The Importance of Alcohol Rehab Centers

Alcohol dependency affects over 15 million Americans, with a shocking half a million of those between the ages of 9 and 12. Alcohol and alcohol related problems contribute to at least $100 million in annual health care costs and loss of productivity. Nearly a quarter of those admitted to hospitals have some type of alcohol problem or are diagnosed for alcohol related consequences. With the statistics at crisis levels, it’s important to examine the role that alcohol rehab centers can play in solving these problems.

There are three main approaches to alcohol rehabilitation: Behavioral therapies, 12-step programs, and pharmacological treatment. Most inpatient rehab centers employ a combination of approaches to provide more comprehensive treatment.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most well-known 12-step program. Most treatment programs, whether outpatient or inpatient, encourage patients to attend one of these self help groups. Some even offer 12-step meetings within their facilities or educate the patient about the program in a learning environment. Behavioral therapies are designed to prevent relapse by teaching the skills necessary to avoid temptation and function normally once their initial treatment is complete. Pharmacological treatment includes the use of medications such as disulfiram and naltrexone to combat the physical symptoms and urges of alcohol dependency.

In 1999, more than 700,000 people received treatment for alcohol each day. A vast majority of them were treated in outpatient facilities. The more intense type of this treatment involves the patient visiting a hospital treatment program for several hours a day on several days a week. The less intensive form of outpatient treatment focuses on counseling sessions once or twice a week, sometimes involving group sessions and family therapy as well as individual counseling.

The advantages of outpatient treatment include lower treatment costs, shorter treatment programs, and the ability to maintain outside relationships and activities while undergoing treatment.

Inpatient alcohol rehab traditionally lasts for 28 days. However, with rising health care costs, this number is diminishing. Studies in the mid 1990s found that inpatient treatment is especially helpful for patients with additional medical and/or psychiatric conditions (also known as dual-diagnosis patients) or for those whose environments are not supportive of rehabilitation.

In addition to the 28 day rehabilitation program, some alcohol rehab centers offer extended stay treatments. These programs allow a patient to enter a therapeutic community for six to twelve months, providing the time necessary for both detoxification and counseling as well as social and occupational therapies that can help them function better once they return to society. These programs are ideal for patients with longer histories of addiction, impaired social functioning, or involvement in serious criminal activities. Alcohol rehab programs that treat adolescents and children also provide for continuing education, such as high school and college courses during the inpatient stay. The longer treatment plan allows for the slow re-socialization of patients to a drug-free and crime-free life.

One of the cornerstones of successful alcohol rehab is detoxification. The symptoms associated with cessation of alcohol consumption are collectively referred to as alcohol withdrawal syndrome. These can include insomnia, irritability, tremors, seizures, delirium tremens, and hallucinations. As a result of the dangers of these sometimes life-threatening symptoms, many alcohol rehab programs require an initial period of detoxification. Even if an alcoholic will be getting outpatient treatment, they may require inpatient detox first. However, there are some detox programs that are administers on an outpatient basis, when the alcohol withdrawal syndrome is less severe.

A successful alcohol rehab center will have a trained, professional staff that ensures quality individual support of patients while maintaining an alcohol and drug-free environment. It will provide comprehensive counseling, education, and referrals to community resources for continuing recovery after treatment. It will offer alcohol and drug education to its patients while conducting outreach to reduce the stigma of addiction and alcoholism in its surrounding community. Most importantly, a quality alcohol rehab center will have a documented record of success rate in rehabilitating patients and the ability to demonstrate the longevity of their patient recovery.

The ultimate goal of alcohol rehabilitation is a productive and sober life for the alcoholic once they complete treatment. The ability of a rehab program to provide the addict with treatment and usable skills to help them abstain from alcohol (or to consume in controlled moderation) is their true measure of success.

How to Choose the Right Alcohol Rehab Center

Choosing the right alcohol rehab center is not an easy task as there are plenty of them to choose from. Since alcoholism is very common, most treatment centers have been established and you can locate one easily near where you reside. These facilities are involved in providing an extensive range of programs. Further, there are a number of them that are engaged in providing dual diagnose addiction treatment where in addicts can find both alcohol and drug rehab programs.

The programs offered in rehab clinics are personalized to suit the needs as well as lifestyle of the addicts. Everyone is unique and hence has a particular way of wanting his issues to be addressed. This is one of the benefits that a treatment facility offers to those who enrol. Most rehab clinics are associated with big hospitals while others are operating as independent alcohol rehab centers. With many options available, it is sometimes tough for one to find the right alcohol rehab facility.

Here are a few things to consider while choosing an alcohol rehab treatment center:

Qualified Staff

The most vital thing that one must keep in mind when looking for an alcohol rehab center is to find the one which has expertise in providing the best alcohol treatment and therapy to addicts of all gender and ages. Before you choose an alcohol rehab facility that will meet your needs, consult your family doctor and take his valuable advice. You may ask them what type of alcohol rehab programs can make you more comfortable and start looking for it accordingly.

