Why Do People Need To Go To Alcohol Rehab?

All other options will have failed leaving an alcohol addiction clinic as the only option

People who find themselves suffering from the illness of alcohol addiction usually find that the best answer to their problem is to be admitted to alcohol rehab. Many will resist this, trying every other possible option available, until finally having to admit defeat: they will cut down / stop on their own; go to the GP (where rarely is the full truth about alcohol consumption revealed); go to AA; go to the local drug and alcohol services, and so it goes on – but still the drinking continues. If they do manage to stop, they do not stay stopped.

drunk man

Attending hospital or your GP rarely helps; alcohol rehab does

If you or the person you are concerned about present yourself at a hospital A and E or call an ambulance because you are worried about the prospect of an alcohol withdrawal seizure or feel that they are the only people to help with an alcohol addiction problem then you will be disappointed. As a rule, a hospital will not now offer an alcohol detox and paramedics, having been called out, will often not take anyone to hospital who is suffering from the effects of alcohol consumption.

Times have changed and even your own GP will not give a prescription for a home detox as they are unable to prescribe sufficient medication to fully stop alcohol withdrawal symptoms and people are very likely to drink alcohol whilst taking the detox medication. 

Alcoholism is an increasing problem, even among young people

There used to be a stigma attached to being an alcoholic, but now there is more pressure to seek help and if necessary to go into residential alcohol treatment to get well. This awareness around alcohol and alcoholism has been brought about by the significant number of well-known people that have been admitted for alcohol addiction treatment and also due to an increasing awareness that it can be a problem even for younger people.

Certainly, at The Haynes Clinic we are seeing more young people accessing residential alcohol treatment.  This has been brought about in part by the Covid pandemic where people have been drinking more alcohol at home. Plus, for a long time the cost of drinking in a pub or club has pushed people to drinking alcohol before they even go out, as it is cheaper, and they get to where they intend partying with an alcohol buzz already present.  For anyone with a predisposition towards a dependency on alcohol, this form of drinking will shorten the timeline of them needing to seek help.

Local free alcohol services are short of funding

People ask if there is free treatment and there certainly is.  Every county throughout the UK has a Drug and Alcohol Team. Their number can be accessed from the internet, or your GP surgery will give you their telephone number.  Sadly, like most medical services they are very short of funding. They will probably offer you support with individual counselling or attendance at one of their alcohol support groups but usually this does not help with stopping drinking – and it is only stopping that will really solve the problem.  

Although it varies from county to county, it could take months before you are offered an alcohol detox in a residential unit.  Also, they will usually not pay for you to remain in rehab to get therapy and certainly not be in treatment for the recommended 28 days, but you will leave after a detox and then be expected to just attend AA support groups or their own local alcohol support services.  One of the key elements of being a resident in an alcohol rehab is the intensive daily structured programme of therapy and gaining an understanding of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous over the recommended treatment period of 28 days.

Medical help is usually needed to stop drinking

One of the most dangerous things a daily drinker can do is to try and cut dramatically back or simply just suddenly stop drinking alcohol. The body is used to having a drug – alcohol – every day. When it suddenly stops getting that drug, it can go into a form of shock and the person can experience severe degrees of withdrawal and even medically dangerous alcohol withdrawal fits or seizures. 

By seeking help at an alcohol rehab, you will be seen by a doctor attached to the clinic and prescribed detox medication that will enable stopping drinking to be safe and with little or no alcohol withdrawal effects. A residential alcohol detox takes seven – ten days, and the prescribed medication is taken 4 times a day reducing the amount of medication each day.  This alcohol detox will be suitable no matter how much alcohol you are consuming on a daily basis. 

Effective  alcohol treatment is not just about stopping drinking

At The Haynes Clinic we see people whose drinking has started to cause problems throughout their main life areas.  Someone with a problem does not typically start to have a drink first thing in the morning and the alcoholic is not stereotypically the park bench drunk.  We see people from all walks of life, of varying ages and people with and people without jobs.  The key is that whichever way they are drinking and however much they are drinking – whether spirits, wine or beer – it is a problem that they need help with. No amount of willpower will make any difference to trying to stop drinking without first having an alcohol detox and secondly – and equally important, understanding why they drink as they do. Only then can they get an acceptance and understanding of why stopping has to be permanent and not just for a period of time.

Admission to an alcohol rehab clinic can be immediate

Therefore, due to legislation and a change in medical attitude, the only way that anyone can get an alcohol detox (especially if needed urgently) is by accessing an alcohol rehab clinic. Generally speaking, there is usually the option to be admitted to your clinic of choice within a few days.  This can also be critical as when someone with an alcohol addiction decides they need help there is normally a small window of opportunity before they change their mind.

Alcohol rehab is effective

After being admitted to an alcohol rehab addiction clinic, you suddenly find that your problems are not unique to yourself and that similar situations have also happened to others who are in treatment with you.  This helps enormously in forming a bond with your group and with the clinic.  This feeling of suddenly being understood by others helps with the ongoing alcohol recovery and the 12 Step treatment process.

No two clinics are the same, the only similarity being that for the first 7 – 10 days they should be able to offer an alcohol detox in a safe environment that is overseen by qualified staff.  However, it is not just about safely removing alcohol from our system that is important.

People with alcohol addiction problems need to be in a safe environment and to be breaking that addictive cycle for as long as possible.  The recommended alcohol residential treatment period in an alcohol rehab is 28 days but due to financial constraints or possibly not being able to get time off work then 14 days could be considered an option.  The problem with the 14-day option is that there is a more likelihood of a relapse and not enough of a gap from our old behaviour, nor enough time to deal with why we drink and why it has to stop in its entirety.

Group therapy works best

Group therapy plays an extremely important part in the alcohol treatment programme, along with gaining an understanding of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which then makes sense when we attend AA support groups. It is not sufficient to just have an alcohol detox and following being admitted therapy should start as soon as possible.  A good alcohol rehab clinic will have a strong structured daily therapy programme which will also incorporate support for family members and close friends who have been affected by our addictive behaviour and thinking.