The Lowdown: What Happens at an Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centre?
The destructive cycle of addiction is notoriously hard to break but it is possible. Checking in to an alcohol and drug rehab centre is a powerful first step to overcoming addiction and embarking on a new, healthy lifestyle. Maybe you are feeling nervous, ashamed, or skeptical will rehab really help you and your particular situation?
The truth is, addiction rehab centre can make a huge difference. Licensed, professional, experienced staff at state-of-the-art rehabs will understand your trepidations and do everything they can to ensure your successful recovery.
During your rehabilitation programme, you will embark on an intense, personalised journey of recovery. Your treatment could include detox, medication, counselling, therapy, sober living, and relapse prevention. Let’s dig a little deeper into these procedures, find out what really goes on in an alcohol and drug rehab centre, and learn how checking in could help you kick your addiction for good.
What does an alcohol and drug rehab centre treat?
Most rehab centres offer treatment programmes to treat:
- drug addiction
- alcohol addiction
- behavioural addiction
Treatment programmes ranges from one to three month, but extended care options are frequently available.
Even though many people battling addictions also have a psychological disorder like depression, anxiety, or PTSD, few alcohol and drug rehab centres are equipped to treat co-occurring disorders. A co-occurring disorder is when someone has an addiction and at least one psychological disorder at the same time. It is vital that people with co-occurring disorders receive care from a psychologist, psychiatrist, and/or trauma specialist alongside addiction treatment for successful recovery.
Even fewer rehab centres offer onsite alcohol and drug detox programmes. Supervised medical withdrawal requires a proper clinic and psychiatric doctors, and many rehabs lack these vital resources. Withdrawing in hospital then transferring to rehab does not provide continuity of care or a smooth transition into rehabilitation it is stressful and uncomfortable.
Alcohol and drug detoxes
Detox can be difficult and potentially lethal when attempted alone. Uncontrolled withdrawal can have swift and dramatic medical consequences. Some alcohol and drug rehab centres have onsite detox clinics, specialists, and partnerships with local hospitals to help you safely through the painful withdrawal process. Unsurprisingly, medically-supervised detoxes are significantly more successful than DIY attempts.
Medical detoxes in an alcohol and drug rehab centre are a controlled withdrawal, carefully designed to make your experience as smooth and safe as possible. You are cocooned in a safe environment, far away from stress and negative influences, while professionals administer round-the-clock medical and psychological assistance. This gives your body and brain time to eliminate detrimental substances safely.
Medication is sometimes used to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. It mimics the effects of alcohol or drugs and allows the body and brain to adapt to gradually decreasing doses. Cravings are more manageable and you feel calm and soothed. Withdrawal medications include naltrexone, disulfiram, methadone, and buprenorphine.
Alcohol addiction is a chronic illness affecting millions of people worldwide and can contribute to multiple diseases and harmful behaviours. Detox is not always required before starting a treatment programme, but is often recommended for heavy or long-term users requiring supervised detoxification before beginning their path to recovery.
Mild and moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from the shakes, insomnia, and anxiety to seizures, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. Delirium tremens (DTs) can occur in severe cases, causing serious tremors, delirium, and death. Checking in to an alcohol detox centre for five to seven days is the safest, easiest way to get through it.
Depending on your age, substance abuse history, and other medical issues, drug detox is may be a necessary first step of your treatment programme. A specialist will assess your unique case to decide what is best for you. Detox is frequently recommended for users with physical dependence.
You become physically dependent on a drug when your central nervous systems are tolerant to it. The more you use, the longer you have been using, and the younger you were when you first started, the greater your likelihood of physical dependence. The more the physically dependent you are, the more severe your withdrawal symptoms are likely to be.
While specific withdrawal symptoms depend on the drug, most detoxes involve discomfort, mood swings, anxiety, and intense cravings. It is particularly important to seek professional help before detoxing from benzodiazepines or multiple substances, as uncontrolled withdrawal can result in life-threatening seizures.
Withdrawal is not something to be taken lightly. Drug detox length varies widely and can only be assessed accurately by a specialist.
Co-treating addiction and mental health disorders
A co-occurring disorder is when addiction is present at the same time as at least one mental illness. It can increase your risk of treatment-noncompliance, demotivation, early discontinuation of your treatment programme, and relapse.
