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Alcohol Rehab Centers

If you are looking for alcohol rehab centers, you should know what to expect once you enroll. In most cases, your journey to full recovery will start the minute you check in. First, you will be interviewed about your addiction and health before proceeding to medical detox, if necessary. After that, you will undergo therapy and receive education sessions - among others - to ensure that you overcome your alcoholism.

Understanding Alcohol Rehab Treatment

Treatment for alcohol abuse and alcoholism is designed to help you stop your compulsive alcohol seeking and drinking. What is more, the treatment provided at alcohol rehab centers can help you address the reasons behind your drinking. This is because the experts working at these centers will strive to get to the root of this problem before teaching you to adapt new health patterns and behaviors to replace your drinking.

Different alcohol rehab centers provide treatment in a variety of settings, in different forms, and for different time periods. However, since alcoholism is a typical disorder characterized by relapse, one-time and/or short treatment may not prove to be successful.

Instead, treatment will be taken as a long term process involving regular monitoring and care as well as multiple interventions. In most cases, you will find that the alcohol rehab center you check into provides treatment in three different ways:

  • Prescription medications
  • Behavioral therapy, including Contingency Management, Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • A combination of the two

Types Of Programs

While thinking about alcohol rehab centers, it would be useful for you to look one step ahead of detox and rehabilitation. This is because you will also require treatment to be able to fully break your relationship with alcohol. As a direct result, you may find that most of these centers provide a combination of the two treatments.

In most cases, the main options for detox include:

a) Inpatient Detox

Here, you will get to live at the alcohol rehab centers, detox clinic, or hospital as you undergo detoxification. This means that you will receive the round the clock care you need to get through the initial withdrawal period.

b) Outpatient Detox

At such a facility, you will go for treatment and detox during the day and go back home in the evening. It might also take the form of visiting your doctor to get the treatment and medications you require.

Overall, inpatient detox is the most recommended because it provides more services. However, since it costs more, some people might choose to forgo it. Outpatient detox, on the other hand, may work better for people who have good health, stable homes, and relatively short histories with alcohol and problem drinking.

That said, alcohol rehab centers can provide a wide spectrum of services - including but not limited to counseling, medical care, and life skills training. All these services are designed to help you overcome your alcoholism and prevent you from relapsing.

Other options offered at alcohol rehab centers include:

c) Inpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient treatment happens at a medical center, hospital, or alcohol rehabilitation facility. However, it isn't as common as it used to be although it makes sense for people with serious mental health and medical issues accompanying their alcoholism.

Otherwise known as residential rehabilitation, it involves living at the facility. The program will typically run for 1 to 3 months, or longer depending on the severity of your alcoholism. This option works best for people with serious drinking problems as well as those who struggle staying sober.

d) Day Treatment/Partial Hospitalization

Day treatment or partial hospitalization means that you can live at home but spend anywhere between 4 and 8 hours at alcohol rehab centers, clinics, and hospitals. The program is typically designed to last longer than 3 months and is most helpful for people who need medical care but who also have supportive friends and family and stable homes.

e) Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Through this form of treatment, you may be required to spend anywhere between 9 and 20 hours every week undergoing rehabilitation for alcoholism. The program may last longer than 2 months or even as long as a year. Intensive outpatient treatment is best suited for people with solid lives at home and a lower risk of relapse.

f) Outpatient Treatment

Some alcohol rehab centers also provide treatment on an outpatient basis, as do counselors, hospitals, and health clinics. The frequency of your visits will vary from once daily to once weekly. It is suited for people who are already on the path to full sobriety and recovery as well as those who were just discharged from an inpatient rehabilitation facility.

What Happens At Alcohol Rehab Centers?

With regards to what goes on in alcohol rehab centers, you should know that the specific type and mode of treatment (or combination of different treatments) may vary based on your particular needs and preferences.

The NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) reported that as of 2013 7% of all adults in the United States has alcohol use disorders. Of these, only about 7.8% received the treatment they required.

Although people tend to avoid addiction treatment and rehabilitation for many different reasons, most of them don't receive assistance simply because they fear alcohol rehab centers and are unsure of what to expect once they check in.

However, if the treatment program you undertake is to succeed, it is imperative that you are motivated enough to ensure that you complete your stay at alcohol rehab centers. Understanding what you can expect should prepare you for the process. This way, you will be ready for every step and find ways to motivate yourself to achieve recovery by completing the program laid out for you.

Here's what will typically happen at most alcohol rehab centers:

1. Checking In

In many cases - especially when you choose a reputable program, the rehabilitation and treatment process will begin the moment you check into the facility. The members of staff will start by having you complete intake interviews and/or questionnaires to learn more about you, the nature of your alcohol use disorder and/or alcoholism, as well as any other co-occurring or underlying conditions.

