Alcohol misuse is a growing problem in the United States. In 2019, a nationwide survey showed that 25% of responding adults reported binge drinking in the past month. The survey also showed that more than 14.5 million Americans had alcohol use disorder. In the state of New York, excessive alcohol consumption causes more than 4,500 deaths every year. Nearly 20% of New York’s adults participate in binge drinking or have AUD.
Binge drinking can lead to alcohol dependence, and physical dependence can lead to addiction. What is alcohol addiction? Also called alcoholism, it happens when a person cannot stop drinking despite knowing the negative consequences. When a person becomes addicted, alcohol rehab is necessary to overcome the addiction.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Alcohol Rehab?
- 2 The Alcohol Rehab Process
- 3 Choosing an Alcohol Rehab Program
- 4 Finding Alcohol Rehab Programs Near Long Island
What Is Alcohol Rehab?
Alcohol rehab is a treatment program that is designed to help people break the cycle of alcohol addiction. Rehab prepares them for recovery, which is a lifelong journey of sobriety. While it typically involves staying in a facility at the beginning, that may not always be the case for each person. With any type of program, it is important to work with a treatment facility to have the benefit of a customized strategy.
With a personalized plan, an individual is more likely to succeed. Trying to detox alone at home and quit drinking without counseling can often lead to a quick relapse. A custom treatment plan helps identify each person’s struggles, and therapy helps people learn how to change behaviors or cope with situations that may otherwise lead to drinking. These are the types of alcohol rehab programs.
Inpatient treatment is also called residential treatment. With this structure, people stay in a facility 24/7. A common program is about a month long. However, there are some facilities that offer longer inpatient programs that last several months. These are sometimes recommended for people who have a long history of addiction and do not have a supportive living environment. Also, people with complicated co-occurring mental health issues may benefit from this structure in some cases.
Outpatient treatment may be used for the entire program or for part of it. With standard outpatient treatment, people may attend therapy appointments once to a few times per week. The sessions may last an hour or longer. There is also an intensive outpatient program at some facilities. An IOP usually involves treatment sessions that last a few hours and may be every weekday or several days per week. The specific schedule depends on a person’s needs and the doctor’s recommendations. Outpatient treatment may be better for people who work or have a family. It may also be ideal for people who have a supportive home environment.
Partial Hospitalization Program
Partial hospitalization involves more time in therapy than an IOP. However, it is a step below residential treatment. People do not stay in the facility overnight. In many cases, therapy sessions are about five hours in length and occur about five times per week. This is a structure that may work for someone who cannot commit to inpatient treatment.
The Alcohol Rehab Process
The alcohol rehab process involves several types of therapy. These may be used in any inpatient, outpatient or partial hospitalization structure.
The first critical step in the process is detox, which may be inpatient or outpatient. There are a couple important reasons why detox is better in a facility. First, it can help reduce relapse risks. When people stop drinking and are dependent on alcohol, the cravings during withdrawal are especially strong. Being in a supervised setting with no access to alcohol helps. Second, some of the symptoms of withdrawal can be unpleasant and even dangerous in certain cases. Because of this, it helps to have 24/7 medical supervision.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This is an evidence-based approach that helps people discover causes for behaviors, thoughts and triggers. It is a type of talk therapy that involves a person talking to a therapist about past experiences, thoughts, feelings and struggles. The therapist helps by providing solutions for changing behaviors, managing triggers and coping with life.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
DBT is a type of CBT that is especially helpful for people who experience intense emotions. In this approach, a therapist uses talk therapy to help people understand how their thoughts and emotions affect behavior. They learn how those behaviors connect to addiction and learn actionable ways to change problematic behaviors. Also, DBT helps people with strong emotions learn how to accept life and the things they cannot change.
MI supplements DBT or CBT by helping people set goals. Without clear goals, it is easier for someone who struggles with addiction to relapse. Many people who struggle with alcoholism feel powerless to overcome addiction. MI is designed to help motivate people and make them feel empowered to set goals and continue working toward them. Therapists help people set realistic goals and learn how to be resilient in situations that may tempt them to drink.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR is a type of treatment that may benefit people with post-traumatic stress disorder. This form of psychotherapy involves a therapist helping a patient relive a traumatic event or a series of traumatic experiences. While the therapist does this, the patient moves the eyes back and forth. Over time, EMDR can help reduce the power or negative impact of traumatic memories. This can help people who use alcohol to cope with trauma improve their quality of life while they break their substance dependence.
