Inpatient alcohol rehab
Knowing you have an alcohol problem and deciding to address it is an important milestone, but how should you follow through? What will your treatment in an inpatient facility consist of and should you choose inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment? The answer lies in your level of addiction as well as your personal needs.
Psychological or physical addiction?
Many heavy drinkers are not yet physically addicted to alcohol. They drink too much socially on a regular basis and have difficulty in stopping. If this describes your drinking habit, you are among those who may successfully quit with the help of an outpatient treatment program. However, even heavy social drinkers may find that an outpatient treatment isn’t enough to help them kick the habit. The behavior is just too entrenched, and in that case, an inpatient program is the best solution.
There are also those who are physically addicted to alcohol. Having a high alcohol tolerance is the first warning sign. Being unable to function properly without alcohol is the next step in the illness that is addiction. Physical symptoms are common, and include:
- Feeling anxious, depressed or irritable when you don’t drink.
- Trembling, sweating or feeling nauseous because you haven’t had a drink for several hours.
- Having trouble sleeping or losing your appetite.
- Suffering from headaches that are ‘cured’ by a drink.
In very serious cases, dangerous withdrawal symptoms occur. These may take the form of hallucinations, seizures and fever. When these addiction symptoms occur, medical supervision is important for your own safety.
What does inpatient treatment consist of?
- How long should you stay?
When you choose inpatient treatment, you will commit to a treatment program lasting from 30 – 90 days. A 30 day treatment may work for those with a mild form of addiction, but longer stays are recommended, particularly when the addiction problem is serious and long-standing.
Rehab is more than just a place to detox your system and kick your physical addiction symptoms. It also consists of therapies that help you to understand why you developed your problem in the first place, and provides you with coping strategies that will help you to experience a lasting recovery.
- Evaluation and detox
When you check in, you will get a physical and psychological examination that helps staff to tailor your rehabilitation program. Although you may be ashamed of your habit, and accustomed to downplaying or understating it, it’s important to be honest now. Remember, the people you will be talking to are not there to judge you, but to help you, and they can’t do that effectively if you don’t tell them everything they need to know.
Now it’s time to detox. The staff at an inpatient rehabilitation center will know how to make this process as comfortable and as safe as possible. During this phase, your physical addiction is dealt with. Your body learns that it does not need alcohol just to function normally.
It’s impossible to understate the importance of this phase of your treatment. If you cut your finger, putting a band aid on the wound only treats the symptom, but not the cause. A sensible person will think about why they cut their finger, and avoid such accidents in future.
The same is true of rehab. The physical addiction is the symptom of your problem. Now it’s time to look for the cause and work out how you’ll avoid relapse. Group therapy is very helpful. By listening to what others have experienced and sharing your own experiences, thoughts and feelings, you gain a deeper understanding of your addiction while helping others to do the same thing. Together, you support each other and learn from each other.
Many inpatient rehabilitation centers also offer one-on-one therapy with a psychologist or counsellor who is trained to help you to understand yourself and your addiction problem better. Together, you work on individualized strategies to make your recovery permanent.
How will I afford it, and will I live it down?
Most medical insurance packages cover inpatient rehabilitation. After all, addiction is an illness, and by achieving a cure, you can look forward to better health in the future. Many rehabilitation centers also offer financing plans to help you to cover any financial shortfall. See it as an investment in a brighter future, because that’s exactly what the end result will be.
You can choose to keep your treatment completely confidential. Discuss your circumstances with a doctor or counsellor. Sometimes, being honest with your employers, friends and family is very helpful, even though it may be hard for you to tell them about it. In general, people will respect you for taking positive action.