Will rehab for alcohol work?

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Answered by: Nzinga, An Expert in the Get Help Category
To answer the question, yes, rehab for alcohol works. But, just as diet and exercise works for weight loss, insulin works for diabetes and inhalers work for asthma, rehab for alcohol works only if it is used as prescribed.

There are several different treatments for alcoholism. Choosing the correct treatment for your alcoholism is as important as choosing the right antibiotic for your infection. Consider this general guide when choosing the correct treatment:

Alcohol Detox. Not to be confused with rehab for alcohol. Detox is a short-term inpatient or outpatient treatment. It usually last 5-7 days and focuses purely on preventing serious complications such as seizures, confusion, coma and death that can result from untreated alcohol withdrawal. To decrease the chance of relapse to alcohol, detox should be followed by some sort of rehab program.

Medications. Again, not to be confused with rehab for alcohol. There are several medications that have been approved by the FDA for treatment of alcoholism. While each of those medications can be instrumental in helping individuals stay sober, it is important to note that each of them works better when added to a rehab program.

Individual Counseling. Once again, not to be confused with rehab for alcohol. For individuals who have had negative consequences of drinking (i.e. drinking more than intended, fighting with a spouse, medical consequences), ongoing counseling may work for alcoholism. Counseling should be provided by a therapist or Psychiatrist with expertise in addictions. Goals can be set either to control alcohol use or to quit completely. Treatment will focus on identifying consequences of alcohol use, triggers for drinking and strategies for preventing relapse to problematic alcohol use.

Rehab. The term rehab is generally used to describe a program that lasts at least 28 days. Typical rehab programs last between 28 days and 2 years. Programs that are 3 months or longer have been shown to have the best success rate. The more severe consequences that an individual has had due to alcohol use (marital problems, job loss, legal problems, medical problems, multiple attempts to quit or cut back alcohol drinking), the longer the rehab program should be.

Rehab for alcohol often includes frequent, intensive group therapy that focuses on every area of life including identifying triggers for drinking, analyzing relapse patterns, learning relapse prevention skills, developing healthy relationship skills, anger management, spirituality and connection to other sober individuals. Additionally, most rehab programs will have a family rehab component to address the effects that alcoholism has had on family members, as well as teach family members skills for being supportive to the individual entering rehab.

The most important thing to note about rehab is that it is about developing a sober lifestyle—meaning if one expects to stay alcohol free after leaving the program, the behavioral changes learned have to be continued after the program ends. Rehab for alcohol is no different from the treatment for diabetes—if you want your blood sugar to stay normal, you must continue to follow recommendations for an appropriate diet for the rest of your life. Likewise, if you continue to use the skills and knowledge learned in alcohol rehab, you can maintain sobriety for the rest of your life. Ask millions of people who have been successful, and they will tell you rehab for alcohol works!

Although, choosing the correct treatment option for alcohol can be a daunting task, it is critical to making sure that rehab for alcohol works. The best plan is to find a treatment provider with expertise in alcoholism or addictions who can provide a comprehensive assessment and make recommendations for the most appropriate type of treatment.

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