What Happens at an Alcohol Rehab

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We’ll explain what happens in rehab. First you check-in (admission) then the detox process follows for about a week. Then the rehab process starts with therapy, counselling, and aftercare planning.

Perhaps you're feeling ashamed, nervous, or cynical will rehab help your specific condition. Rehab centres can make a big difference.

Professional, licensed, skilled staff or workers at modern rehab centres will know your trepidation and do the whole thing they can to make sure a successful recovery. 

With a rehab programme, you'll embark on a personalised, intense course of recovery. 

The addiction treatment can include medication, detox, therapy, sober living, counselling, and relapse prevention.

Considering entering an alcohol treatment centre is an important initial step to overcoming dependence on alcohol and drugs and embarking on a healthy lifestyle. Check out our alcohol programme at Abbeycare, here.

Let us dig deeper into what happens at an alcohol rehab centre. 

Alcohol Rehab What to Expect: Consideration and Preparing for Rehabilitation 

what happens at an alcohol rehab

The research was done in 2019 by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, and Alcoholism shows that 14.5 million people aging 12 and above have a addiction or alcoholism issue.

However, just 7.2 percent of those individuals with addiction issues got the cure they required.

An estimated 27,000 women and 68,000 men die from drug-related causes yearly, making them one of the leading preventable causes of mortality in the US. Tobacco is the leading cause, followed by poor diet as well as physical inactivity. 

While some people keep away from treatment due to many reasons, most don't get support as they are not sure what to look forward to a addiction treatment programme.

Once an alcohol addiction treatment programme is going to be doing well, the individual in alcohol addiction treatment requires being encouraged to finish the programme. 

Understanding what every aspect of addiction treatment entail can get the person ready for the whole process; therefore, they are prepared for every step and engrossed to finish the treatment and obtain lifelong recovery. 

What to Expect at Alcohol Rehab Programme

Here are the things that happen inside a rehab centre: 

Detox and Withdrawal: Initial and Complex Process 

The initial step in any alcohol and drug addiction treatment plan is detox in order to withdraw from the substance.

Detox is considered the hardest step as withdrawal can make uncomfortable and risky physical and psychological symptoms. 

Some physical symptoms when doing detox are:

  • Shakiness 
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat 
  • Nausea 
  • Headache 
  • Sweating and clamminess 
  • Fever
  • Seizures 
  • Some Psychological symptoms are: 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 

Additional Withdrawal Symptoms when doing Detox  

  • Nightmares and insomnia 
  • Mood swings 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Agitation 

The riskiest or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms is seizures. Other withdrawal symptoms to watch out for are hallucinations, and fever.

These are often a portion of an extremely serious withdrawal reaction known as delirium tremens or DTs for short.

This is a life-threatening condition; therefore, medical detoxification must be undertaken for drug and alcohol addiction.

You must never try to detox along from drugs and alcohol use or alcoholism. 

All these signs can be controlled and managed through medical detox in a rehab centre or facility.

Treatments and other medications that ease signs and make the process of detoxification safer and easier to bear might be given or administered by medical experts. 

Kinds of Alcohol Abuse Treatment and Therapy for Mental Health 

what happens at an alcohol rehab

If the patient has finished detox, therapy starts, even in some alcohol use treatment programmes. Therapy comes in many forms and types.  

A normal day in a rehab centre might include individual therapy, group therapy, support groups therapies, couples therapy, and skill-building activities to prepare an addict for life after handling and for mental health as well. 

Behavioural Therapy for Alcohol Abuse  

Behaviour therapies are many types, and they are utilized by reliable and research-based rehab centres and facilities.

Most often, rehab treatment includes individual or group sessions to assists patients know the inspiration and enthusiasm behind their actions and the triggers for substance abuse and mental health issue.  

If a patient knows what triggers their action, they can work to come up with coping skills to cope with these triggers in a healthy manner. 

Recent research shows that this therapy, along with medical treatment and motivational therapies, can boost the capability of the person to handle Alcoholism and drug addiction. 

CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

This assists individuals with addiction to to know their thought patterns and behavioural responses to know how to interrupt the responses and replace more positive action for those involving drugs and alcohol use disorder. 

Trauma-Focused Therapy 

This is a kind of cognitive-behavioural therapy that takes trauma, as well as its impact on actions, into consideration.

Thus, it allows individuals to make the link between their trauma and their action and break the connection consciously with the drinking alcohol behaviour. 

DBT or Dialectical Behaviour Therapy 

This is a kind of therapy useful for individuals with dual diagnoses.

It offers ways to handle drinking alcohol issue and other issues through motivational enhancement and behavioural skills and mental health as well. 

Interpersonal Therapy 

Developing a social network and support arrangement, which moderate loneliness, depression, as well as other emotional triggers of addictive actions, can strengthen the person's resistance to decline. 

Marriage or Family Therapy 

There are instances that relationship dynamics add to the way a patient reacts to the treatment. Due to this, meetings with the spouse, family, or loved one offers support for fast recovery. 

First and foremost, spouses, family members, and loved one might unknowingly be allowing the substance abuse in their reaction to the one who is addicted.

By knowing how they might be adding to the actions, these loved ones or family members can know how to alter their patterns and be reliable supporters of recovery. 

Secondly, having therapy sessions with loved ones and family can give a source of self-esteem and strength for the one undergoing am addiction treatment, providing a reminder during drug treatment recovery which the person has loving support and believes in their capability to make the treatment needed modifications in action. 

Education and Aftercare 

Also, it is vital to educate the person regarding substance use addition and get them ready for going back to the usual regime after treatment.

The conversion from addiction treatment to life after rehabilitation can be hard, but thorough preparation and hold-up can smooth the course. 

During the sessions, people may know about resources on hand in the community, which can help post-treatment recovery and motivational as well as coping techniques to assists them keep away from decline after treatment.

The resources can include groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, tools for keeping typical way conditions that might trigger desires or cravings for drugs or alcohol, and techniques for building a social network that can inspire sobriety. 


What to Expect Inpatient Alcohol Treatment 

There are many kinds of treatments offered in a rehab centre, including inpatient treatment. What is inpatient treatment, by the way?

This refers to residential handling , which offers the utmost level of rehab services for people diagnosed with drug and alcohol addiction.

Inpatient drug rehab plans typically include detox as well as integrated mental wellbeing services. 

Inpatient treatment for substance abuse starts with clinicians getting a proper comprehension of one specific case.

The treatment team will assess the person’s medical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, and substance use background to make a customized treatment plan.

With permission coming from the patient, rehab workers might also discuss with loved ones and consult with experts you may be working with in the past to address the challenges and needs. 

The fact that substance addiction is an illness that affects not just the body but also the mind and spirit, rehab centres or facilities bring a skilled team together to give patients a customized healing plan. 

Licensed team for inpatient and outpatient treatment might take account of the following: 

  • Physicians 
  • Psychologists 
  • Nurses 
  • Psychiatrists 
  • Licensed marriage 
  • Family therapists 
  • Licensed addiction counsellor 
  • Nutritionist 
  • Fitness experts 
  • Wellness experts 
  • Continuing care coordinator 
  • Financial advocate 
  • Clinical case manager 

What is the First Step in Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Programmes? 

Detox is the initial step in the 12 step of helping the patient’s body and brain heal from alcohol or drug abuse.

The process starts with assessments by nurses and medical doctors to know which health interventions are required.

This is a time to get rid of the substances from the body that can be a challenging experience with no appropriate medical assistance to assist ease cravings and discomfort. 

Rehab centres will work closely with the patient to assess discomfort level and offer with right medications, if required, to address cravings or any discomfort.

During this process, a patient will be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until the expert determines that you’re stable to join in rehab activities and programming. 

Following detox, patients will move to an inpatient treatment unit to meet the treatment peers and join in rehab activities and services. 

