Alcohol rehab is for anyone who has an addiction to alcohol. It is a place where an individual who has a drinking problem can receive help as well as be provided with the tools necessary for a complete recovery from alcohol addiction. Recovery from alcohol addiction is getting stable as well as staying stable in one’s life, long after leaving an alcohol rehab. Individuals who are recovering from alcohol addiction first need to realize that they have a problem and are willing to work towards a solution.
Generally speaking, the signs of alcohol addiction are unclear to many people. It is not unusual to have questions as to what alcohol addiction is exactly, how it is different from alcohol abuse, and when an individual should look for alcohol rehab due to their drinking problem. The following information will provide you with the answer to these questions and many others you many have.
There are different types of alcohol problems one may experience on their downward spiral into addiction. The most severe problem one experiences with alcohol is dependence, also known as addiction. Alcohol addiction consists of at least three of seven symptoms experienced within a one year period. These symptoms include repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut down, need for increased amounts of alcohol (tolerance), or symptoms of withdrawal upon cessation of drinking (physical dependence). There are many other types of alcohol problems besides addiction. Even though one may not have an alcohol addiction problem, these other types of alcohol problems are nevertheless harmful in their effect on a person's job, health, and relationships. Also, alcohol problems of lesser severity can often progress to alcoholism if not addressed.
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol addiction is characterized by several signs:
- Cravings - A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
- Loss of control: The inability to limit one’s drinking on any given occasion.
- Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, occur when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.
- Tolerance: The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to “get high.”
Many alcoholics do not realize their drinking has gotten out of control. In a lot of cases, it is the objective voice of a friend or family member that brings the problem to the alcoholic's attention. It is important that family members and friends do not cover-up for the alcoholic by making excuses for problem behavior, or by trying to conceal the problem. This is typically referred to as “enabling” and generally only makes the problem worse. Enabling your love one allows them to maintain the illusion that there is no problem. Instead, family members and friends should try to help the alcoholic recognize the destructive effects of the individual’s problem with alcohol, and provide the support necessary to guide the loved one toward alcohol rehab.
There are many different types of alcohol rehab programs for those who have a problem with alcohol. The exact type an individual chooses will depend on the severity of their addiction as well as what type of treatment corresponds with their personal beliefs and values. Some of the many different types of alcohol rehab available are inpatient, outpatient and residential treatment. Alcohol recovery typically requires long term rehabilitation, but varies on the individual and their alcohol history. Many times an individual’s family and friends are an important part of their recovery process. Some programs may offer additional help such as marital counseling, family therapy, legal assistance, job training, childcare, and parenting classes.
Approximately 95 percent of people who quit drinking alcohol experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. These can usually be treated by an alcohol rehab. About five percent of alcoholics experience severe withdrawal symptoms and must be treated in a hospital or a facility that specializes in detoxification. When medically stable, the person can then be admitted for treatment. Detoxification is the first step of alcohol rehab and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. It safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping alcohol use. While detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective alcohol rehab. Once in alcohol rehab, they will learn new tools and ways of dealing with problems. Their new tools such as communication skills, problem solving skills, and stress management skills will become invaluable to them once they have completed their program and re-enter society.
The effectiveness of alcohol rehab varies widely. When considering the effectiveness of treatment options, one must consider the success rate based on those who enter a program, not just those who complete it. Since completion of a program is the qualification for success, success among those who complete a program is generally near 100%. It is also important to consider not just the rate of those reaching treatment goals but the rate of those relapsing. Results should also be compared to the roughly 5% rate at which people will quit on their own. Based on information from Dr. Mark Willenbring of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the February 2007 issue of Newsweek reported that "A year after completing a rehab program, about a third of alcoholics are sober, an additional 40 percent are substantially improved but still drink heavily on occasion, and a quarter have completely relapsed."