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Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehab

by | Last updated Sep 13, 2021 at 12:18PM | Published on Jul 30, 2021 | Alcohol Addiction

what is rehab

Finding the right program can feel challenging when you or someone you know is ready to find treatment for an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcohol treatment and rehab programs need to be comprehensive approaches that approach alcoholism from different angles, including mental, physical, and emotional.

No two rehab journeys are alike, from the type of rehab you choose to the substance you’re detoxing from. This is why we created this guide to help you understand a bit more about the rehab process and what to expect from this journey. 

How Rehab Works

Regardless of the pathway you take, most rehab processes develop in three stages: detox, rehab, and recovery. At each level of care, you’ll receive different treatment services at various intensities. All of these are evidence-based approaches to treat substance use disorders. 

Although the alcohol treatment journey might be different from person to person, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that they all start with medical detox.

1. Detox

Regardless of your addiction, your journey will likely start with a detox program. Most drugs and alcohol cause withdrawal symptoms when someone abruptly calls it quits. A medically supervised detox center can help patients manage and control these symptoms to prevent adverse reactions. 

Depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, the medical staff mat includes a medication-assisted treatment to reverse overdose or control withdrawal effects. Suboxone, methadone, and naloxone are all common medications used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms and help people stop drinking alcohol.

2. Rehab

When someone completes a detox program, they’re likely to continue their journey in a rehab setting. Various treatment styles and therapies will depend on the severity of your addiction. 

Many studies prove that attending detox alone without rehab afterward is not effective for long-term addiction recovery. Essentially, in rehab, patients will learn how to cope with the different triggers and situations that lead to their addiction in the first place. 

3. Aftercare

While many patients will leave the rehabilitation facility after completing their program, sometimes aftercare is necessary to reinforce healthy behaviors and build a strong community. Addiction is a life-long disease that requires long-term care and support. 

Beyond therapy, aftercare programs focus on building a healthy support group, preventing relapse, and building life skills to help those in recovery live a healthy life. While aftercare isn’t required for sobriety, it’s highly recommended as most specialists point out aftercare programs are related to longer sobriety timelines and fewer relapse episodes. 

What Types of Rehabs Are Available?

Rehab offers different levels of care that depend on the individual’s needs. In most cases, an admission specialist will complete an addiction screening and assessment that includes a psychological evaluation and a medical history review to better understand the addiction’s extent. 

Short-term Programs

Most short-term drug and alcohol rehab programs are based on a modified 12-step program. Initially, these programs were a 3- to 6-week hospital-based inpatient rehab program, followed by participation in a self-help group like AA or NA

However, today, some addiction treatment centers offer short-term rehab programs that are just 28-days. These treatments are provided to people who have already relapsed after being sober for some time. Unfortunately, these treatment options are not suited for everyone, and little research proves their efficacy.

Long-term Programs

Long-term residential treatment takes anywhere between 12 weeks to six months, also known as 120- or 180-day rehab programs. Throughout the entire length of treatment, patients stay in a treatment facility with access to 24-hour care. 

Although, some treatment facilities offer even more extended treatment programs that can last up to one year. 

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

Partial hospitalization (PHP) treatment occurs after those battling addiction complete a drug and alcohol detox program. They offer an alternative to inpatient rehab programs.

These programs are available in hospitals or freestanding addiction treatment centers providing intensive services. Patients who participate in a  partial hospitalization program may receive treatment during days, evenings, or weekends, returning home at night.

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient rehab programs follow highly structured programming that focuses on psychotherapy. Here, patients move into a rehab facility and are surrounded by rehab center staff and staff. Inpatient treatment programs are often an excellent choice for those who don’t have a safe and sober environment back home.

Outpatient Programs

An outpatient rehab program is a more flexible schedule that allows patients to come and go from the rehab facility. Here, patients don’t live at a rehab facility. Instead, they live at home or a sober living home. Still, patients visit the center between 9-12 hours per week to attend individual and group therapy sessions. 

Benefits of Residential Rehab vs. Outpatient Rehab

The type of treatment someone needs will vary according to many factors and should be considered personal. Let’s take a look at the differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab programs.

Inpatient Rehab

  • The average length for short-term rehab is 28 days and the long-term treatment 130 days.
  • Most patients that need medical detox move to inpatient programs.
  • Patients move into a rehab facility for the length of their treatment. 
  • These programs use an intensive schedule and structure that all patients must adhere to.
  • Often covered by insurance and have a higher success rate. 

