Before we even look at the topic of what rehab is like and what to expect after alcohol rehab, it is important to establish if you are in need of such treatment first. When it comes to alcohol, it is very difficult for some people to accept that they have crossed a line from social drinking to problem drinking.
Alcohol forms such a major part of cultural society these days that it can be tough to accept that you no longer have control over your consumption of it. Most adults drink alcohol to some extent, but the majority keep well within the Government’s recommended levels for safe consumption. This is set at fourteen units per week for men and women, and the recommendations also state that a few days should be kept alcohol-free.
While most people never drink alcohol to get drunk, there are some who only drink it for this reason. Then there are others who drink alcohol because they have no control over their compulsion to drink. They have progressed to a physical dependence and their ability to quit is virtually non-existent. Does this sound familiar to you?
Are You Addicted to Alcohol?
Coming to terms with the fact that your alcohol consumption levels have reached problem levels is going to be tough. No one wants to own up to the fact that they are an alcoholic. Many people would rather deny the problem exists than actually face up to the truth of their situation. To them it is easier to pretend that nothing is wrong than have to accept the reality and do something about it.
If their loved ones are also burying their heads in the sand because they do not want to address the issue, the addict will usually be free to carry on with his or her addictive behaviour without being held to account.
What often happens, however, is that the loved ones of the individual will eventually pluck up the courage to raise the subject of addiction. When they do, they are likely to be met with denials and defensiveness because the addict either cannot, or does not, want to hear the truth.
If you are overcome by your issues, you must be willing to accept that you are in trouble and that you need help. This is typically the hardest thing you will have to do on the road to recovery, but once you make that decision to get help, you will have taken a huge step towards a happier and healthier life.
Think about your situation for a moment and be totally honest about your drinking. Have you been drinking more lately than you used to? If so, this is likely to do with the fact that you have an increased tolerance to alcohol. You now need more of it than you once did because your body has adjusted to it and is no longer producing the same amount of dopamine chemicals that it used to when you drank. If you want to achieve the same feelings from alcohol that you did when you first started drinking it, you will need to drink more. You may have started doing this without even realising.
Alcohol addiction does not happen overnight. Often, it is only when a person is forced to analyse his or her drinking habits that he or she realises that there is an issue. We urge you to do this now because the sooner you get help, the sooner you can get started on the road to recovery.
Are You Ready to Tackle Your Addiction?
If you want to get your life back on track, now is the perfect time to get started. Your life will improve dramatically if you are prepared to put in the effort to getting well. This will mean doing everything in your power to overcome your physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. You will not have to do this alone though; this is what organisations like Oasis Bradford are for.
The first step on the road to recovery requires you to do something about your physical dependence on alcohol, which will mean completing a detox programme. To get started with an alcohol detox, you will have to quit drinking to allow your body to heal. It will start by getting rid of all the chemicals and toxins that have been left over after your years of substance abuse.
An alcohol detox can be a complicated procedure, so you should be prepared to experience a range of withdrawal symptoms that could include headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, high blood pressure, mood swings, and depression. In some cases, the symptoms will be more moderate or even severe and could even include hallucinations or seizures.
Detoxing in a supervised facility is therefore recommended because this is the safest place for detoxing alcoholics to be should they be affected by severe symptoms. The detox will generally be much more comfortable in such a facility too because staff can ease any symptoms with appropriate medication or nutritional supplements.
What Happens During Rehab
When the detox is completed, which usually takes around seven to ten days, the individual will be ready to get started on the job of addressing any emotional or psychological issues associated with the addiction. If you are hoping to recover from an alcohol addiction quickly, then you may want to consider an inpatient programme as this is the most intensive and time-consuming approach to recovery.
Inpatient programmes are typically provided by private clinics however, so you should be aware that there will be a cost involved. You can of course sign up for an outpatient programme run by a local charity or the NHS, but you are likely to have to wait for treatment due to long waiting lists; and these programmes take longer to complete as they are far less intensive.
In an inpatient programme, you will have a private or semi-private room, but you will, for example, be expected to eat with other recovering addicts in the dining room. There will also be other shared spaces in the facility where you will be encouraged to interact with other patients during your free time.
You will spend most of your day being treated by counsellors or therapists. The treatments that could make up your plan of care include individual counselling, group therapy, motivational interviewing, dialectic behavioural therapy, 12-step work, and cognitive behavioural therapy. You may also attend seminars and workshops on relapse prevention as well as life and work skills.
Rehabilitation programmes are designed to help you overcome your addiction, but they are also there to prepare you for a return to everyday normal living. With the help of professional counsellors, therapists, and support staff, you should have the required skills to enable you to interact back into society.
What to Expect After Alcohol Rehab
When your programme of rehabilitation concludes, you will be expected to return to independent sober living, but this is something that is often met with apprehension on the part of the recovering addict. The idea of heading back home and leaving the safety of the inpatient clinic can be very frightening. Many patients worry that they will be unable to cope with life in the real world.
It is understandable to be worried about a return home after spending around six to eight weeks in an environment where there are no distractions, and patients have every reason to worry. But worrying is a good thing. It means being serious about recovery and unhappy about the prospect of falling back into old ways. Those who are not worried about a return to alcohol use are the ones who are probably in most danger of a relapse. Complacency can quickly result in a return to substance abuse.
What you should know is that you will never be left to face the world alone after a programme of alcohol rehab. During the first twelve months after recovery, patients are susceptible to a relapse, so aftercare is vital.
If you are wondering what to expect after alcohol rehab, you will be pleased to know that most rehab providers include aftercare services in their programmes, and this aftercare support generally lasts for around a year. This may mean that the patient can have regular counselling with his or her therapist, or it could mean phone contact and support as and when required.
Rehab providers usually recommend that patients get involved with a local fellowship support group as well. Alcoholics Anonymous is perhaps the most well-known fellowship support group, but there many similar groups operating in and around the UK. These groups are often considered an essential part of the recovery process. Members attend regular meetings where they come together to support and inspire each other through shared stories and experiences.
The benefit of joining a local support group is that it opens a whole new world. You can get involved with other members to enjoy substance-free activities and events. You will have a whole network of like-minded people to rely on, which can be vital in a world where alcohol plays such a significant role.
If you would like more information on alcohol recovery and what to expect after alcohol rehab, please get in touch with us here at Oasis Bradford. We provide excellent treatment programmes for those in need of help for addiction. To find out more about who we are and what we do, please call our dedicated helpline today.