This is a structured treatment program that aims at helping a patient who suffers from alcohol addiction to overcome the problem. Alcoholism is a serious chronic disease that, if left untreated, can have severe and life-threatening results.
The process of alcohol rehab usually consists of detoxification, a medically supervised phase of withdrawal from alcohol. During this period, medications are administered on the affected individual to control symptoms. The alcoholic is also put under close monitoring to ensure that he/she is safe. In addition to medication, the addict is educated about the alcohol problem and the importance of overcoming that addiction.
Alcohol withdrawal for a person who’s dependent on the drug has to be properly managed by medics because withdrawal symptoms can pose great danger. They include: sweating, seizures, nausea, hallucinations, vomiting, paranoia, tremors, agitation and anxiety.
Types of alcohol rehabilitation programs
Alcohol rehab programs can be classified into five broad categories:
Medical clinic/ hospital base programs Intensive outpatient programs Residential rehab programs Outpatient programs Day treatment/ partial hospitalization programs
Medical clinic/ hospital based programs
These programs provide alcohol rehab in specialized units on an in-patient basis. Their popularity is decreasing because of a raft of changes made by insurance companies.
Intensive outpatient programs
They are suitable for motivated addicts who have supportive friends or family members. Treatment is conducted for about 15 hours every week, and lasts for approximately 7 months.
Residential rehab programs
Places like Cornerstone Rehab Center have a normal residential environment and can last for between 1- 12 months. Treatment is often divided into stages that an alcoholic goes through. At the beginning, contact with family and friends is limited to encourage development of primary relationships with other resident alcoholics.
They’re conducted in hospitals, residential facilities, health clinics and counselors’ offices with outpatient clinics. They are generally conducted on weekends or in the evenings to enable alcoholics continue working.
Day treatment/ partial hospitalization programs
They offer an average of six treatment hours every day at clinics/ hospitals to people who continue staying in their homes. Most of them run for approximately three months and are suitable for addicts with stable home environments and/or supportive family.
What does alcohol rehab consist of?
It’s a structured treatment program that consists of the following:
Initial assessment Development of an effective plan Individual and group counseling Individual assignments Education about disorders caused by alcohol abuse Life skills training Training on how to prevent relapse Familiarization with members of self help groups
After-care and follow-up programs
According to medical experts, a person who was previously dependent on alcohol should be regarded as one who is always on recovery. There is no guarantee that such a person can never relapse and start drinking again, regardless of the type and length of rehab that he/she has undergone.
To prevent possible relapse, such a person needs to meet with other group members or counselors with the objective of assessing how well he/she is managing, and also to provide help in overcoming challenges of life without alcohol.
Factors that must be taken into consideration while choosing an alcohol rehab program
- Will your insurance cover be accepted? If it won’t be accepted, can they provide you with an alternative payment plan that is affordable?
- Is it run by professionals who are properly trained, licensed and/or accredited?
- Are family members of alcoholics provided with counseling to enable then understand the process and provide psychological support to the recovering alcoholic?
- Is there continuing monitoring of probable relapse to assist an affected person?
- Does the program directly involve psychiatrists in caring for patients? Is the place clean, well run and organized?
- Is medication part of the alcohol rehab (if appropriate)?
- Does it fulfill all individual needs?
- Does the program consist of behavioral therapies such as counseling to enhance the addicts’ ability to function in the community?
- Does it provide treatment services that are appropriate for people with different sexual orientation, disabilities, age and gender?
- Have measures been put in place to encourage alcoholics stay in facilities for as long as possible?
- Is the treatment plan periodically subjected to continuous assessment to ensure it meets constantly changing needs?