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What You Should Know Before Committing to an Alcohol Rehab Program



You may be one of the many people who have misconceptions about what happens in a rehabilitation center. This is probably because you have never been to one. For instance, you may think that rehabilitation involves remaining behind closed doors, but this is not the case. You are always free to walk out at any time. Locks are not used because alcohol rehab is not compulsory; it is a free-will decision made by an individual. Opting for rehabilitation when you intend to go back to drinking or using drugs is a waste of your money and time. However, if you are serious about pursuing your rehabilitation, here are some of the things you can expect:


There are individual residential rehab facilities with their detoxification programs. However, many facilities today require patients to undergo detoxification programs before entering their facilities. This means that you will probably need to be clean and sober before you even set foot in the alcohol rehab facility. You may also have to first go to a facility that specializes in the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol – this usually takes about five to seven days.


There are many types of alcohol rehab facilities, ranging from those that have a primitive camp-like setting to the most luxurious facilities. Every unique facility is designed to cater to the needs of a particular group of patients, depending on how much they can pay for or how much their insurance can afford. However, this does not mean that paying for a cheaper facility will in any way hinder your recovery.


Education is probably the most critical aspect of alcohol rehab programs. While it may vary from one facility to another, it is generally aimed at getting you to honestly evaluate your addiction and change your attitude concerning alcohol use. Most addicts typically have some level of denial concerning the seriousness of their alcohol problem. It is, therefore, critical to deal with such rejection so you can fully commit to a healthy alcohol-free lifestyle. As part of the education process, you get to learn about alcoholism, the dynamics of addiction, the physical and psychological effects of alcohol, and the consequences of continued alcohol use.

Counseling and therapy

Individual advice from a trained counselor is usually availed during rehabilitation. This is meant to equip you with the skills you require to live your life free of alcohol. Your counselor will also help you identify some of the situations that leave you vulnerable to drinking so you can avoid them. Group therapy meetings where you get to interact with other patients in the institution dealing with alcohol addiction are also frequent. During such sessions, you get to share and listen to others’ alcohol experiences. In some facilities, group therapy is used to take you through the 12-step program.

Family involvement

Your family plays a crucial role in your recovery, which is why most alcohol rehab facilities involve your family in the treatment program. Research indicates that including the family and close friends of the patient significantly improves his or her chances of recovery. Specific applications include family throughout rehabilitation – from initial assessment to follow-up care. Some of the things that your family members are taught are the dynamics of addiction and the resources that would encourage your recovery. They are also allowed to express how your addiction has affected them, a vital step in the reconciliation process.


Typically, a residential alcohol rehab program will last about one month or more. During this time, you will be confined to a structured environment in which alcohol is unavailable. However, you will have to leave this relatively safe environment and go back to the real world. A good rehab program includes an effective aftercare program that will help you sustain your recovery at a personal level.

Since your counselor has come to know you well during your stay in the alcohol rehab facility, he or she will be in a position to suggest what steps you need to take once you are on your own. Your aftercare plan may include residence at a halfway house, attending 12-step meetings, intensive outpatient treatment, or meeting with your counselor regularly. Ideally, the aftercare plan should assist you in adjusting to your new lifestyle and avoid situations that could trigger a relapse.