The Importance of Alcohol Rehab Centers

Alcohol dependency affects over 15 million Americans, with a shocking half a million of those between the ages of 9 and 12. Alcohol and alcohol related problems contribute to at least $100 million in annual health care costs and loss of productivity. Nearly a quarter of those admitted to hospitals have some type of alcohol problem or are diagnosed for alcohol related consequences. With the statistics at crisis levels, it’s important to examine the role that alcohol rehab centers can play in solving these problems.

There are three main approaches to alcohol rehabilitation: Behavioral therapies, 12-step programs, and pharmacological treatment. Most inpatient rehab centers employ a combination of approaches to provide more comprehensive treatment.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most well-known 12-step program. Most treatment programs, whether outpatient or inpatient, encourage patients to attend one of these self help groups. Some even offer 12-step meetings within their facilities or educate the patient about the program in a learning environment. Behavioral therapies are designed to prevent relapse by teaching the skills necessary to avoid temptation and function normally once their initial treatment is complete. Pharmacological treatment includes the use of medications such as disulfiram and naltrexone to combat the physical symptoms and urges of alcohol dependency.

In 1999, more than 700,000 people received treatment for alcohol each day. A vast majority of them were treated in outpatient facilities. The more intense type of this treatment involves the patient visiting a hospital treatment program for several hours a day on several days a week. The less intensive form of outpatient treatment focuses on counseling sessions once or twice a week, sometimes involving group sessions and family therapy as well as individual counseling.

The advantages of outpatient treatment include lower treatment costs, shorter treatment programs, and the ability to maintain outside relationships and activities while undergoing treatment.

Inpatient alcohol rehab traditionally lasts for 28 days. However, with rising health care costs, this number is diminishing. Studies in the mid 1990s found that inpatient treatment is especially helpful for patients with additional medical and/or psychiatric conditions (also known as dual-diagnosis patients) or for those whose environments are not supportive of rehabilitation.

In addition to the 28 day rehabilitation program, some alcohol rehab centers offer extended stay treatments. These programs allow a patient to enter a therapeutic community for six to twelve months, providing the time necessary for both detoxification and counseling as well as social and occupational therapies that can help them function better once they return to society. These programs are ideal for patients with longer histories of addiction, impaired social functioning, or involvement in serious criminal activities. Alcohol rehab programs that treat adolescents and children also provide for continuing education, such as high school and college courses during the inpatient stay. The longer treatment plan allows for the slow re-socialization of patients to a drug-free and crime-free life.

One of the cornerstones of successful alcohol rehab is detoxification. The symptoms associated with cessation of alcohol consumption are collectively referred to as alcohol withdrawal syndrome. These can include insomnia, irritability, tremors, seizures, delirium tremens, and hallucinations. As a result of the dangers of these sometimes life-threatening symptoms, many alcohol rehab programs require an initial period of detoxification. Even if an alcoholic will be getting outpatient treatment, they may require inpatient detox first. However, there are some detox programs that are administers on an outpatient basis, when the alcohol withdrawal syndrome is less severe.

A successful alcohol rehab center will have a trained, professional staff that ensures quality individual support of patients while maintaining an alcohol and drug-free environment. It will provide comprehensive counseling, education, and referrals to community resources for continuing recovery after treatment. It will offer alcohol and drug education to its patients while conducting outreach to reduce the stigma of addiction and alcoholism in its surrounding community. Most importantly, a quality alcohol rehab center will have a documented record of success rate in rehabilitating patients and the ability to demonstrate the longevity of their patient recovery.

The ultimate goal of alcohol rehabilitation is a productive and sober life for the alcoholic once they complete treatment. The ability of a rehab program to provide the addict with treatment and usable skills to help them abstain from alcohol (or to consume in controlled moderation) is their true measure of success.

Alcohol Rehab Centers – What Are They?

This is a rehab center that is focused on helping alcoholics overcome and learn to control the desire to drink. The main target of alcohol rehab centers is to assist their patients in going through the hard period of withdrawal from alcohol along with providing them with coping tool to help them resist drinking in the future. The services of this type of center will usually go beyond support groups and self-help programs. Alcohol rehab centers will offer medical support to ease the physical effects of detoxification and psychological therapy. If you are an inpatient in the program, you would move into the center and receive attention 24/7 as you work to gain control of your alcohol addiction.

