What do they do in Alcohol Rehab

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Alcohol rehab centres offer detox, therapy, and aftercare for alcohol rehabilitation.  

Rehab centres also offer specialized treatments like in-house rehabilitation services.  

In private rehabilitation centres, every patient is treated based on their stage of AUD (alcohol use disorder). 

Alcohol dependence varies from mild to severe, including the number of symptoms.  

A list of treatments is offered to patients according to their AUD stage. Treatments include: 

  • Yoga or meditation session in morning classes  
  • Daily meetings in a controlled and safe therapeutic environment 
  • Individual behavioural therapy 
  • Group therapy/ group sessions 
  • Family Therapy 
  • Exercise programmes 
  • Dance therapy 
  • Music or art therapy 
  • Equine therapy 
  • Neurofeedback 
  • Biofeedback 

An addict regains their lost capabilities in alcohol rehab. The rehab facility addresses physical, environmental, and psychological needs.

Alcohol rehab treatment process

The alcohol rehab treatment process requires time, effort, support, and willpower.

The 4-steps journey of recovery starts after deciding to be a part of alcohol rehab.  

The alcohol rehab treatment process consists of four levels: 

  1. Beginning of the treatment 
  2. Timely abstinence 
  3. Sustaining abstinence 
  4. Early recovery 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse developed these levels, a highly beneficial model for people suffering from AUD. [1] 

1. At level I

Beginning of the treatment, the alcohol rehab helps the individual willingly participate in the recovery process. In the beginning, acceptance is the aim of the individual.  

A substance abuse counsellor helps the individual to know the damages of using alcohol. 

The individual is motivated to regain his capabilities and explore their feelings. An individualized plan is developed at the beginning of the alcohol rehab treatment process.  

2. At level II 

Timely abstinence, the individual makes a solid commitment to abstain from using alcohol. The individual feels physical cravings, triggers to relapse, and continuous withdrawal symptoms.  

A trained addiction counsellor teaches the individual the skills to cope with the challenges of the abstinence stage. The person learns: 

  • How to handle cravings 
  • Recognize alcohol use triggers 
  • Physical and psychological consequences of withdrawal 
  • How to participate in healthy activities 
  • Alternative behaviours to stay busy 
  • Participation in self-help groups 

3. At level III

Sustaining abstinence, continuous counselling is provided to the individual to maintain abstinence. The main goal of level 3 is sustaining abstinence by not committing a relapse.  

The skills learned at the beginning of the treatment help at this stage. The individual develops a drug-free lifestyle and learns skills like: 

  • Anger management 
  • Money and employment management 
  • Development of healthy relationships 
  • Preventing from alternative addictions 

4. At level IV 

Early recovery, the person reaches the final level after five years of refraining from alcohol.

At this stage, they can start a decent, satisfied, and fulfilling life with strategies like: 

  • Developing a regular schedule 
  • Building long-term goals 
  • Building a new relationship with people who are not alcoholic  
  • Exploring ways to seek fulfilment and happiness either through social activism, community work, spirituality, or religion 

The alcohol rehab treatment process requires willpower, commitment, and lifestyle changes.

With the 4-stages of treatment, an individual can find motivation and learn new skills to succeed in life. 

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Going into Rehab

Going into rehab for the treatment process is the first step towards your recovery. People are concerned about putting things on hold while entering rehab, like the bills, job, or family obligations.  

Entering rehab and feeling nervous is normal as it comes after taking the big decision. The individual should prepare themselves for going into rehab.  

Going into rehab requires taking some essential steps to ensure that the individual can focus on maintaining their sobriety. The steps can be: 

  • Applying for a medical leave from the job 
  • Asking a friend or neighbour to take care of your loved ones for some time 
  • Signing up automatic payments for bills to stay away from financial stress during treatment 

How do alcohol rehab centres work

How alcohol rehab centres work is that they offer inpatient and outpatient or long-term or short-term treatments. 

Treatments usually consist of an individualized blend of programmes and therapies for advanced recovery.  

The recovery consists of pathways to living a healthy and respectful life.  

After a person enters treatment for AUD, the stages are explained to them. It is suggested by the National Institute on Drug abuse that an alcohol addict should stay in the programme for at least three months. [2] 

Alcohol rehab centres start treatment with detox to get rid of alcohol dependence.

Alcohol abstinence can cause insomnia, irritability, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and insomnia-like symptoms. 

Alcohol treatment programmes are followed to change behaviours.  These three programmes are offered to the individuals according to their symptoms and alcohol dependence: 

  • Residential inpatient treatment 
  • Intensive outpatient treatment 
  • Standard outpatient treatment 

The treatment programmes are referred by the therapist or the physician based on the individual’s history or AUD and withdrawal experience.  

How does inpatient alcohol rehab work

Inpatient alcohol rehab involves joining a rehab centre and staying there until the individual is fully recovered.

The individual has access to specialists and other medical professionals 24 hours a day, providing peace of mind.  

Inpatient alcohol rehab programmes have a defined schedule consisting of breakfast, yoga, therapies, counselling, and other activities throughout the day.  

Two types of inpatient alcohol rehab programmes exist.  

Partial hospitalization and inpatient residential rehab.  

A doctor suggests rehab treatment based on the severity of the individual's alcoholism, history, and financial situation. 

Inpatient residential rehab centre offers 30-60-90 days programmes. The individual stays on-site throughout the treatment process.

This is considered the intensive type of treatment with proven success in helping individuals with severe alcoholism.  

Final thoughts 

In alcohol rehab, several types of alcohol treatment are offered. The treatments follow a basic framework of counselling sessions and therapies.  

Every treatment process is organized and structured. If you are seeking help to kick your alcohol use, start now.  

Now, it’s your responsibility to pave a new path to a rewarding, fulfilling, and alcohol-free life by entering alcohol rehab.  

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About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Pete has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. To read more about Pete visit his LinkedIn profile.