Alcoholism Treatment & Rehab
Alcohol rehab is often the most effective way to help an alcoholic achieve sobriety. There are a variety of rehab centers all over the country that offer individualized programs specific to treating alcoholism. Most alcohol rehabs take many factors into consideration such as the individual’s gender, age, and history of substance abuse. Alcohol treatment programs also offer various therapies, holistic activities, aftercare options, recommendations to promote long term sobriety.
There is a wide variety of alcohol rehab programs available. These options include:
- Medical Detox – Primarily, the first step in most alcohol rehab programs is medical detox. This process helps facilitate the detoxification of all alcohol and other harmful toxins through in a medically-supervised setting. There are many dangers and symptoms associated with alcohol detox, which is why medical detox is the safest and most effective option to explore when first entering treatment for alcoholism.
- Inpatient Treatment – Inpatient treatment is also referred to as residential treatment. This level of care requires living at an alcohol rehab center while the individual participates in a recovery program.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) – This specific level of care is for individuals who have completed residential care and are ready to transition to the next stage of treatment.
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) – Intensive outpatient care is for individuals who may want or need the flexibility of outpatient care, but must continue to participate in all-day treatment during the week.
- Outpatient Treatment (OP) – Outpatient programs offer a more flexible and independent level of care for alcohol treatment. This type of treatment is specifically for individuals who cannot live away from home and may need to continue to work as they attend alcohol treatment sessions scheduled around his/her scheduling needs. This level of care is also an extremely helpful asset for individuals who would like to receive continuing aftercare upon completion of inpatient treatment.
Helping a Loved One Struggling with Alcoholism
Realizing that your loved one has a problem with alcohol can be devastating. Naturally, you are willing to do anything to help, however, you may be afraid that if you bring up the topic of his/her alcoholism that you may lose your relationship. Initially, it is always much easier to deny the problem. However, as time goes on and the individual begins to face problems personally, financially, legally, and even mentally, you will be forced to face the reality that your loved one may have a substance use disorder. Educating yourself on the signs of alcoholism will not only save your relationship but can also help you avoid a potentially fatal outcome.
Physical Signs of Alcohol Abuse
The most obvious signs of alcohol abuse are often reflected in your loved one’s physical appearance and overall health. Here are some of the physical symptoms commonly associated with alcohol abuse:
- Uncontrollable tremors that subside after your loved one consumes alcohol.
- Weight loss/weight gain
- Bloated Stomach
- Frequent bloodshot/watery eyes
- Sweating without physical activity
- Odor of alcohol on the breath or skin
- Slurred speech
- Loss of motor skills – coordination/balance
- Puffy/Bloated face
- Changes in skin coloration (pale or jaundice)
- Noticeable/Frequent bruising (injuries while intoxicated, fragile blood vessels)
- Frequent complaints of nausea, stomach pain, or heartburn
Behavioral/Emotional Signs of Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism affects every individual differently. However, alcohol addiction always affects an individual’s mood, behavior, and self-expression. Here are some of the behavioral and emotional symptoms commonly associated with alcohol abuse:
- Inability to control when, where, or how much your loved one drinks
- An increase in tolerance for alcohol, or the need to consume copious amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effect
- Disheveled appearance
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Making excuses for his/her drinking or denying alcohol abuse entirely (“If you were me you’d drink this much too.” “I’m not an alcoholic, I don’t drink as my dad does.”)
- Neglecting relationships, commitments, and work responsibilities
- Mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety – especially when your loved one is unable to drink
- Dramatic shifts in personality and behaviors when he/she drinks (increasingly angry, affectionate, or emotional)
- Hiding bottles to conceal the amount of alcohol he/she consumes
- Lying about drinking, skipping work, where he/she is going
- Feeling remorseful after a drinking episode but unable to stop
- Attempting to “stop drinking” but unable to do so
- Financial issues
- Erratic and promiscuous behaviors when drinking
- Disinterest in usual commitments, functions, passions
How to Decide on the Right Alcohol Rehab Program
In the past, alcohol rehab programs provided a standardized set of treatment options for each patient, regardless of gender, age, psychiatric history, demographics, or religious preferences. Today, alcohol rehab centers offer a variety of treatment methods specialized to meet the needs of a diverse, highly varied group of patients. Choosing a course of treatment for you or your alcoholic loved one can be complicated, but the results of a careful, individualized search will ensure success.
Specified Options for Alcohol Rehab
Within each general category of alcohol treatment, there are a number of different approaches to recovery from alcoholism. In order to find the most appropriate approach for you or your loved one, it is important to consider the individual’s mental health history, values, personality, and cultural background. Here are a few specified options to consider when choosing the appropriate alcohol rehab:
Traditional Alcohol Treatment
Traditional alcohol rehab centers generally rely on evidence-based strategies. Some of these strategies include psychotherapy, behavioral modification therapy, peer group therapy, family therapy, couples counseling, nutritional counseling, and 12-step programs. Rehabilitation for this specific type of treatment begins in detox. Detox allows the patient to withdrawal safely in a medically-supervised setting. After completing detox, the individual will participate in a structured schedule of therapy, activities, and educational groups that are designed to help him/her create a sober life.
Holistic Alcohol Treatment
Holistic approaches to recovery from alcoholism focus not on solely treating alcohol abuse as a physical or psychological disease, but on body, mind, and spirit. Holistic alcohol rehabs view alcoholism as a three-fold disease that affects the individual physically, mentally, and spiritually. In addition to the core components of alcohol treatment, holistic alcohol rehab centers address the patient’s spiritual and emotional needs as well. Activities such as art therapy, recreational therapy, guided meditation, yoga, acupuncture, reiki, massage, and nutritional advisement are part of holistic treatments. The goal of holistic therapy is to promote healing on every level, to promote long-term sobriety and living a more meaningful, rewarding life.
Integrated Alcohol Treatment
Integrated alcohol rehab programs are specialized for patients who meet the criteria for a substance use disorder as well as a form of mental illness. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 37% of individuals with alcohol dependence also suffered from a mental health disorder, while over 50% of individuals who abused drugs also had a psychiatric illness. Many individuals, who struggle with co-occurring disorders, face many obstacles in recovery. Poor concentration, low motivation, anxiety about changes, and delusional thinking are a few of the major obstacles these individuals face. Integrated treatment targets the patient’s mental illness while also treating the substance use disorder within the same program. Staff members are cross-trained in substance abuse treatment as well as mental health. Therapy and treatment for both issues is the most effective way for these individuals to achieve a full recovery.
At PAX Memphis we understand that choosing the right alcohol rehab for you or a loved one is one of the most difficult and important decisions you will make. At PAX Memphis, we offer individualized, extended-term treatment in an intimate setting. Located in Memphis, TN, our team is comprised of doctors, clinicians, therapists, mentors, and recovery coaches with decades of experience in the addiction field. We take a holistic approach to treating addiction, offering a variety of treatment modalities centered around identifying and resolving the underlying issues associated with the addiction. Each client enrolled in our program will receive individual attention from a therapist and psychiatrist as well as gaining exposure to a multitude of traditional and alternative therapies.
Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.