Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation

  1. Article SummaryPrint
  2. The Detoxification Process
  3. Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
  4. Long-Term Detoxification
  5. Questions for Treatment Specialists
  6. The Intake Process

Alcohol addiction affects individual of all ages, and there are many people suffering from addiction who choose to enter a rehabilitation program due to a strong desire to change their lives. Others enter alcohol addiction treatment programs due to legal obligations or because they were urged to by their loved ones. Regardless of the reason why an individual suffering from alcohol addiction decides to get help, making this decision is the first and probably the most important step in overcoming alcohol addiction.

Alcohol rehabilitation programs not only help individuals to withdraw from their physical addiction to alcohol; these treatment facilities also help sufferers to address the underlying causes of their alcohol abuse. Addressing these issues often requires sufferers to undergo some form of psychological counseling together with their physical treatment.

At an inpatient facility, psychological help is generally administered to patients on an ongoing basis. However, at the start of an individual's treatment program, he or she may be more focused on getting past the alcohol withdrawal process. Alcohol withdrawal treatment is the process of helping individuals to reduce the amount of alcohol present in their bodies while helping them to manage the symptoms that they experience once they suddenly stop drinking.

The Detoxification Process

Have you ever wondered what the detoxification process entails? Well, the detoxification process is a very important step that people receiving alcohol addiction treatment must undergo. It involves removing alcohol from the body in order to end a person's dependence on it. When people are addicted to alcohol, they have intense cravings for the drug; often, these cravings are uncontrollable. The body's systems become so dependent on alcohol that many sufferers believe they need alcohol in order to function. This dependence is both physical and psychological, which is why a person who is addicted has such intense cravings.

Detoxifying from alcohol is primarily about getting rid of the alcohol effectively so that the body's systems and the brain can start functioning normally. Because alcohol affects everyone differently, each person who is undergoing alcohol treatment will have different withdrawal symptoms. Some detoxification symptoms last just a few hours, while others can last for a few days or more.

Because withdrawing from alcohol will bring about a great deal of physical and emotional changes within a very short time period, it is vital that individuals dealing with this process do so under the care and guidance of a trained professional. Health practitioners who specialize in alcohol addiction treatment know how to help their patients ease their withdrawal symptoms as they occur. They also know how to keep patients as comfortable as possible throughout the entire withdrawal process.

Sometimes keeping a patient comfortable requires practitioners to administer certain medications in order to ease the withdrawal symptoms. These medications can either be injected or administered orally. Painkillers are frequently administered to individuals withdrawing from alcohol. Pain relievers can be very helpful to patients who experience severe headaches or joint and muscle stiffness, which are common during the detoxification process.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

"The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal generally start to appear within five to 24 hours..."
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal generally start to appear within five to 24 hours after the patient consumes his or her last drink. Those who are chronic drinkers generally have high blood alcohol levels when they start the detoxification process. As alcohol concentrations in the blood begin to diminish, the withdrawal symptoms begin to occur.

Initially, individuals withdrawing from alcohol may begin to feel restless, irritable, and agitated. They often become argumentative, which may cause them to snap at those trying to help them, including their caregivers and treatment specialists. However, the alcohol addiction treatment professionals who are overseeing the withdrawal process know that agitation and irritation are normal, and they generally will not be offended.

As the withdrawal process continues, patients may experience nausea, sensitivity to sound, and impaired judgment. During this phase, it is not uncommon for individuals to get around-the-clock treatment from a variety of treatment specialists. When a patient's detoxification and withdrawal symptoms are very intense, the patient's temperature may become elevated, and he or she may begin to hallucinate. The practitioner overseeing the withdrawal process is the one who decides whether or not medication is needed to help ease the patient's detoxification symptoms. These symptoms may progress from mild to severe, or they can be either mild or severe throughout the treatment process.

Long-Term Detoxification

Most people suffering with alcohol addiction require a long-term detoxification process, which is also referred to as a medical detox. Medical detox works best in an inpatient setting, as it can be quite risky for individuals who are severely addicted to alcohol to undergo the detoxification process on an outpatient basis. Seeking medical advice before undergoing alcohol addiction treatment is vitally important, particularly for individuals who are entering treatment programs for the first time. During your consultation, counselors and specialists will tell you exactly what you can expect during treatment.
 

Questions for Treatment Specialists

Before enrolling in an alcohol detox facility, there are some very important questions that you should ask the treatment provider. It is also a good idea to interview providers at multiple facilities and choose the place that you think would be the best fit for you. Here are some questions that you and your loved ones should ask alcohol treatment providers before enrolling.

If you have specific questions that are not addressed below or if you simply need support or encouragement to deal with your addiction, feel free to call our free helpline at 1-800-928-9139 or fill out the contact form on this page.

What type of license or accreditation does your facility have?

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What are the credentials of those who will be administering my treatment?

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Do you have any statistics on the effectiveness of your treatment methods?

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Do you provide ongoing support once a patient is discharged?

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Do you accept medical or supplemental insurance?

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Will my family members be able to attend counseling sessions, meetings, and doctor appointments?

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Are my files kept confidential?

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What can I expect from your alcohol treatment center?

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What if I need additional treatment?

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Do you offer individualized treatment programs?

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The Intake Process

While it is extremely important for you to ask as many questions as possible before choosing a treatment center, it is equally as important for the treatment facility to get as much information from you as possible. This information is typically gathered during the intake process, which is the process of admitting you into the alcohol addiction treatment program.

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How to Get Clean and Sober

 

Drug or alcohol addiction, or even addiction to both drugs and alcohol, can be treated. Getting addiction help usually begins when an addict faces up to his or her addiction problem and realizes that assistance is necessary to fight it. Read More

Many of the questions that practitioners ask during the intake process are quite personal, but these questions are not designed to be offensive. Intake professionals need certain pieces of information in order to help them determine how to proceed with your alcohol addiction treatment. They must know how much alcohol you consume on a daily basis, how long you have been addicted to alcohol, how alcohol has affected your personal and social life, and how you feel about receiving treatment.

The intake process also helps treatment specialists determine whether or not the facility is right for you. During your intake interview, the specialist may determine that their facility is not fully equipped with the proper staff or tools to help you. When this happens, specialists generally refer patients to facilities that are more equipped to meet their individual needs.

Treatment facilitators also need to know your current state of health before proceeding with treatment. Alcohol withdrawal and detoxification treatments are medical processes, so it is important for medical practitioners to know your current state of health before moving forward in order to make the process as safe as possible for you.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology, most patients are able to effectively detoxify from alcohol within seven days. However, the average stay for individuals who enroll in treatment facilities is three months. Treatment specialists know that helping patients to detoxify from alcohol is not sufficient. In fact, many individuals undergo psychological treatment for alcohol addiction for many years after completing their detox program. Receiving help for alcohol abuse is an ongoing process, and there are a wide variety of resources available for those who are serious about getting help.