Alcohol addiction rehab programs: What’s included?

A description of what you can expect during a typical rehab program for alcohol addiction. We invite your questions at the end!

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Why rehab?

Alcoholism is thought to be a chronic brain disease. People who are diagnosed with alcohol addiction experience serious alcohol cravings and drink regularly, despite the negative consequences to their health, home, or work lives. So, rehab is suggested when you cannot stop drinking on your own.

Coming to terms with alcohol addiction is a step towards successful recovery. Entering a rehab program is one way that you can do this. What are the basic options for rehab treatment programs? What are the stages and operating principles? And what’s usually covered in the cost of a rehab program?

We’ve answered these questions below. Read on for an objective view. Then, we invite your additional questions and comments regarding alcohol addiction rehab programs at the end. In fact, we try to answer all questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Information on alcohol addiction rehab programs

Q: What are types of alcohol rehab programs do treatment centers run?
A: Alcohol addiction programs are generally classified into two types: inpatient and outpatient programs.

Inpatient programs require patients to reside at the rehab facility for a length of time determined upon initial screening. During an inpatient rehab program, the patient is under constant medical surveillance which is very helpful in case of cravings and preventing relapse. What is more, inpatient programs usually use a therapeutic model of mutual support. This can help you feel understood and accepted in the environment, while staying away from alcohol.

Outpatient programs require that patients transport themselves daily or weekly to the treatment center. Typically, patients visit the facility a few times per week for sessions that run 2-3 hours each. Outpatient programs are suitable for people who have strict working schedule or family obligations and do not have the time to stay at an overnight, residential facility. Moreover, outpatient programs are less costly. The main difference is in the level of medical attention and 24 hour supervision.

How long do alcohol addiction programs last?

What is the length of alcohol rehab treatment? It will vary among patients depending on individual needs. In general, alcohol addiction programs last from few months to a year. However, staying sober is a lifelong process and many people continue undergoing occasional therapies even after getting out of rehab.

Alcohol addiction rehab programs costs

The costs of alcohol addiction rehab programs will vary by facility. Generally,

  • Outpatient alcohol rehab programs = Less than $5K per treatment episode
  • Inpatient alcohol rehab programs = Average about $20K per treatment episode

Private rehabs are more costly than the non-profit ones. The type of treatment also determines the price since outpatient treatments are more inexpensive than inpatient ones. The fee for the rehab programs usually covers any intervention, personnel, supplies, facilities and other miscellaneous items. Another important aspect that adds to the final cost is the length of the rehab program. In other words, the longer the rehab, the more expensive the final fee.

Low cost alcohol addiction rehab programs

Fortunately, there are institutions that offer low cost or free or charge rehab treatment programs. Check the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) database and search for rehabilitation facilities to see if you are eligible for any low cost or no cost rehab treatment. Keep in mind that your medical insurance can also cover part of the program fee. And look into federal vouchers for mental health to offset the cost of an alcohol rehab program.

Alcohol addiction rehab stages

An alcohol addiction rehab program usually includes several stages that progress as you go. In order to successful complete a program, willingness and commitment to the process is essential. Some of the most common stages of treatment programs include:

STAGE 1: Assessment and medical detox (if necessary)
STAGE 2: Treatment itself is a combination of psychological, behavioral, and pharmacological modalities
STAGE 3: Transitional period
STAGE 4: Aftercare which includes outpatient programs, sober living, and support services

The first days of any rehab program are often the crucial stage and the turning point when you come to terms with your problem drinking. This period is particularly challenging. Often times, alcoholics are taken to rehab against their will and this stage is critical when it comes to staying in rehab. Then, when you get seriously involved and committed to the program…the real struggle begins. What happens with long-term alcohol consumers is that they get attached to alcohol and this separation would be as if going through a break up along with all the withdrawal symptoms. Persistence is crucial for long-term result and medical surveillance is often necessary to avoid relapse.

When looking to maintain sobriety after rehab, you plan to transition back to the real world. Being among people who consume alcohol is particularly critical and the chances of relapse are high. Staying sober in face of all distractions is a must if the person wants to make a habit of being sober. However, the risk of relapse is never really gone which makes addiction recovery a lifelong process.

Alcohol addiction rehab protocol

Alcohol addiction rehab programs are typically guided by certain operating principles. Some of the most common principles include:

  1. Alcohol addiction is a brain disease that affects brain function and behavior
  2. No single alcoholism treatment is appropriate for everyone
  3. Effective alcoholism treatment addresses multiple needs
  4. Remaining in addiction treatment for an adequate period of time is essential
  5. Treatment plans must be assessed continually and modified as necessary
  6. Detoxification does not constitute a whole treatment for alcohol dependency, but is merely a foundational part of the whole rehab process.

Your questions about alcohol addiction rehab programs

In this article, we tried to cover many aspect of of alcohol addiction rehab programs. If you or a loved one have a drug problem besides being addicted to alcohol, you may need to seek drug rehab programs that will help you tackle both addictions. But what if we didn’t answer your question(s) exactly?

If you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us in the comments section below. We try to respond to all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: NIDA: Principles of drug addiction treatment
SAMHSA Tip 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment
NIAAA: Assessing Alcohol Problems
NIAAA: Cost research on alcoholism treatment
MEDICARE: Glossary
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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