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Are you concerned your drinking has crossed the line into dependency? If so, attending alcohol rehab may be one option worth pursuing.

Alcohol is, in essence, a poison which can lead to life-threatening illnesses when abused. These illnesses may include alcohol-related liver disease and heart disease.

A large scale study of UK drinking habits revealed 2.5 million people drink more than 14 units of alcohol on their heaviest drinking day [1]. It is thus not surprising to learn alcohol use disorder is relatively common in the UK.

Alcohol use disorder can set in when you least expect it. For instance, following the loss of a loved one, or after suffering from some form of trauma. Seeking out help is often recommendable, as ceasing to drink will undoubtedly mitigate the damage alcohol has inflicted and continue to inflict if you simply continue to drink.

Alcohol use disorder is also capable of leaving lasting psychological and emotional damage to those it touches. Reversing alcohol use disorder’s negative effects may require a lasting commitment to sobriety. When you attend an alcohol rehab clinic, you will be given the tools to do just that.

There are more than 2.5 million deaths across the entire globe every year that is attributed to an alcohol use disorder [2]. And it is estimated that over 140 million people suffer from alcohol use disorder worldwide.

In the UK, it is estimated that over half a million people suffer from problematic drinking [3]. Attending an alcohol rehab clinic is one potential way to prevent this very personal tragedy.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions relating to alcohol rehab:

What is alcohol use disorder?

Alcohol use disorder is signified by a loss of control over drinking. [4] Alcohol use disorder has three categories: mild, moderate, and severe. [5]

Alcohol use disorder can be considered an illness in its own right, a fact which is supported by medical professionals. [6] Alcohol use disorder is progressive in its development and means the sufferer has little power over the illness’s growth.

Those affected by alcohol use disorder may be unable to function properly without alcohol in their system. This alone leads to a variety of negative implications.

Painful and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms is what characterises alcohol use disorder. Medical treatment is typically recommended to ensure withdrawal symptoms are treated. Those who are battling alcohol use disorder often attempt to quit drinking or cut down alone, but cannot do so.  Abruptly ceasing to drink alcohol is not recommended when there is an absence of medical supervision.

What is Alcohol Rehab?

A residential alcohol rehab centre is where a person experiencing an alcohol use disorder may go to receive treatment. Depending upon the severity of the disorder, a medicated detox is often required.

Alcohol rehab refers to a specialised rehabilitation facility that caters to addiction treatment. Treatment within alcohol rehab clinics may include a medicated detox if there is physical dependence.

Following the completion of this detox, psychological treatments will then address the behavioural aspects of addiction. Group therapy, one to one counselling, anxiety and anger management classes will address the mental aspects of addiction.

alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Common Symptoms of alcohol use disorder

The nature of addiction means that denial is a common trait of those battling addiction. Sometimes there are clues and signs that could indicate an issue with alcohol. Below we have listed some of the most common signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder to look out for:

  • Failure to control their drinking
  • Experiencing unpleasant shakes
  • Lying about their drinking
  • Denying that they have a problem
  • Craving the first drink of the day
  • Attempting to quit but failing
  • Being unable to function without alcohol
  • Regular blackouts and memory loss as a result of their drinking
  • A decline in their physical health
  • Showing signs of anxiety and depression

Financial problems may arise due to the excessive usage of substances. Normal lifestyle patterns and behaviour are affected and the person will begin to ‘miss out’ on education or work. You may be concerned about a loved one’s health and psychological well-being as a result of these signs [7].

For more information on what to look out for if you are worried about someone’s alcohol use, visit our signs of alcohol addiction page.

Do I Need To Go To Rehab?

There is often a thin line between social drinking and alcohol use disorder. Knowing when to seek out treatment can change your and your family’s lives for the better. If your social and professional standing has suffered as a result of your drinking, then it might be time to consider rehab.

Below, we share some questions to help you determine if seeking out treatment is appropriate:

  • Do you drink alcohol whenever and wherever you are?
  • Do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink for a few days?
  • Do these symptoms go away when you start drinking again?
  • Are you hiding your alcohol consumption from your loved ones and friends?
  • Is your professional career suffering as a result? Have you recently lost your job or gotten into financial trouble?
  • Do you think you have no control over your consumption?
  • Do your friends and family keep telling you that you drink too much?
  • Have you done alcohol rehab before but it was ineffective?

If you have answered yes to most of those questions, then you may consider going to rehab. It is at least worth seeking the opinion of your local GP, who will consult NICE guidelines on this issue [8].

Understanding The Alcohol Rehab Process

When you attend an alcohol rehab clinic, you will initially be assessed by an addiction psychiatrist. There are several stages to this procedure, and there are usually only minor differences from clinic to clinic. But this is what you may expect:

When you come to the facility, you'll get assessed by professional medical staff - they will make checks on your physical and mental condition.

