Alcohol Rehab and Treatment – What to Expect
Statistically, it is a certainty that you or someone you know has been affected by alcoholism. So let’s discuss Alcohol Rehab and what you should look for when seeking treatment.
It’s estimated that approximately 12 million people in the U.S. are addicted to alcohol, and unfortunately, many people do not seek help for a variety of reasons.
The stigma and shame of admitting a person might have a problem with alcohol in their life plays a crucial role in whether they explore treatment options.
Not only can alcohol dependence create problems in a person’s private and professional life, health related issues from prolonged alcohol misuse make it one of the leading causes of premature death globally.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21.
- Heavy Drinking is defined as consuming 8 or more drinks a week for women, and 15 drinks or more in a week for men
- Binge Drinking can be just as harmful as heavy drinking and includes 4 or more drinks in one sitting for women, and 5 or more drinks for men
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published the Behavioral Health Trends in the United States study from 2014. This image from the study shows binge and heavy alcohol use among people over the age of 12 years old.
Here is a link to the PDF to read the entire results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
What Do Most People Think of When They Hear the Words “Alcohol Rehab?”
Addiction treatment comes in many forms, and distinguishing between “treatment” and “maintenance” is an important first step. When most people think of an alcoholism rehab program, the following come to mind:
- Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
- 12 Step Based Alcohol Rehab Centers
- Alcoholism Group Programs
While group therapy sessions, 12 step meetings, and AA recovery communities can be useful resources for individuals in recovery from alcohol dependence, these are self-help programs and should only be considered support, not treatment. This distinction is key, and can help save lives where it concerns alcohol dependence.
These types of programs can be very effective for relapse prevention and ongoing, long-term recovery from addiction, but they are best served after a formal treatment program has been completed.
Treating the Disease of Alcoholism
To illustrate that point, consider a patient recently diagnosed with diabetes. After hearing of their disease, the first move is not to seek out a support group of people living with diabetes.
Instead, they talk with their physician, and complete a series of blood tests and other health assessments so that medical experts, specialists in their field, can determine the best way to treat their illness. Patients take advantage of advances made in medical science and pharmacology so they are able to return to their normal life before the problem presented itself.
The first and most important action to take when disease presents itself is to receive treatment from a medical professional.
Many alcohol rehabilitation centers claim to provide treatment, when in fact their programs offer only a form of support. Self-help and support groups, though useful as a long-term aid in social and spiritual recovery for some, should not be mistaken as treatment for alcoholism.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Because addiction can affect so many aspects of a person’s life, treatment must address the needs of the whole person to be successful. This is why the best programs incorporate a variety of rehabilitative services into their comprehensive treatment regimens.”
Treatment of alcohol dependence begins with physicians educated and credentialed in addiction medicine, who are responsible for the overall health of a patient. A thorough evaluation is performed to determine the stage and severity of the illness, as well as an assessment of any additional psychiatric, interpersonal or social problems. A comprehensive and ongoing plan is developed, executed and adjusted as patients respond to therapy.
Once an individual gains a stable recovery in an inpatient or outpatient setting, medical professionals remain available to offer and refer patients, and their families, any supplemental care appropriate for their continued recovery. This is now the time to find addiction support groups with regular meetings along with others in recovery help maintain sobriety in the near future and long-term.
What to Expect and How Inspire Malibu’s Alcohol Rehab Programs Work
Inspire Malibu offers the most comprehensive alcohol rehab program available, combined with the scientific treatment of alcoholism, and a wide range of behavioral therapies. Our staff is comprised of addiction experts and specialists who provide care and support for patients in a non-judgmental setting. We understand you are not defined by your addiction and we will be by your side through your entire stay with us.
The first step is an assessment to determine a rehab program based on your current physical and psychological condition. Depending on your individual needs, you will either enter detox if necessary, or go straight into a treatment program.
1. Alcohol Detox
Detoxing from alcohol is an important first stage for many people who are addicted to alcohol.
It can be quite dangerous to completely stop drinking all at once, and the role of detox is to safely and comfortably transition each person through this stage under the guidance of a credentialed specialist.
Not every person requires alcohol detox, but for those that do, this can be a scary and uncomfortable phase. Safety and comfort is the top priority.
2. Residential Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
It’s common for most people to begin treatment in a 30-day residential (inpatient) program.
This type of program offers a combination of one-on-one sessions and also with groups, to work on motivational and cognitive therapies, relapse prevention, and understand the root causes of addiction and techniques to overcome the underlying issues.
3. Extended Treatment
For those that still require additional time, the initial 30-day rehab program might be extended to include more therapy sessions or new treatment options that weren’t covered in the first month.
The timeframe in this phase could be an additional 30 or 60 days depending on the assessment.
It can take years to develop an addiction, and alcohol rehab can sometimes take more than 30 days to get under control, but it’s ultimately worth it to put in the time.
4. Outpatient Treatment
Some people find that they did very well with 30 days of residential treatment, yet still need extra time, but not enough for an extended stay.
For these people, outpatient programs can work wonders, and two options are available:
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – 3 hours of a day for 3 days a week
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) – 5 hours a day for 5 days a week
Outpatient programs are mostly in a group setting and target non 12 step cognitive therapies, skills training, and relapse prevention.
Getting Your Life Back
Nobody starts out by having a few drinks with friends and decides they like it so much, they want to devote their entire life to drinking all day, every day. But somehow, the end result is what happens for so many people.
