02 November 2017

The Aftercare Options for Alcohol Detox and Rehabilitation
The Aftercare Options for Alcohol Detox and Rehabilitation
The hardest part of recovering from an alcohol addiction is often said to be admitting the problem exists in the first place. With so much stigma attached to addiction, it can be tough for those affected to come to terms with the fact that they are addicts and in need of help. Others find the whole idea of detox and rehabilitation a struggle while some wonder what happens after alcohol detox and rehabilitation. These are all issues that can prevent individuals from getting the help they need to recover.

Maybe you do not believe you have a problem with alcohol that requires professional help. You might believe that you could benefit from cutting back a little but that you definitely do not have an ‘addiction’. If so, you are not the first person to feel this way. Many people struggle to come to terms with the fact that their alcohol use has reached a stage where it can be classed as abuse. They are in denial about their problems and would rather pretend that everything is okay and hope for the best than admit to having a problem and dealing with it head on.

The Importance of Accepting a Diagnosis of Addict

If you do have a problem with alcohol, it is better to deal with it sooner rather than later. What you should be aware of is the fact that alcoholism is an illness that is unlikely to go away without treatment. The longer you bury your head in the sand, the worse your situation will become.

The sooner you can accept that you have a problem that requires treatment, the sooner you can get started on a programme of detoxification and rehabilitation.

It is understandable that you might feel ashamed or embarrassed about admitting to being an alcoholic. There remains a huge amount of stigma attached to addiction and other people’s negative opinions may be preventing you from accessing treatment.

But could it be that your own negative views on addiction are getting in the way? Most people do not understand that addiction is an illness. The way in which this illness has been negatively portrayed in the media for decades has led most to develop an opinion about addiction that is not based on fact.

Maybe you believe that to be an alcoholic, you have to drink cheap spirits as soon as you wake up. Or perhaps you think that all alcoholics drink all day long and are rarely sober; that they are estranged from their families, do not work and are unkempt?

These views can seriously affect a person’s ability to see him or herself as having a problem. If the affected person does not fit the profile of the typical alcoholic, he or she will find it hard to accept that they have a problem.

Alcoholism is not about the type of alcohol you drink or how often you drink it. And just because you are functioning well does not mean you cannot have a problem. Many alcoholics only ever drink when they get home from work in the evening and they might never drink spirits. What matters is how much control they have over their alcohol use when drinking.

If you are finding it hard to control your drinking once you get started, or if you find yourself powerless to resist the urge to drink when it comes over you, you could have a problem.

How to Get Started on the Road to Recovery

Once you are ready to accept your need for addiction treatment, you may be keen to get started. However, the issue of what happens after detox and rehabilitation may be one you are worried about. Or perhaps you are worried that you will not be strong enough to complete either of these processes. Maybe it would help for you to find out a bit more about what happens in recovery and how you can get started.

As soon as you are ready to accept help for addiction, you can get a free evaluation of your needs and circumstances. You can speak to us here at UKAT for advice and information about what type of programme would suit you best and how you can access such a programme.

For most of those with a severe alcohol addiction, a detox is the natural first step on the recovery process. It is important that you tackle the physical addiction before moving on to rehabilitation where you will be helped to deal with the psychological issues.

What Happens During an Alcohol Detox?

You must quit alcohol before you can begin dealing with the emotional issues relating to your illness. Rehabilitation providers usually insist that patients are clean and sober because they know that having a mind and body that is clouded by chemicals can affect progress.

Abstinence is the key to a successful long-term recovery and this is what makes alcohol detox such an integral part of the recovery process. But what does it involve and where should it take place?

Before you begin any alcohol detox, it is important that you get advice about the type of detox you might require and where would be the best place for you to complete the process. Some affected people prefer to detox in their home while others like the idea of being more secure and comfortable with medical professionals monitoring their progress in a dedicated facility. It is important, however, to remember that it can be dangerous to suddenly stop drinking, especially if you have been abusing alcohol heavily for many years.

