Alcoholic beverages are common at dinner tables across the United States and even more common in coolers during sporting events and at parties. Unfortunately, however, the recreational use of alcohol can often turn into alcohol addiction and abuse with deadly consequences, like domestic violence, car accidents and physical violence.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 79,000 deaths are caused by alcohol in the United States each year, and this number does not include car accidents and homicides. Deaths caused by liver disease due to alcoholism number about 12,300 each year. Those caught in the grips of alcoholism will find that their drinking leaks into every aspect of their lives resulting in broken marriages, lost jobs, ruined reputations and shattered self-esteem.
Dedicated to the alcoholic whose alcohol abuse is compounded by mental and emotional problems, our staff is professionally trained to help anyone who suffers from addiction and a co-occurring disorder. From assistance with an alcohol intervention to help with relapse prevention, The Canyon provides the tools that you or your loved one will need to maintain abstinence when they return home.
The Need for Help
Every person who enters alcohol rehab does it for various reasons. These reasons could be physical (they are physiologically dependent upon alcohol), social (the patient attends only or mostly social events that feature drinking), mental (the patient feels that their only route of “escape” is alcohol) or emotional (the patient has an emotional attachment to the feelings that drinking brings them). Other common reasons for choosing alcohol rehab include:
- Alcohol overdose. Some of the first symptoms that indicate that you’ve overdosed on alcohol are nausea and vomiting, which happen when you’ve had more alcohol than your body can metabolize. Other symptoms that soon follow include passing out, pale/blue skin and lips, rapid heart rate, shallow breathing and difficulty standing and/or walking. “Binging” is when a person has more than five alcoholic drinks at one time, and does this at least one day per month. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2002 to 2003 survey showed that alcohol abuse and binge drinking are problems across the country, reaching their pinnacle in North Dakota where 31.4 percent of residents over the age of 12 engaged in binge drinking.
- Pregnancy. Alcohol is very damaging to developing infants, and if mothers engage in drinking alcohol during pregnancy _ even in small amounts _ they may cause their babies to have birth defects and mental problems once they are born. Additionally, drinking alcohol can reduce the overall chances of even conceiving a child.
- Health. When a person engages in heavy drinking for longer periods of time, they can develop pancreatitis, which causes severe pain in the abdomen, extreme weight loss and can lead to death. Heavy drinking can also contribute to other illnesses such as cancer, strokes and even heart disease.
- Crime. In about half of homicides and assaults in the United States, alcohol is found in either the body of the victim, the attacker or both. It is also present in many sex-related crimes, as well as other crimes of both more and less serious natures.
- Drunk driving. Every year in the United States, about 5,000 people who are under 21 die due to underage drinking. This number includes about 1,900 deaths every year in people under 21 who are in car accidents. A recent study also showed that binge drinkers are far more likely to get into such an accident than casual or non-drinkers. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2008, about 44 percent of US full-time college students reported that they engage in binge drinking, and about 12 percent of people over the age of 12 drove while under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year.
Patient factors such as type of drugs being abused, intensity of abuse/severity of addiction, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, insurance coverage, religious affiliation and co-occurring disorders all affect which type of alcohol rehab option will be most beneficial. Certain treatment options may not be available in all areas, but some of the most common treatments offered by alcohol addiction treatment programs include:
- Alcohol detox. Intentional withdrawal from alcohol and drugs in a controlled, supervised environment.
- Prescription medications. According to “Medications to Treat Alcoholism” by Bankole A. Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., and Nassima Ait-Daoud, M.D., benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and related anxiety; naltrexone (ReViaT) reduces alcohol’s effects (and therefore a client’s cravings) by binding to the brain’s opioid receptors; disulfiram (Antabuse) induces negative reactions like dizziness, flushing, nausea and vomiting whenever alcohol is consumed.
- Outpatient counseling. Addiction education with a focus on the emotional and behavioral triggers that lead to drinking, along with avoidance and coping strategies.
- Alcoholics Anonymous. Specialized support program based around the 12 steps of recovery and sobriety.
- Inpatient treatment. Constant support as well as detox and a wide range of therapeutic options are provided to each patient based on his or her needs.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Therapist-assisted analysis and removal of ineffective assumptions, negative feelings, and automatic reactions, replaced with logical, healthy ways of thinking and acting.
- Motivation Enhancement Therapy. Client-centered therapy that seeks to align current behaviors with personal life goals, utilizing the client’s internal motivating desire for change.
- Family counseling. Therapeutic assistance for families with loved ones addicted to alcohol that may include parenting and childcare classes, legal assistance, job skills training, financial management and other community resources.