It starts out slow with a few drinks after work and on the weekends. Somewhere along the way, either from life’s daily pressures, or as a way to numb the pain from a stressful past event, the daily drink creeps its way into becoming a crutch that is needed to get through life. When a drink is necessary to just feel normal each day, it’s probably time to seek help to get your life back. It might not be easy, but some ways are better than others, and it’s definitely worth it.
Questions About Alcohol Rehab
The following are the most common questions we receive about our alcohol rehab facility. If you have any that you don’t see answered below, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions. We want to give you all the information you need in order to feel comfortable with your decision.
While this FAQ is specific to alcohol rehab, you can also visit our general FAQ page, which covers broader topics about our facility.
What is a non-12-Step Approach to Alcohol Rehab?
While the traditional 12-step process has its place as a means of support, it’s not a form of treatment. As an alcohol rehab facility, our main goal is to treat people.
Our non-12-step approach consists of a wide variety of strategies that include:
- Abstinence-based counseling
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Family Therapy
- Motivational Effectiveness
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
- Patient Education
Rather than forcing patients into a static form of treatment, we prefer to create a customized approach based on the individual.
Will My Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab Treatment?
Our alcohol rehab facility accepts most PPO insurance plans. You can check for your insurance coverage or simply speak with one of our helpful intake specialists, who will be happy to review your coverage with you and let you know.
We are Joint Commission (JCAHO) Accredited, which is often a requirement of many insurance companies. Less than half of all addiction treatment centers are accredited.
Does Medicaid/MediCal or Medicare Cover Alcohol Rehab?
We do not accept Medicaid/MediCal or Medicare. However, we do offer financing options which come with no interest for the first 18 months.
How Long Will I Need to Stay in Treatment?
Rehab for alcoholism is different for everyone. As we place a lot of emphasis on treating the individual, we can’t say for sure how long it will take to make certain you get the help you need.
Every patient stays with us for at least 30 days, but many factors affect how long their time may ultimately be with us.
First, there is their physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing to consider. Alcoholism is a disease that affects all three.
Second, we assess other potential issues when caring for our patients. These include things like:
- Mental health complications
- Relapse risks
- Return-to-work plans
- Sober living skills
- Special needs or concerns
Again, our treatment facility isn’t just a boilerplate checklist we assign to each patient.
You are a unique individual. Your disease is unique to you, as well. There may be any number of factors that could keep you from achieving sobriety if not properly addressed. Our specialists take the time to learn about these elements so they receive the attention they require.
Do You Treat Co-occurring Disorders?
Yes. If you’re someone who is struggling with alcoholism and mental health issues, you’ll find the help you need at Inspire Malibu. We believe it is important to treat both at the same time.
Is Your Rehab Center Associated with a Religion?
No. While we work to ensure that our alcohol rehab facility supports a positive spiritual system, we are completely secular. People of all religions, faiths, or none at all are welcome to find help at Inspire Malibu.
None of our treatments involve any adherence to a certain religious or spiritual belief.
Can I Go Through Detox on My Own?
No, as we mentioned above, going through detox without support from trained professionals is extremely dangerous.
Symptoms can range from the minor (e.g., headaches, nausea, and slight tremors) to the moderate (e.g., sweating, vomiting, and fever) to the severe, which is referred to as delirium tremens.
This condition can be fatal. It’s estimated that it may even kill as many as 15% of people who experience it. Prior to the use of medications like benzodiazepines to help ease the process, that rate was closer to 35%.
Anyone who drinks a pint of liquor, four to five pints of wine, or seven to eight pints of beer a day for several months is at risk of delirium tremens if they stop drinking abruptly.
That’s why it’s so important to enter the detoxification process at our alcohol rehab center. We have specialists who will monitor your condition and can prescribe medication as necessary.
Even if you don’t think you’re at risk for delirium tremens, you’ll find detox much easier at Inspire Malibu and, as soon as it’s over, you’ll be ready to continue on your path to recovery.
What Happens After I Complete My Alcohol Treatment Program?
We don’t expect you to be “all better” when you leave Inspire Malibu. That’s why we encourage our patients to consider outpatient options and to attend meetings with other people in recovery. This ongoing support is vital.
For many of our patients, we will also connect them with therapists who specialize in a version of care they received here (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, etc.) so they can continue to benefit from this treatment.
Of course, our staff will always be here to help you. Whether you need to return for another stay or your family is looking for resources so they can be as supportive as possible, we are only a phone call away.
What if I Have Unique Health Requirements?
That’s not a problem. A lot of people who come to our alcohol rehab facility have other health concerns. Our staff of doctors and trained medical specialists will be able to accommodate your unique requirements. Just let us know beforehand and we’ll be ready.
Do I Have to Go to Group Meetings?
Yes. We do utilize group meetings at Inspire Malibu.
However, we also provide our patients with one-on-one therapy. This is an extension of our belief that each patient must be treated as an individual, which includes giving them individual attention.
Our physicians and therapists will meet with you regularly to assess your progress and check in on your overall wellbeing. This is also your opportunity to bring up anything you may not want to say in front of the group.
As research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse has shown, the combination of group meetings and individual therapy are hallmarks of the most effective forms of treatment.
For More Information About Alcohol Rehab and Treatment, Call Us Toll-Free at 800-444-1838.