When it comes to overcoming an addiction to alcohol, one of the best things a person can do is attend an alcohol rehab. Rehab should not be thought of as a quick-fix to a severe problem. Instead, it should be thought of as a learning experience that provides those addicted to alcohol with the tools they need to cope with the disease of addiction. Although the disease is not something that can be cured, it can be treated, allowing a person to overcome alcohol abuse issues.
Some people think they can deal with alcoholism on their own, and although there are the rare cases in which this is possible, for the most part, alcohol rehab is always necessary. Treatment programs focus on dealing with a person’s addiction issue, helping him or her to overcome both the physical and psychological aspect of the disease. To get the most out of treatment, it is important to know what to expect, which includes detox, actual treatment, and aftercare services. Through each of these phases, a person can receive the help he or she needs to successfully become and stay sober, living a life free of alcohol.
Treatment for Alcoholism
No two persons’ experiences will be the same during alcohol treatment. Even when treatment is obtained through the same facility; because of individual differences, the experiences will differ to some degree. Because of this, it is impossible to explain to someone exactly how their treatment will turn out. On the upside, however, there are certain things that can be expected. Such things include:
Diagnostics and evaluations: When treatment first starts, it will begin with assessments. The purpose behind the assessments is to establish which treatment methods a person is in the most need of. This portion of treatment is carried out by treatment specialists, and it will take into account a person’s family history, health issues, and past and current drug usage. For some people, after initial assessments are carried out, further evaluations will take place, but this depends on the results of a person’s first assessment.
Detox: For some people, as soon as an initial assessment is carried out, detox services are then provided. For those who need it, it is extremely important to complete detox. It is through this phase of treatment that a person can properly rid his or her body of alcohol, helping to relieve cravings for the substance. Due to a reduction and/or elimination in cravings, treatment becomes much more effective because a person can focus his or her attention on the services rendered. It is also through detox that a person can enjoy a reduction in withdrawal symptoms. Such symptoms often include:
- Sweats and chills
- Mood swings
Addiction treatment: Alcohol treatment comes in many forms. For starters, it can be obtained through either an inpatient or outpatient facility. Sometimes, it is possible to find a treatment center that offers both types of services. It is usually best to begin treatment through inpatient services. Such services tend to last anywhere from 30 to 180 days or more. Following inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment is usually suggested, with the services lasting anywhere from 30 days to six months or more. During both types of treatment, a patient will take part in one-on-one therapy, leisure activities, group counseling sessions, and more.
Continuing services: After treatment has been completed, to increase chances of staying sober, a person needs to obtain continuing care services. All alcohol treatment centers worth attending will provide this assistance. Continuing care tends to come in the same form of inpatient and outpatient services, except it is not as intense. For example, during actual treatment, a person may be required to take part in group counseling sessions for a minimum of four hours a day, five days a week. During continuing care, the person may be required to take part in only two hours of counseling, two days a week. There is no minimum amount of days that a person needs to obtain aftercare services. In fact, some people find they succeed in sobriety by obtaining aftercare assistance for many years.
Recognizing an Alcohol Addiction
If a person is unsure about whether or not he or she is suffering from alcoholism, it is important to look for the following signs of the disease:
- Frequent auto accidents
- Absence at work/school
- Inability to take care of children
- Financial difficulties
- Peptic ulcers
Choosing Between Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
Every person differs in their alcohol addictions. It is these differences that usually determine the type of treatment that will best suit a person. For a person who has been in active addiction for many months or several years, inpatient treatment tends to be the most effective. On the other hand, if a person has only been suffering from alcoholism for a small amount of time, such as less than three months, outpatient treatment could be the most beneficial.
Outpatient treatment is often advantageous for those who have work and/or family duties to attend to. The reasoning behind this is because it allows them to work during the day and attend treatment during the evening. At nighttime, the person can return home to take care of the household.
If a person suffers from mental health disorders in addition to an alcohol problem, it is best to take part in an inpatient program. This type of treatment is also recommended to those who have previously completed an outpatient program, but were unsuccessful at staying sober.