This intake process is important because most alcohol rehab centers will customize your treatment based on your specific psychiatric and physical needs. In fact, the guidelines provided by NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Addiction) show that checking in is an essential aspect in the treatment of addiction and alcoholism.

2. Withdrawal and Detox

Your physical dependency on alcohol might be so serious that you may need to be withdrawn carefully from the chemicals you have been abusing to address all potentially harmful and serious medical consequences that may arise when you abruptly stop drinking. In most cases, a physician will supervise the process.

However, detoxification will not address the psychosocial and behavioral causes of your chemical dependence. As such, most alcohol rehab centers will follow it up with behavioral treatment either in-house or by referring you to another facility.

Therefore, you can be sure that withdrawing from alcohol is among the preliminary steps you have to undergo in most treatment programs. In terms of the physical condition, withdrawal is often the most difficult part of rehabilitation. This is because it may create uncomfortable (and sometimes dangerous) psychological and physical symptoms.

According to the MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), the following are some of the symptoms that arise with withdrawal and that have to be addressed through detox:

a) Physical Symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Clamminess

b) Psychological Symptoms

  • Nightmares
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation

3. Behavioral Therapy

Most reputable alcohol rehab centers use research based treatment and rehabilitation in their programs. Today, there are many different types of behavioral therapies they may use.

In most cases, you will undergo individual or group therapy to help you understand the causes of your behavior and motivations behind them. Therapy can also help you learn how to recognize all your triggers.

After you have a clear understanding of what triggers your problem drinking, you can work with the treatment experts to develop appropriate coping skills to use in dealing with these triggers in a healthier way.

According to a recent study published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology journal shows that a combination of behavioral therapy with medical treatment and motivational therapies may increase your ability to manage alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Some of the most common forms of therapy provided, therefore, include:

a) Individual Therapy

When you undergo individual therapy, you will typically work with professional therapists - including but not limited to social workers, counselors, and psychologists - to understand all the causes of your alcohol abuse. After that, they will help you develop robust coping strategies that you can use to deal with your cravings and compulsions so that you stay sober after checking out of alcohol rehab centers. After you have established therapeutic trust with the counselor, you will be able to start learning other new ways of life.

b) Group Therapy

Many alcohol rehab centers base their treatment on group therapy and counseling led by professionals. By creating environments where mutual support can be offered, group therapy takes the form of sessions that will allow you to take advantage of the group format to reinforce your (and other people's) therapeutic gains, share insights, and exert group accountability on your behavior as an individual.

In most cases, group therapy may be provided to people with similar unresolved issues and common experiences, such as involvement with the criminal justice system or with a focus on trauma survival, parenting, and gender specificity.

c) Pharmacological Therapy

At times, the alcohol rehabilitation and treatment center you check into might provide you with medications combined with psychotherapy to help you decrease your physical cravings for alcohol. These medications might relieve your symptoms or work to create even stronger symptoms whenever you take alcohol. By so doing, they will effectively stop you from drinking.

The most commonly used medications in the treatment of alcohol abuse and alcoholism include acomprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone - each of which may enable you participate easier and more effectively in every aspect of your rehabilitation.

These therapies usually take a variety of forms, and alcohol rehab centers may choose to use all of these forms, some of them, or a combination of the various options. They include:

i) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Otherwise known as CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of therapy that can help you recognize and understand your behavioral responses and thought patterns. In the process, they may ensure you learn how to interrupt your responses and substitute all behaviors involving alcohol with better, more positive ones.

ii) Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Shortened to DBT, dialectical behavioral therapy can help you if you have a dual diagnosis. It will, in particular, provide you with ways to manage your alcoholism and any other disorder you have through motivational enhancement and behavioral skills.

iii) Interpersonal Therapy

By building support structures such as social networks around yourself, you can moderate your loneliness, depression, and any other emotional drivers of addictive behavior. Through interpersonal therapy, therefore, you can strengthen your resistance to a relapse.

iv) Trauma Focused CBT

This type of CBT is designed to take trauma and its various effects on your behaviors into account. It works by enabling people like you make connections between trauma and behavior. In the process, you will consciously break all links to drinking behavior.

4. Education and Preparation for the Post-Treatment Stage

Most alcohol rehab centers provide education to their clients, especially about addiction. They may also prepare you for a new life of sobriety and abstinence after you check out of the facility.

In most cases, your rehabilitation is not done after graduating the alcohol rehab center. Instead, your rehab will be viewed in the continuum of aftercare, treatment, intervention, and prevention.

Once you check out of alcohol rehab centers, therefore, it is essential that you go for continuing care or after care. It will ensure that you have access to all local social services, sober houses, recovery support groups, relapse and recovery groups, as well as regular outpatient care (or continued psychotherapy).

Find Resources

If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.

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