People who have a drinking problem often think they can overcome it on their own, or get all the treatment they need by attending a few Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. While this works for a few lucky individuals, for people who have been struggling with alcohol for a long time and whose drinking has taken a toll on their family, career, health and quality of life, this approach is often not enough.
Alcoholics often are defined by their drinking. So remaining in their normal environment where their addiction affects nearly every aspect of their life – including their personal relationships, professional career, goals and ambitions, finances, and even their legal issues –is often a mistake.
In many cases, a residential rehabilitation program for alcoholism that lasts a minimum of 28 days is the best way to remove the addicted person from their toxic environment and provide them with the medical care, psychological counseling, and supportive community they need to permanently overcome their addiction.
Health Benefits to Residential Alcohol Rehab
More than any other type of addiction, alcoholism takes a physical toll on the body. It can affect not just the psychological perspective of the addicted person, but their internal organs, their primary operating systems, and even their body shape and physical condition.
Alcoholism is most known for its negative effects on the liver. Cirrhosis is one of the top causes of death among alcoholics. But it also can lead to serious problems with the digestive tract, respiratory system, blood pressure, and even brain function.
None of these symptoms of alcoholism are treated when the person attempts to overcome their addiction on their own or by participating in AA. But most inpatient alcohol treatment rehab programs offer full medical evaluation as well as counseling and community support. So the addict is able to address their physical as well as psychological issues simultaneously.
Getting in-patient treatment for alcoholism can stop the progression of physical disease and deterioration caused by prolonged alcohol abuse. In most cases, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals can stabilize and reverse many of these problems.
The patient often is placed on a nutrition plan and given vitamins and other dietary supplements to compensate for the malnourishment and dehydration that often accompanies the detoxification process. Plus, it speeds up the physical recovery process so the patient can regain a healthy body more quickly.
Most of us have seen movies or TV shows in which the addicted person locks themselves in a room or ties themselves to a bed during the detoxification process. This is romantic fantasy. If a hardcore alcoholic were to actually try this, it could be harmful to their health or even fatal.
Detoxification is not a process that should be undergone alone. If a person has been abusing alcohol for a long time, purging these toxins from the body takes an enormous physical toll, not to mention the psychological struggle. It should always be undergone under the close supervision of qualified medical care.
In-patient alcohol rehab offers the conditions that not only keep addicts safe during the detoxification process, but can minimize the physical and psychological dangers. While flushing toxins from the body during withdrawal is never easy, supervised medical care can at least keep the person as safe and comfortable as possible until the process has been completed.
A Community of Support
Making it through detoxification is only the first of many steps in the recovery process. The relapse rate among people who have gone through withdrawal is extremely high if there is not continued counseling and community support.
Residential in-patient alcohol rehab programs offer the support of both trained psychiatric and psychological staff and a community of other recovering addicts who are going through the same physical, mental and spiritual struggle.
Through one-on-one therapy and group counseling, the addict is able to put their addiction in perspective and make the emotional breakthrough they need to break their bonds with alcohol permanently. This makes them much more likely to stick with their recovery after they are reintroduced into their normal environment and so they can overcome their alcohol triggers.
In-patient alcohol rehab centers can ease the transition back into the addict’s normal life through aftercare services. Which types of services are required depends on the type of support the person responds to best.
In some instances, the addict may choose to spend some transition time in a sober living facility. These are places that allow the individual to live drug- and alcohol-free and continue to receive the community support they need while returning to their jobs, school or their place in the community.
Others can be paired with sober companions, or sponsors, who help keep their recovery on track and aid them in overcoming the temptation to fall into relapse. These interactions can be face-to-face, online, over the phone, or through text messaging.
Counselors can also help recovering alcoholics find AA meetings that are convenient to their schedule and close by. When it comes to recovery, in-patient alcohol rehab treatment offers the support and services the alcoholic need to permanently overcome their addiction and start a new, healthy life.