What Happens at an Alcohol Rehab Facility?

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An alcohol rehab facility provides an environment that supports honesty, hope and healing in those who suffer from alcoholism. When you seek sobriety at a rehabilitation center, you can focus on the steps of your recovery without worrying about the distractions and triggers of your daily life. As part of rehab, you’ll learn how to handle the situations that used to prompt you to turn to alcohol, so that you can cope with stress in a healthy way after you graduate from the program.

Evaluation and Stabilization

One of the most important stages of alcohol rehab is your evaluation. In order to develop an effective treatment plan, you’ll be assessed by an addiction professional. This professional will check you for signs of alcohol withdrawal and assess the severity of your symptoms. According to Columbia University, serious withdrawal signs may include tremors, hallucinations, sweating, nausea, vomiting, seizures, anxiety and intense cravings for alcohol. Your evaluation will also help your team determine:

  • Your intoxication level at the time of admission, your recent drinking history and the total length of time you’ve been drinking
  • Whether you’ve been through detox and rehab before, and whether you had any health problems as a result
  • Whether you have any medical or psychiatric conditions that might require specialized care
  • Your goals for alcohol rehab, your level of motivation and your desire to change.

If you’re acutely intoxicated at the time of admission, getting you stable is the first priority. You may be given medication to prevent seizures, relieve nausea, or calm the agitation and restlessness of withdrawal. As your body processes the alcohol and the chemical leaves your system, a process known as detox, you’ll be assessed on a regular basis to prevent life-threatening complications.

Stages of Treatment

Every alcoholic experiences recovery in his or her own way. You may have entered a rehab facility voluntarily, with a strong desire to make positive changes in your life. Or you may have been admitted as a result of an intervention or a court-ordered program, and you’re carrying some resentment about giving up a drug that means so much to you. Regardless of your reasons for entering alcohol rehab, this step represents a valuable opportunity to transform your life.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has established a model for addiction treatment that includes four basic stages:

  1. The initiation stage. In this phase, you voluntarily or involuntarily enter treatment. Evaluation, stabilization, detox and initial counseling may be part of this stage.
  2. The early stage. In the first days of rehab, abstinence is new. Your treatment plan may include anti-addiction medications to help you deal with strong cravings to drink. Counseling and group meetings provide support and help you learn how to live in early sobriety.
  3. The maintenance stage. As you advance through rehab, you’ll apply the coping strategies you learned. Maintaining sobriety can be challenging, especially after the exhilaration of early rehab wears off. But the rewards of self-discovery and stronger personal relationships are worth the struggle.
  4. The advanced stage. This stage may take place in an aftercare program, where you’ll continue to participate in individual counseling and group sessions on an outpatient basis. You may decide to continue your development in recovery by participating in a 12-step group or a community awareness program to provide support and education for other alcoholics.

admissions-pageWhether you go through rehab in a residential center or an outpatient clinic, the phases of recovery are roughly the same. Many of the most profound changes that happen in an alcohol rehab facility take place as a result of your own desire to improve your life. Call us today to discuss your questions and needs.