The illness known as alcoholism affects people from all spectrums. It does not discriminate, and regardless of a person’s gender, age, background, and socio-economic status, alcoholism can be a problem. Once this illness takes hold, it can be extremely difficult to beat; difficult but not impossible. With the right help and support, anyone can beat their addiction. Those who want to recover will need to complete a programme of alcoholism rehabilitation where they will learn how to live without relying on alcohol. This is not as easy as it sounds.
For those who have never come to depend on a toxic substance such as alcohol, it may seem as if all a person has to do is stop drinking. If only it were that simple! Addiction is an illness of the brain that affects a person’s ability to make good judgements.
Alcoholics lack the ability to stop drinking, even when they want to. It’s hard to understand why a person would continue to drink when it is causing so much devastation to their own lives and the lives of those around them. However, many of those who are affected cannot stop unless they get professional help in an alcoholism rehabilitation facility.
To beat alcoholism, it is necessary to quit drinking. Nevertheless, that is easier said than done. While some people are able to quit drinking on their own, those with severe addictions generally require help. The process of quitting alcohol and waiting until all traces have left the body is known as detoxification.
Most experts believe that alcoholics should dry out in a carefully supervised facility because of the potential for severe withdrawal symptoms. It is dangerous for an alcoholic to attempt to detox alone because, in rare cases, serious withdrawal symptoms can lead to seizures, convulsions, and even death.
Most alcoholism rehabilitation centres will offer a detox programme or will recommend a facility where patients can detox before beginning their rehabilitation programme.
It is important to note that detox is just the first step on the road to recovery. Detox is not the same as treatment, and those who quit drinking need help to stay sober. Getting sober is a significant step on the journey, but it is just the beginning.
Once a person is clean, they will need to learn how to change the maladaptive behaviours that have led to this point in their lives. Most alcoholics have been drinking for a long time. Alcoholism does not occur overnight so an extended period of drinking tends to precede a physical dependence.
Once you have decided that you are ready to make changes to your life and have completed a programme of detoxification, you will be in a position to start rehabilitation, which will typically take place in a residential inpatient facility or an outpatient clinic.
Rehabilitation includes a programme of treatments designed around the needs of the individual. It generally includes treatments such as contingency management, individual counselling, group therapy, motivational interviewing, 12-step work, and cognitive behavioural therapy. Some rehabilitation programmes will also include, seminars, workshops and holistic therapies, which are all designed to help the patient reintegrate to society with the ability to stay clean and sober.
In general, sufferers can choose between inpatient and outpatient facilities for their alcoholism rehabilitation. Residential clinics are generally suitable for those who had suffered severe withdrawal symptoms in the past when they tried to quit drinking, those who have other medical problems such as liver disease or heart disease, those who have a stressful home environment that would be detrimental to recovery, and those with mental health issues.
Residential inpatient care is structured and intensive and is an immediate approach to getting better. A residential rehabilitation programme usually lasts for about four to six weeks, and during that time, the patient will stay in a facility with other recovering addicts and various staff members.
These facilities are usually comfortable and therapeutic and offer patients the chance to immerse themselves fully in the recovery process without worrying about distractions from home.
While residential alcoholism rehabilitation programmes are hugely beneficial and the preferred choice for most people, they are not suitable for everyone. There are some for whom private clinics are not feasible. Those who cannot afford to pay for private care or those who are not in a position to be away from home for an extended period of time may want to consider outpatient care instead.
Budget and personal constraints often dictate the type of care someone with alcoholism can avail of. The good news is that many fantastic outpatient facilities around the country offer the same kinds of treatment as residential clinics but on a daily or weekly basis.
Since there is no requirement for an overnight stay, outpatient rehabilitation programmes are less expensive than inpatient programmes. These programmes vary widely, with some requiring daily attendance and others just a few hours per week. Nevertheless, because the programmes are less intensive than inpatient programmes, they tend to last much longer. Some programmes will continue for a few months while others may last for up to a year or more.
There are a number of things to consider in terms of alcoholism rehabilitation. If you have the funds to go private, it can be a great chance to get your recovery off to a flying start. Many experts believe that the intensive programme and structured routines offered by inpatient programmes give patients a head start on the road to long-term recovery.
Others are of the opinion that it is better to learn how to live without alcohol while also having to deal with the pressures of everyday life.
You need to consider your options carefully before choosing alcoholism rehabilitation. Think about your ability to deal with the stresses of your personal life while also trying to get sober and stay sober. Maybe a programme of care in a residential facility would work better for you.
You should also consider your finances and how the rest of your family would cope if you were away for a number of weeks. Speak to your close family members and friends to determine the best course of treatment for your needs and circumstances. If you would like advice and support from a specialised source, contact us here at Recovery.org.uk and one of our team members would be happy to discuss your options with you.