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Low-Cost Alcohol Rehab Clinics – Do They Work?

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

An adult male walks into his GP's office and confesses he might have a drinking problem. The doctor examines him only to determine that he is in the early stages of alcohol dependence. What happens next? That depends on the doctor's opinion of what is best for the individual. The man might be referred to an NHS-based outpatient alcohol treatment programme or advised to seek residential treatment at an affordable private clinic.

Low-cost alcohol rehab clinics exist in moderate volume across the UK. The question many people ask is whether or not the treatments provided by these clinics really work. We can say from both our experience and the statistical data that they do.

For example, an NHS report analysing data from 2013-2014 reveals that 114,920 adults in the UK were in contact with providers offering structured alcohol treatment programmes. The government defines a structured treatment programme as one with clearly defined goals, a systematic treatment plan, and a standard of success or failure.

The report went on to say that of the 74,291 clients who exited structured treatment programmes in 2013-2014, 59% finished treatment no longer dependent on alcohol. Some 8% were transferred to other facilities for additional treatment within their local communities while 1% were transferred to custodial treatment programmes.

While all of us in the alcohol recovery community would prefer to see a 100% success rate, 59% is still impressive. Almost two out of every three adults who enter a structured alcohol recovery programme will succeed in overcoming dependence as a result. Those who follow up treatment with structured aftercare are significantly less likely to relapse in the first year. Furthermore, those who make it beyond one year are much less likely to ever return to drinking.

Reasons Treatment Works

Statistics clearly show that structured treatment at alcohol rehab clinics does work. But why? What is it about rehab that allows it to succeed where detox alone tends to fail? What does rehab provide that mere support group participation or counselling seems to lack?

The strength of structured alcohol rehab is that it combines all of the most essential elements of detox, group support, and counselling into a comprehensive package that deals with alcoholism and alcohol abuse holistically. In other words, the whole person is treated with the knowledge that alcohol dependence has physical, psychological, and spiritual components.

Still not convinced? Consider these five reasons structured rehab treatment works:

1. Physical Dependence Is Overcome

Those who run private alcohol rehab clinics fully understand that the first and most important step in successful recovery is to completely overcome physical dependence. Therefore, private clinics prefer not to extend detox over extended periods of time. They prefer a quick and clean break so that the rest of rehab can commence as quickly as possible.

For the record, detox at a private clinic is medically monitored and supervised at all times. The trained doctors and nurses who handle it are experts in their fields.

2. Addictive Triggers Are Identified

Alcoholics undergoing a structured rehab treatment programme spend quite a bit of time learning the mechanics of how addiction works. They learn about addictive triggers and how those triggers may lead them to behave in ways that cause excessive drinking. The point of this kind of treatment is to understand the underlying causes of addiction on a case-by-case basis so that those in recovery can be equipped to avoid those causes.

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3. Individual Ownership Is Encouraged

The alcohol recovery community likes to say that abstinence is the only real cure for addiction. In light of that, the recovering alcoholic is the only one who can make the choice to never drink again. For that to happen, the individual must take ownership of his or her past actions, his/her present condition, and his/her future direction. Comprehensive alcohol rehab encourages that form of ownership through one-on-one and group counselling.

4. Coping Skills Are Developed

Successfully completing an alcohol rehab programme does not change the fact that the individual in recovery will be faced with opportunities to drink upon his or her return to the real world. Therefore, preventing future relapse involves teaching those in recovery proven coping skills that will enable them to stay away from alcohol. Those skills are taught and developed by alcohol rehab clinics as part of residential treatment.

5. Group Accountability Is Maintained

One of the biggest struggles the alcoholic faces outside of treatment is a lack of accountability. Family members and friends may try to hold him or her accountable, but doing so is nearly impossible outside of the treatment paradigm. Things are different in the midst of treatment. By utilising group support strategies, accountability is maintained between all of the clients going through treatment together. That accountability continues in aftercare through participation in an alcohol recovery support group.

Over the years, we have learned how important accountability is in preventing relapse. It is one of the reasons accountability is so valuable to private alcohol rehab clinics.

Costs Not Always Indicative of Results

This guide was introduced with the question of whether or not the treatments offered at low-cost rehab clinics actually work. Statistics have shown that they do, but let us go one step further by stating that cost is not necessarily indicative of results. In other words, there are varying degrees of success or failure across the entire scope of low-cost clinics. The same is true for high-end and luxury clinics. Some of them enjoy high success rates while others are more prone to failure. The thing to understand is that success and failure have less to do with cost and more to do with the chosen treatment approach.

Clinics that tend to focus only on one aspect of alcohol addiction are more likely to fail. For example, a clinic that stresses detox but gives very little attention to psychotherapeutic treatment is only addressing one aspect of addiction: the physical. Failing to address the psychological and spiritual reduces the likelihood of permanent success.

Remember that the statistics we cited from the NHS specifically relate to adults seeking treatment through structured alcohol rehab programmes. A structured programme with a defined recovery plan does not stop at detox alone. Nor does it ignore detox in favour of intense group support. It combines all three elements – physical, psychological, and spiritual – for a comprehensive and holistic approach to healing. This method can be applied effectively in a way that suits budgets of every size.

Now It's Your Choice

You now have the information you need to understand that alcohol rehab clinics provide structured treatments that do work. What you do with this information is entirely up to you. If you are ready to seek help for your alcohol problem, you need only get in touch with us for immediate help. We will walk you through a comprehensive assessment that will determine the severity of the problem, and then provide you with treatment options in your local area. You will ultimately have the choice of if, when, and where you will undergo treatment.

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