day or night. With outpatient treatment, this is not the case.
People who choose to go to outpatient alcohol rehab may not have a choice in the matter. Their jobs or other responsibilities may prevent them from choosing inpatient care. Still, they need to be aware that their risk of relapse is much higher. For someone who is new to addiction treatment, abstinence is much harder in an outpatient setting. That does not, however, mean that it can't be done. It can be, and people do experience success under the right circumstances.
Moderation Management is a non-profit organization that helps people reduce their alcohol consumption. It was founded in 1994 as a way to provide an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous.
The basic premise behind MM is that complete abstinence from alcohol doesn't work for everyone. Instead, they offer support and methods to allow members to moderate their drinking habits. They believe that people should be free to choose the best way to address their alcoholism. According to moderation management, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to controlling alcohol intake.
Moderation Management subscribes to an approach that focuses on behavioral changes. Members are encouraged to support each other and offer tips and advice. They teach members what early risky behavior looks like and how to identify it and avoid it.
This is a difficult question to answer. There are those who enjoy singing the praises of the MM program. For these individuals, learning how to control their drinking has made a great impact in their lives. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't some bumps along the way in getting to that point.
It can sometimes take years to but the behavioral modifications in place. Relapses back into heavy drinking behaviors are still very much present for MM members.
Experts believe that there is a time and a place for Moderation Management. However, they also believe that true alcoholics are best served to enter a program where abstinence is the focus. Doing so will put them in a much better position to heal from alcoholism.
Alcoholics Anonymous often goes by the acronym, AA. It is an international fellowship of both men and women who have drinking problems. The organization is self-supporting and non-professional. Membership is open to anyone who needs help with alcoholism recovery. There are no fees to join, and meetings are held all over the world. AA is even available online.
AA focuses on spirituality, but not on a religious experience. They are focused on more than just abstaining from alcohol. Rather, they want to see members experience recovery from alcoholism. According to their text, “The Big Book,” this only happens through a spiritual awakening.
The spiritual awakening is achieved by going through all of the 12 Steps outlined in The Big Book. Members are encouraged to attend meetings every week and participate while they're there. The meetings themselves are very informal, and they're run by alcoholics. There are different types of meetings. These include speaker meetings, meetings that go over The Big Book text, and sharing meetings.
AA attendees are also encouraged to find a sponsor. This is someone who has overcome alcoholism themselves, who can provide them with support. Sponsors must be of the same sex, and regular meetings are highly encouraged.
In order to understand how AA works, it's important to understand the 12 Steps themselves. The 12 Steps are:
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Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing condition. In many people, relapse is going to happen. However, if and when it does, that doesn't mean there are no more recovery options.
Far too often, people will slip and have one drink. As a result, they go ahead and have six more. They tell themselves that the one drink was enough to push them over the edge. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case. A one-drink slip doesn't have to lead to a complete relapse. Recovering from alcoholism often involves slips, and individuals need to keep this in mind.
A relapse or a slip does not mean total and complete failure. There are those who will slip and it's enough to drive them back to drinking. For these individuals, they may need to go back to inpatient alcoholism treatment programs. This can happen many times, and it's actually quite common.
There are ways to recognize when a relapse might be creeping up on you. You can look for the following:
Relapse happens to everyone in recovery. If you slip up, or even if you relapse, take the proper steps to get right again. Talk with your sponsor. Tell your counselor. Most of all, forgive yourself, because you are certainly not alone.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are what occur when you stop drinking alcohol. They are why it's so dangerous to stop drinking on your own. Alcohol withdrawal is different for everyone who experiences it. It can even differ between drinking cessation attempts.
Alcohol withdrawal can begin to occur between 6 and 8 hours after the last drink. Many times, alcoholics will wake up in the morning and be in the early stages of withdrawal. This leads them to believe that they know what withdrawal symptoms are going to feel like for them. What they don't realize is that these symptoms are progressive. They eventually get worse. Also, additional symptoms are likely to surface as time goes on without alcohol.
Some common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
These symptoms may or may not all present at once. Again, everyone is different. Usually, two or more symptoms are present when alcohol is stopped.
After some time has passed, a more severe form of alcohol withdrawal can present itself. This is called delirium tremens. It is often referred to as going through the DTs. The DTs can be very dangerous. If these signs begin, it is so important to get to an emergency room right away. DTs can be fatal if left untreated.
Some signs of delirium tremens include:
Alcohol withdrawal occurs because the body has spent so much time expecting alcohol. With higher normal alcohol consumption levels, withdrawal symptoms can be much worse. They can also be worse for someone who has been drinking alcohol excessively for a long time.
Scientifically speaking, alcohol withdrawal happens because of increased dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. Dopamine and serotonin are two chemicals that the brain normally produces on its own. Alcohol causes surges in these levels. Eventually, the brain no longer produces them.
When alcohol consumption is stopped abruptly, it can come as quite a shock to the body. This is when withdrawal begins. With proper treatment withdrawal symptoms can be addressed and significantly decreased. Over time, alcohol withdrawal will subside.
Now that you have all the information you need, you may have one final question: Where can I find an alcohol rehab near me?
It's great that you feel ready to talk with someone about your alcoholism. It takes so much courage and strength to get to this place. If this is how you feel, and you're ready, you're to be commended.
Here at Northpoint Recovery, we've been able to help a countless number of alcoholics. Many of these individuals were people who felt as though they'd lost all hope. They didn't think there was anything they could do to recover from their addictions. Our higher than average success rates prove that our method of treatment works well.
We can talk with you about the type of alcohol rehabilitation that would be right for you. If you have any additional questions about alcohol rehab, we'd be happy to answer them for you.