Rehab activities offered by rehab treatment centres to free from addiction may include the following: 

  • Group therapy programme  
  • Individual chemical health evaluations 
  • Medical appointments 
  • Individual mental and physical wellbeing assessments and psychological therapy 
  • Family programme participation 
  • Nutritional assessment 
  • Educational as well as experiential workshops 
  • Spiritual care 
  • Continuing aftercare planning

What are the Risks of Leaving Residential Rehab Early? 

For different reasons, a lot of people end up leaving rehab centres early.

A lot of residential treatment programmes suggest stays of three months or 90 days to make the best out of the perk of the programme.

Ninety days is regarded as the least amount of time for the patient to see considerable symptom improvement. 

Some may leave the residential treatment programme due to many reasons, including: 

  • Not being motivated or read for the treatment 
  • No connection or rapport with staff or experts 
  • No support from loved ones 
  • Outside personal problems 
  • Lack of finances and monetary problems 

What is difficult is that successful recovery techniques for substance abuse need long-term treatment.

Suppose the person receives constant care, the better the chances of staying clean. However, people leave the treatment facility for diverse reasons. 

Usually, rehab programmes have strict guidelines. One can be kicked out of the facilities for violating regulations or relapsing after they have begun the programmes.

Once you’re forced to leave, it makes the process complicated. 

Is Rehab for Alcoholic Addiction Effective? 

Rehab can be a good way to get help to overcome or free you from addiction, provided that the patient is ready and dedicated to making a change.

If you or any members of the family are ready to discover treatment, explore or search the best rehab centres today.

You can feel free to call or contact the professional at mental health services administration if you need help or information about rehab process and treatment options available.  

Do I need rehab for alcohol?

The severity of your addiction to alcohol would determine when you should get help. Some of the tell-tale signs of a mild to severe level of addiction include lack of control, inability to stop drinking, excessive cravings, a feeling of anxiety and depression, tolerance, and withdrawal.

These signs of addiction affect your life negatively altogether. You should not wait to hit rock bottom before you seek help. When you begin to contemplate if you do need rehab for alcohol, you most likely do. Enter a suitable rehab programme as soon as possible to stop alcohol addiction. 

What do they do in alcohol rehab?

An alcohol rehab programme combines medical and therapeutic procedures that help an inpatient overcome alcohol addiction. What they do in alcohol rehab may vary depending on the facility’s structure, amenities offered, and the inpatient’s needs, although all rehab facilities must follow standard procedures. 

In general, specialists from several mental and physical health fields coordinate the activities in a rehab facility. A drug counsellor, for example, is assigned to offer close support and advice to inpatients as they learn to manage addiction triggers and master healthy habits.

What happens at an alcohol rehab?

Every moment in a rehab facility is designed to help inpatients take a step closer to overcoming alcohol addiction. If you’re thinking of entering an addiction treatment program, the following routines are examples of what happens at an alcohol rehab centre.

Detox is firstly done to remove all addictive substances from your body system and prepare you to treat withdrawal symptoms. Physical exercises and sporting activities will help you stay active and raise your fitness level. You will also develop a healthy relationship with co-inpatients, friends, and family members with the group and individual therapies.

What is alcohol rehab like? 

Alcohol rehab is a life-changing experience, provided that the facility meets all the standard requirements and you are committed to healing. Specialists of various medical disciplines will offer treatments that will help you stop cravings, irresponsibility, the feeling of anxiety and depression, and other adverse effects of alcohol addiction. 

For instance, a detox specialist helps you get through detoxification and manage the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. Daily activities start with yoga, mediation, and a healthy meal; prepared according to the dietician’s recommendations. Behavioural therapy is done in the afternoon for group and individual sessions. These activities and many more are what alcohol rehab is like

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About the author

Laura Morris

Laura Morris is an experienced clinical practitioner and CQC Registered Manager with over twenty years experience, over ten of which have been as an Independent Nurse Prescriber.

She has held a number of senior leadership roles in the substance use and mental health sector in the NHS, the prison service and in leading social enterprises in the field.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024