Location Of The Rehab Clinic

The location of the facility can be a major concern for some people. Often times the addicts have the family that they need to see frequently. For some people, it is better to choose a rehab that is located close to their family. This way, it’s easy for the family to keep in touch with their loved one. Nonetheless, others might consider choosing a rehab that is far from home since the memories and the proximity to home may trigger relapse. Most rehab experts recommend that addicts get away from home so as to focus on their recovery in an ambiance that is free from disruption.

What Programs Do They Offer?

Another consideration you should make when choosing an alcohol rehab center is the kind of treatment program they offer. A client-based program is custom-tailored to specific needs of the recovering addict. Many facilities offer both inpatient and outpatient care programs, but you ought to exercise careful consideration when making the decision for the level of care. Inpatient care program is the best option for addicts that can’t fight their addiction without being under 24-hour care.

On the other hand, an outpatient treatment might be suitable for beating addiction while still allowing an addict to lead a normal life. A preliminary assessment by a trained counselor will help a person to know what level of care is right.

Infrastructure Of The Facility

Whether you plan to keep your patient admitted in the treatment center or go for either a weekly or a monthly consultation, the infrastructure of the facility plays a central role in the treatment. The place should have a friendly ambiance with clean surroundings. A positive atmosphere that lingers in the area can offer a positive effect on the addict’s wellbeing.

What Sorts Of Facilities Do They Offer?

Along with the right rehab program, facilities are also vital so that addicts can recover psychologically and physically fast without damaging themselves any further. Look for the rehab centers that have all kinds of facilities. We all understand that alcoholics require treatment, and good care, at the same time. Thus, it is essential to look for the facility that can treat its patients physically, mentally and emotionally and deal with this hard to cure ailment from root.

Choosing the right alcohol rehab center can be crucial to quitting alcohol. Although many rehabs provide all the basic necessities, it’s difficult to find one that has advanced facilities, all programs as well as top quality infrastructure. This is why you should search well for a treatment centers that meet all of these criteria for a quick recovery of the addict and also for the better and lasting effects of the treatments.

What Causes Addiction?

Addiction causes are not yet fully understood.

The prevailing attitude toward addiction has been disapproval as addiction was seen as personal failure, resulting from moral  weakness and a lack of discipline. The stigma has not been entirely lost and scientific evidence suggests that addition is primarily a biological phenomenon.

In some circles addiction has been described as a disease of the brain.

Addiction researchers have asserted that alcoholism and other dependent states have a genetic bases. Alcohol dependence was thought to be influenced by genes as well as the environment as the risk for alcohol related problems seemed to be higher in the children of alcoholics.

While studies may support the genetic predisposition, identifying the specific genes that lead to the increased risk of addiction has been laborious, but it has been confirmed that that people with a different form of a certain gene are more susceptible to addiction. It is hope that further research into gene therapy can actually lead to the development of new treatment for alcoholics and other drug dependencies.

Research documenting the impact of drugs on the brain may shed some light on why some people may be more prone to addiction than others.

Drug abuse along with other potentially addictive activities such as gambling, sex, or some cases shopping causes the brain to brain to release dopamine, a chemical involved in experiencing pleasure. The surge in dopamine production appears to be powerful enough to compel the user to keep taking the drug or engaging in the behaviour. With prolonged use, the drugs can alter the brain so that experiencing pleasure without the drug is near impossible. and at this point the drug is used to stave off painful withdrawal symptoms. Based on the research, the theory has been surmised that people who are deficient in dopamine are more likely to become addicts.

While most agree that biology may play an important part in addiction, there is still some division, as one group believes that addiction is primarily a behavioral problem that is influenced by biology. They contend that labeling addiction as medical condition similar to diabetes or heart disease can create a false impression that addicts have no control over their own behavior. In the view of this group, people become addicts mostly because of their behavior and not brain chemistry.

There is still very much to learn about how the brain actually works and research is continuing and questions are still being asked.

Critics contend the medical theory of addiction may be flawed, because most people who take drugs do not become addicted.

Addiction to nicotine, which is purportedly more addictive than heroin, can be kicked solely on willpower. The dopamine theory has also come under some criticism with the assertion that the range of activities that stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain far too wide to denote any behavioral tendencies. Addiction to sex, chocolate,work or eating are not related. “Chocolate stimulates the pleasure centers, but only a few people may compulsively eat chocolate or gamble”

The contrasting perspectives on addiction, biological or behavioral has influenced debate over the best treatment for addiction.

Counseling and medication is favored by those who believe that addiction is a disease and believe that controlled abstinence may be  the best way to break the habit.

In contrast,opponents of the disease model may insist that addiction can be treated without any psychological or medical intervention.

Research and studies continues to be warranted into finding the best and most effective treatment for addiction.