Alcoholism is drug addiction, and like other drug addictions getting clean and sober takes some determination and hard work.
There are several different alcohol treatments such as in-patient, out-patient, 12-steps, and Celebrate Recovery.
Alcoholism is the direct cause of 95,000 lives being lost each year. It is the top abused substance and is abused more often than opioids or meth.
Does alcohol rehab work?
The alcohol rehab programs do work. There have been a lot of success stories associated with people going into rehab facilities to break their cycle of alcohol, and drug addiction.
Does alcohol rehab work for everyone that tries it? No. Different people respond to different treatments and different methods. You cannot judge a rehab program on the success or failure of one patient.
The Pros and Cons of Rehab Facilities for Alcohol Abuse
One of the most successful rehab situations, the type that has the most success for the most patients is a 24-hour in-patient facility.
That means a facility where the recovering addict does not leave the grounds until they have been successfully sober for a certain amount of time.
The pros of in-patient services
- When the addict suffers withdrawals there are trained nurses and professionals to help them get past them.
- Therapy is done daily to help the addict face their situation and overcome the substance
- Family and group therapy is also offered to increase the chances of success
- The patient cannot get to any form of alcohol so they do not get two days clean and then blow their recovery with a drink
- Some physicians can provide medical treatment to help the patient recover
- The patient can focus just on their recovery. There are no other demands on their time or emotions so they can concentrate on getting better with no interruptions.
The cons of in-patient services
- The patient often feels isolated from their friends and family so they get lonely and often depressed
- They miss time from their jobs
- This type of recovery facility is more expensive than other forms of recovery so the patient may worry about money.
- When patients leave and are exposed to situations where alcohol is present they often relapse.
The chances of relapse
Unfortunately, the number of people who relapse within the first year after leaving a rehab facility is high. About 85% of addicts will relapse in the first year. 30 to 60% relapse within the first 30 days.
Increasing Success Rates
One of the best ways to increase the odds that you will beat alcohol or drug, or addiction is to combine several treatment methods to custom create a program that works for you.
Do the in-patient rehab for 30 to 90 days and get the drug of choice out of your system. This lets you get past the detox situation and be on sound footing when you leave the facility and face the world without the crutch of your drug of choice.
When you leave the facility you have to make changes in your lifestyle. You cannot go back to hanging out with the same people and in the same places and expect to be able to stay clean and sober.
You have to learn how to cope with stressful situations without reverting to using. One way to help you do that is to join a Celebrate Recovery program or a 12-step program like AA and use the tools they have developed. You will gain friends and support from people who understand what you are going through. They will help you learn how to order a soda with no bourbon and enjoy the soda.
Is the Recovery permanent?
An alcoholic will be an alcoholic for the rest of their lives. Just like a diabetic will always be diabetic. The alcoholic does not always have to crave a drink or live with the pain of detox, but at any time in their life if they revert to using alcohol they will go back down the rabbit hole into the madness of addiction.
With each day that you manage to abstain from alcohol consumption your chances of long-term sobriety increase. With each passing year of sobriety your ability to resist the temptation, and remain sober increases by as much as 20%.
By the time you have been sober for five years, there is only a 15% or lower chance that you will ever choose to drink again.
Long-term recovery is possible, and all you really have to have is determination and a desire to quit.
Making Rehab Work
Before you can enter an alcohol rehab facility and make it work you will need to WANT to quit. You have to make the decision. No one else can make it for you and no one else can do the work for you.
You have to be willing to face the reason why you drink. There is a reason. You may have low self-esteem, you may have things in your past that caused great hurt, but there is something that makes you drink. You may even have a family history of alcohol abuse and part of your problem may be inherited.
You have to be honest and willing to listen to the therapists and the doctors as they try to lead you to sobriety. If you are closed in and unwilling to open up you will not find the help you are seeking.
You have to put in the work and then learn to forgive yourself. Once you have made the steps to be clean and sober do not spend the rest of your life beating yourself up. What is in the past needs to remain there and you need to look forward to the bright future you have without alcohol or drugs in it.
If you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol you need to know that rehab does work and there is hope. You can only take this one day at a time, and sometimes it will be one second at a time, but you can succeed.