Alcohol rehab is a treatment program for people who abuse alcohol. The best alcohol rehab programs address not only the alcohol abuse, but also the underlying issues that may be leading a person to self-medicate to relieve symptoms.
While the media spotlight might shine on illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse, alcohol is by far the most abused mood-altering substance. Alcohol is a drug. It impacts your perceptions, mood and motor skills. Those who abuse it can develop tolerance, just as they would to other drugs. This means they need more alcohol to get the same effect they once experienced with just a few drinks.
Many people refer to alcohol rehab as “drug rehab,” and those who primarily abuse alcohol are sometimes unsure if drug rehab is the right place for them. However, today, the terms “alcohol rehab” and “drug rehab” are used interchangeably. In fact, the vast majority of people who abuse alcohol also abuse one or more other substances. The most common combination is alcohol and anti-anxiety medications (such as Valium or Xanax) or opiate painkillers (such as OxyContin or Vicodin).
Large research projects have failed to absolutely answer this question, but most findings point to a combination of biological/genetic factors and environmental influences. A person who abuses alcohol will likely know of someone else in their family who has a history of alcohol abuse.
Many people who come to alcohol rehab report lifelong issues with depression or anxiety. Some have had a traumatic experience or have untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Alcohol is often called a social lubricant, and it’s that quality that can lead to problems for people with social anxiety. Maybe a person started drinking one or two alcoholic drinks so they would feel more comfortable at parties. They quickly noticed that alcohol made them feel less shy, and more able to mingle with confidence. The behavior becomes self-reinforcing and they continue to use alcohol as a way to override their anxiety. Eventually, their quality of life deteriorates.
Most people go to alcohol rehab because they have tried to stop on their own but could not maintain sobriety. Early on, those who abuse alcohol will try to overcome their excessive drinking by creating rules. They might make a pact to drink only when they are at parties, or drink only wine rather than hard liquor. These rules eventually prove to be mere blips on the radar; the drinking continues to escalate as do the consequences.
Many people come to alcohol rehab because the consequences of their drinking make their lives unmanageable. They may have gotten a DUI, or maybe two or three DUIs. Their spouse might be threatening to leave. They may be on notice at work. Generally, something has happened that has made them recognize they are not going to get better without professional help.
Elements Behavioral Health offers sophisticated, fully accredited alcohol rehab at various levels of care, including detox, outpatient and residential treatment. Our programs address alcoholism and other drug abuse as well as underlying mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and emotional trauma, using both traditional and integrative approaches. Recognizing alcoholism impacts not just the person with addiction, Elements Behavioral Health reaches out to family members with therapy and support.
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