Though legal it may be, alcoholism ranks number three as a leading lifestyle-related cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Within any given year, an estimated 88,000 people die as a result of excessive alcohol use. Fortunately, alcoholism is a treatable condition.
Alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs offer different levels of care to meet each person’s individual treatment needs. As everyone’s circumstances differ, anyone considering alcohol addiction rehabilitation can benefit from the range of treatment options available.
Rather than remaining a lifestyle-choice, excess alcohol use becomes a disease that affects every area of a person’s life. As a disease-type condition, four components drive alcoholism:
- Strong cravings
- Physical dependence to the point of experiencing withdrawal effects
- Inability to control one’s intake
- Increasing tolerance levels
Alcohol addiction rehabilitation addresses each of these components in stages as that’s how alcoholism progresses. After so many days or weeks of frequent drinking, the body develops a physical dependence on alcohol. With ongoing use, a person eventually starts to crave the taste of alcohol as well as its effects.
Meanwhile, the body’s tolerance levels for alcohol continue to increase. As tolerance levels continue to increase, a person needs to drink increasingly larger amounts in order to experience the same desired effects. By this point, drinkers lose control over their intake amounts in an effort to exceed the body’s tolerance levels and meet its physical dependency requirements.
In the midst of this process, a person develops certain habits and routines, such as drinking at a certain time of day or with a certain group of people. In time, drinkers start to believe they need alcohol to make it through the day. Alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs well understand how alcoholism progresses and employ targeted methods for helping alcoholics overcome addiction.
Types of Alcohol Addiction Rehabilitation Programs
Different types of alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs attempt to meet the various challenges that arise at different levels of alcohol addiction. Partial hospitalization programs offer detox services for people just starting out in recovery.
Residential alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs provide a tightly structured environment where addicts can receive medical care as well as learn new ways of coping with life without alcohol.
Sober living facilities offer the same care and treatment as residential alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs only these programs last considerably longer. In general, the severity of the addiction determines the level of treatment required to address a person’s needs.
As with any addiction, alcoholics suffer from both a physical and a psychological dependency. Alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs often use medication-based therapies to treat the physical dependency. Medication therapy treatments make it possible for recovering alcoholics to wean the body off alcohol’s effects.
Treating a psychological dependency entails ongoing psychotherapy to help addicts work through the issues that drive a person to drink. Group counseling methods provide settings where participants can develop new coping skills for dealing with everyday life. For long-term treatment purposes, 12-Step support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous help keep recovering alcoholics engaged in the recovery process for the long term.