If you or someone close to you needs alcohol rehab, it pays to know about the alcohol rehab process. While a lot of information about alcohol rehab programs and processes is available in the public domain, there are some minor details of which an addict must be aware. Alcohol rehab is essentially a three step process taken in order to stay sober: Detox, sobriety, and immersion.
Detoxification, as the term suggests, refers to the process of ridding the body of the last traces of alcohol. Detox is the first step towards treating alcohol addiction and it is also one of the most difficult processes for the addict to go through. Detox may take several forms.
Immediate and full withdrawal is the most commonly employed way of achieving detox. Individuals heavily dependent on alcohol may not be able to fully withdraw from the bottle in one go. Such people undergo a phased detox. A phased detox is nothing but reducing the intake of alcohol in gradual periods, rather than a one-time withdrawal. Sedatives and beta blockers may be administered during detox. The duration of the detox is a function of how much the patient had been drinking, both in terms of quantity and duration. Long-term heavy drinkers can take up to a week’s time to detox completely.
Once the patient has stabilized after the detox and poses no threat of relapsing, the patient starts to sober up. Patients usually undergo the worst possible withdrawal symptoms on the third and fourth day of withdrawal and once this phase is over, the patient stabilizes. Even after complete detox, the addict may still be obsessed with the desire to drink. Addicts find it tough to concentrate on their rehab program during this phase and the chances of relapse are the highest during the “introduction to sobriety” phase.
During this phase, the alcoholics work closely with rehab specialists. Addicts unearth a lot of information about their affinity towards alcohol. They learn the true reasons for their addiction and come face to face with their condition. This stage can be particularly tough for alcoholics as it is when alcoholics are made to realize that drinking is a disease and that they cannot drink again.
Once the patient has come out of the “introduction to sobriety” stage without the dependency on medications, he or she transitions into the next stage: the immersion stage. Immersion refers to the process of getting on with day to day activities without drinking. Group therapy is one of the major components of immersion. People who have been let out of the alcohol rehab center meet on a periodic basis to discuss their progress.
Some rehab centers offer yoga, meditation, and other spiritual programs to help addicts go on with their daily routine without craving for alcohol. This is the final stage of alcohol rehab and from this stage on, the addict usually leaves the rehab center. In order to fully overcome addiction outside of rehab, addicts should form AA groups and attend meetings on a regular basis outside of their rehab centers in order to maintain their drug-free lifestyle. Immersion (and rehab in general) is a lifestyle change and should be a continuous, never-ending process.