rehabilitation for alcoholism

Alcohol use disorder is a difficult condition for people to comprehend. These folks may enjoy a couple of beers at a baseball game, some champagne at a wedding, or a cocktail at the local happy hour at the end of a work day. In their own experience with alcohol, they may have overdone it back in college or early adulthood and suffered enough hangovers to learn their limits, shaping their future drinking behaviors accordingly. To these occasional drinkers, it may be a mystery to them why some people drink insatiably or compulsively.

It is true that 16 million Americans struggle with an alcohol use disorder, or problem drinking, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The range of alcohol misuse within that diagnosis goes from mild to severe, depending on the consistency of the drinking behavior, how much alcohol is consumed, how long a history of heavy consumption, and whether withdrawal symptoms kick in when the person attempts to stop drinking.

Once the level of alcohol use is assessed and it is determined that an alcohol use disorder exists, the next important step is to seek professional help with this serious disease. Rehabilitation for alcoholism in California provides a range of services in various formats. Rehabs can be outpatient or residential, and can offer programs of varying lengths, from one month to a year in duration. Rehabs will usually provide detox services or sourcing, various therapies that treat the addictive behavior, and aftercare measures such as sober living and ongoing outpatient counseling following completion of a program.

About Alcohol Use Disorder

For a doctor to be able to evaluate whether an individual has an alcohol use disorder AUD), they will refer to a set of criteria provided by the DSM-5, from which a diagnosis can be determined. The list of questions addresses behaviors typical of an AUD, and when the individual answers in the affirmative to two or more of the eleven questions for behaviors over a twelve-month period, they are diagnosed with an AUD.

These questions include:

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?
  • More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  • Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
  • Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
  • Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  • More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
  • Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?

Depending on the number of questions answered and an oral interview, the physician or addiction intake clinician can stage the AUD as mild, moderate, or severe.

Medical Detox for Alcoholism

When an individual with a moderate or severe AUD seeks treatment for the addiction, they must first go through the detox and withdrawal phase, which is necessary if the person is to enter a program. By clearing the body of the ethanol and associated toxins, the client will be able to fully participate in the treatment program.

Alcohol detoxification can involve serious medical risks and should be undergone within a medical detox environment. In this way, the withdrawal symptoms can be carefully monitored and appropriate medical interventions are readily available to reduce discomforts or to treat any serious withdrawal symptoms. Detox lasts approximately one week.

Types of Rehabilitation for Alcoholism in California

When beginning the search for rehabilitation for alcoholism in California, it is helpful to know the different rehab options available. Generally, alcohol rehab can be provided in either an outpatient setting or a residential setting. The severity of the AUD can help to determine which setting is appropriate.

Outpatient Rehab

The outpatient rehab program allows flexible scheduling so a client can continue to engage at their career, attend school, or continue with child-rearing responsibilities during the treatment period. There are several levels of outpatient rehab, from minimal engagement, such as a handful of hours a week, to intensive involvement of up to 25-30 hours per week. Treatment includes:

  • Talk therapy
  • Small group counseling sessions
  • Classes that teach about addiction and relapse prevention
  • Medication monitoring, if applicable to the client
  • Participation in 12-step recovery group

Residential Rehab

The residential rehab entails living at the treatment center for an extended period of time, usually 30 to 90 days, although longer plans may be indicated by the severity of the AUD and if there is a co-occurring mental health disorder. These inpatient treatment programs are highly structured and offer a lengthy daily schedule of various therapies and activities, as well as 24 hour support and monitoring. Treatment includes:

  • Talk therapy
  • Small group counseling sessions
  • Classes that teach about addiction and relapse prevention
  • Medication monitoring, if applicable to the client
  • Participation in 12-step recovery group
  • Guest speakers to motivate and inspire clients
  • Adjunctive therapies, such as biofeedback yoga, mindfulness training, equine therapy, art and music therapy, recreational therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture

Phoenix Rising is a Leading Provider of Rehabilitation for Alcoholism in California

Phoenix Rising offers a unique and very effective approach to treating alcoholism, and serves Southern California. The program blends a) exploration of attachment disorders that set the individual up for seeking solace in alcohol, b) behavioral therapy that helps change maladaptive responses to emotional pain or stressors, and c) uses 12-step programming as the basis of the program. Our intensive outpatient program provides a well-rounded approach to addressing all facets of contributing factors, and offers sober living resources as an additional layer of support if desired. For more information about rehabilitation for alcoholism in California, please contact Phoenix Rising today at (949) 518-0345.