- Holistic drug rehab programs. Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, massage, drumming, chanting and other alternative treatments are available.
- Whole foods nutrition. Intentional diet of vitamins, supplements and natural foods designed to soothe the body and promote healing.
- Exercise. Gentle exercise like yoga and meditation as well as more vigorous cardiovascular workouts and regular weight routines may be incorporated into a well-rounded alcohol rehab program in order to help patients naturally find the pleasure response once provided by alcohol.
- Aftercare services. Off-site therapeutic contact and support, on-site sober living facilities, alumni groups and 12-step programs are just a few options available to help patients stay dedicated to recovery after rehab.
Goals of Alcohol Recovery
The goals of alcohol rehab are very similar across treatment modalities. No matter what type of treatment you choose, you can expect to find caring, trained professionals who have these goals for your future in common:
- Abstinence. Starting with detox and continuing with psychotherapeutic treatment, the highest priority is helping the patient learn how to stop drinking and avoid picking it up again.
- Treatment of co-occurring disorders. In about 37 percent of alcoholics in recovery, mental health disorders are also an issue, according to an Epidemiologic Catchment Area study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Honesty. The best way to stay sober is to honestly and actively work toward recovery. Treatment is not a passive experience, and honest communication is key to success.
- Dedication to care. Helping patients to persevere through the tough times is another goal of treatment, and continuing to show up to therapy and 12-step meetings is the best way to accomplish that.
- Relapse prevention. All these goals add up to relapse prevention, the second largest goal of alcohol rehab after abstinence. Learning actionable choices to make when faced with temptation will help patients avoid falling back into old behavior patterns.
When It’s Time to Go to Rehab
Some who have watched the alcoholic behavior of their friend or family member slowly progress may be uncertain as to when the time for alcohol rehab has come. Likewise, those who are in the midst of their alcoholism may be convinced that they “don’t have a problem” or have their drinking “under control.” They may even believe that their alcohol abuse is unnoticed by others and that is has no effect on their home or family life. The fact is that few alcoholics are as good at hiding their addiction as they think they are. Family members who believe they see a problem with their loved one’s drinking habits are often in the early stages of recognizing a serious disorder that requires help at a medical treatment facility. When itÍs clear that alcohol rehab is a necessity, an intervention may be in order.
Staging an Intervention
According to “Motivation for Change and Alcoholism Treatment,” by Carlo C. DiClemente, Ph.D., Lori E. Bellino, M.Ed., and Tara M. Neavins, M.S., patients who are unmotivated to get alcohol addiction treatment are often helped to enroll in alcohol rehab when they are confronted by a concerned group of family members and close friends at an intervention.
Making sure the intervention is as successful as possible means:
- Planning in advance. Gathering those who will participate and making sure that everyone is on board with how the intervention should proceed will help it to go smoothly and stay on track.
- Inviting the right people. Choosing participants who have a positive and caring relationship with the patient will increase the chances that the patient will value the opinions expressed.
- Choosing a safe place. Avoiding public places is generally a good idea. Instead, choose a location that is comfortable for the patient and more likely to elicit a favorable response.
- Making sure the patient is sober. Most alcoholics spend their time under the influence of alcohol, but it is important that he or she is not drunk or high during the intervention. Participants may need to wait until the patient is sober to continue.
- Hiring a professional interventionist. For many family members, the issue of a loved oneÍs alcoholism is too emotional for them to effectively stage an intervention. In these cases, a professional interventionist may have more success because they can provide an objective third-party view of the situation and help everyone keep emotions in line.
- Securing a spot in an alcohol rehab prior to the intervention. This ensures that the patient will be able to attend rehab immediately before they have a chance to change their mind.
- Remaining non-judgmental throughout. Due to hurt feelings, broken promises and broken trust, emotions can run high on both sides during an intervention. It is important that all involved work hard to remain nonjudgmental in whatever they say, remembering that alcoholism is a disease and that the patient requires medical treatment to heal.
Care at The Canyon
At The Canyon, we offer a wide variety of services that can be tailored into a personalized treatment program that suits the needs of each individual. Each person who is admitted for treatment will undergo an evaluation by Canyon medical staff to determine what, if any, medications are appropriate to assist with withdrawal symptoms, detoxification and the co-occurring disorder or disorders. Interwoven throughout treatment are relapse prevention tools and techniques to handle internal or emotional triggers as well as external or environmental triggers that stir up cravings for alcohol. From beginning to end, The Canyon provides alcoholics with co-occurring disorders with multiple levels of support and recovery.
If you have questions about alcohol rehab options available at The Canyon, please call us anytime of the day or night.