During your detox from alcohol, you may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms usually occur while the body is trying to get back to normal after years of abuse. It will attempt to get rid of any remaining chemicals and as it does, you might experience symptoms ranging from mild to severe in intensity.

In a supervised facility, your symptoms will be monitored and if appropriate, you may be given medication to ease any pain or discomfort you are experiencing. There may also be the possibility that medication or nutritional supplements can be administered to prevent the worst symptoms from occurring.

What Happens During Alcohol Rehab?

Many people wonder what happens after alcohol detox and some believe that treatment stops as soon as they have broken the cycle of addiction. It is important to remember that recovery from addiction involves a 3-step process for most individuals. So, while the first step is a detox to tackle the physical element of the illness, the second stage is rehabilitation, where the root cause of the illness is identified and where you will be taught various life skills to help you avoid a return to addictive behaviour in the future.

When it comes to alcohol rehabilitation, there are a couple of choices in relation to the type of programme available. For those with the most severe addictions, it is often necessary to remove the individual from his or her everyday life. He or she will then enter a residential facility where there are no distractions and no access to triggers or temptations.

The residential clinic offers recovering addicts a sanctuary where they can focus on their recovery and nothing else. They do not have to worry about everyday issues and will have fully qualified staff with experience of addiction recovery to offer care and support 24-hours a day. Many experts believe that inpatient programmes offer the best chance for long-term success in the shortest possible time.

Inpatient programmes run for between six and eight weeks normally. Nevertheless, for those who are struggling with more than one type of addiction or those who have an addiction that is coupled with mental health problems, the programme may need to be longer as their needs will be more complex.

While most of those who want to overcome an addiction could benefit from an inpatient programme, it is not appropriate for everyone. There are some individuals who would fail to progress with their programme if they were away from their loved ones for an extended period. There are others who would find that the logistics of this type of programme would not suit their life and work commitments.

The alternative is an outpatient programme where there is no requirement for the patient to stay in the clinic overnight. Instead, regular counselling session will be attended. The frequency of these counselling sessions will depend on the patient’s needs as well as the provider offering the treatment. Sometimes, patients may be expected to attend counselling every week day while others will only require attendance once or twice per week. As you might imagine, the length of these programmes depends on how many treatment hours the patient receives each week. Some outpatient programmes run for many months and others extend for longer than a year.

The Aim of Rehabilitation

During rehabilitation for an alcohol addiction, patients are helped to identify the cause of their addictive behaviour. This takes place with various treatments such as individual counselling, group therapy, and 12-step work.

Patients will also be treated with various methods to help them learn how to move on to a substance-free life. They could take part in life and work skills workshops as well as relapse prevention seminars. The aim is to tackle the emotional and psychological issues relating to the illness and to give the individual the coping skills required to avoid a return to addictive behaviour in the future.

What Happens After Alcohol Rehab?

Many patients wonder what happens after alcohol detox and rehabilitation. They are aware that both are necessary for their recovery but worry about how they will cope when they return to everyday life. It is understandable to be concerned about how you will manage with normal independent sober living. No longer having access to around-the-clock care and support can be a daunting prospect but there are resources that can and should be utilised when you leave the comfort and security of a rehab programme.

Some rehab providers offer aftercare services for up to twelve months after the programme has finished. Studies have shown that it is during this first year after treatment that most recovering addicts will be susceptible to a relapse.

As well as the aftercare services provided by rehab clinics, there are many resources available in the local community. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can be instrumental in helping you to stay sober.

Getting involved with a local fellowship support group is always a wise decision. You will probably be advised to do so by your treatment provider before you even leave your rehab programme. Attending regular meetings will help to keep you motivated to stay sober and can open up a whole world filled with like-minded individuals. You can attend substance-free activities that will help to keep you busy and can help prevent you from becoming vulnerable to a relapse.

If you would like more information about what happens after alcohol detox and rehabilitation, please get in touch with us today. We can also provide information on overcoming addiction and how to access a programme that is suited to your needs and individual situation. Call now for more details on how we can help you or someone you love to beat addiction once and for all.

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