Long-term substance abuse can chemically alter the body’s physiology and cause mental illness. For example, cocaine addiction frequently leads to anxiety and paranoia, and heroin abuse can disrupt the brain’s pleasure centres and cause depression.
Sometimes, a person with a pre-existing mental disorder may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. PTSD and prescription painkiller abuse go hand-in-hand because long-term reliance on the soothing effects can quickly turn into an addiction.
Most alcohol and drug rehab centres will conduct a mental health evaluation to determine if you have a co-occurring disorder. Your counsellor will develop an integrated dual diagnosis treatment plan and tailor your rehabilitation programme, counselling sessions, and outcome goals to suit your needs.
Medication is sometimes combined with other therapies to treat co-occurring disorders. Examples include:
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Mood stabilizing drugs
- Atypical antipsychotic medication
Private and group counselling
You can start your treatment programme as soon as you finish detoxing – if detox was necessary in the first place. Private counselling plays a significant role in recovery at an alcohol and drug rehab centre. It is non-judgemental and helps you dig deep, dissect the reasons behind your behaviours, instil a sense of optimism and hope, achieve sobriety, and learn techniques to cope with temptations, triggers, and stressful situations after you return home.
Substance abuse and recovery can be excruciating alone. Research shows that group counselling is equally as effective as individual counselling. Indeed, for many people, it’s one of the most useful aspects of their treatment, tapping into our natural desire to congregate, share common experiences, and bond with those around us.
Group therapy sessions are an opportunity for self-expression, positive peer reinforcement, and healthy new relationships. They offer insights, ideas, accountability, and motivation that may not have been possible in private sessions alone.
Individual and group counselling used together offers a well-rounded therapeutic tool for treating addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.
What types of therapy are offered?
Let’s look at a few of the many different kinds of therapy offered by an alcohol and drug rehab centre.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
CBT and MBCT are talking therapies. CBT and MBCT counselling help addicts realise connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. These therapies are used in the majority of rehab centres because they are highly effective at aiding recovery and preventing relapse. With CBT and MBCT, addicts can finally understand the reasons behind their substance abuse making it much easier to overcome addiction.
With guidance from a trained counsellor, you will hone in on the negative thoughts and behaviours associated with your craving triggers such as pressure at work, time with particular friends, or simply feeling tired, hungry, or lonely.
You will be able to recognise environments and circumstances that lead to substance abuse, learn how to avoid and remove yourself from triggers, and use specific techniques to cope without turning to drugs or alcohol.
After identifying negative situations and behaviours, your therapist will help you list objective evidence to support or disprove your negative thoughts. Then, you will develop new responses to those triggers.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Stress increases the likeliness of substance abuse. MBSR soothes stress with meditation, body awareness, and yoga. It also helps you untangle the unconscious interactions between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Ultimately, MBSR drives a conscious wedge between cravings and actual drug or alcohol use.
The 12 step of AA
The 12 Step Philosophy was introduced in the 1930as and is still widely used today. Following the twelve steps means admitting you have a problem beyond your control, turning to God as you understand him, conducting a moral inventory of self and admitting to any wrongs, asking God for assistance and allowing his help, making amends with people you have wronged, praying, meditation, and finally, awakening spiritually. Research suggests that 12 Step Philosophy is especially effective for patients with a strong support network and this includes local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings back home.
When your family or partner attend therapy they can learn more about their role in your life, how to help you gain awareness of your behaviours, and devise ways to bolster the entire family unit. They can improve their own mental wellbeing, open up new lines of communication, and understand and avoid enabling behaviours. They can even become part of your relapse prevention plan and help halt the spread of substance abuse in your family.
Addiction can impact your family and friends. In many cases, dysfunctional relationships can contribute to and perpetuate addiction. It is unsurprising that addiction is often referred to as a family disease. Family Therapy considers a person’s drug problems in light of their family interactions. It explores dynamics that may affect behaviours and contribute to drug or alcohol abuse.
Relapse Prevention: avoid addiction rehab
Relapse Prevention is something all good alcohol and drug rehab centres incorporate into their treatment programmes. It redefines recovery into something transitional and positive, and provides individuals with the skills necessary to maintain new, healthy long-term behaviours.
