Fear and anxiety over getting sober stops many people from seeking treatment for alcoholism. They wonder what’s going to happen to them when they can no longer get drunk and forget about reality–their addiction, their damaged family relationships, their loneliness. They also worry about getting past the withdrawal and cravings stage of recovery without relapsing.
Knowing what to expect before entering an alcohol addiction treatment program can be helpful and encouraging. Understanding each phase of a treatment and recovery program removes much of the uncertainty and apprehension substance abusers feel about committing to such an intensive program.
Successfully achieving sobriety always begins with learning as much as possible about the disease of alcoholism and how it is treated with medications and behavioral therapies.
Medical Detox for Alcoholism
Patients in detox are monitored 24 hours a day by doctors, psychiatrists and therapists specializing in addiction withdrawal. Mental health counseling is also available to help patients manage anxiety, depression and other psychological issues. Medication to reduce severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings is provided as needed.
The time it takes to detox can be as short as 24 hours or as long up to seven days. Laboratory tests are used to determine when a patient is alcohol-free.
Previously unknown physical or mental health problems may emerge following a medical detox. Appropriate treatment is given if necessary before discharging a patient from a medical detox program.
Addiction therapists use a variety of behavioral and psychoanalytic techniques to help people find out why they started drinking. Resolve deep-seated psychological problems is a major component of individual counseling sessions. The most effective technique used in recovery programs is cognitive behavioral therapy, a person-oriented therapy involving changing your perception of reality by eliminating negative thought patterns.
Group counseling sessions involve multiple patients experiencing similar addiction issues. Mediated by a therapist, group meetings are meant to encourage participants to discuss their problems and suggest solutions to other people’s problems. Group counseling also gives members a chance to improve their social skills, develop empathy and express feelings they might otherwise have difficulty expressing. In addition, group therapists also offer insight into situations that bring conflict to group sessions.
Learning About Alcohol Abuse as a Physical Disease
Some addiction programs offer psychoeducation classes that teach patients about the science of addiction. Learning that addiction is not an “attitude” or a “choice” but a real, chronic disease often encourages people to remain committed to achieving sobriety. Moreover, the correct use of coping techniques by recovering addicts can function as a rational alternative to dealing with the stigmatization they may experience after completing a recovery program.
Alcohol abusers considering treatment are typically relieved to know that they will continue receiving recovery support after leaving the program. Support counselors provide help and encouragement for individuals actively seeking employment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, using coping techniques learned in treatment and reporting physical or mental health issues to their doctor as quickly as possible.
Please contact Alcohol Services today if you have questions about alcohol recovery treatment programs. We can help you or someone you know receive the professional help they need to get sober and stay sober.