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Step 3 - Rehabilitation

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

For those new to the process of addiction treatment and recovery, it is important to realise that detox and rehabilitation are not the same thing. Some people will require a programme of rehabilitation but others will find that it is necessary to complete detoxification before entering rehab.

Detox is the process of eliminating a chemical substance such as alcohol from the body. It is typically recommended for those with the most severe forms of addiction and for those who have developed a physical dependence on alcohol.

Rehabilitation combines a series of treatments and techniques to help patients learn to identify and overcome their addictive behaviours. Rehabilitation generally occurs after a person has completed a programme of detox and has stopped drinking alcohol.

Why Do You Need Rehabilitation?

You may think that once you have completed a programme of detox that you are free from your addiction and do not need any more help. While it is true that for some people detox is enough, the majority of those with alcoholism will find rehabilitation is necessary.

It is rare for someone with alcoholism to be able to stay sober without undergoing rehabilitation. Rehab is designed to treat the psychological aspect of alcoholism. It will help patients identify what caused their addiction and what triggers their addictive behaviour. Patients will also learn the skills required to help them cope with sober living. The main aims of rehabilitation are as follows:

  • To identify and address the cause of addiction, which could include depression, unresolved trauma or anxiety
  • To show patients how they can live healthier and happier, sober lives
  • To teach the patient how to adopt a holistic approach to life
  • To teach the patients the skills required to prevent relapse
  • To change maladaptive behaviour and challenge unreasonable thought processes
  • To improve the patients’ self-esteem
  • To help the patient to deal with any unresolved trauma so that he or she can move on.
  • To teach the patient how to handle stressful life situations without returning to alcohol
  • To teach the patient how to make better life decisions
  • To teach the patient how to rebuild his or her life and repair damaged relationships
  • To encourage the patient to take responsibility for his or her actions and to make amends
  • To encourage the individual to learn how to take care of him or herself.

Rehabilitation treatment differs, depending on the individual. Alcohol Rescue works with both private and public organisations that adopt a patient-centred approach. As every patient is different, every treatment of care will also be different, being tailored to the requirements of the specific patient. Most clinics believe that the patient should take responsibility for his or her recovery and will encourage them to be involved in creating the plan of care. Plans are regularly reviewed to ensure they are working effectively for the patient and are helping to heal the mind, body and spirit as a whole.

How Long Will You be in Rehab?

Rehabilitation clinics offer various programmes, with some being a minimum of four weeks and others requiring patients to attend for a minimum of twelve weeks. However, in most cases, rehab stays will be based around the needs of the individual in question. Every patient will have different requirements and some will respond to treatment quicker than others.

Most experts would agree, however, that it is not beneficial for patients to remain at a residential clinic for too long as there is the risk of becoming institutionalised. Patients need to learn how to adapt to everyday life after rehabilitation and should be encouraged to do so at an appropriate time. The good news is that many clinics will offer secondary and tertiary care programmes for those who are struggling after their primary care programme has finished. For most people, a six-to-eight-week programme offers the best chance for long-term success.

Who Will Take Care of Your Rehabilitation?

When you enter a residential clinic for a programme of rehabilitation, the staff at the clinic will be in charge of your recovery. The staff at each clinic will vary but will usually include professionals that include counsellors, therapists, doctors, clinical directors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nutritionists, and support staff. All staff will be highly skilled and fully qualified to ensure that patients are given the highest level of care possible.

The staff employed at each clinic will depend on the type of treatments on offer at that particular facility. Not all clinics will provide the same holistic or complementary therapies, for example. Nonetheless, you can expect to be treated by compassionate and professional staff at all times; staff who will have your wellbeing at heart. One of the biggest benefits of rehabilitation at a residential clinic is the fact that you will have access to a multi-disciplinary team in one place, which is something that is just not available from the NHS or most local charities.

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