How to Choose the Best Rehab Center
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 18.5 million Americans over the age of 12 needed treatment for alcohol abuse or alcohol dependency in 2010. However, only 1.6 million of those individuals went to an alcohol treatment center, leaving approximately 17 million people without much-needed help. Unfortunately, this number is rising every year. If you are debating whether to go to rehab, take the opportunity to let alcohol detox and alcohol treatment help you out of addiction. It may be a frightening and difficult decision, but it is a life-changing and lifesaving one.
Alcohol Rehab Centers: Doing the Research
Once you have made the decision to go to alcohol rehab, your next step is narrowing down the thousands of choices to find the best rehab program for you. The best thing you can do is research.
The first step in treatment is going through alcohol detox. Detox eliminates the toxins in the body produced by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. The length of the detox process typically ranges from 3 to 7 days depending on the individual and the seriousness of his or her alcohol dependence. During detox, the alcoholic may experience withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking, vomiting and even seizures. Doctors and nurses at alcohol detox centers can administer medication to combat these symptoms and make the individual as safe and comfortable as possible.
After alcohol detox, it is best to enter rehab immediately to avoid any chance of relapse. It is best to attend detox in a facility that also houses alcohol rehab to avoid a gap in services and having to transfer locations. It is highly recommended to attend inpatient alcohol rehab to build the strongest foundation for sobriety. Being in an inpatient setting eliminates your urge to want to visit your usual drinking locations and see your usual drinking buddies. Also, other alcoholics with similar situations to yours will be in inpatient alcohol rehab going through the treatment process with you, building camaraderie which can be useful, especially after treatment is complete.
While in alcohol rehab, alcoholics identify triggers that lead them to drink, learn strategies to help them cope with urges to drink and develop life skills for managing everyday things like financial responsibility and grooming. This is achieved through individual, group and family counseling.
The next step after inpatient treatment is outpatient treatment. During outpatient treatment, the recovering alcoholic returns home and to work, continues the counseling process and submits to random drug tests and breathalyzer tests. After completing outpatient treatment, the recovering alcoholic should be equipped with the necessary skills, plans and support system to remain abstinent from alcohol use.
I’m Going to Rehab. Now What?!
Now that you have done your research and made your list of needs and wants for a treatment center, it is time to make a decision. Here are some questions that can help finalize your choice about where to seek treatment.
- What type of accreditation or licensing does the program have?
- What credentials and licenses does the program’s clinical staff hold?
- Have there been studies to measure the effectiveness of the program’s treatment methods?
- How long is the treatment program?
- What is the patient-to-counselor ratio?
- Is treatment gender-specific?
- Is medical detox offered as part of residential treatment?
- Does the program offer individualized treatment plans?
- Does the program address a full range of needs including medical, psychological, spiritual, social and health and wellness issues?
- What type of help is available for families?
- What is the facility’s environment like?
- Is there ongoing support after leaving treatment?
- Does the treatment center work with insurance companies?
Some alcohol rehab centers offer specialty tracks such as a religious or spiritual track, a GLBT track or a dual diagnosis track. This customizes treatment to meet each individual patient’s needs. Finding a program that is tailored to your individual situation and preferences increases your chances of remaining abstinent from alcohol.
Forging a New Life After Rehab
The decision to seek treatment for alcohol addiction can be frightening, but it will change your life for the better. Choosing the best rehab center to receive personalized treatment for alcohol addiction can make the difference between leading a life free of alcohol abuse and chronically relapsing.
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