Nearly 30 million Americans are drinking alcohol, and have been drinking more, according to a recent study.
With sharp rises seen in the drinking habits among different populations including women, minorities, and senior citizens, more people are possibly struggling with alcohol use disorders. Some of them will seek to get off the roller-coaster ride and look for an alcohol rehab center to detox from the substance and start their recovery.
But once they start their search, they will find there are so many rehabs and treatment centers that offer a helping hand into sobriety.
Word of mouth from a trusted physician or friend can help make the process easier, but for those who truly don’t know what to look for, we offer some tips that can help you or your loved one evaluate the sites being considered.
Start with the Person
First, before a decision is made about which rehab to enter, it is important to assess the needs of the person who is entering alcohol treatment. A licensed medical professional can help determine what those needs are and how to meet them.
Depending on the severity of the person’s condition, there are three options to choose from: inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and 12-step programs, such as Alcoholic Anonymous. Other factors to consider include cost, employment and household responsibilities, prior treatment history, if applicable, and how treatment costs will be covered.
Experts should also consider whether the person has a dual diagnosis, the condition when a mental health disorder is present along with a substance abuse disorder. A treatment center that addresses mental disorders and substance use disorders at the same time is recommended for dual diagnosis clients. Both must be addressed concurrently. If not, relapse could happen.
An alcohol rehab that requires clients to stay on-site and live at the facility for at least 28 to 30 days or longer is a residential treatment center. These programs offer around-the-clock care in a structured environment that ensures clients stay safe and get the individualized attention they need for recovery.
Clients also receive medical attention and group counseling in addition to other services. With an environment free of stresses, distractions, temptations, and substances, residential rehab patients can focus fully on the root of their addiction and how to move on from substance abuse to live a fulfilling life.
Before clients reach residential care, many inpatient treatment centers require a medical detox that is monitored by health care and mental health care professionals. Alcohol-dependent clients likely will experience withdrawal symptoms because they have stopped drinking or reduced the amount of drinking that their bodies are used to.
Detox rids the body of harmful toxins from substance use. Medications may be used during this period to help ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and help manage and control cravings for alcohol. Once withdrawal has subsided, recovering alcoholics can enter therapy.
A note about going “cold turkey”
It is never recommended that people with an alcohol or drug dependence suddenly quit or reduce their substance use, a practice known as “going cold turkey”. To do so is dangerous, and if not addressed properly, symptoms can lead to permanent injury or death. However, a medically monitored detox can help reduce the risk of developing seizures or delirium tremens, a condition that involves shaking, confusion, and hallucinations. Inpatient treatment is highly recommended for people whose alcohol dependence is severe.
Clients who need flexible substance abuse treatment that allows them to work with their schedules may find outpatient treatment centers a better fit. People who pursue outpatient treatment services typically can’t devote a 24-hour commitment to staying in a residential rehab facility for a month or more because they have to work, attend school, and take care of family and household responsibilities. Having regular access to people who can provide support is also a plus of Outpatient Treatment Programs.
Outpatient care is better for people who are in the early stages of alcohol dependence or have a mild substance use disorder. In this kind of program, they will attend therapy sessions during multiple days a week and learn life strategies that encourage them to understand their addiction, use strategies to support their emotional and psychological health, and learn ways to prevent relapse.
Clients who choose an alcohol rehab with outpatient services will have to keep in mind that they must control their own environment when not in therapy. That means they must have a strong commitment to their recovery goals to keep all temptations, which includes people, places, and old habits, at bay, and stick with a schedule.
Tips to Evaluate an Alcohol Rehab Center
There are plenty of facilities and centers that help people address their substance use disorders and addictions, but knowing which questions to ask and what to look for can make it easier to weed out the ones that don’t fit. Here are a few features to look for that can set some treatment centers apart from the rest.
Are treatments specific to alcohol use disorders offered?
This includes checking to see if the center has an inpatient program that offers medical detox addressing severe alcohol withdrawal and ways to help clients manage or eliminate physical cravings for alcohol.
Does the center have licensed staff members who understand alcoholism and addiction?
People in recovery addiction must be kept safe and feel understood as they address their illness, so a center with a compassionate, knowledgeable staff can help support them in their sobriety goals.
Are strategies that support sober living taught?
Recovering alcoholics must work to break negative patterns of behavior and thinking so they can live consciously and not rely on substances when challenges arise. Ask about therapies that help people in recovery break destructive cycles of abuse that extend beyond substances.
Are aftercare programs available?
Life goes on after clients leave rehab, and it’s a sure thing they will need support when they do. Aftercare programs can help people remain committed to a life of sobriety. In addition to participation in 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, ask about alumni groups, sober living homes or other transitional living facilities, individual and group counseling, and other continued support. Individual needs should be kept in mind as aftercare programs are considered.
Before choosing an alcohol rehab, do your research and take the time you need. It is important that you know and feel like you or your loved one is in good hands as the decision to live sober opens up new doors to freedom.
Need Treatment? Give Us a Call
It is important that people with alcohol dependence find a rehab program they can trust and meets their specific needs. Call California Highlands Addiction Treatment today at 888-969-8755 for a free consultation and assessment. With just one phone call, you or your loved one will be taking the first step in the journey of lifelong sobriety.