About Alcohol Rehab
Depending on the scope of the program, alcohol rehab refers to the medical, psychotherapeutic, educational,
and/or social treatment processes required for alcoholism recovery.
It is worth emphasizing that the ultimate goal of alcohol rehab is stopping a drinker's alcohol abuse or
alcohol addiction so that he or she can avoid the physical, psychological, social, legal, health, and financial
consequences that are typically caused by alcohol dependency and chronic alcohol abuse.
Take a moment to think about this. With successful alcohol rehabilitation, a problem drinker will be able to
eliminate the following problems from his or her life: alcohol poisoning, DUIs, binge drinking, and alcohol
According to the recent research literature about alcohol abuse and alcoholism, however, this is apparently
easier said than done. The bottom line, however, is this.
If problem drinkers are to attain sobriety and start on the road to alcohol recovery, they need to acknowledge
that they have a drinking problem, they must have a sincere desire to stop drinking, and they need to find one or
more alcohol rehab programs that works for them.
Once problem drinkers find such a program, they will eventually discover that they have made a significant
change in mindset from "alcohol and dependency" to "alcohol and rehab" and a lack of drinking problems.
Possessing this kind of mindset will go a long way towards stopping alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse and help
problem drinkers reclaim their lives as they involve themselves in the alcohol rehabilitation process.
Tolerance and The Effects of Alcohol on the Brain
The research literature about alcohol rehabilitation demonstrates the fact that with regular consumption of
alcohol, the brain gradually adapts to the alcohol so that normal functioning is possible.
This not only explains how physical tolerance develops but it also explains why increasingly more alcohol is
needed to get the same "high" or "buzz" with regular use.
When an alcoholic or a heavy drinker suddenly stops drinking alcohol, however, he or she typically suffers from
alcohol withdrawal symptoms which may take days or weeks before the body returns to "normal."
An important point about alcohol abuse and alcoholism to emphasize at this point is this: all "problem
drinkers," heavy drinkers, or alcoholics should seek professional assistance when they decide to quit drinking.
That is, alcoholics need to change their mindset from a "alcohol and health hazards" to "alcohol and rehab"
The bottom line is that alcohol withdrawal symptoms are simply too serious to endure without quality alcohol
And if a person wants to avoid experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, then stopping alcohol addiction will
stop alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
It almost seems ironic to note that too little or no alcohol for the alcoholic results in alcohol withdrawal
symptoms while too much alcohol can result in an alcohol overdose.
Also known as alcohol poisoning, an alcohol overdose results from drinking significantly more alcohol than the
body can metabolize.
When this happens, various organs and systems in the body can literally shut down, resulting in a coma or in
extreme circumstances, death.
Obviously, an alcohol overdose or alcohol poisoning is one of the most dangerous drinking problems that an
individual can experience.
The good news, however, is that an alcohol overdose can be prevented if people would simply drink in a
responsible and moderate manner.
If on the other hand, you are presented with a possible alcohol overdose situation, the best thing to do in such
a circumstance is to seek immediate medical assistance by calling 911. This type of "appropriate response" can help
save the life of an individual who is undergoing an alcohol overdose.
The Alcohol Rehab Process
The alcohol rehab process has two focal points: physical dependency and psychological dependency.
Treating physical alcohol dependency usually involves managing the alcohol withdrawal symptoms in a safe manner
and monitoring alcohol detoxification, a process that is intended to rid the body of alcohol.
Psychological alcohol dependency usually involves teaching the alcoholic new ways of interacting in an
There are various alcohol rehab programs that provide alcohol treatment and rehabilitation. Some of these
alcohol rehabilitation programs are as follows: extended care centers, out-patient services, local support groups,
residential treatment (in-patient) services, and sober houses.
Within these programs are different sub-programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, therapeutic community alcohol
rehabilitation, medical model rehab, and religious-based rehabilitation.
The Alcohol Rehab Center
Many of the "alternative" alcohol rehab approaches take place in an alcohol rehab center or in a rehab hospital
that specializes in the employment of intensive counseling and therapy in combination with the administration of
doctor prescribed medications.
Additionally, these non-traditional approaches deal with alcoholism from both a psychological and a
Furthermore, an effective alcohol rehab center or rehab hospital commonly features programs that are more
comprehensive than others and that focuses on how the alcoholic will manage significant relationships after he or
she becomes sober.
