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Alcohol Rehab: What Can I Expect?


So, things have reached that point where you have realised that you have a problem. A possible alcohol addiction. Maybe you have realised that you are drinking every evening; it started out innocently enough, it was just a drink with dinner after all, but now you can’t stop. Or maybe you cannot face going out without drinking. Perhaps it is starting to affect your work, or your relationship or your friends have said that they are worried about you. Whatever your individual circumstances, if you are reading this then the chances are you have decided that you need some help. If that is the case, then you have already taken the first, and probably hardest, step in beginning your recovery. Alcohol rehab can seem daunting, but with the right help and support, it can be a positive experience that will help you to learn more about yourself.

What Is the First Step in Alcohol Rehab?

The first step in recovery is to stop drinking. This stage is usually referred to as detox because when you stop drinking, your body is able to start ridding itself of all the toxic substances that have built up as a result of long-term and/or heavy drinking.

This stage takes varying amounts of time, depending on how much you have been drinking, how long for, and your individual metabolism. The initial symptoms of detox will start to appear within a few hours after stopping drinking. The severity of the symptoms you experience will also depend on your individual circumstances, but for some people, they can be quite severe, so it is best to carry out this stage with close supervision from experienced medical staff who are used to dealing with alcohol detox.

What Happens After Detox?

Once you have successfully been through the detox process, then you can begin the actual rehabilitation phase of recovery. In some respects, this is the most important part of recovering from alcohol addiction, as this stage is going to help you to understand the reasons behind your addiction and give you the tools and skills to rebuild your life without alcohol.

In rehab, therapists use various methods to help you to change your attitude towards alcohol. The exact approaches used should be tailored to you as an individual; truly successful rehab is not a ‘one size fits all’ model but should take into consideration what methods will work best for you.

Some of the approaches that might be used in alcohol rehab include:

  • Education about alcohol: teaching those with alcohol addiction about the way alcohol affects their bodies can be very helpful in helping them to understand their addiction. Knowing why something makes you feel the way it does can help to change your attitudes about it.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (or CBT). This type of therapy is designed to change your attitude and behaviour towards alcohol. This is a very effective way to help people understand the reasons behind their addiction and change the way they act when faced with alcohol in social situations.
  • Group Therapy: group therapy is very effective in treating alcohol addiction for several reasons. Sharing experiences with others in a similar situation helps the recovering alcoholic to realise that he or she is not alone, addiction can be very isolating, and gaining new friends who are understanding and supportive is both comforting and of benefit to recovery. The group dynamic also creates a sense of accountability – members of the group feel that, if they relapse, they will be letting down the whole group. For alcohol dependents with little sense of self-worth, this is very important.
  • Nutrition: part of rehab often centres around teaching addicts how to look after themselves properly again – something that many alcoholics may have neglected for a long time. Learning about good nutrition is beneficial as it gives a new focus, and by eating properly, recovery from the physical effects of alcohol addiction will be much better.
  • Music or Art Therapy: these therapies are often included to give those in recovery a new focus, and a means of expression. For some people, talking about their feelings can be very difficult, and expression through art or music provides an alternative outlet. It can also give a focus for leisure time after rehab, the time when relapse is most likely.
  • Exercise Therapy: exercise is another thing that someone with an alcohol addiction may have neglected for some time. Appropriate exercise can aid recovery, and help recovering alcoholics to feel better about themselves. Exercise can also provide another alternative focus after rehab, although care should be taken that it does not become excessive.

Many therapy programmes will also involve some sort of twelve-step programme. The first twelve-step programme was developed by the Alcoholics Anonymous group to help its members with their recovery, and many rehab centres now use a similar programme in their treatments. These programmes involve going through a series of stages, completing each before progressing to the next. This helps to provide a sense of progression and achievement as people are moving through their recovery. Measurable goals like this are very important in helping affected individuals to remain positive about their recovery.

Where Can I Get More Information on Alcohol Rehab?

Here at Addiction Helpline, we have a free, confidential phone line, with advisors ready to take your call twenty-four hours a day. Our staff are understanding and sympathetic and can provide you with advice on the treatment options available to you. So please, call us today and let us help you begin your recovery.

Source: (Drug Abuse) Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction

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