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What is Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Like?


Those struggling with an addiction to alcohol may well wonder what is inpatient alcohol rehab when thinking about the whole recovery process. There are a couple of options available to those who want to put their days of substance abuse behind them, and inpatient rehab is one. However, before we discuss what is inpatient alcohol rehab, it is first prudent to look a little bit more closely at what alcohol addiction is and why someone would need this type of care.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol is a substance that the majority of UK adults drink to some extent. Nevertheless, despite it being legal and a part of modern society, it remains a chemical substance that can cause harm to the lives of many of these who drink it.

Alcohol is highly addictive, and this is one of the reasons that the Government recommends that no more than fourteen units should be consumed per week by men and women. These guideline amounts are considered low-risk in terms of developing various health conditions. Despite these guidelines being in place though, there are millions of people who regularly drink more than this amount each week. In fact, some drink excessive amount of alcohol on a daily or weekly basis without realising that this could easily lead to an addiction.

Alcohol affects the brain and how it functions. Those who drink it regularly are in danger of building up a tolerance, which means that they need more of the substance to achieve the desired feelings. By doing this though, there is a risk of physical dependence.

Addiction is classed as a pattern of behaviour that has a negative impact on the life of the individual. So if your alcohol consumption has begun to affect daily life, then it is likely that you will need professional help to get things back on track.

Why Alcohol Treatment is Important

If you have found yourself struggling with an addiction to alcohol, you may be thinking about what you can do about it. Or you may be simply hoping that your situation will rectify itself. The problem with an alcohol addiction is that it will not go away if you ignore it. Alcohol is an illness of the brain that requires help if it is to be overcome.

Nonetheless, to understand why alcohol treatment is so important, it is necessary to consider the damage that it can cause. Those who find themselves with an alcohol addiction may struggle to make good decisions. Once they have developed a dependence on alcohol, they will be unable to resist their urge to drink.

There is a common belief among the vast majority of people that alcohol is harmless, and this is usually due to the fact that it is a legal substance. Most people believe that if alcohol were dangerous, it would not be so widely available, and it would definitely be illegal.

However, in reality, alcohol can be as dangerous as many illegal drugs. Some experts would argue that it is, in fact, much more harmful than some illegal substances. It can certainly cause devastating addictions.

The effect of alcohol on mental and physical health is immense. There are hundreds of illnesses directly linked to the abuse of alcohol, some of which can be lasting and even life-threatening. In the early days of alcohol addiction, many of the problems that are caused to health can be reversed. But as time goes by, the damage becomes more pronounced and serious problems can occur.

Alcoholics often suffer with problems such as liver damage, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer. Many will also struggle with mental health problems that include anxiety and depression, while there are some studies that have suggested a link between alcohol abuse and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Nevertheless, it is important to be aware that it is not just health that is affected by alcohol abuse. Addiction has a negative impact on relationships too and can lead to an irreversible breakdown in some cases. Family members and friends often struggle to understand what they see as an unwillingness on the part of the addict to give up the substance that is causing so much harm.

Without knowing more about addiction and how it changes the way the brain functions, it can be difficult to understand why alcoholics continue to drink when doing so has such negative consequences. This is what often places a massive strain on relationships and that which can push them to breaking point.

Without addiction treatment, things tend to spiral out of control for the addict while the impact on the people around them can be massive. It is often only when things get to an advanced stage that the addict realises the damage that is being caused and will then accept the need for help. This is when the question of what is inpatient alcohol treatment tends to come up.

What is Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Like?

If you are at the stage where you know your alcohol consumption is causing harm to your life and the lives of those around you, you may be ready to do something about it. The good news is that help is available, and you will usually have a couple of options in terms of the type of treatment programme you choose.

When considering what type of treatment programme would be best for you, you might have come across inpatient treatment. You may not be entirely sure what this type of treatment is like, so we will give you an explanation in the below paragraphs.

For starters, you should know that private clinics provide most inpatient treatment programmes. However, if the idea of paying for medical care is something you have never thought about or are uncomfortable with, we want you to know that, when it comes to addiction treatment, this is often the preferred option.

There are many reasons inpatient alcohol treatment with a private clinic is the best choice. You may not be aware, but addiction services are severely underfunded within the NHS and when cuts are made to budgets, it is this sector that tends to be the worst affected.

Underfunding and budget cuts have meant that the NHS struggles to keep up with demand and patients usually face long waiting times when trying to access addiction services. Inpatient treatment programmes provided by private clinics are the best alternative.

If you are wondering what is inpatient alcohol treatment like, you should know that with this type of programme you will leave your everyday life and move into a clinic where the environment is comfortable and quiet and where the accommodation is typically decorated to a high standard.

Inpatient programmes are run over the course of around six to twelve weeks. Most people will stay in the clinic for the duration, but individuals who have an addiction to more than one substance or those with a dual diagnosis (addiction coupled with mental health issues) will require longer stays as their needs are more complex.

Over the course of the inpatient programme, patients will spend every day in treatment. They will be provided with a tailored plan of care that has been created to meet their requirements. Bespoke treatment plans tend to be made up of various traditional therapies coupled with holistic treatments with the aim of healing the person as a whole. The use of both types of treatment has been proven to be effective when overcoming addiction. Examples of the types of therapies that might be included in a plan of care are:

  • individual counselling
  • group therapy
  • 12-step work
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • dialectic behavioural therapy
  • motivational interviewing
  • family therapy
  • contingency management
  • relapse prevention
  • life and work skills
  • massage
  • meditation
  • mindfulness
  • yoga
  • art therapy
  • sports and nutrition
  • music therapy.

Your plan of care will be made up of elements that are designed to work effectively for you. One of the best things about a tailored treatment plan is the fact that it can be altered if necessary.

Alternative to Inpatient Alcohol Treatment

Inpatient treatment programmes are not suitable for everyone though. Being away from home for an extended period might not be feasible for those who have family or work commitments. In these circumstances, a programme of care that can run alongside daily life is usually the most ideal alternative.

Various organisations provide outpatient programmes, from the NHS to charities to private clinics and counsellors. While much of the treatments will be like those used by staff in inpatient clinics, the approach is far less concentrated and intensive.

Patients attend counselling or therapy on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the provider. As such, outpatient programmes continue for much longer than eight to twelve weeks.

Accessing Alcohol Rehab Programmes

If you are ready to get started on the road to recovery, please contact us here at Addiction.org.uk. We will assess your needs to ensure you are referred to a suitable programme. If you have been wondering what is inpatient alcohol rehab like or whether you would suit a programme of outpatient rehabilitation, please get in touch with us today.

We will look at the severity of your illness as well as your personal circumstances to determine what your treatment needs are before recommending a programme to suit. Our dedicated helpline is available 24-hours a day and is staffed by friendly advisors who have been fully trained in all types of addiction. Please call for more information about your options for treatment and how we can help you to overcome your alcohol addiction once and for all.

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