Relapse is a legitimate concern for anyone who checks in to rehab. Choosing alternative ways to handle stress is challenging when you used to rely on substances. There are ways to reduce the risk of falling victim to drug or alcohol abuse again, though.
During your therapy sessions, you and your counsellor will identify potential relapse triggers and high-risk situations. Then, you will be equipped with a range of coping mechanisms and exit strategies, develop your self-confidence, and learn to handle any falls from grace as a learning experience instead of failure.
Additionally, you will learn how to assess a situation, identify negative thoughts and behaviours, and confront those thoughts and behaviours with objective logic. This kind of reasoning can be a powerful tool when battling temptation to indulge in drugs or alcohol.
Sober Living Houses: life after rehab
Sober Houses are a key step after successful completion of a treatment programme. They are a safe bridge between structured life in rehab and the real world. You are free to make your own decisions, use the techniques you learned during your treatment programme, and gradually shift into normal life in a safe, supportive environment.
Clients in Sober Houses live together, support each other, and attend private and group therapy sessions. Local support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be especially beneficial to Sober House residents.
Outpatient Rehab: a good option for you?
As an outpatient, you will live at home, continue attending to your various responsibilities, and visit the rehab clinic for counselling sessions, medication management, and relapse prevention therapy. Outpatient treatment usually costs less than inpatient treatment because you don’t have to pay for accommodation.
Unfortunately, outpatients are still surrounded by the same old triggers, affected by the same stressful situations, and around the same people that influence negative behaviours. Researchers in Psychiatric Quarterly found that outpatients were four times more likely to fail their treatment programmes compared to inpatients. Outpatient treatment requires a commute and weekly commitment of up to 20 hours for two to four months, whereas inpatient treatment is usually one month.
Outpatient is an option worth considering for motivated, high-functioning addicts who want to save money, take more control over their recovery, and can dedicate up to four months to their treatment.
Inpatient rehab gives you time and space to heal
Inpatient treatment is generally more successful than outpatient treatment. At an inpatient rehab, you are far removed from triggers, temptations, and negative influences of normal life. There is nothing as valuable for an addict as professionally monitored time and space to focus solely on yourself and your journey to sobriety.
Inpatient treatment offers round-the-clock care that focuses on reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms, supporting you with therapy, treating co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety, and equipping you with tools to prevent relapse.
Effective inpatient treatment is always tailored to a person’s individual needs. Residential programmes offer individualised care and attention for the entire duration of their visit. Staff are professional, experienced, and dedicated to ensuring a secure, supportive, and judgement-free environment.
As a resident, you will also be spending time with other recovering addicts. You will form meaningful connections in similar situations, replacing the loneliness common to substance abuse with transformative friendship and community.
Choose the right rehab
People who successfully complete alcohol or drug addiction treatment programmes lead better, more productive lives. They experience social and personal improvements and are less likely to engage in criminal activity. But the key word here is successful. Ineffective programmes will not help you, so it’s important to choose an effective alcohol and drug rehab centre you can trust.
The Dawn Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centre in Thailand
At The Dawn, we care for you throughout your recovery with our highly effective individualised treatment programmes. You will feel safe, respected, and valued.
We are Asia’s leading alcohol and drug rehab centre, offering effective and safe medical detox and comprehensive addiction treatment in the heart of tropical Northern Thailand.
Our 30-day programmes are tailored to suit your needs. We use the most up-to-date therapies and technologies to treat addiction and co-occurring disorders like depression and trauma. We employ intensive therapies including CBT, MBCT, and MBSR with group counselling and secular 12-Step support groups to aid your recovery.
We combine Eastern and Western methodology in our bespoke Twin Pillars approach. You leave equipped with all the tools you need to lead a happy, healthy life after addiction. Your recovery will be aided by resort-like private accommodation, a wholesome diet, and weekly excursions to experience the cultural beauty of Chiang Mai.
We understand that the possibility of relapse can be stressful, so we do our bit to help you worry a little less. Our fully-licensed team of UK and USA-trained professionals are dedicated to helping you achieve successful recovery. We offer a unique Relapse Assurance Guarantee. If you relapse after completing an alcohol or drug detox and treatment programme, you can return for another 30 days absolutely free of charge.