Finally, a successful alcohol rehab center or rehab hospital typically provides programs that have a holistic
orientation and that emphasize the importance of addressing and working through of primary issues that may have
lead to the individual's dependency in the first place: pain, poor interpersonal relationship skills, poor anger
management, grief, spirituality issues, poor financial management skills, career indecision, poor coping skills,
Alcohol Rehabilitation Success
Similar to other diseases, alcohol addiction can be overcome with proper alcohol rehab treatment, increased
research efforts, education, and with prevention.
By providing more people with access to quality care, the costly drain on society and the emotional, financial,
and physical burdens alcoholism places on families can be greatly reduced.
Several "successes" and long term sobriety are possible in various alcohol rehab programs when problem drinkers
buy into and follow their treatment protocol.
Indeed, the research literature about alcohol rehab has shown irrefutably that successful alcohol treatment
results in significant reductions in heart disease, HIV, child abuse, strokes, cancer, unwanted pregnancy, crime,
traffic fatalities, and alcohol poisoning.
Not only this, but professional drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs have been shown to improve job
performance, health, and quality of life while at the same time reducing family dysfunction, drug use, and
involvement with the criminal justice system.
In short, quality alcohol rehab programs go a log way in replacing the existing "alcohol and disease" mentality
with an "alcohol and rehab" perspective.
Alcohol Rehab Approaches
There are several traditional alcohol rehabilitation approaches that are relatively well established. The
following is a description of these different alcohol rehab programs that focus on changing the perspective of the"
problem drinker" from "alcohol and destruction" to "alcohol and rehab" and to an elimination of one's drinking
Detoxification. Alcohol detoxification is the process of letting the body rid itself of alcohol
while managing the withdrawal symptoms in a harmless atmosphere.
Alcohol detox treatment is usually done under the supervision of a medical practitioner and is frequently the
first step employed in an alcohol rehab treatment program.
Due to the relatively long time-frame required for alcohol detox, these programs are usually part of an
inpatient, residential alcohol rehabilitation program.
Behavioral Rehab such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Motivation Enhancement Therapy, and
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. A study about alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse administered by the National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that each of these behavioral alcohol rehab programs significantly
reduced drinking in patients the year after treatment.
Even though all of these alcoholism programs were considered "successful," none of them could be singled out as
"the best" alcohol rehab program.
Therapeutic Medications. This treatment approach centers on the client taking doctor-prescribed
medications such as the benzodiazepines for treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms and naltrexone (ReViaT) or
disulfiram (Antabuse) to help prevent the person from returning to drinking after he or she has consumed
For instance, antabuse is a drug given to alcoholics that elicits negative effects such as dizziness, flushing,
vomiting, and/or nausea if alcohol is ingested. Antabuse has been proven to help prevent relapses and is effective
mainly because it is such a strong deterrent.
Naltrexone (ReViaT), on the other hand, targets the brain's reward circuits and is effective because it reduces
the craving the client has for alcohol.
Both medications, it must be pointed out, have armed alcoholism practitioners with additional ways to
successfully treat alcohol dependency and alcohol relapse.
Outpatient Alcohol Treatment and Counseling. There are various approaches to counseling that teach alcoholics
how to become aware of the situational and psychological "hot buttons" that trigger their drinking behavior.
Armed with this information, alcoholics can learn about different ways in which they can cope with circumstances
that do not include the use of alcohol.
It can be noted that these types of alcohol rehab programs, unlike detox rehab approaches, are typically offered
on an outpatient basis.
Residential Alcohol Treatment Programs and Inpatient Alcohol Rehabilitation. If a person needs
alcohol poisoning treatment, there's a need for alcohol AND drug abuse rehab, if outpatient and support-oriented
programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous are ineffective.
Furthermore, if the person's withdrawal symptoms are severe, the person usually has to enroll into a hospital or
an alcohol rehab facility and receive inpatient alcohol rehab treatment.
Such alcohol rehab programs are geared for relatively long term alcohol rehab and typically include
doctor-prescribed drugs to help the person get through detox and the alcohol withdrawal process in a safe
The best known and one of the most successful alcoholism recovery and alcohol rehab programs is Alcoholics
Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide affiliation of men and women from all walks of life who share their
experiences, strengths, and aspirations with one other in the hope that they may solve their mutual problem and
assist others in their quest to recover from alcohol dependence.
The only condition for Alcoholics Anonymous membership is a desire to quit drinking alcohol. Therefore,
total abstinence from alcohol is advocated by the organization.
