If you have a problem with alcohol, you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggles. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, more than 14 million American adults admitted to having an alcohol use disorder in 2019. For those who are not quite as familiar with this terminology, an alcohol use disorder, also known as alcoholism, alcohol addiction, or alcohol dependence, is a chronic disease characterized by an inability to control one’s drinking because of either an emotional or physical dependence on alcohol. It is also worth noting that even those who do not have an alcohol use disorder have a problem with binge drinking.
The same study published by the National Institutes of Health revealed that 2 in 5 adults between the ages of 18 and 25 admit to binge drinking regularly. For context, binge drinking refers to drinking any alcoholic beverage that causes one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to reach or exceed 0.08 percent. While binge drinking does not necessarily meet the criteria necessary to be deemed an alcohol use disorder, it is still responsible for DUIs, domestic violence, and traffic fatalities. Further, studies show that binge drinking can increase an individual’s chances of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Fortunately, more people who binge drink or have an alcohol use disorder are choosing to seek help in ending their relationship with alcohol, which is evidenced by a significant uptick in new rehab admissions all across America in recent years.
What to Expect While in an Alcohol Addiction Recovery Program
While all rehab facilities take on a slightly different approach when it comes to helping individuals move past their struggles with alcohol, many things are consistent from one facility to the next. For example, whether you choose a state-funded or private rehab facility, nearly all of them will require what is known as a pre-intake screening. Typically done over the phone, a pre-intake screening allows staff members to establish a meaningful connection with a prospective patient by asking questions related to the nature of their struggles with alcohol.
Some of the questions that a facility staff member might ask a prospective patient during a pre-intake screening might center around the following:
- Work and family life
- Underlying health problems
- Legal troubles
- Employment status
- How long they have been drinking
- Whether or not they abuse other substances alongside alcohol
- Whether or not they are taking any prescription-based medications
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Programs
As the pre-screening draws to an end, most staff members working at a rehab facility can usually determine whether a prospective patient is a good fit for an inpatient or outpatient program. To understand what makes an individual a better fit for an inpatient or outpatient program, it helps to take a look at them individually. Firstly, inpatient programs are a better choice for those with a severe addiction problem. For example, someone with a full-on alcohol use disorder would likely be better off in an inpatient program. By comparison, an individual who only has a problem with binge drinking would be a good fit for an outpatient program. Inpatient programs generally have high success rates, but individuals in these programs are required to remain in the treatment facility for 28 days or more. Outpatient programs, on the other hand, have a lower success rate than inpatient programs; however, they do allow individuals to leave the facility to fulfill family and work obligations in-between treatments. And this is, more or less, where the differences end as the inpatient and outpatient programs in most rehab facilities offer many of the same treatments that allow individuals to end their relationship with alcohol.
How Do Most Rehab Facilities in America Help Individuals Overcome an Alcohol Problem?
Whether an individual with an alcohol use disorder enrolls in an inpatient or outpatient program, most of them will offer medication-assisted detox. Along with round-the-clock monitoring by a licensed physician, medication-assisted detox includes the use of prescription-based medications, such as Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram, to help individuals cope with the myriad of unpleasant symptoms associated with abrupt alcohol cessation. Along with medication-detox, many facilities offer some form of psychotherapy to help individuals overcome the psychological aspect of their struggles with alcohol, which, by the way, are also beneficial to those who might only have a problem with binge drinking. Some of the different types of psychotherapy provided by licensed therapists at these facilities include the following:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Contingency management
Along with these counseling sessions and medication-assisted detox, most inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities will also offer referrals to support groups and sober living homes, both of which can significantly improve an individual’s chances of remaining alcohol-free long-term.
Alcohol abuse, either in terms of binge drinking or a full-on alcohol use disorder, can negatively affect one’s life in a plurality of ways. That being said, if any of the information detailed in this article resonates with you and you’re ready to seek help in getting your life back on track, consider speaking with one of our caring associates today at 833-846-5669.