There are also outpatient alcohol rehab centers where the patient would choose to remain the home with family members. The outpatient center will establish a regular schedule of counseling, support group activity, and physical examinations to help in the patient’s recovery process. The outpatient approach may be more productive but it all depends on how severe the alcohol addiction is. For severe alcohol addiction, it is best if they choose inpatient treatment.

A key fact that alcohol rehab centers take into account is that alcoholism is not a disease that anyone can cure. Once you are an alcoholic you will always be an alcoholic for the remainder of your life. This is the reason that alcohol rehab centers focus on helping the patients to develop coping skills to help them resist the temptation to consume alcohol. During the beginning of the recovery period, the rehab center will provide monitoring to make it a little easier to deal with the withdrawal symptoms that start soon after your body starts to learn to adjust without drinking. Some of these withdrawal symptoms can be very serious and require medical treatment so this is why the patient is carefully monitored when starting alcohol rehab. Depending on the individual, these symptoms can last from several days to months. The more serious symptoms happen to those that are considered hard drinkers and drink more than eight beers a day.

Alcohol rehab centers will also address both the mental and physical impact of alcoholism along with providing them with support, the sill set, and inspiration to overcome their addiction to alcohol and to keep it in check after the treatment is complete. Many who complete successfully the treatment at alcohol rehab centers will continue to participate in support groups in the community. By doing so it will help them to maintain a network of individuals that understand the temptation to drink alcohol and offer support to them to help them resist the urge to drink. Those that are recovering alcoholics will usually join a support group and attend weekly meetings.

How to Find the Right Alcohol Rehab Center

The problem of alcohol addiction has become a terrifyingly common phenomenon. Fortunately, there are many effective alcohol rehab facilities that offer the required tools to overcome addiction. These centers enable people to recover from their addiction to alcohol in the most favorable way.

Each person is different and each kind of alcohol addiction is different. It is thus essential that the addict finds an alcohol rehab facility that is compatible with their needs to avoid a relapse. When finding a rehab center for an alcohol addict, there are several important parameters that should be carefully evaluated to make certain that you will find the right one.


The location of an alcohol rehab center can be a major concern for some people and can even influence its success with the individual. Often the addict has a family that they want to see regularly and also keep their loved ones nearby. For some, it’s better to select an alcohol rehab that is situated near their family and friends. This way, it is possible for the family and friends to keep in touch with the addict more consistently.

However, others may consider finding an alcohol rehabilitation center that is far away from home as the memories and the closeness to home could trigger early relapse. Many rehab professionals recommend that addicts get further away from home in order to focus on their recovery in an environment that is free from distraction. At long last, location is something you will have to decide on your own after narrowing down your decision.

The Program

The first consideration an individual should make when finding the right alcohol rehab center is the type of treatment program. Most rehab centers provide both outpatient and inpatient care programs, but one must exercise careful consideration when making the decision for the level of care.

An inpatient care program can be the best choice for addicts that do not have the strength to beat the addiction without 24-hour care. Outpatient treatment on the other hand may be suitable for fighting the addiction while still allowing the addict to lead a semi- normal life. A preliminary evaluation by a qualified counselor or therapist will help the person to establish what level of care is most suitable.


In many cases the cost is a big concern. Some rehab centers are free to the addicts as they run on grants, government contracts and donations to provide a no-cost service. It’s good to remember that the public alcohol rehab centers are usually much cheaper as compared to the private centers. However, the types of treatment services offered at the public facilities may be limited.

The costs for treatment programs in private facilities can range from a few hundred dollars for out-patient services, up to tens of thousand dollars for a long term residential center. A great way to minimize the cost of alcohol addiction treatment is to choose free or cheap counseling. It’s also good to search for many resources to help you in minimizing the fees further.

Choosing the right rehab clinic can be critical to quitting alcohol. Besides the above considerations, there are other elements that one should inquire when selecting an alcohol rehab center. They include medical supervision, staff credentials, 12-step philosophy, normal length of stay, aftercare programs, family involvement and sobriety success rates. All these are very important considerations to weigh up when making possibly one of the vital decisions in the addict’s life.