Members make a conscious effort to refrain from drinking and continue with their alcohol rehab that is
accomplished "one day at a time." Sobriety is achieved through mutual support as members share their hopes, their
strengths, and their experiences.
The Twelve Step Alcoholics Anonymous Rehab Program
One of the essential components of the Alcoholics Anonymous rehabilitation program is articulated in
"The Twelve Steps."
Based on the experiences of Alcoholics Anonymous' earliest members, The 12 Steps represent the documented
practices and principles, acquired through trail and error, the early members established in order to maintain
sobriety, deal with their drinking problems, and recover from alcoholism.
The following represents the 12 Steps in the Alcoholics Anonymous alcohol rehabilitation program:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him,
praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics
and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The SMART Alcohol Rehab Program
Another one of the better known alcohol rehab programs that does not rely on the 12 steps of Alcoholics
Anonymous is the Self Management And Recovery Training (SMART) alcohol and rehab program.
Not surprisingly, the SMART alcohol rehab program is considered an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous. The
founders who developed the SMART alcoholism rehab program believe that each individual discovers his or her own
path to alcohol rehab or alcoholism recovery.
For some individuals, this path might be the traditional 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. While the
SMART program is obviously different than the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery approach, it does not, however, exclude
Indeed, some people who adhere to the SMART alcohol rehab methodology also choose to attend Alcoholics Anonymous
meetings because they feel that what they hear at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings helps them on their path to
alcoholic rehab and permanent recovery.
This, by the way, is a perfect example of finding one or more alcohol rehab programs that works for you and
helps you face your drinking problem.
The SMART drug and alcohol rehabilitation and recovery program is based on scientific knowledge and provides
specific techniques and tools for each of the following four program points:
Enhancing and maintaining the motivation to abstain from alcohol or drugs
Coping with urges to drink or take drugs
Learning problem solving skills such as learning how to better manage thoughts, actions, and feelings
Becoming skilled at lifestyle balance such as balancing momentary and other satisfactions
We have included some alcoholism videos so that you can see and hear
directly from various people about their struggles with this disease.
If you, a family member, or one of your friends has a "drinking problem," seeing what other problem drinkers
have gone through and how they attained successful recovery is much more "real" than any information you can read
Furthermore, watching these videos may help you understand what others with a drinking problem are experiencing
how they dealt with their alcohol and alcohol rehabilitation situation, how they learned about alcohol addiction or
alcohol abuse, and how they started on the road to alcohol recovery.
So make sure you look at these excellent alcoholism videos, especially if you, your friend, or a member of your
family is a problem drinker!
Conclusion: About Alcohol Rehab
When alcoholics abruptly stop drinking, they experience mild to moderate to severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
In other words, when the alcoholic's body and brain do not get the alcohol to which they have become accustomed,
they typically experience various alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Ironically, when alcohol abusers or alcoholics drink
too much, on the other hand, they can experience an alcohol overdose (also known as alcohol poisoning).
With all of the damaging consequences and drinking problems caused by alcohol addiction, it makes sense for
problem drinkers to learn how to abstain from drinking, to involve themselves in the alcohol rehab process, and to
restore their lives.
In other words, stopping alcohol addiction needs to become a priority in the lives of people who want to avoid
the unhealthy and destructive outcomes that are associated with abusive and excessive drinking.
Whether a person requires outpatient alcohol counseling, inpatient alcohol detox, or alcohol rehabilitation, the
goal of alcohol abstinence is worth pursuing, especially when the damaging and devastating effects of alcohol
addiction are taken into consideration.
In a word, long-term abstinence and sobriety involve a change in the alcoholic's mindset from "alcohol and
addiction" to "alcohol and rehab."
From a results-oriented perspective, however, it really does not make any significant difference whether the
person chooses a more traditional program such as the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step rehab program, the SMART rehab
program, or one of the many other professional alcohol rehabilitation programs.
What matters most is the following: alcoholics and problem drinkers need to acknowledge that they have a
drinking problem, they must want to quit drinking, and they need to find one an alcohol rehab center or rehab
hospital that features a treatment program that works for them so that they can restore their lives and start the
alcohol recovery process.
And once a person starts the recovery process and continues to remain sober, he or she will never again have to
deal with DUIs and with other issues and drinking problems such as alcohol poisoning, binge drinking, and alcohol