Treating Alcoholism

Alcoholism affects millions of people every year. According to the most recent data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism directly affects over 14 million adults and less than 8 percent of those receive treatment. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, which means it worsens over time when not treated. The more a person drinks, the more damage it does to the body and a person’s mental state. 

Anyone who has experience with alcohol use disorder is familiar with the up-and-down nature of the disease. Relapse commonly occurs during treatment, making sobriety seem like a far-reaching goal. While the path may be challenging, the end result is worth it. Every stage is one step closer to a healthier, calmer life and a chance for a new start without alcohol. 

Treating alcoholism doesn’t look the same for everyone. The steps you take will be the same, but how you get there is what makes the difference. How much, how often, and how long you’ve been drinking all factor into your personalized plan. When under the care of a clinical facility, you’ll have consistent medical and emotional support as you go through the various phases of treatment. 

A comprehensive care plan includes detox, residential treatment, outpatient care, and addiction support services. These all work together to help prevent relapse and address your unique needs to keep moving forward in your recovery. 

Phase 1: Alcohol Detox 

The first step of any treatment plan for alcohol dependence is detox. The body must be alcohol-free before proceeding with anything else. Depending on your history with alcohol use, this process may take a few days or can last up to a week or longer. The average alcohol withdrawal timeline is seven to ten days. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms set in within the first day of your last drink, sometimes in as little as five to six hours. 

The first few days of detox are when these symptoms are the most intense. The transition your body has to make from being completely dependent on alcohol to abstinence is a shock to the system. As a result, physical side effects manifest, which may include: vomiting, chills, tremors, and seizures. During this time, you may experience high blood pressure and heart palpitations. After three or four days, the symptoms should start to subside and lessen in severity, but the body is unpredictable. There’s no way of knowing exactly when or how it will react to the detox process. 

Because of the pain and discomfort associated with alcohol withdrawal symptoms, in addition to the unpredictable nature, it’s safest to go through this stage of care at a detox center. Our detox center provides a safe, supervised environment with medical assistance to help you overcome withdrawal symptoms as comfortably as possible. 

Our certified and caring staff monitor your vitals, such as your heart rate and body temperature, and provide support to prevent relapse. You’ll have a dedicated team of trained professionals to guide you through the detox phase and work with you to set up your customized treatment plan to help you quit your substance abuse problem for good.

Phase 2: Residential Treatment Program

Alcoholism is an addiction, which unfortunately means your body has control over you and not vice-versa. Many attempt to detox at home alone rather than receiving care at a treatment facility. Detox takes a toll on the body both physically and mentally, making you more vulnerable to relapse when attempted on your own. When detoxing at home, there are still the same temptations and influences available and you won’t have any of the tools or built-in assistance to fight them. 

Residential treatment for alcohol dependence is a significant part of your recovery journey. Together with our facility team, you’ll lay out a treatment plan that is tailored toward your specific goals and health requirements. Each residential treatment plan is comprised of six certified therapists that are focused on all areas of your treatment. It requires a stay at the facility that’s most convenient for you with an ideal program equaling three months. 

When treating alcohol abuse, it’s important to eliminate any distractions or stressors that can disrupt your treatment. Residential treatment provides the opportunity for you to focus on your health and long-term sobriety. The change from life dealing with alcohol use disorder to life without it is a major shift that affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It requires adequate time to work through different areas of this change.

A typical day of residential treatment includes morning meditation, meal time, group and individual therapy sessions, as well as time to exercise, journal, converse with others, and attend weekly outings. By following a holistic approach to treating alcoholism, the program explores all facets of your well-being and is more likely to become sustainable once treatment is complete.

Phase 3: Outpatient Care

Following residential treatment, the aim is to ensure sustained sobriety as you continue with your recovery through outpatient care. There is flexible scheduling to work with your personal schedule and receive the care you need at a time that is most convenient for you. It’s less of a time commitment, but still requires the same dedication and consistency as with inpatient care.

The outpatient program is also available for individuals who want to refocus on their recovery following a relapse or as an effort to curb dangerous drinking behavior like treating binge drinking. The treatment guides people with caring accountability and a non-judgmental approach to build a sustainable, sober lifestyle. Parts of the outpatient treatment program include individual and group counseling, recreational and experiential activities, and psychiatric care for substance abuse. 

In this phase of treating alcoholism, our unique Vivo® Model focuses on your long-term sobriety and creates a safe and structured environment that allows you to live life independently and with confidence. Our different programmatic services are in place to set you up for success post-treatment as you enter back into the real world. Whether it’s applying to college, securing a job, discovering the healing powers of music, or learning how to repair family relationships. Each program is specifically set up to allow you to reach your individual milestones and plays a crucial part of your treatment.

Phase 4: Addiction Support Services

The transition back to daily life is as important as the beginning stage of treatment. Once your primary treatment is complete, there is discharge planning to make sure you receive further addiction support as you enter back into the world. This is designed to focus on your recovery long-term and provide you with a network of resources to continue with sobriety. It’s recommended to enroll in services for four months or longer. 

When alcoholism has been such a huge part of your life, being without it requires activity and positive reinforcement to stay busy and avoid temptation. The benefit of our addiction support services is working with people who understand the process and have often been where you are before. 

These types of services include outpatient 12-Step meetings on a daily or weekly basis, sober living houses as a way to slowly transition from treatment into the real world, or a combination of the two. As a final phase added to the recommended timeline for residential treatment and outpatient care, the goal is to have your full treatment add up to one year of continuous sobriety. 

Treating alcoholism is an ongoing effort that requires thoughtful intention and proactive measures to prevent symptoms and behaviors from reentering the picture. It’s a lifelong commitment to your physical and mental health. With a built-in system available to provide guidance at every turn, you’ll begin to rebuild your confidence and strength with every step.

Alcoholism Treatment Customized for You

Alcoholism affects people at different stages of life. The effects of alcoholism are similar, but each person’s story and struggles are different. That’s why customized treatment is necessary in order for each person to set a path for a successful and long-standing recovery. 

The sequence of treatment steps is important. Each phase builds upon the last to create a solid foundation, which enables you to grow and heal. There are general timelines to follow, but it’s you that guides the pace that’s most comfortable and productive for your journey.

Alcoholism treatment at a detox center and specialized facility offers you the medical and therapeutic care necessary to treat the disease. It also provides a sense of community and connectedness to guide you on your path in a positive way. After you’ve completed the detox, residential treatment, and outpatient care phases of the full continuum of care, addiction support services and specialized programs assist in further shaping a life filled with joy and purpose. 

Every phase of alcoholism treatment comes with its own challenges, but it comes with its own rewards as well. Working with a compassionate staff who is well-versed and in tune with what’s needed on a physical, mental, and spiritual level gives you the opportunity to heal holistically.  

With each phase, you’ll build strength that will allow you to continue independently with your recovery once treatment is complete. Treating alcoholism prepares for a future that is healthier and may bring you a greater sense of peace.

If you or a loved one has a drinking problem, the time to get help is now. Our treatment for alcoholism will guide you through the detoxification process and then will educate you on life skills that support your sobriety. To learn more about our rehab center, call one of our trusted staff members today.

Source:

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics;

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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