The “happy hour” in the United States is a treasured institution. During this short window of time, which typically lands when the office closes and employees begin heading home, drinks are offered at a lowered price and salty snacks might also be provided at bargain prices. Unfortunately, those who begin drinking after work might continue drinking for the rest of the night, and this heavy drinking might make people feel far from happy. In fact, some might develop alcoholism in the process. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 8.5 percent of adults in the United States meet the criteria for an alcohol abuse disorder, and while some people can learn to control their drinking through outpatient care, some will need the help that an inpatient alcohol rehab center can provide.
Intensive Care for Serious Problems
Alcohol problems are sometimes placed on a continuum, with occasional overindulgence on one side and full-blown alcoholism on the other. Where people with mild-to-moderate alcohol problems can recover on their own, or with just a small amount of help from others, people who have advanced cases of alcoholism often need more intensive help in order to change their habits and learn how to control their drinking for the rest of their lives. This intensive help is provided in inpatient alcohol rehab centers. This option might not be right for everyone, but those who have advanced needs might best be served by an inpatient program.
Alcoholism can cause serious damage to a wide variety of systems within the body, and those who have serious alcohol-related medical conditions might need intensive help in order to regain their health. The liver, in particular, tends to sustain the most damage due to alcoholism, as the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that this organ breaks down 90 percent of the alcohol a person consumes. People with medical complications due to alcoholism might need assistance with:
- Vitamin supplementation
- Nutritious eating plans
- Medication management
- Possible surgical interventions
- Safe detoxification from alcohol
Hospitals can handle many of these issues, but when the person is considered medically stable, enrollment in an inpatient alcoholism program might be a logical next step. If the person returns to drinking when a fragile physical recovery is in process, more severe physical consequences could take place. People who have underlying mental health conditions might also benefit from inpatient alcohol rehab programs. According to a study in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 40 percent of people who receive inpatient alcohol treatment have anxiety disorders, and 59 percent of these people indicate that they use alcohol to help them cope with their mental illnesses. If these people attempt to stop drinking on their own, without help, they could feel these mental illnesses increase in intensity, and they may not have the coping skills that would allow them to deal with this resurgence. In an inpatient program, they’ll have access to caring professionals who can help them deal with these problems without resorting to alcohol use and abuse.
- A Safe Place to Stay
During the recovery process, it’s absolutely vital that people do not return to alcohol use and abuse. Therapy will help them learn how to maintain sobriety for the rest of their lives, but in the early stages of recovery, those lessons haven’t yet been learned and a relapse might be right around the corner. Alcohol is available almost everywhere, including major restaurants, corner stores, grocery stores and even the family refrigerator. People with a low amount of willpower might find it hard to simply walk down the street without feeling like they should stop for a drink. Those who continue to live with people who drink might be at even higher risk for relapse, as they may face temptation each time they walk through the door. An inpatient program provides a safe, sober place for people to live while recovering addicts are developing their skills.
Inpatient programs don’t allow any alcohol on the premises, and neither do they allow people to abuse drugs while they’re in recovery. The risk of relapse in this environment is quite low, simply because there’s no opportunity to even find alcohol.Living at home can also be stressful, as people will continue to deal with the pressures of work, family and friends. Relationships that were once solidified with alcohol can become strained, and minor annoyances that were once soothed with alcohol can become almost too difficult to bear. Stepping away from these issues for just a short period of time can be helpful, as people will have the opportunity to develop their skills before they’re exposed to the stress and pressure of home.
- Intensive Therapies
Developing new habits isn’t easy, but therapy can be an amazing help. According to an article in American Family Physician, 30 to 60 percent of alcoholics maintain at least one year of abstinence with the help of talk therapies alone. Given results like this, it’s no wonder that talk therapy forms the basis for most of the healing techniques provided in inpatient alcohol rehab centers.People who are resistant to the idea of sobriety benefit from motivational enhancement therapy techniques in which they’re encouraged to think about why they’d like to get sober, and what they’ll need to do in order to make that sobriety resolution stick for a long period of time. People who are unable to see how their lives have changed due to alcohol can come to amazing realizations when they’re provided with this kind of targeted therapy, and it might allow them to harden their resolve to stop drinking.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might also be helpful, as it can help people to develop their own anti-drinking skills. In these therapy sessions, they identify the situations in which they’re likely to drink, and they pinpoint diversionary techniques they can use to deflect a return to alcohol use. Inpatient alcohol rehab programs might ask clients to participate in daily therapy sessions with a counselor. Clients might utilize one-on-one therapy sessions, working on their own issues in a targeted way, or they might be asked to work in groups, learning from a therapist in the company of other people who have their own addiction issues. Between sessions, clients might be asked to read up on addiction, write in journals, watch educational videos, or otherwise continue to think and learn about alcohol and how cravings can be kept under control.
