Inpatient Alcohol Rehab
Nearly 500,000 Americans enter rehab for alcohol addiction every year, more than any other drug, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
If you're thinking about inpatient alcohol rehab for yourself or a loved one, we'll show you the kinds of treatment options you can expect.
The reason different options even exist is because there is no one treatment that works for everyone.
Inpatient vs. Other Forms of Treatment
Inpatient alcohol rehab patients are cared for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a period of usually 28 days up to six months or even a year. Patients are more or less confined to the treatment facility.
Outpatient treatment patients attend a facility daily and then go home to sleep. Depending on the intensity of the program, they can usually continue to work. These programs are designed for those with less severe alcoholism.
Hospitalization programs are a combination of the two. The addict visits a hospital for treatment for the entire day and then goes home at night.
Types of Treatment
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is psychotherapy that teaches patients by role-play to recognize and cope with cravings and situations where they may relapse. In CBT, you'll develop skills to avoid drinking "triggers" and become aware of ways your thoughts can influence your behavior.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
This is a four-session patient-centered counseling method used to motivate ambivalent addicts to change their behavior. A counselor interviews a patient about their motivations for drinking, often using specific scenarios. The goal for the counselor is to show how the patient's thinking about alcohol will not lead to the desired result of sobriety.
Often, patients will need pharmaceuticals to help curb their addiction. These drugs can be used in treatment or once treatment is completed. Here are some of the more effective drugs used:
Disulfiram goes by the brand name Antabuse. This drug makes the patient nauseous and may induce vomiting when combined with alcohol. Other symptoms may include chest pain, weakness, blurred vision, mental confusion, sweating, choking, breathing difficulty, and anxiety.
Naltrexone goes by the brand names ReVia and Depade. This popular drug decreases alcohol use by reducing the pleasurable effects of alcohol. It's also not addictive, produces no high, nor does it come with withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
One study found that taking "naltrexone two hours before an anticipated high-risk situation reduces alcohol consumption in early problem drinkers, particularly women."
Acamprosate goes by the brand name Campral. It reduces you cravings for alcohol. One study found that Acamprosate may nearly "double the abstinence rate among recovering alcoholics."
Anti-Depressants such Zoloft and Paxil, and anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax can help with the mental stress of quitting and may be required after one leaves treatment.
Support groups like AA follow 12-step models that alcoholics attempt to work through during their recovery. Addicts share their experiences, learn from one another and support each other.
These free programs become important post-rehab because attendance takes commitment and discipline. Other groups include Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) and Women for Sobriety (WFS) and the SMART Recovery group that emphasizes a cognitive behavioral approach.
The goal of this treatment is to heal the whole person--body, mind, and spirit—using a combination of traditional and non-traditional methods.
Some non-traditional treatment may include spiritual guidance (Western and Eastern), nutrition, massage, biofeedback, acupuncture, and self-hypnosis. Physical exercise like Pilates, yoga, tai chi, and walking is often incorporated.
Electro-acupuncture is acupuncture combined with electrical stimulation. This possible treatment option is based on counteracting addiction by affecting chemicals in the brain.
Some alcoholics have insulin resistance syndrome, which is disorder where the body's trouble processing sugars leads to an unsafe supply in the blood. Nutritional therapy involves placing the patient on a hypoglycemic diet.
Another important consideration in the rehab process is a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis is having a mental disorder in addition to the alcohol addiction. A serious mental illness occurs in about 37% of alcoholics according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Having two illnesses must be treated simultaneously because one affects the other and vice versa.
Inpatient alcohol rehab is not cheap. For top-notch treatment, expect to pay about $1,000 a day. Average facility costs will run between $8,000 and $12,000 for a 30-day program.
Private insurance may pay a portion of the treatment, but generally, a patient is on their own for payment. Other sources of payment include Medicaid, Medicare, and state-funded programs for substance abuse treatment. Some programs offer treatment based on a sliding payment scale that is based on income.
Inpatient alcohol rehab should be considered for serious alcoholics and for those that have tried unsuccessfully to quit on their own or with outpatient treatment. For information on selecting a rehab center, go here.