Upon that, they will determine the course of your rehab, which is different for every individual and tailored from case to case.

Arguably the toughest part of the rehab process is detoxification. Here, the patient will receive medication that will help them detoxify their bodies from alcohol. In the meantime, the patient will experience withdrawal symptoms that will range from severity.

How long you've been drinking and how much can be factors in the severity of these symptoms. We'll help you get through the symptoms, either with care or with medications.

Staying clean for a prolonged period is tough, but a crucial part of having a quality life. You will have to face the real world and the challenges that come with it. We'll provide ongoing treatment options and support if you need them.

At the same time, joining various support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can be beneficial.

What To Expect From an Alcohol Rehab Programme?

When you begin rehab, you will receive a variety of evidence-based treatments. You will initially be subject to detox, where you will cease to drink alcohol, and withdrawal symptoms will be treated, typically over a 5-10 day timescale. You will be subject to ongoing medical observation during this time and a range of prescription drugs may be prescribed to you.

Once detox is complete, it is common for clients to remain at the rehab clinic, typically for a 28-day period in total. During this time, you will have access to therapies that address the mental causes of addiction.

Medications you may be prescribed during the detox process are designed to ease withdrawal symptoms [9]. Once alcohol detox is completed, treatment focuses on helping you overcome the mental aspects of addiction. This entails a number of therapies and counselling sessions where new positive coping strategies are developed.

During this time, you receive treatment in a respectful and understanding manner. The bond of trust between you and the addiction therapist is of the utmost importance. The main goal of treatment is to ensure alcohol use disorder is tackled in an effective and compassionate manner.

A solid support system will be put in place for when you leave the treatment clinic in the form of aftercare treatment.

alcohol inpatient treatment

Are There Benefits to Residential Rehab Treatment?

A residential rehab clinic is possibly a recommended setting for you to begin treatment. This is particularly true for the detox portion of treatment. This is because there are medical and professional staff available to supervise the potential withdrawal symptoms that may arise. This ensures the appropriate support is available should withdrawal symptoms accelerate.

In some instances, it’s not unknown for those undergoing an alcohol detox to require hospitalisation.

With medical supervision, you’ll get the proper support and care that’s needed during detox, and medications that are needed to alleviate the severity of the symptoms are available if needed.

Residential alcohol rehab centres also offer a comprehensive and structured therapeutic programme to help address the psychological dependence on alcohol. A residential alcohol rehab clinic will focus on both the physical and psychological aspects of alcohol use disorder.

A residential treatment centre is sometimes the preferred location for treating alcohol use disorder. Community or out-patient treatment may also provide therapeutic support; however, an intensive period of time spent living with peers and having constant access to professional help may be one reason to consider residential rehab.

Goals of Rehab

Each type of rehab will have its own goals. However, there are typically three main goals that are pervasive for people seeking this sort of treatment:

  • Goal 1: Eliminate your alcohol intake. This is a difficult goal to achieve, but know that many people have done it before
  • Goal 2: Increase the quality of life. At the start of the rehab, your quality of life is probably seriously deteriorated. Some may have lost their jobs, friends, and have financial problems as a result of their drinking. Treatment seeks to help you address the issues that area causing your quality of life to suffer. Stopping your drinking is an obvious means of achieving this aim, but rehab also offers a range of evidence-based therapies to help you address the often underlying mental causes of alcohol use disorder
  • Goal 3: Reduce the risk of relapse. The real challenge after leaving rehab is staying sober over an extensive period of time. For many, the aim will be to strive to achieve life-long sobriety. Ongoing treatment may be necessary. Rehabs will introduce you to the 12-step model. The aim of the 12-steps aligns with your likely desire to achieve long-term sobriety

help for alcoholism

When Should Someone Seek Help For Alcohol Use Disorder?

If you feel you are unable to control your drinking despite the damage it is causing, then it’s likely time to seek out help. For some individuals, they may feel it is obvious that their alcohol use has become uncontrollable and understand that they need help.

For others, it may take a nudge in the right direction for them to recognise the need for treatment.

Rehab 4 Addiction has a wealth of experience with situations such as this and can help you to support your loved one in making the right decisions.

There are a number of warning signs that suggest someone would benefit from alcohol rehab. Their alcohol use may be affecting their social life and relationships in a negative manner. They may be irritable, secretive and dishonest to those around them. Their alcohol use may begin to have a negative impact on their work.

In severe and well-established cases of an alcohol use disorder, the person may begin to take part in criminal activities to fund their addiction. This includes stealing from family members.