Involving the Family
According to a study in Treating Alcohol Problems: Marital and Family Interventions, an alcoholic person’s spouse plays a vital role in convincing that alcoholic to get help and enter a treatment program. In fact, there are entire therapy programs dedicated to helping the family learn how to motivate an uncooperative alcoholic person and spur that person to accept the help a treatment program can provide. Once that person enters treatment, however, the family might have more work to do.
Family therapy sessions strive to change the family’s communication patterns and coping styles. The entire group is the focus of the therapy, not just the person with the drinking problem, and the whole group works hard to learn more about how they can come together and function more effectively as a unit. Some sessions involve all members of the family at one time, but others include just a few family members. When this form of therapy is complete, people might feel more comfortable leaving their inpatient alcohol programs and returning home to their families.
Living in an inpatient program allows people to spend time with others who have their own alcohol problems. They can swap stories on an informal basis, and learn more about how alcohol tends to destroy lives. The friendships formed in this way can be strong, and people might rely on the friends they’ve made in their inpatient programs as they move forward with their lives. Inpatient programs might provide even more opportunities for people to learn from one another if they provide clients with support group meetings. In an inpatient addiction program, clients might be asked to participate in support group meetings weekly, or they might be asked to go on an even more frequent basis. When their inpatient program is complete, they might be provided with a list of meetings held in the community, so they can continue to work on their recovery on their own while they live at home.
In a traditional support group meeting for alcoholism, clients are asked to adhere to the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. They may study written materials about alcohol abuse, and they may share their own stories about their alcoholism. People might be paired with a person who has been in recovery for a long period of time, and they might be asked to mentor other people who are new to recovery. People might be asked to volunteer in the community or otherwise give back, as a way to atone for transgressions they may have performed while they were under the influence. It all might sound a little silly or confessional, but the truth is that programs like this really do have the capacity to help people recover from their addiction issues. According to a study in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, participating in meetings like this weekly or more is associated with abstinence from alcohol. Refusing to attend meetings isn’t associated with abstinence. It’s clear that this is a practice that can bring about meaningful results.
Inpatient programs may sprinkle in additional addiction therapies to help their clients, including:
- Art therapy
- Cooking classes
- Meditation courses
- Outdoor adventures
These activities might seem recreational, but they can play a huge role in the recovery process from alcoholism. People need to learn new ways to relax and enjoy life, especially if the majority of their spare time was once spent abusing alcohol, and developing hobbies alone might be more difficult than it seems at first glance. By providing clients with opportunities to explore new hobbies, releasing their creativity and feelings of joy without requiring the use of alcohol, facilities are providing their clients with new avenues and new opportunities they can hone and utilize when they’re living at home once more. Instead of drinking, they can draw, cook, paint, hike or meditate. It can be an entirely new way of life.
Alternative therapies can also provide a measurable benefit. For example, some facilities provide their clients with lessons in yoga. According to a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders, yoga has “demonstrable antidepressant effects” in people who are in recovery from an alcohol abuse issue. By learning how to breathe and move through the postures of yoga, these people can reduce their feelings of stress and depression, all without relying on alcohol.
It can be difficult for outpatient alcohol programs to provide access to these kinds of treatments, as they may not have the facility space or the trained staff that can provide intensive lessons like this. It can also be difficult for outpatient programs to track whether or not clients attend yoga classes in the community or spend time hiking after class. Inpatient programs, on the other hand, may require people to take classes in these other arenas, and in time, a particular class may become a therapy clients look forward to more than any other. These sessions break up the time, and they’re often quite enjoyable.
Finding the Right Program
Some components of an inpatient alcohol rehab program might be covered by insurance. For example, specific types of therapy or some kinds of medication might easily be authorized by insurance agents, as long as clients provide the proper paperwork that demonstrates their need for care. Some insurance programs won’t cover any type of inpatient program, however, and others might require that people obtain authorization before they enroll. Program administrators can answer questions about insurance, and some might be willing to handle the authorization process for their clients, ensuring that all is well before treatment begins. In addition to issues of price, treatment programs can also vary by:
- Amenities offered
- People served
- Level of staff training
It’s a personal decision, and the person who needs care may have strong opinions about which program feels right. Listening to these opinions is vital, as people who feel emotionally connected to a facility are more likely to stay enrolled in care and receive a benefit from the care provided. Facilities are often willing to answer questions, provide pictures and reveal statistics that can help clients to make an informed choice.
At The Oaks at La Paloma, we’re more than happy to answer any questions you might have about our alcohol treatment program. Call our toll-free line to speak with a trained counselor and find out more about our Memphis treatment center.