Outpatient Rehab

  • The average length is about 88 days but can extend to over 200 days.
  • Most patients complete inpatient rehab programs before enrolling. 
  • Patients continue to live at home while attending therapy in the morning or the evenings. 
  • These programs use a more flexible structure that allows patients to maintain daily responsibilities while seeking treatment simultaneously.
  • Also covered by insurance but with a lower success rate. 

What’s a Day in Rehab Like?

While there are many types of rehab programs, most follow a similar framework of therapies and schedules. Inpatient programs, in particular, follow a highly structured treatment plan that helps minimize stress and uncertainty among patients to provide them the most supportive and healing environment possible. 

Mornings: Group Meetings

Most drug rehabs in South Florida start the day with a nutritional breakfast. Research suggests that a nutritious diet that replenishes the body with the vitamins and minerals commonly lost with addiction can help promote sobriety and reduce relapse rates. 

Some programs also incorporate morning classes such as yoga or meditation to start the day in a calm mind. 

Usually, group therapy sessions are held in the morning. These daily meetings occur in a supervised, controlled therapeutic environment to provide a sense of community and start helping patients recognize patterns and behaviors they need to work on during treatment. 

Afternoons: Psychotherapy

The middle of the day provides plenty of time to focus on the most intensive part of treatment: psychotherapy. These individual therapy sessions often include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy 
  • Grief counseling
  • Trauma therapy
  • Family therapy 

Evenings: 12-Step Meetings

After dinner, most residents are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings or evening group therapy sessions. These meetings provide a safe and respectful environment to foster fellowship. 12-step meetings are also available nationwide, so familiarizing them while in treatment can help patients have a supportive environment to turn to after rehab. 

How to Choose the Right Rehab Program for You or a Loved One

If you are seeking treatment for drug addiction, it must be the best fit. It often takes individuals suffering from substance use dependence many years before they are willing to admit they have a problem. You want to make sure that you have done your due diligence on selecting the best rehab. Addiction treatment is not a cure; however, it is necessary if recovery is possible in most cases.

Choose the Type of Program You Need

The decision to enter an inpatient program is a major one that requires the entire family’s support and encouragement. Outpatient programs have more flexibility, so you can try to juggle both responsibilities simultaneously. However, when choosing between inpatient and outpatient treatment, the choice is a very personal one. 

Ask yourself these questions to help you find the best option:

  • Will temptations and triggers around the home, family members, school, and work interfere with your sobriety?
  • Will social ties try to influence you back into substance abuse?
  • Have you been unsuccessful in rehab before?
  • Are you still physically addicted to drugs and alcohol?

If you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, inpatient treatment might be the right option for you right now.

Other Things to Consider

Once you have the type of program you think is best for you, it’s crucial to analyze everything related to seeking addiction treatment in the first place. Some things to consider include:

  • The cost and any financing options available to you
  • If the rehab center accepts insurance and if your policy covers rehab
  • Do they have a detox program and multiple levels of care, or would you have to move to another facility
  • Do they offer comprehensive approaches that also deal with dual diagnosis 
  • Are all of their therapies evidence-based, or do they focus more on alternative medicine only

How to Prepare for Treatment

When you or a loved one decides to go to rehab, you’ll likely have mixed feelings. While you might feel hopeful and relieved, it’s common to feel nervous and scared as well. As you start this new journey, rest assured that you will count on our unlimited support every step of the way.

Following your intake, you will be attending groups regularly. Licensed clinicians and team members facilitate groups that involve a wide range of topics and therapeutic methods. 

The modalities used are DBT, CBT, art therapy, trauma resolution, relapse prevention, and self-esteem building. Additionally, core focus areas include conflict resolution, relationships, family issues, core beliefs, and more.

Additionally, addiction affects the whole family. So, when your loved one or family member enters our addiction treatment center, you may experience a deep sense of relief knowing that they are safe and receiving the qualified care they need. 

For those unfamiliar with addiction treatment, there may be questions concerning communication throughout the treatment process.

As soon as your loved one admits to addiction treatment, regardless of their level of care, the emergency contact will receive a phone call from one of our clinicians or counselor assistants to inform you that they have arrived safely.

Where to Find Help

Many drug rehabs in South Florida consider when you’re ready to find help and start your addiction recovery process. Each one has its unique set of offerings that could help you or a loved one start addiction recovery. Many directories can provide insight into the different rehab centers near you and compare their offers. 

Also, you can reach your insurance provider to obtain a list of substance abuse and mental health resources you can tap into to seek treatment. Furthermore, you can always schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to ask for a referral. They should be able to direct you to the appropriate resources and treatment options available in your area. 

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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