As alcohol is a legal substance and a huge part of modern society, it is difficult for many people to see it as anything other than a substance to be enjoyed with friends and family. However, when this chemical substance is abused, it can cause great harm to many lives. Those who are regularly drinking more than the recommended weekly allowance of fourteen units are putting their health at risk as well as increasing the likelihood of developing a crippling addiction. It is important to point out here that not everyone who abuses alcohol will go on to develop an addiction, but those who do will suffer numerous negative consequences. Moreover, they may only be able to get their life back on track with a programme of rehabilitation. But what is alcohol rehab? In this article, we will discuss a bit more about alcohol addiction and how to overcome it with alcohol rehab.
How Does Alcohol Addiction Begin?
An alcohol addiction does not occur out of the blue; it is usually the result of prolonged alcohol abuse; for most people, this begins with experimentation. Nobody chooses to be an alcoholic, but there are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of some individuals going on to develop it. These risk factors can include traumatic experiences, family history of addiction, environment, mental health problems, and early exposure to alcohol.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that just having these risk factors does not guarantee that a person will become an alcoholic. There is no single cause of addiction, and each person is different. Some people will develop this illness without having one single risk factor while others will have every single risk factor and not become addicted.
What everyone with an alcohol addiction has in common is the fact that he or she began experimenting with alcohol and then made the choice to drink again. Some individuals drink because they like the taste of alcohol and the way it makes them feel; others drink alcohol to change the way they feel or to block out painful memories.
In the early days, those who drink alcohol have a choice – they can decide whether to drink it or not. They decide to drink and they decide to stop when they have had enough. For some people, however, the ability to choose diminishes over time. The more they drink, the more tolerant they become to the effects. As they move from social drinking to habitual drinking, they are no longer making a conscious decision to drink alcohol. When they move on to problem drinking, they are unable to quit even when they want to. At this stage, drinking is not a choice and it is interfering with everyday life. This is the stage when they individual is almost certainly going to require professional help to overcome his or her addiction. So, what is alcohol rehab and how does it help people to say goodbye to alcohol for good?
How Does Alcohol Treatment Work?
Those who are physically dependent on alcohol will need to break free from its grip before starting a programme of rehabilitation. This usually takes place with an alcohol detox. A detox is designed to tackle the physical side of the illness. Nonetheless, because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it can be very complicated to withdraw from.
Various withdrawal symptoms will occur during the detox, which can range from mild to severe in intensity. But because it is not possible to know who will experience the most severe symptoms, it is wise to detox in a supervised facility where any emergency can be dealt with effectively by fully trained staff with experience of the detox procedure.
In a supervised facility, recovering alcoholics might be given medication to help relieve, or even head off, the worst symptoms. Medication can be prescribed by doctors if appropriate, or nutritional supplements may also be administered. In most instances, the detox procedure will last between one and two weeks, but there may be some lingering symptoms that continue for several weeks or even months. However, once the actual detox has been completed, the individual will be ready to get started on a programme of rehabilitation.
The question of what is alcohol rehab is one that many alcoholics ask before committing to a programme of recovery. This is completely understandable; it is important to know a bit more about the process before it begins.
What Is Alcohol Rehab Like?
The type of rehab programme that you choose will usually depend on your needs and circumstances. Rehab programmes are designed to get to the root cause of the illness so that you can learn what triggers your addictive behaviour with a view to avoiding it in the future.
While a detox aims to tackle the physical element of the addiction, a rehab programme is required to deal with any emotional or psychological issues. It will take place in either an inpatient or outpatient clinic and while the treatments used will be similar in each, the actual programme will differ slightly.
For example, inpatient programmes require the patient to leave his or her everyday life and move into the clinic for a period of usually six to eight weeks. During this programme of treatment, the patient will have no access to temptations and will live in a distraction-free environment with other recovering addicts.
The schedule of treatment is intensive and concentrated and patients have little free time. Instead, they spend most of their day in treatment for their illness. They will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own recovery but will be provided with support from fully qualified counsellors and therapists who will want them to succeed.
Each patient will be given a plan of care that will include a variety of traditional therapies such as individual counselling, group therapy, 12-step work, motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavioural therapy. This plan may also include some holistic treatments including music therapy, drama, sports therapy, massage, and yoga. The idea of combining both traditional therapies with holistic therapies is that it helps the entire body to heal. This type of programme will promote wellbeing and help to reduce stress levels.
An outpatient programme is different in that it is less concentrated, but no less effective when it comes to helping patients overcome their addictions. The real difference is in the fact that the patient does not stay overnight in the clinic. He or she will have to deal with normal everyday living while tackling addiction, which can be tough for some. It is recommended that those with a severe addiction spend some time in a residential clinic before attempting an outpatient programme.
Why Alcohol Rehab Is So Important?
It is important that those who want to overcome alcohol addiction understand what is alcohol rehab, but it is probably more important that they understand why it is so important. Continual abuse of alcohol can lead to devastating consequences for the individual and his or her family members.
Those who abuse alcohol for many years are likely to suffer many health problems. In fact, alcohol abuse and addiction has been linked to hundreds of mental and physical health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver damage, heart disease, and cancer. The longer a person has been abusing alcohol, the more damage that is likely to have been done to their internal organs. Without alcohol rehab, there is no doubting that these problems will get worse, and the individual may even go on to suffer life-threatening problems or die prematurely. In fact, alcohol abuse is a leading contributor of poor health and premature death here in the UK.
Poor health is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems that can be caused by alcohol abuse and addiction. Addiction can tear entire families apart as the alcoholic’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic. Living with the unpredictable behaviour of an alcoholic can be stressful and upsetting, and every member of the family will be affected in some way or another. Some families will suffer greatly, and there are times where the damage is beyond repair.
Alcohol rehab aims to help individuals reverse the harm that their addiction has caused. Early intervention is often key in terms of preventing serious health complications from arising and rebuilding bridges with loved ones.
It must also be said that alcohol rehab is important for entire communities as well as society in general. Alcohol abuse and addiction can very often lead to violent crime, which places a massive strain on police and crown prosecution services. There is also pressure placed on the National Health Service in terms of time and money spent on treating alcohol-related health problems and injuries. The importance of alcohol rehab can therefore never be understated.
Accessing Help for Alcohol Addiction
It is vital that those struggling with alcohol addiction get the help needed to recover as soon as possible. Here at Liberty House Clinic, we have helped countless individuals on the road to a substance-free life, and we can help you too. All you need to do to access one of our fantastic alcohol detox and rehabilitation programmes is give us a call.
We have an excellent record of success when it comes to helping people overcome all types of addiction. Our clinic is decorated to a high standard and you can rest in the knowledge that we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. Call today for more information about how we can help you or a loved one beat addiction once and for all.