Withdrawal symptoms are also a good indicator of alcohol dependence. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include sweating, increased heart rate, tremors, difficulty sleeping, feeling nauseous and vomiting, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety and seizures.

What Are My Treatment Options?

There are various treatment types and options to choose from. When you call a member of our team, we will complete an assessment to determine the suitability of these options. We may discuss the following options with you:

Residential clinics can provide the most immediate access to alcohol addiction treatment. Residential alcohol rehab addiction treatment aims to break the habit and behaviours around an addiction. A fully medicated and supported detox will also be given where required.

When considering alcohol rehab treatment, it is important to choose a clinic that is most likely to offer suitable treatment and cater to the needs of the individual. Residential alcohol rehab can vary in terms of accommodation, treatment programme, activities and approach.
It is vital to choose the most appropriate treatment centre for you or your loved one.

This type of treatment is less intensive than inpatient treatment, but the patients still undergo detox - either in medical attention or at home. They also have access to various therapies and sessions at the clinic.

The main difference is that they will commute to the clinic, usually on a daily basis or several times a week. It can last from 8 weeks to several months, and it's an ongoing type of treatment.

These are relatively similar to outpatient treatments. The patients come to the clinic throughout the day for either one day a week, or for several days a week when they need support.

It's helpful for patients that come out of inpatient treatment and are struggling to cope with the real world. Strong support from the family is required. Daycare is appropriate for those who live near the clinic.

It is also possible to access private residential alcohol rehab overseas. This option can be particularly appealing to those individuals who have already accessed alcohol rehab with limited success.

By travelling overseas to access treatment, the person is completely removed from their problematic surroundings. Overseas treatment can also represent better value for money in some cases.

Types of Residential Alcohol Rehab Clinics

We work with a number of residential alcohol rehab clinics throughout the UK. It is a legal requirement that all rehab residential alcohol rehabilitation centres are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  The CQC audits each rehab clinic annually, and a report is issued on the CQC’s website for prospective client’s to inspect.

This allows individuals to determine whether residential alcohol rehabilitation centres meet the standards set out by the CQC. Rehab 4 Addiction only works with private residential alcohol rehabs which are judged favourably the CQC.

You or your loved one can also access a private residential alcohol rehabilitation centre overseas. This option can be particularly appealing to those individuals who have already accessed treatment in the UK with limited success. By travelling overseas, the person is completely removed from their usual surroundings.

Therapies Available During Alcohol Rehab

With residential and outpatient treatment, you will have access to a variety of therapies.

Some common therapies are listed below:

CBT it helps the patient change the negative beliefs and transform them into positive ones. This ultimately changes the behavioural patterns of a patient.

DBT similar to CBT, but it focuses slightly more on the behavioural side of things.

During group therapy, you'll listen to stories of other people and connect with them. Meaningful relationships and support are often a part of this therapy.

At any time you'll need support, our medical staff will be there for you. You can take part in one-on-one sessions where you can express your thoughts and concerns.

With meditation, you can relax your body and mind and start thinking positively. Additionally, you can achieve a form of mindfulness, where you get aware of your thoughts.

What Happens During a Typical Day at an Alcohol Rehab?

In the morning, you will begin the day with a healthy breakfast. You may choose to then supercharge your day with yoga or meditations. After breakfast, you then typically participate in a group therapy session or one-to-one therapy sessions with an addiction counsellor.

After lunch, therapy sessions will continue. This is where the sessions will usually be intensive. There will be various types of therapies: CBT, DBT, group therapies, and one-on-one sessions.

Click here to learn more about the effectiveness of CBT for addiction treatment [10].

It is also common to participate in holistic therapies, such as art therapy, dance, music therapies, or various workouts.

During your free time, you will have access to various recreational activities, which include various sports, reading, journaling, or meditation. In the evening, there might be 12 step sessions. After that, sleep is one of the most important aspects of therapy.

Understanding Withdrawal Symptoms

The first part of your treatment will involve a medically assisted detox, where you cease to drink alcohol. Your body becomes void of the substance it once relied on. This can lead to unpleasant alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

The symptoms can range in severity, and usually achieve their peak after 48-72 hours of detox. It’s crucial that detox is controlled by the medical staff, as the symptoms can get rough. In some, but rare, cases, the symptoms may be fatal for a person.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Tremors and shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

Severe withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Extreme confusion
  • Racing heart, high blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating

What is the Average Duration of Alcohol Rehab?

Programme length can vary depending on the severity of the dependency, and the existence of co-occurring mental health disorders. A 4-week programme is generally recommended. In cases where this is not feasible, a minimum detox period of 10 days can be arranged if suitable.

rehab cost

How Much Does a Private Alcohol Rehab Programme Cost?

