All too often, those individuals struggling with an addiction to alcohol believe that they can achieve sobriety on their own. Unfortunately, alcoholism is an illness, just like any other medical condition. In order to be treated effectively, professional help in the form of detox and rehab is vital. Understanding the importance of alcohol rehab is the first step toward lasting recovery.
Rehab Delivers Accountability
An alcohol rehab program offers accountability to patients in both a physical sense and a medical one. A rehab facility is one that’s free from alcohol or drugs, which means that patients in a rehab center simply won’t have access to these substances. The physical limitation and separation from alcohol can make it mentally easier to resist temptations and cravings during rehab.
Rehab also delivers accountability through regular alcohol testing. This ensures that even for outpatients, there’s a strict adherence to the protocol and the necessity of sobriety. When patients know that there are frequent or even daily tests, they are far more likely to avoid temptation and continue with their goal of abstinence from alcohol.
Rehab Offers 24/7 Medical Supervision
During detox and rehab, 24/7 medical supervision is an advantage for patients. During alcohol rehab, it’s common for patients to deal with lingering withdrawal symptoms. While the timeline for alcohol rehabilitation often includes just a week for withdrawal, there can be a protracted withdrawal phase weeks or even months later. Some of the symptoms that patients could struggle with include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Extreme sweating and dehydration
With proper medical supervision, the discomfort and potential health risks of these symptoms can be greatly reduced. Furthermore, medical care can make it easier to stick to the rehab program and enjoy longer periods of sobriety in a positive environment. Without medical supervision, quitting alcohol consumption cold turkey could come with substantial health risks and even the potential for death.
Rehab Treats More Than Just the Physical Aspects of Addiction
Alcohol addiction is an illness, just like diabetes or asthma. However, addiction can’t be treated as an exclusively physical condition. Through rehab, patients can receive comprehensive treatment for their affliction, which might include dual diagnosis treatments or therapy to address mental illness.
As many as half of those individuals who struggle with an alcohol addiction are also struggling with a mental illness. It isn’t enough, therefore, simply to treat the addiction. Through therapy or targeted medications, it may be possible to improve mental health, which could in turn limit the risks of future relapse and ongoing addiction.
Rehab is an Official Commitment to Sobriety
Through an alcohol rehab, patients will be formally committing to an attempt at sobriety. This is important for a number of reasons, but psychologically it can help to create a goal that needs to be met. Without the structure and format of an alcohol rehab, some individuals may not commit to abstinence from alcohol. Instead, they may make nonspecific goals about cutting back or limiting regular consumption.
Unfortunately, this may result in delaying the inevitable rather than tackling sobriety head on. Through rehab, patients are forced to confront their addictions and demonstrate a cessation of alcohol altogether. In many ways, this may be beneficial, and it’s more likely to result in lasting sobriety than a general plan to be weaned off of alcoholic substances slowly.
Rehab May Integrate Pharmacological Treatment
Self-treating an alcohol addiction with over-the-counter medications is ill-advised, but medical professionals in a rehab center can effectively prescribe pharmacological treatment to certain patients. In a medically supervised environment, led by medical professionals who are familiar with alcohol addiction, the use of certain medications can ease the discomfort of detox and the initial stages of rehab. Medications may also be helpful when treating mental illness, a contributing factor for addiction.
However, it can be dangerous for individuals to attempt to self-diagnose or choose their own medications from home. Patients who want to take advantage of the pharmacological benefits of treatment should head for an alcohol rehab program for the right help.
Rehab Can Integrate Family and Loved Ones Into the Recovery Process
When loved ones want to help alcoholics, rehab may be best answer, even if that means temporary separation. Friends and family with good intentions may want to help their loved ones who struggle with addiction, and they may feel that they can orchestrate an effective detox or rehab center at home. In reality, however, this will almost certainly be a mistake. There simply won’t be the right level of medical care for patients dealing with addiction, and it could result in ineffective care or even the risk for potential health damage.
Rehab Focuses on Relapse Prevention
Relapse is the biggest challenge to lasting sobriety, and alcohol rehab centers will spend a large portion of the program focused on how to prevent relapse from occurring. To achieve that goal of uninterrupted sobriety, patients may discuss relapse prevention in group therapy or individual therapy. They may also develop lifelong passions and habits that can eliminate stress and reduce tension.
Some of the therapies incorporated in rehab are designed to reduce the risk of relapse. These methods might include art therapy, yoga therapy or fitness therapy, among many others.
Rehab Offers Emotional Support to Patients Dealing With Addiction
Alcohol rehab is a comprehensive treatment program for patients who want to turn away from their personal history of alcoholism. One of its key objectives, as a result, is to offer emotional support to patients.
Many patients in rehab feel misunderstood, under-appreciated and victimized. Through group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, patients can overcome these strong feelings and better understand their worth and their productive place in society. Doing this, and feeling fulfilled and positive, is an incredibly beneficial tool in the fight for sobriety.
To end an addiction to alcohol, professional rehab at a reputable treatment center is a non-negotiable component of recovery. By focusing on physical health, relapse prevention, emotional health and mental health, rehab is designed to comprehensively improve the health and sobriety of patients.