What is alcohol rehabilitation?

Alcohol rehabilitation is the process of medical and psychotherapeutic treatment to cure dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol. It is carried out at the rehabilitation center.

It starts with alcohol detox, which is the abrupt cessation of alcohol, followed by alcohol education, psychological counseling and group meetings, family meetings, and aftercare.

As mentioned in alcoholism, an alcoholic is so dependent on alcohol, that he cannot control the urge to drink.

Drinking alcohol takes priority over everything else. It is almost impossible for him to kick the drinking habit. He is at it morning and evening.

Treating alcoholism, therefore just cannot be about medicine. It involves working on the alcoholic’s mind also.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD), the medical term for alcoholism, is not a moral weakness of the alcoholic. It is a chronic brain disorder, which becomes progressive, if not treated.

Again, if ignored AUD’s adverse effects on the health of the person are serious and beyond a point irreversible.

AUD develops in persons with risk factors some of which can be genetic and some environmental.

Besides treatment for his alcoholism, an alcoholic requires to attend a program called alcohol rehabilitation.

Who requires to have alcohol rehabilitation?

  • Any person who is an alcohol addict needs alcohol rehab.
  • An alcoholic who totally neglects his daily activities and responsibilities towards his family, work, society, and himself.
  • Any person who shows symptoms of alcohol withdrawal

About rehab centers

Rehab (short for rehabilitation) centers offer therapy to cure a person of his addiction to alcohol or any other illicit substance.

The centers offer accommodation facilities for those who need them. These staying facilities vary in their amenities but provide similar alcohol rehab treatment. They provide tents to stay in or even luxurious facilities.

It all depends on how much you or your insurance agency are going to spend. However, the type of living standards does not reflect on whether the program will be more successful or not. It is just to offer you a variety in staying standards to suit your budget and lifestyle.

The alcohol rehab center does not impose any compulsion on your staying and no locks are put on doors. This is because for any such center to succeed, it is necessary that you have the will to stop drinking alcohol. No amount of compulsion will help if you do not have the intention to leave alcohol.

Inpatient and outpatient rehab programs

Alcohol rehab programs are categorized as inpatient or outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehabs are residential treatment programs; they are more intensive and reserved to treat serious addictions.

Outpatient rehabs are part-time programs for patients with mild addiction and symptoms and allow the patient to attend work or school during the day.

Inpatient rehab

There are varying degrees of alcoholism. The more intense ones are those with a history of failed attempts to stop their alcohol. They require to be admitted to the center as inpatients where they will be required to spend 3 to 6 months.

Inpatient rehab requires the patient to stay at the rehab facility and therefore, works out more expensive than outpatient treatment. The rehab stay can extend anywhere from one month to six months since it is meant for patients with a serious addiction.

The advantage of this type of rehab is that the patient is assured of 24- hour medical and emotional support. The success rate with this type is also much higher.

Outpatient rehab

The outpatient rehab is less intensive and reserved for those with mild symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It can extend anywhere from three months to one year, costs less than the inpatient program, and the patient is able to attend school or work.

The outpatient alcohol rehab program is a good option for those who do not have a serious drinking problem and live in a home with a conducive atmosphere. It makes the person learn how to recognize and prevent triggers.

The patient is required to attend the rehab for about 10 to 12 hours a week with an everyday presence. The success rate with this rehab is lower since the patient has easy access to alcohol, unlike the inpatient individuals who cannot venture out of the facility.

5 steps to alcoholism rehab

The alcohol rehabilitation program involves the use of five steps.

1. Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox in the abrupt cessation of drinking alcohol. It is the first step towards starting the treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholism.

This is explained in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and you could read the details in that post. It involves the use of medicines and drugs to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

2. Alcohol education

Alcohol education is primarily aimed at educating the patient about the reality of his condition. Most alcoholics refuse to admit that they are facing the problem of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol education reminds and assesses him about his drinking habits, the duration of his alcohol drinking, his fallen status in life, and the appearance of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

In short, alcohol education convinces him that he needs help to kick the habit and get back his old reputation back. It also uses motivational methods so that he is willing to take to alcohol rehab.

3) Psychological counseling and group support

Group therapy involves group discussions by individuals who are alcohol dependent. The discussion mainly involves the explanation of the various problems by the individuals due to their alcoholism and their determination to rid themselves of alcoholism. It helps to motivate others when they see one of their kind wanting to kick the alcohol habit.

Counseling involves the explanation of the adverse health effects that alcohol has on the body and the building up of motivation to stop drinking alcohol.

4) Family meetings

Most rehab centers involve the inclusion of family members in the alcohol education program. When the family members see their loved one going through the painful withdrawal process, they do get emotional.

They are encouraged to offer emotional support and congratulations and this acts as an encouragement to the patient to complete the alcohol rehab program.

Self-esteem is a big thing and seeing his esteem rising in the eyes of his loved ones makes him that much more committed.

5) Aftercare

After having completed his alcoholism rehab, the patient is discharged from the rehab center back into the world from where he came as an alcoholic.

This a crucial period and it is now that he must exercise his willpower. His loved ones, too, have their duty towards him to keep him from the bottle by making sure he keeps his dates with his counselor regularly.

He will be asked to attend meetings where he will be asked to follow the 12 step program. This is a set of guiding principles formulated by Alcoholic Anonymous way back in 1939, which outline the course of action for recovery from addiction.

12 Step Program by Alcoholic Anonymous

These are the twelve steps for alcoholism rehab as originally published by Alcoholic Anonymous.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
    Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  5. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  6. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
    Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  7. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
  8. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  9. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  10. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Does health insurance cover alcohol rehab?

You can claim the cost of your inpatient and outpatient rehab provided your insurance policy covers the same.  Most policies offer at least partial cover.

You should find out what are the coverage levels of your policy, what has been excluded and whether your specific program is covered or not.

Most rehab centers have a insurance desk and staff who can help you find out what benefits your policy offers for rehab cost.

You can also contact your insurance provider for information.


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