The cost of private treatment programmes can vary depending on the duration, clinic and the amount of aftercare on offer.

Rehab 4 Addiction recognises that there is a deficit in the provision of affordable private rehabilitation alcohol addiction treatment in the UK. Our advice is completely free and confidential.

We can offer guidance based on your individual circumstances, budget and needs. Our advisors offer you advice according to the latest evidence of what works.

Rehab 4 Addiction provides immediate access to rehab, alcohol treatment programmes and detoxification at a wide range of specialist treatment centres around the UK and abroad. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) fully regulates our services and we work with a number of UK clinics that offer comprehensive rehabilitation alcohol addiction treatment.

We understand that there may be concerns regarding treatment, particularly in terms of cost, location and success. That is why we are here. Our aim is to provide you with confidential and reliable advice regarding all areas of addiction.

Ways to Help a Loved One To Rehab?

Alcohol addiction can have severe consequences, not just for the addicted person, but for everyone around them. Loved ones or friends can also experience suffering in their lives as a result of the addiction. That’s why these people are often at the forefront of helping the addicted person is going to rehab.

Of course, in the end, only the addicted person can decide for themselves to go to rehab. But there are things we can do to help them make that decision. The most important thing is that you don’t force them. This will only make matters worse, and their denial even stronger.

Don’t try to make excuses for their addiction. Do not attempt to confront them when they are intoxicated. Feeling responsible is also the wrong thing to do. Also, refrain from drinking alcohol in front of the addicted person. Instead, convey to them gently and with some care that you’re only trying to help them.

Don’t be overly aggressive about it; respect their privacy, and talk to them about this when you have the chance, and when they’re sober. Consider going to family counselling sessions where all the concerned parties will have the chance to express their thoughts and feelings.

For more information on how to help intervene when you think a loved one needs help in beating their addiction, click here. If the person you are concerned about is a young adult or teenager, we have a wealth of advice readily available on hosting an intervention for adolescents.

aftercare

What Happens After Rehab?

After you complete your rehab, you’ll have the option to take part in ongoing treatment. Staying clean is an important part of life after rehab, but it will be challenging to do so at times. There will be temptations, so trying to stay strong and abstain is crucial.

  • Aftercare programmes – most rehabs will offer support and care for at least 12 months after rehab
  • Therapies – as a part of that aftercare, you’ll have access to individual, group, and family therapies that will help you on your path
  • 12 step meetings – a structured programme with the intention of shifting your mindset towards recovery
  • Support groups – join various support groups to receive support from peers
  • Follow up checks – from time to time, our centres will check-up on you to see how you are progressing

For more information on how we can help after your rehab programme has been completed, visit our aftercare page.

Contact Rehab 4 Addiction

In the end, choosing a suitable rehab centre is up to you, but there are some considerations that will make your decision easier. First, you should make sure that the centre offers sufficient and adequate facilities for rehab.

Consider what types of therapies and treatments they offer and whether they offer aftercare for you. Experienced and skilled medical staff should be a must.

If you are ready to enter alcohol rehab treatment then give Rehab 4 Addiction a call today. Alcohol rehab treatment could save your life and the cost of the treatment is usually minuscule in comparison to the cost associated with the continuation of addiction.

To discover your road to recovery, call us today on 0800 140 4690 or complete the enquiry form.

Further Resources

References

[1] Adult drinking habits in Great Britain: 2014. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/bulletins/opinionsandlifestylesurveyadultdrinkinghabitsingreatbritain/2014

[2] Alcohol: Key facts – WHO – 2018. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/alcohol

[3] Alcohol dependence and mental health Posted by:Rosanna O’Connor, Posted on:17 November 2020.  https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/11/17/alcohol-dependence-and-mental-health/

[4] Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/understanding-alcohol-use-disorder

[5] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5). https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm

[6] Alcohol-use disorders: The NICE guideline on diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg115/evidence/full-guideline-136423405

[7] Conditioned reinforcing properties of stimuli paired with self-administered cocaine, heroin or sucrose: implications for the persistence of addictive behaviour. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028390804001595

[8] Acute alcohol withdrawal – NICE guidelines. https://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/alcohol-use-disorders/acute-alcohol-withdrawal

[9] The alcohol withdrawal syndrome – BMJ Journal. https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/79/8/854.short

[10] Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies/cognitive-behavioral-therapy

[11] Effectiveness of treatment for alcohol problems: findings of the randomised UK alcohol treatment trial (UKATT). https://www.bmj.com/content/331/7516/541.short

 

Boris

This article was reviewed by Boris MacKay.  Boris is our editor-in-chief at Rehab 4 Addiction. He also covers a variety of topics relating to addiction and recovery. Boris is an addiction therapist and assists in the alcohol detox process.