Without the societal stigmas attached to illicit drug use, alcohol consumption remains a commonly accepted recreational diversion in everyday life. The choice of which wine to serve at dinner or what types of drinks to offer at a party and the popular Friday/Saturday night bar scene are just a few examples of how alcohol is woven into American culture and society. This level of acceptance makes it all the more difficult for someone battling an alcohol addiction.
Alcohol treatment centers provide a path to recovery for people unable to manage their drinking on their own. Rehab centers provide the necessary treatment for alcoholics and long-term alcohol abusers to stop drinking and create a foundation for a strong and permanent change.
If you or someone you love has been abusing alcohol, it is important to seek alcohol treatment as soon as possible.
There are many different types of alcohol rehab centers all across the country. Depending on your needs, we can match you with a specific facility that will be suitable for your best recovery experience.
What is an Alcohol Rehab Center?
Rehab centers are treatment facilities where trained professionals use evidence-based methods to help curb your cravings for alcohol, teach you better life skills for avoiding substance abuse, and allow you to make real, healthy changes in your daily life. Alcohol rehab centers are run by licensed medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and counselors as well as volunteers and other types of practitioners.
Types of Alcohol Rehab Centers
There are several types of alcohol rehab centers, and although many newer programs defy specific categorization, the main distinctions between the different program types are listed below.
- Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers: Inpatient centers, where you live 24/7 within a hospital treatment environment, provide constant access to treatment and medical care as well as help and surveillance from medical professionals. These facilities are best for anyone who requires intensive care in a hospital setting. If you are experiencing or have ever experienced the symptoms of delirium tremens as withdrawal from your alcohol use (such as hallucinations and seizures), or you have another severe medical issue that could be impacted by alcohol withdrawal, you will require treatment in one of these facilities.
- Residential Alcohol Rehab Centers: At these centers, you still live in the treatment environment 24/7, but the center is not a hospital or medical facility. You will not have constant access to medical care, but you will still have comfortable accommodations and a controlled environment in which you can benefit from a 24-hour recovery focus.
- Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers: Outpatient facilities offer many of the same treatment options as the above programs but without 24-hour care. If you decided to attend an outpatient program, you would likely visit the facility for a few hours every day at first, then less and less as you progress through your recovery. This is an excellent stepping stone option to follow inpatient or residential care.
- Long-term Alcohol Rehab Centers: These programs can be any of the three types listed above, but they provide treatment that lasts much longer than the normal length of most rehab programs. Depending on the severity of your alcohol dependence and how hard it may have been for you to quit in the past, long-term rehab may be the best choice for you.
Once you have considered your needs, including those that pertain to
- Your psychological and physical condition
- The severity of your dependence on alcohol
- Your social requirements (family visitation, social therapy, etc.)
- Any need for vocational, legal, or housing help
- Any issues pertaining specifically to your culture, ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality, etc.
It is time to consider which type of rehab center would likely be the best fit for you. In general, it is often best for someone who has never attended a professional alcohol treatment program before, to begin with inpatient or residential rehab. This is because these programs offer the most solid starting point for recovery, as they provide more methods and options, more hands-on care, and a more controlled environment to prevent relapse.
- If you are experiencing serious psychological or physical issues associated with your alcohol abuse (including co-occurring mental disordersor the symptoms of delirium tremens), it will be much safer for you to attend inpatient care. These rehab centers are equipped to handle symptoms associated with severe medical conditions, and you will be safer and less likely to experience problematic side effects of your alcohol abuse and/or your recovery.
- If you do not have a strong social support system at home, residential or inpatient care will be a much better choice for you as well. Recovery isn’t easy, but being surrounded by a group of individuals who support your decision to quit drinking is essential to a safe and reliable progression through the experience, especially in this early stage of recovery.
- If you do not feel safe in your current living situation or if it is not conducive to your recovery, choose inpatient or residential rehab for alcoholism treatment. Going home every day to an environment that does not help your recovery will only serve to undo what you can learn in treatment.
While outpatient programs may be more convenient for some people, people dealing with chronic addiction issues may not receive the level of treatment there that they need to stay sober. Outpatient rehab centers are often most helpful at later intervals in your recovery. For example, if you decide to attend alcohol rehab at an inpatient center, your doctor will likely help you transition into an outpatient program as the next step in your recovery.
Ultimately, the severity of a person’s addiction and the individual circumstances surrounding his or her life will determine which type of alcohol treatment center to choose. The best way to decide which kind of program is right for you is to honestly discuss your situation with family, friends, and one or more specialists in the field of addiction treatment and allow their insights to guide you.
Each person has different needs when it comes to alcohol rehab, and this is why most centers provide programs with some different treatment lengths, usually30, 60, or 90 days. Studies have shown that at least four weeks of treatment provides people with their best chance of a successful recovery.
Long-term alcohol rehab centers may provide programs that last for a year or more. Not everyone will need such a lengthy treatment solution, but for those who do, these programs can be lifesavers. It is important to discuss your own needs with treatment professionals, and have those professionals periodically assess and modify your treatment program based on your progress.
Rehab can sometimes be expensive, but this is because it is an intensive healthcare option that involves many different treatments from trained professionals. It is very important to seek the help you need instead of avoiding it due to the cost. That said, there are many options you can use to pay for your alcohol rehab program.
