Alcohol detox– In most cases of long-term alcohol addiction, detox must occur prior to formal treatment. This part of the healing process involves stopping the consumption of alcohol and all other drugs. This gives the body time to cleanse itself of all harmful toxins. Withdrawal symptoms may be an issue (e.g., depression and anxiety, mood swings, sweats, chills and irritability). They all depend upon the specifics of the addiction. Physical and mental health care and support is provided, as needed.1Therapeutic medication– The need for therapeutic medication depends on the individual patient’s needs, experiences and circumstances. If a drug is used, it should be medically-managed by a physician. Alcohol/Drug Addiction, Treatment & Recovery | David Streem, MD
The most important thing to consider after alcohol rehabilitation is having an aftercare program that allows you continued treatment and a safe environment to maintain sobriety. It is also important that you follow suggestions to help you continue to maintain constant sobriety. Suggestions can include attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART recovery or another community or church groups, addiction counseling, or living in a halfway house. Finding a safe environment to live in while entering back in to the normal realm of every day life is imperative.
There is an advantage to including on-site medical care in a Drug Rehab. Physicians and nurses provide 24-hour hospital services to monitor and ensure a safe withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs. In addition, a medical staff specializing in addiction medicine can oversee the progress of each individual and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
Withdrawal. Medications and devices can help suppress withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Detoxification is not in itself "treatment," but only the first step in the process. Patients who do not receive any further treatment after detoxification usually resume their drug use. One study of treatment facilities found that medications were used in almost 80 percent of detoxifications (SAMHSA, 2014). In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a new indication to an electronic stimulation device, NSS-2 Bridge, for use in helping reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. This device is placed behind the ear and sends electrical pulses to stimulate certain brain nerves. Also, in May 2018, the FDA approved lofexidine, a non-opioid medicine designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Many chronic conditions such as arthritis or diabetes carry a risk of recurrence, even after years of successful medical management. In a similar way, there will always be a possibility of relapse for those in recovery.1 However, finding a reputable treatment program that utilizes evidence-based treatment (and staying in treatment long enough—NIDA recommends at least 3 months) gives people a head start on sobriety and gives them the tools they'll need to prevent relapse.2
There is a strong correlation between alcohol abuse and violent crimes like assault, armed robbery, rape, and homicide. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that in up to half of all murders, the perpetrator consumed alcohol before committing the crime. Approximately 33 percent of sexual assault victims state that their assailant was under the influence of alcohol. In violent crimes where alcohol is involved, up to 60 percent of victims are injured or killed.
The definition of recovery remains divided and subjective in drug rehabilitation, as there are no set standards for measuring recovery. The Betty Ford Institute defined recovery as achieving complete abstinence as well as personal well-being while other studies have considered "near abstinence" as a definition. The wide range of meanings has complicated the process of choosing rehabilitation programs.
Research the history of the Treatment Center or facility. What is their success rate? Can you find any medical recommendations for them online from members of the established rehab or medical community? How long has the Center been in operation? Is their leadership on solid ground? Are there any signs of financial corruption associated with the Center that is readily visible on the Internet? It is your responsibility to dig for this information. If you cannot find any information about a given Treatment Center online or at your local library, move on to the next Center on your list! 3 Stages of Drug Alcohol Rehab-How It Works