An alcohol use disorder is a serious condition that causes the affected individual to experience strong cravings for alcohol, be unable to stop drinking after having started, and feel irritable and anxious whenever they’re not drinking. This condition is very similar to a substance use disorder and results from becoming dependent on alcohol in order for the body to function normally. About 18 million Americans suffer from this disorder.
In order to effectively manage the effects of alcoholism, it’s recommended that you seek treatment. The following provides a detailed guide on what you should expect from alcohol treatment and rehab.
What You Should Know About Alcoholism Treatment
People who are affected by alcohol use disorder oftentimes feel as though it’s impossible to manage the cravings that come with this disorder. Whenever they stop drinking alcohol for an extended period of time, their cravings go into overdrive, which only serves to make them drink alcohol again.
Like any addiction, suffering from an alcohol use disorder means that your body isn’t able to function properly without alcohol in the system. If you want to safely learn how to deal with an alcohol use disorder, it’s important that you enter some kind of alcoholism treatment. When you enter the right treatment facility, you should be able to eventually lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
The effectiveness of alcohol treatment and recovery depends on numerous factors, which include your personal motivation, the support system that you have and your medical history. In order for treatment to be as effective as possible, it’s recommended that you enter into a treatment facility that provides you with supervision by medical professionals who have experience in dealing with alcohol use disorders. These professionals can assist you throughout every step of the recovery process, which extends from detoxification to therapy. If you enter into an inpatient facility, these professionals will be on hand 24/7 to make sure that your recovery progresses smoothly.
Before you enter treatment, it’s essential that you understand that learning how to manage an alcohol use disorder will take time. Depending on the severity of the disorder, you may need to spend anywhere from a month to upwards of one year in a treatment facility. Less than 50% of all individuals with an alcohol use disorder will relapse following a year of sobriety. This number drops to 15% for individuals who make it to five years of sobriety. While inpatient and outpatient treatment have proven to be highly effective at helping individuals learn how to manage their alcohol use disorders, you should still consider taking advantage of therapy and local support groups even after treatment.
When You Should Seek Treatment
In order for any kind of treatment to work at helping an individual manage their alcohol use disorder, the individual must first understand that they are affected by this condition while also having a strong desire to quit drinking. While it’s possible for someone with an alcohol use disorder to recognize that they have a problem without any outside interference, friends and family members may need to hold an alcohol intervention to help the individual see that they have a problem while also discussing any treatment options available to them. If you believe that a family member or close friend is suffering from an alcohol use disorder, the most common signs of this disorder include:
- A lowered interest in hobbies
- Frequent bouts of binge drinking
- Frequent denials of suffering from an alcohol use disorder
- Constant mood changes
- Commitment of violent acts
- Frequent excuses after neglecting responsibilities
- Poor performance at school or work
Even if your friend or family member hasn’t been affected by an alcohol use disorder for a lengthy period of time, they should seek treatment as soon as possible. If you wait too long, it’s possible to experience financial problems, severe health issues, professional disruptions and relationship problems. Getting help at the beginning of an alcohol use disorder can stave off most of these complications.
Types of Alcoholism Treatment Available to You
There are several different types of alcoholism treatment that you can select from once you’ve admitted that you have a problem. Basic treatments will focus almost entirely on your alcohol use in an attempt to help you manage the disorder. While this can be helpful for individuals who haven’t been affected by alcoholism for too long, a better alternative would be to enroll into a comprehensive program, which focuses on the individual and the problems they are going through. The treatments that you could be provided with during a comprehensive program include medical detoxification, inpatient rehab and alcohol counseling.
Detoxification is among the most important components of treatment and rehab. This particular phase of treatment occurs at the very beginning of recovery. The goal of detox is to make sure that the individual with an alcohol use disorder is able to safely get rid of the alcohol in their system without suffering from severe health complications. For many individuals, detox is the most difficult step toward recovery. Without entering supervised detox, people who attempt to stop drinking alcohol will typically experience strong withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to avoid relapsing. If you can get through detox without relapsing, the remainder of the recovery process may be easier for you to manage.
In the initial three to four days after you have stopped drinking, the withdrawal symptoms will likely be at their most intense, which is why professional medical care is necessary. In the event that your symptoms become severe, you will likely be provided with small doses of medications that are designed to ease the pain you’re experiencing. Once the detoxification process has been completed and alcohol has been removed from your system, you can focus on the remaining aspects of alcohol treatment and rehab.
