If you or someone you love has a drinking problem and are considering entering an alcohol rehab program, you may wonder what to expect from the rehab process. In order to put your mind at ease this article aims to explain a little bit about the rehab process, so that you or someone you love feels more confident about going through with this vital form of treatment.
Detoxification is the very first step in any form of Drug and Alcohol Rehab. The detox process can take many forms, the most common of which are inpatient and outpatient. Whether an alcoholic attends detox as an outpatient or inpatient will depend on the extent of their alcoholism – the volume of alcohol they drank and over what length of time this occurred. Inpatient is best for those with stronger impulsions to drink as it will not only help them through the initial stages of detox but give them a safe place away from alcohol.
Mild withdrawal symptoms can occur in as little as hours after the last drink or take days to begin. Symptoms can range from tremors, nausea and night sweats to more severe things like seizures, convulsions and hallucinations.
Sedatives and medications like clonidine and beta blockers are often given to help ease the symptoms as they get worse. Many heavy drinkers need closer supervision by a medical professional during detox as withdrawal from alcohol can cause hikes in their blood pressure level and even death.
Introduction to Sobriety
After the detox period and when the patient has relaxed and poses no danger to themselves or others, the introduction to sobriety can begin. Even after detox the compulsion and obsession to drink can and will be very strong. In most cases, alcoholics find it hard to concentrate and focus on anything during this period.
With the help of counselors who specialize in alcohol rehabilitation, the alcoholic will learn the real reasons that drove them to drinking. Importantly, alcoholics have to accept that they have a disease and that they can’t drink again. This is a very challenging aspect of alcohol rehab and can take a long time.
Throughout the rehab process, medial doctors monitor and check patients for signs of depression or other mental conditions that may need to be treated. As the feelings of self-loathing, guilt and remorse can affect an alcoholic’s ability to get sober, they are often prescribed anti-depressants.
Once an alcoholic starts to feel better and is coming to terms with their addiction, they are encouraged to immerse themselves in daily routines that help with their well-being and health.
Group therapy is a major part of any alcohol rehab program, as well as assignments and projects that help patients to have better insight about where their lives are going and changes that may need to be made. Some rehab centers offer a range of alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga and massage, as well as arts and crafts classes.
Once they are through detox and the initial stages of sober life, they will also be encouraged to attend AA meetings. These meetings are important as it brings alcoholics into contact with those who have and who still are in a similar position. By building relationships within their AA group, they will be better able to cope with life outside of the alcohol rehab center.