The crucial choice to make after the decision to get help for alcohol abuse is which kind of treatment program to undertake. Many people who have severe problems with alcohol abuse may choose to go to treatment centers at least for the first few weeks or months of recovery. Outpatient therapy and treatment can be effective, but for people who experience severe physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms that need urgent care, inpatient treatment is required in the first phase. Choosing the right program for yourself or a loved one can be the key to staying sober for the long-term.
What a Rehab Program Involves
There are different varieties and phases of substance abuse rehab programs. Those who have medical issues related to alcohol, such as symptoms of delirium tremens, require medical care. In some cases, sudden withdrawal from alcohol can be fatal, and continuing drinking is not an option. These patients may undergo detoxification in a hospital for a week to ten days. The purpose of detoxification is to remove all alcohol from the body safely. Not only will this reduce cravings, but it can put a stop to severe withdrawal symptoms that can pose a danger. The patient is monitored constantly to make sure that the withdrawal process is executed safely.
Many patients are placed in a residential alcohol rehab program. They may remain in this type of treatment for one to three months during which they will engage in intensive therapy and will inhabit a safe place that will keep them away from alcohol. During this period, patients may engage in individual and group therapy. Staff members talk with recovering alcoholics about their experiences with substance abuse and recovery and decide on the kind of treatment the patient needs. Group therapy provides a support system so the person in recovery can share their experiences with those who have the same issue. The feeling of support can help promote a life of sobriety.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
It is estimated that around 50 percent of people who suffer from substance abuse have other mental health issues. They may suffer from depression, post-trauma, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and other problems. Mental illness doesn’t necessarily cause substance abuse, but it can provide a trigger that can lead to someone to self-medicate to relieve their emotional anguish. If a patient in a rehab center has a dual diagnosis of substance abuse, they need to have treatment for both issues.
In the past, professionals would treat one issue before the other, but since there can be an inter-relationship between the two issues, it can be effective to treat both issues at the same time, but through different kinds of therapy. The ability to deliver comprehensive treatment is a major advantage of inpatient treatment for those with a dual diagnosis.
Types of Therapy
One of the most popular forms of therapy for alcohol abuse is Alcoholics Anonymous, which is s twelve step program that provides structure and support to promote sobriety. Al-Anon provides support for family members who have been affected by the alcohol abuse of a loved one. Other types of treatment involve holistic therapy, art therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to help people who have abused alcohol in the past stay sober.