In the United States there are around eighteen million people suffering from an alcohol use disorder which includes alcoholism (alcohol dependence) and alcohol abuse. When a person's drinking causes distress or harm in their life, it's diagnosed as an alcohol use disorder. Many people with a drinking problem in the U.S. fall into the category of either alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence and require professional help but are unaware of the treatment options that are available.
Alcohol dependence or alcoholism is associated with cravings, loss of control, physical dependence and tolerance. If a person is dependent on alcohol they experience an intense need to drink (cravings). Once a person starts drinking, they're unable to stop (loss of control). After a while a person has to increase the amount of alcohol they consume in order to achieve the same effects they once received (tolerance). Uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal are experienced after a person has stopped drinking (physical dependence).
Person's that fit into the category of alcohol abuse don't experience cravings, loss of control, aren't physically dependent and don't usually develop tolerance but their pattern of drinking does cause distress or harm in their life. In spite of the damaging personal, social or legal consequences and problems the use of alcohol is causing in their life, they continue to drink anyway.
Alcohol Recovery Programs for Treating Substance Use Disorders
Everyone's use of alcohol is different and for those that have developed a drinking problem, some form treatment is often needed in order for most people to discontinue their use and remain sober for any length of time. There are different types of alcohol recovery programs that provide the level of help a person needs to overcome their use of alcohol and learn how to successfully maintain sobriety on a daily basis.
Inpatient Hospitalization Detox
Many people with an alcohol use disorder require detoxification when they're ready to receive help if they're dependent on alcohol. Inpatient hospitalization is an option for a person requiring alcohol detox which can take anywhere from a week to ten days depending the individual patient. Alcohol detox is the process of eliminating every single trace of alcohol inside a person's body and the length of time this takes can vary for each person.
In an inpatient hospital setting the patient is monitored by medical professionals during detox keeping them safe at all times and as comfortable as possible during this process. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and uncomfortable but in an inpatient hospital setting the patients symptoms are monitored continually and controlled around the clock.
Outpatient Alcohol Recovery Treatment
Outpatient treatment is a very effective level of help for individuals considered moderate alcohol abusers. Individuals that enroll in outpatient alcohol treatment receive individual counseling and participate in group counseling sessions daily which usually consist of around four hours. Individuals receiving outpatient treatment for alcohol abuse problems are able to go home at night and on the weekend, they don't reside at the facility.
Inpatient Alcohol Recovery Treatment
Individuals that are heavily dependent on alcohol often require around the clock treatment and support in a safe, structured, substance free environment which is what inpatient alcohol treatment provides. Inpatient treatment is beneficial for anyone addicted to alcohol whether their level of dependence is chronic or not.
Individuals receiving inpatient treatment for alcohol addiction stay at the facility the whole time until their recovery program is completed. This can be anywhere from 21 to 45 days or possibly even longer depending on the facility while they work on personal and social issues and problems resulting from their use of alcohol.
Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Provides Individual Counseling and Therapies
Inpatient treatment includes individual addiction counseling and therapy sessions for individuals dependent on alcohol. Different forms of therapy such as cognitive, emotional and behavioral therapies are used to help a person recognize and change negative unhealthy thoughts and behaviors they have about alcohol use. Residents receive help developing positive ways of dealing with stress, daily challenges and problem solving, so they can avoid resorting back to their old thoughts and destructive behaviors which resulted in alcohol use.
Additional Benefits of Inpatient Alcohol Treatment
There are other benefits a person may receive from an inpatient treatment recovery facility for alcohol use disorders. Some inpatient alcohol treatment centers provide a relapse prevention program, education classes about substance abuse, life-skills programs and social services to help a person achieve long term sobriety.
After a person has completed a rehab program for alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence it can be extremely difficult maintaining sobriety on a daily basis. Many substance abuse recovery programs offer aftercare which provides continued individual counseling and support after treatment has been completed. Aftercare is usually provided for around six months to a year on an outpatient basis and is commonly combined with recovery support groups.
Stress and daily challenges can make it extremely difficult for a person to stay positive and focused on maintaining daily sobriety. Aftercare provides the continued guidance and support a person needs to work through difficulties, stay focused on their recovery, make positive healthy choices, avoid relapse and successfully manage sobriety. Aftercare helps to strengthen a person's daily recovery from alcoholism or alcohol abuse so they can have the opportunity to reach their long-term goals of sobriety.