When you have completed detox, you will be able to continue through outpatient rehab, which is a kind of structured environment that can help you learn how to manage the cravings that come with alcohol use disorder. This type of treatment allows patients to continue living at home and maintaining their normal schedules. Even though outpatient treatment is appealing to many individuals, it can sometimes be difficult to avoid relapsing when living in an environment that brought about the addiction in the first place.
If you decide to enroll in inpatient rehab, you will be required to stay in a residential facility on a 24/7 basis until you have completed the program, which can differ in length from person to person. Likely the best aspect of attending inpatient rehab is that you will be in a drug-free environment among other individuals who are also trying to recover from their own substance use disorders. While you can remain in an inpatient rehab program for as long as you require, many of these programs are designed to last from 30 to 90 days.
The main goals of inpatient rehab include helping you manage your cravings and assisting you in learning how to lead an alcohol-free life. During your time at an inpatient facility, you will learn how to effectively overcome triggers and how to react if ever you relapse. These programs can include treatments like group therapy, individual counseling, family therapy and behavioral therapy. Many facilities will also provide some fun activities that you can take part in during free time, which can include anything from paintball to bowling.
When you have fully completed inpatient rehab, you’re likely in a good place where you understand your addiction and how to manage the cravings that come with it. However, you should still obtain alcohol counseling if you want to make sure that you avoid relapsing. Regular meetings while you recover will help keep you accountable and make sure that you remain sober. The therapist you meet with should also be able to assist you in working on the underlying issues that caused you to start drinking too much alcohol in the first place. These issues could include family problems, relationship issues, work circumstances or pressure from your peers to drink. By learning more about who you are, recovery should be more straightforward.
Treatment Statistics You Should Be Aware Of
There are a variety of statistics that may help you understand just how important it is to seek alcohol treatment and rehab if you believe you’re suffering from alcohol use disorder. First of all, nearly 95% of all individuals who are affected by an alcohol use disorder believe that they don’t require treatment in order to manage their condition, which can make it difficult for these individuals to agree to enter treatment.
Upwards of 1.5 million individuals seek treatment for alcoholism every year, which goes to show how large this problem is. If you can admit that you have a problem and that treatment is necessary to manage your alcohol use disorder, you should be able to begin the recovery process.
Primary Stages of Treatment
When you’re searching for the right inpatient rehab facility to enter, it’s important to understand that each center operates somewhat differently and may provide different treatments. However, the three main stages of treatment that should be included at every facility are detoxification, rehabilitation and maintenance. Detoxification involves the management of the withdrawal symptoms that you will experience when you stop drinking alcohol. These symptoms will be at their most severe around 24 to 48 hours after you’ve stopped drinking. If you want to manage these symptoms without suffering from adverse health complications, it’s important to do so in a facility where you can receive medical supervision.
As for rehabilitation, this involves an array of different treatments and therapies that are all designed to help you overcome your triggers and cravings. It’s during this stage that you will learn how to cope with the problems that you will experience in everyday life. This stage can occur in an outpatient or inpatient setting but is most effective at an inpatient facility.
The maintenance stage only occurs after you have completed a rehabilitation program. Attending support groups and seeking individual counseling may help you acclimate yourself to the outside world and learn how to live an alcohol-free life.
Treatment Centers You Can Enter
Even though there are many reputable treatment and recovery centers that you can enter, some of the recommended recovery centers available to you include Green Mountain Treatment Center and other Granite Recovery Centers.
Green Mountain Treatment Center is a treatment facility that’s tailored to individuals who are suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Located in Effingham, NH, this treatment center is nestled among the White Mountains, which provides patients with picturesque views and amazing scenery. The rehab program at our facility follows a 12-step curriculum that provides structure to anyone attempting to recovery from alcoholism. All treatment plans are individualized to make sure that the needs of each patient are tended to. Along with medical detox, we also offer:
- Gender-separate accommodations and programs
- Chef-prepared meals
- Yoga and meditation for relaxation
- Treatment that’s available for co-occurring mental disorders
- An onsite gym
- Educational programs, meetings and workshops related to the 12-step curriculum
Green Mountain Treatment Center is just one of the various Granite Recovery Centers that are located in the New England area and are designed to provide patients with a distinct blend of clinical psycho-therapies and the 12-step curriculum. Treatment programs include medical detox, extended care, residential treatment, sober living and outpatient counseling once the primary treatment has been concluded. By offering a full continuum of care, patient needs are taken care of throughout the entire recovery process.
When you suffer from an alcohol use disorder, treatment is imperative if you want to avoid the serious financial, health and relationship problems that can result from being dependent on alcohol. No matter which inpatient facility you decide to enter, you should be in a place that facilitates your recovery and helps you learn what life will be like once you understand how to manage your alcohol use disorder.