- Insurance is an option for payment for many individuals. If you have an insurance plan obtained or sold through the Healthcare Marketplace, you will receive some amount of help in paying for your rehab program. If you are unsure as to how much your plan will cover, call your insurance company or allow us to help you find rehab centers that will take your insurance.
- Financing the costs of your treatment is also an option. Even if you have insurance that will help pay for your rehab, you are likely to have a copay of your own that you can slowly repay after the program is over. This option is available through most rehab programs, and we can help you find the right one for your needs.
- It is also possible that your friends, family members, and other loved ones will be willing to help you cover the cost of rehab. After all, to see you make a positive change in your life, the people who love you and want you to recover will likely be willing to help if they can.
These facilities are often comfortable, clean places where you can stay or visit for a specific amount of time to receive medication, behavioral therapies, and other treatment options that will help you recover from alcohol addiction. Some facilities provide more options than others, and some are luxury facilities that may offer hotel-like accommodations, but what matters most is that you are receiving targeted addiction treatment and guidance as you make important changes in your life.
Alcohol’s effects on the brain leave most chronic drinkers unable to stop drinking at will. Attempts to reduce or stop drinking are typically met with uncomfortable withdrawal effects that hamper a person’s ability to stay the course. Some alcohol rehab centers provide medications to help people through the detoxification process, and to help them focus on the behavioral therapies that create lasting change in their lives.
The following medications are offered in some alcohol addiction treatment programs:
- Acamprosate is used to help people avoid the potential of drinking again by reducing their desire for the substance.
- Disulfiram creates unpleasant symptoms when individuals drink while taking the drug, therefore discouraging further drinking.
- Naloxone blocks the receptors in the brain that are associated with the desired effects of alcohol, preventing intoxication.
- Anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills, antidepressants, pain relievers, and other medications may be offered by treatment programs to address individual withdrawal symptoms.
Long-time drinkers develop both a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol even in cases where the body is no longer dependent on alcohol’s effects, the mental desire or urge to drink remains. For this reason, treatment of alcohol addiction requires a psychological as well as a medical treatment component.
Psychological treatment of alcohol addiction entails individual psychotherapy to help a person work through the underlying motivations for alcohol addiction. Group therapy and support group work also help to recover alcoholics develop healthy interpersonal skills and relationships, while also providing the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others.
Psychosocial therapy is a means of teaching the patient how to reintegrate back into life and society without the use of alcohol. Some of the more common means of psychosocial therapy focus on teaching patients how to listen and interact with others, how to form trusting relationships and how to gain back their social independence (this is often the first of many things to be given up when alcoholism becomes a factor in an individual’s life).
Changing your habitual responses to stressors and the desire to drink is key to achieving and maintaining recovery. Behavioral therapy methods such as CBT and other behavioral treatments can be used to stop disordered behaviors from controlling an individual’s life and to teach the individual new, positive perspectives and coping techniques. Behavioral therapy takes time and effort on the part of both the patient and on the counselor or therapist, but it is known to be the most reliably effective method of treatment for alcohol dependence.
Twelve-Step support groups have been in existence since the 1930s. As a long-term treatment approach, Alcoholics’ Anonymous or AA was the very first alcohol addiction treatment program. Twelve-Step methods base the treatment process on a series of steps designed to help to recover alcoholics work through different stages of the recovery process. Most detox programs, outpatient programs, and aftercare programs incorporate the 12-Step method within their treatment models.
Alternative Peer Support Treatment Methods
Alternative peer support groups take a non 12-Step approach to help recovering alcoholics maintain abstinence. As traditional 12-Step methods place a heavy emphasis on a spiritual approach to recovery, alternative methods tend to use more of a logic-based approach to recovery challenges, while preserving the community support aspects of traditional AA.
Alternative methods of treatment of alcohol addiction include:
- SMART Recovery
- Women for Sobriety
- Rational Recovery
Alcohol addiction treatment centers with holistic options place equal emphasis on the spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of recovery. With alternative treatments such as mindfulness training, massage, yoga, art therapy, animal therapy, and movement therapy, holistic rehab centers approach healing and recovery from a variety of different angles. Many of these alternative treatments have proven so successful over time that they are incorporated into treatment plans at otherwise traditional alcohol addiction treatment centers.
As with any addiction, recovery requires a person to apply the principles learned in treatment within their daily lives. For long-term purposes, aftercare supports, such as ongoing psychotherapy and support group work enable recovering alcoholics to maintain sobriety and continue to grow in their recovery on a long-term basis.
When Should I Start Looking for Alcohol Rehab Centers?
Immediately. Recovery should start as soon as you realize you no longer have control over your relationship with alcohol. You will require professional treatment in a quality rehab facility to make a real change in your life, and the safest, healthiest decision is to choose to begin that change right now.
Professional treatment doesn’t just lead to sobriety, it helps to ensure that patients have a lower risk of relapse, it teaches them ways to avoid or cope with cravings and triggers, and it helps them understand how to safely navigate their recovery once they leave the program.
Let us help you find the right program for your needs and answer any other questions you may have today.