Choosing a treatment program that will effectively treat your specific issues with alcohol abuse can be a tedious process, but it’s critical to find a good fit.
When you’re in the throes of an alcohol addiction, it’s hardly a time when you’re thinking the most clearly. Making the life-changing decision to enroll in a treatment program can feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, the longer you put it off, the worse your situation will become before you get better, and the higher the chance will be that you will suffer serious consequences as a result of chronic alcohol abuse.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that more than 2.5 million people die of alcohol-related causes every year. All of these deaths are preventable; with appropriate alcohol treatment, anyone can stop drinking.
At The Canyon, we provide an alcohol treatment program that is holistic in nature, providing a combination of alternative and traditional therapies that address different aspects of your healing from alcoholism. If you would like to learn more about our treatment program, contact us today.
Residential Versus Outpatient Options
Do you have people depending on you and responsibilities that require you to come home every night, or can you afford to take a few weeks for yourself and immerse yourself in an residential alcohol rehab? This is an important question and one that can seriously affect the outcome of your treatment experience. If you have the time and resources to invest in an residential treatment program, whether it is your first or 15th attempt at getting and staying sober, it is recommended that you begin with residential treatment. If, however, you have dependents who require you to come home at night, an outpatient program is all you have time for and you feel confident that you can avoid the temptations that come with exposure to constant temptation to drink, then an outpatient program can be just as beneficial. It’s up to you.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, components of an effective alcohol treatment program will include:
- Clinically Supervised Alcohol Detox. Clinically supervised alcohol detox programs that are solely dedicated to treating the physical aspects of alcohol dependence and addiction generally last from three to seven days. There is little to no behavioral or dialectical therapy outside of the initial intake interview. The focus is solely on helping you make it through those tough first few days of sobriety without relapsing and also to make sure that you have the assistance you need should you run into any complications.
- Outpatient. Outpatient rehab is exactly what it sounds like; you come back to your alcohol treatment program each day according to a predetermined schedule and take part in therapy sessions, support group meetings, educational classes and more. The goal is to help you learn more about how to fight the chronic disease of alcohol addiction while maintaining relationships with your family and holding onto your career. Outpatient treatment programs are beneficial for those people whose lives have been hurt but not destroyed by alcohol. If you have lost your family and/or your job due to alcoholism, it is likely that outpatient treatment will not be comprehensive enough for you.
- Residential. Residential treatment provides you with a far more comprehensive approach. Rather than just focusing on the physical aspect of addiction like clinically supervised alcohol detox or providing only intermittent, targeted groups and sessions that speak to the psychological aspect of addiction like outpatient treatment, residential rehab allows you to get treatment for the mental and spiritual aspects of addiction and offers more in-depth attention paid to the psychological dependence that alcoholism creates. On-site clinical support with your housing and meals provided helps you to learn new habits and build a stronger foundation in sobriety before you return home to implement what you’ve learned on your own.
- Aftercare Services. Sober living, 12-Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous, continued personal therapy and group sessions, as well as alternative treatments like yoga and meditation, can all aid in bolstering your focus during recovery.
Signs That Rehab Is Necessary
The closer you are to someone who is suffering from alcoholism, the more difficult it is to accept the fact that they are killing themselves with alcohol. However, there are sure signs that can indicate the need for alcohol treatment.
According to Medline Plus, some of the most common signs that treatment is necessary include:
- Physical withdrawal symptoms. Your loved one may experience physical withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops drinking alcohol for any length of time. These can be mild, moderate or severe depending upon how much your loved one drinks and how often. Symptoms may include irritability, anxiety, depression, fever, nausea and headaches, shaking and tremors, and may even be serious enough to mean seizures and convulsions.
- Driving while intoxicated. Your family member may drive under the influence or endanger small children or dependent elderly family members due to their abuse of alcohol. Court issues, legal fees, arrests and more can result.
- Inability to stop drinking. If your family member repeatedly promises to stop drinking but can’t, it’s a sign of alcohol dependence. Many who struggle with alcoholism attempt to bargain with themselves and others as they try to gain control over alcohol. They promise that they won’t drink until after 5 p.m. or promise to stop after just one or two drinks. They may even attempt to quit on their own for a period of time. But the end result is always the same: your loved one hurting themselves and others by drinking way too much all the time.
- Lying about drinking. Lying about the amount of alcohol consumed, hiding alcohol around the house or in the car, or lying about the effects felt due to alcohol can indicate a serious issue when it happens repeatedly.
