Inpatient Alcohol Rehab
Because it is readily available and in plain sight in convenience stores, supermarkets, and, of course, neighborhood liquor stores, few people think of alcohol as a drug. And those who do seldom think of it along the lines of opioids, stimulants, and the like. But both camps couldn’t be more wrong. Even though not everyone views it as such, alcohol is very much a drug. And it can upend the lives of those who abuse it just like other much harder substances can. For those not already in the know, Alcohol use disorders (AUDs), which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines as a medical condition characterized by an inability to stop or control one’s alcohol intake despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences, are common in the U.S. To appreciate just how common, we need only look at a study published by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. According to researchers, roughly 10% of Americans aged 12 and over have an AUD.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Everyone Should Know About America’s Struggle With Alcoholism
- 2 What Is an Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Facility?
- 3 How Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Facilities Help Individuals Cope With Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
- 4 Who Should Consider Inpatient Alcohol Rehab the Most?
What Everyone Should Know About America’s Struggle With Alcoholism
Whether easy accessibility and availability or the collective will of thousands of people choosing to drink alcohol excessively contributed to America’s struggles with alcohol abuse is up for debate. But there is no denying that an alcohol problem does, indeed, exist. The same National Institutes of Health study revealed an estimated 385 people in the U.S. die due to excessive alcohol consumption every day. Further, it found that 10% of deaths among individuals aged 15 to 49 are alcohol-related. That all said, not everyone with an alcohol problem has an AUD. Binge drinking is also a problem for many Americans. Available data shows an alarming 24% of Americans aged 18 and older engaged in binge drinking in 2021. Whether individuals partake in regular binge drinking or struggle with a full-on alcohol use disorder, both have their fair share of consequences. In addition to an increased risk of unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and traffic accidents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes excessive alcohol consumption can put individuals at risk of being met with the following:
- Liver disease
- Certain cancers
- A weakened immune system
- Alcohol poisoning
- Miscarriages in women
- Mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression
As unsettling as binge drinking and alcohol use disorders are in America, not to mention the associated ill effects, there is some good news. Many people who have a problem with alcohol are turning to rehab facilities all across the country to get the help they need to put drinking behind them. And many are opting for inpatient over outpatient alcohol facilities.
What Is an Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Facility?
As the name might suggest, an inpatient alcohol rehab facility is an addiction recovery facility that provides round-the-clock supervised addiction care to individuals ready to quit drinking. Depending on several factors, individuals can spend anywhere from 28 days to 6 months in an inpatient alcohol rehab program. Unlike in outpatient programs, individuals in inpatient programs consume their meals, shower, and undergo addiction recovery treatments all onsite. Most facilities will allow them to invite friends and family to visit them during designated days and times if they would like to do so. Two benefits of going through an inpatient alcohol program rather than an outpatient one include access to detox assistance, a must for anyone trying to overcome an AUD, and a lower chance of relapsing while trying to get sober.
How Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Facilities Help Individuals Cope With Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Most addiction experts and those who have been there personally will testify that the withdrawal symptoms that go hand in hand with abrupt alcohol cessation are no fun. Some can even be downright life-threatening. And that partly explains why so many people trying to put alcohol addiction behind them turn to inpatient rehab facilities for help. Most inpatient rehabs offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which eases severe alcohol-related withdrawal symptoms and significantly reduces the risk of relapse. That all said, alcohol withdrawal symptoms resulting from detox can present within 6 to 12 hours after someone has consumed their last alcoholic beverage, and they can include the following:
- Stomach upset
When someone goes 24 hours after consuming their last alcoholic beverage, they may experience hallucinations; after 48 to 72 hours, they might experience delirium tremens. For reference, delirium tremens is a severe alcohol withdrawal symptom characterized by violent seizures, which can be fatal if someone does not receive prompt medical attention. Without medication-assisted treatment, delirium tremens and other alcohol-related withdrawal symptoms can be enough to compel some people to start drinking again. In addition to round-the-clock monitoring by a licensed physician, which is necessary if someone were to experience delirium tremens, MAT includes FDA-approved drugs to help individuals better cope with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Some of these drugs include
Available as an oral tablet or a once-per-month intramuscular injection, naltrexone works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain. And this significantly tamps down the “feel-good experience” associated with drinking. It also reduces alcohol cravings and lowers the risk of relapse.
Available in tablet form only, acamprosate works by interacting with glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), two neurotransmitters in the brain. That interaction provides meaningful relief from several alcohol-related symptoms, including dysphoria, restlessness, and anxiety.
Taken as a once-per-day pill, disulfiram works by triggering numerous unpleasant effects, such as heart palpitations, nausea, and flushing whenever someone consumes alcohol. Essentially, it makes individuals so sick that it deters them from drinking.
Also known as benzos, benzodiazepines can combat and prevent delirium tremens. Some of the ones commonly prescribed include diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, and lorazepam. And according to the National Institutes of Health, they each work by stimulating GABA-A receptors in the brain to modulate vigilance, emotions, cognition, and muscle tension.
Who Should Consider Inpatient Alcohol Rehab the Most?
According to most addiction and intervention experts, including those with Long Island Interventions, it is always a good idea for anyone trying to overcome an addiction to alcohol to seek treatment in an inpatient alcohol rehab facility. But for some, it is an absolute must; these individuals include
Individuals aged 60 and older – People of all ages struggle with binge drinking and alcohol use disorders in the U.S., but older adults tend to have a much harder time getting through detox when the time comes to get clean. Studies show older adults aged 60 and over often encounter delirium tremens and other life-threatening complications when they abruptly stop drinking. Because of that, it is in their best interest to be in an inpatient treatment facility where they can receive round-the-clock monitoring and access to prescription-based medications if needed.
Anyone with a mental illness – When someone has a problem with alcohol alongside a mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is known as a co-occurring disorder. These individuals should seize the opportunity to get help overcoming an AUD or binge drinking problem in a licensed inpatient alcohol rehab facility. After all, these facilities have physicians, licensed therapists, and specialized addiction recovery programs that help individuals overcome the physical and psychological aspects of alcohol addiction recovery.
Anyone with a history of polydrug use – When someone combines drugs or takes one drug while under the influence of another, they are partaking in what is known as polydrug use. Many people combine alcohol with cannabis, opioids, cocaine, or methamphetamine, according to several studies. When someone decides to get clean and sober, they often experience what most physicians and addiction experts have long characterized as nightmarish withdrawal symptoms. As for why that’s the case, it’s because they are dealing with more intense and varied symptoms associated with quitting not one but two substances when they abruptly stop using. In light of that, it only makes sense that these individuals seek treatment in an inpatient alcohol rehab facility.
Individuals with a preexisting medical condition – When someone has a preexisting medical condition, it makes any additional or follow-up treatment challenging. And addiction recovery treatments are no exception. The withdrawal symptoms that arise during an alcohol detox can be severe enough to worsen some preexisting medical conditions, especially those involving the liver or the cardiovascular or respiratory system.
In summary, inpatient alcohol rehab is the best and, in some cases, the safest place to get the help you need to quit drinking and finally turn your life around. To learn more about what makes these rehab facilities so great or for help finding one in your area, consider speaking with a compassionate and knowledgeable associate with Long Island Interventions today.