Individual therapy involves talk therapy in a one-on-one setting with a therapist. Patients talk about their history of addiction, different factors of their lives and more. This may involve CBT, DBT or other approaches.
In family therapy, any family members or others who are close to the person struggling with addiction may participate. They learn more about addiction. That understanding is critical in order for them to help their loved one. Family members often feel resentful or hurt by the actions of an addicted loved one. For example, they may take anger outbursts personally rather than seeing them as part of the addiction. With better understanding, family members can create healthy boundaries and learn valuable ways to support a loved one. Also, the person who is battling addiction learns how their alcohol use affects each family member individually and the entire family as a unit.
Group therapy includes other peers who struggle with alcoholism and a therapist. Each group member can share their experiences with addiction, and the other members offer feedback. The therapist may also offer suggestions. Group therapy helps people realize they are not alone and provides them with a healthy and supportive setting. It also familiarizes them with peer support groups, which is helpful since professionals recommend that people in recovery regularly attend Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar program.
Many facilities have other types of therapies that are beneficial along with behavioral therapy. For example, nutrition and exercise programs are important to support overall physical health and healing. There may be holistic therapies like meditation, yoga or something else. Music therapy or writing therapy may be used to help people learn how to express themselves. Also, some facilities have crafts or adventures to help people discover new hobbies. Most facilities offer spiritual support as well, and they can provide resources for religious support to people who need it.
Dual Diagnosis Therapy
This is an important approach for anyone with a co-occurring mental health disorder. In many cases, people who develop alcoholism have an unmet mental health need. They may not discover they have anxiety, depression or another mental health issue until they go to rehab. Unmet mental health needs can lead a person to drink, which is a way to cope with the unpleasant symptoms or effects. For example, someone with undiagnosed anxiety may drink to help reduce their intrusive, anxious thoughts. If the anxiety gets worse and leads to heavier drinking, the person may become dependent and addicted. By identifying and treating mental health needs during addiction treatment, therapists help people reduce their chances of relapsing. If the mental health need remains unmet even after a person gets sober, the individual is more likely to turn to alcohol again or even start using drugs.
Aftercare can take on several possible forms depending on different facilities. It may involve further inpatient treatment in a few cases. In most cases, it involves outpatient treatment. An aftercare program may involve family therapy, individual therapy, group therapy and 12-step meetings. Sometimes, it may involve home visits, placement assistance for a sober living home or similar services.
Choosing an Alcohol Rehab Program
Not all alcohol rehab programs are the same. Because of this, it is important to do some research and compare programs before choosing one. Also, it is important to read the reviews of people who have gone through the program to see if most experiences were positive. It helps to pick an alcohol rehab program that best fits all individual needs and preferences. These are some important factors to consider.
This is often the most important consideration. Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act, marketplace insurance plans are required to provide some coverage for mental health care and addiction treatment when they are medically necessary. Most treatment facilities can discuss which plans they accept and what people can expect to pay. There may also be state or other assistance programs available to people who qualify.
Location is an important consideration for people who may need to stay close to a certain area. For example, if a person’s family members are planning to participate in family therapy, it may be helpful to find a program that is close to where they live if they rely on public transportation.
For rehab facilities, the main accreditations are the Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, which is commonly called CARF. Working with an accredited facility provides some assurance that the programs have been evaluated and are thorough enough to meet requirements. Accrediting bodies look at operating procedures, treatment outcomes, treatment program quality, licenses, staff qualifications, safety programs and more.
Finding a facility that specializes in alcohol addiction treatment is important. While many facilities offer drug and alcohol addiction treatment, some facilities are dedicated only to alcohol addiction. Also, for anyone with a known mental health disorder, it is important to find a facility that offers dual diagnosis treatment.
Some facilities offer a broader range of supportive or holistic therapies. For anyone who prefers more holistic therapies or specific types of supportive therapies, it helps to spend some time reading about what each facility offers. It is important to pick a facility that offers a comprehensive program with a customized strategy for each person. With comprehensive care that caters to individual needs, people gain the support they need and increase their chances of remaining in recovery.
Finding Alcohol Rehab Programs Near Long Island
For those who live in the Long Island area, there are plenty of alcohol addiction treatment options. Professional help is essential to overcome addiction, and modern programs are designed to teach people how make the changes they must in order to break the cycle of addiction. Long Island Interventions provides resources for professional interventionists, detox programs and a variety of alcohol addiction treatment programs. One of the hardest steps is reaching out to ask for help. However, the brighter future is worth it. Please contact us to learn more about intervention and treatment resources if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction in Long Island.