- Health problems due to drinking. If the doctor says that your loved one’s heart is in danger, their blood pressure is too high or that they have significant liver or other organ damage yet they continue to drink, then alcohol treatment is necessary.
Preparing for Recovery
Preparing for alcohol rehab can help patients to maximize their time in treatment and get the most out of therapy.
There are a number of different ways to get yourself physically, mentally and emotionally ready for your stay in rehab and to prepare those you love for what to expect as well:
- Preparing emotionally. Remember that you are going to a place staffed entirely with professionals: consulting clinical staff and psychological specialists in the field of alcohol and drug abuse treatment. There is nothing that you will deal with that they are not fully prepared to handle. Your consulting clinical and therapeutic staff is equipped to support you, treat you and help you through your recovery every step of the way.
- Preparing physically. When you enter an alcohol treatment program, the first point of focus will be your physical health. Are you physically addicted to alcohol? Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking? If “yes” is the answer to either of those questions, then the first week or so of your treatment will be spent helping you to stabilize. Good meals are important, as are sleep and gentle exercise like walking and yoga. Beginning the process of taking care of yourself before you go will make your physical transition into treatment much easier.
- Preparing mentally. How well you do in alcohol treatment in terms of the psychological and mental therapies has a great deal to do with your state of mind. Research shows that even those who do not want to go to alcohol rehab still benefit from the process, but like anything, what you get out of a treatment program is what you put into it. Open your mind to possibility and prepare yourself to really hear what the therapists and treatment professionals have to offer you.
- Preparing others. Your family and close friends will likely be worried about you while you’re away. In many cases, the problems back home can cause stress for patients while they are in treatment. It’s important to prepare your family members for the restrictions required by the program, let them know when they can visit, and then put some space between yourself and your family as you prepare for treatment.
Families and Rehab
Family members of those who are living with alcohol abuse or addiction problems often struggle with as many issues as the patient. Because family members can be such a support, it is important for their well-being and for the recovery of the patient that they be included in the process of healing. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 76 million American adults have been exposed to alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction at home.
Alcohol is responsible for far more legal, criminal and mental health issues than any other single substance. It can affect the following people:
- Spouse. Those who are married to or in committed relationships with alcoholics are more likely to suffer from self-esteem issues, isolation from peers and other family members, exhaustion, physical illness and mental health issues. When there are children in the family, the non-alcoholic parent is often responsible for their care, as well as the care and maintenance of the household and family finances.
- Adult children of alcoholics. Those who were raised by alcoholics often have problems in their own romantic relationships as well as personal issues of self-esteem that they may not realize are related to their parent’s alcoholism. Impulsivity, aggression, depression and other issues are common.
- Young children of alcoholics. Small children being raised by an actively alcoholic parent develop issues of low self-esteem, guilt, vulnerability, fear of abandonment and depression. Many kids feel as if they are responsible for their parent’s behavior and take it upon themselves to try to take care of them or cover up the mistakes they make due to alcoholism.
- Unborn children. When a pregnant mother drinks alcohol, her unborn child has the same blood alcohol content level as she does. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is one of the top three causes of birth defects, affecting about 5,000 newborns per year with severe issues and causing milder forms of the disorder in about 35,000 newborns each year, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
- Codependency. Family members are at an increased risk of developing issues with codependency, no matter what their relationship with the alcoholic patient. Many choose not to bring friends home for fear of embarrassment or to hide the issue of alcoholism in the home. Others work hard to cover up the negative consequences of the alcoholic’s behavior, everything from calling into work for them when they are late to lying to police and medical professionals when their loved one is abusive while under the influence. This behavior is called ñenablingî and only prolongs the duration of addictive behavior.
Family therapy as a part of alcohol rehab can help you and those who love you to make progress during your treatment. Working through the finer points of past issues is part of it but the larger focus is learning how to effectively help out during recovery and communicate in a way that promotes positive relationships and healing.
Treatment at The Canyon
At The Canyon, we provide a number of different traditional and alternative therapies, and we create a plan that is tailored to your specific needs. We offer equine-assisted therapy, art therapy, yoga, meditation, regular sessions with your personal therapist, access to consulting physicians should you require it, and much more. At The Canyon, you will enjoy a comprehensive program that speaks to your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.
For more information about the kind of alcohol treatment that we can provide for you at The Canyon, contact us today.