What is Rehab?
Rehab is the term used to refer to a specialised programme which helps people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol recover from their addiction. Rehab is short for rehabilitation and these programmes have been designed to work through a person’s particular issues surrounding their addiction, withdraw from the substances they are addicted to and provide them with new mechanisms and skills to cope without it.
Most rehabilitation programmes will go through four main stages
- During your initial assessment a professional will determine the type of treatment that will work best for you. They will take a full personal history to enable them to understand not only your current level of dependency but some of the reasons why you might have become addicted in the first place. People often use drugs or alcohol to escape from life circumstances that they don’t know how to deal with. Once this initial assessment has been done, they will be able to recommend a suitable plan of treatment which will be tailored to your particular circumstances.
- The second stage of the rehab process will be detox.This is when you have to withdraw from using the drugs or alcohol to which you have become addicted. During this stage you are likely to suffer from withdrawal symptoms and detox is best managed under medical supervision, as some of these symptoms can become life threatening.
- After you have gone through detox, the next stage in your rehabilitation will be counselling and psychotherapy. This can be both group and individual therapy to identify the particular issues and negative patterns of behaviour which surrounded your addiction. This will help you to address them and replace them with new strategies to create lasting change.
- Once you have completed your in-patient stay, a programme of ongoing support will be created for you. This will include joining a local support group as well as regular visits to the rehab centre to make sure you are still on track. Rehab does not finish once you leave the rehab centre. It is a lifelong process if you are going to avoid relapse.
How many people go to rehab each year?
Alcohol abuse is a huge problem in the UK with around 38% of men and 29% of women in the UK believed to be regularly drinking over the government agreed safe limits. The latest figures show that there were 288,843 adults (18 and over) in alcohol and drug treatment in 2015-6. Of these, 144,908 people were treated for alcohol dependency.
How long does rehab take?
How long rehab takes will depend on your level of dependency. In-patient rehab stays can start from just one week, but the rehab is not just about the stay in the centre. It is the whole process and is ongoing. Although you might be sober, you need to implement the skills you have learned for the rest of your life to ensure lasting success.
What happens in rehab?
The day to day structure of activities will vary from one rehab centre to another and this is something you can ask about when you are choosing a suitable centre. The rehabilitation process will generally follow quite a rigid timetable of activities to keep the patients occupied, which can help with breaking the addiction.
When you first arrive, you will be given a daily timetable which you will be expected to keep to. This will include group educational talks, some individual and group counselling sessions and sessions when family members are invited to attend to understand how they can help you. In addition you will be encouraged to undertake some daily exercise, eat healthy food and get involved in daily leisure activities.
Most rehab centres will also expect you to share a room, as this will ensure that you are not left to your own devices. You and your roommate can also offer each other emotional support through the process and people often find that lasting friendships are made in rehab as you go together on your journey to recovery.
How to choose the right rehab for you?
Once you have come to the decision that you need to go in to rehab, it can seem confusing as there are so many choices to make. How do you know which is going to be the best option for you?
There are a number of things that you should take in to consideration when choosing a rehab centre.
- Professional standards: does the centre have the necessary accreditations and suitably qualified specialist staff? What is the ratio of staff to patients? All treatment centres in the UK should be fully registered and inspected by the Quality Care Commission or Health Improvement Scotland.
- Type of treatment they offer: there are many different types of treatment available and it will be important to find one that sits well with you from a psychological point of view. The treatment you sign up for has to feel right and you have to believe that it could work for you. Make sure you understand exactly what the programme involves.
- Testimonials and statistics: does the centre provide any testimonials from previous patients who you can actually talk to? Are there any statistics on their success rate?
- What is the after-care support like?
Make sure that once you have been discharged, you will not be left to manage alone. If they do not have the support in place, do they refer you to other organisations?
What happens after rehab?
The whole purpose of the rehab programme is to prepare you for move back home and to provide you with the necessary coping skills to adapt to your new way of life without alcohol. This can be a challenging time because whilst in the rehab centre you have not been able to access alcohol and you have been kept busy. You have also been away from the stresses of relationships, work and other life challenges which may have led you to drink in the first place.
Once you return home you will have access to alcohol and you will have less support around you, so it will be essential that you adhere to the plan that will have been developed for you by your counsellors, in order to avoid relapse. This will include trying to change certain patterns of behaviour which led you to addiction in the first place.
If you come out of rehab and feel trepidation about how you are going to cope, this is probably a good thing, because it means that you understand your journey is not over. People who come out of rehab feeling as though they have conquered their addiction are more likely to relapse because they will just fall back in to their old ways. If you know you need to continually work towards maintaining your sobriety, you are more likely to achieve lasting success.
The most important factor in your likely success will be having the right support around you, to help you through the difficult times. Having friends and family, support groups and counsellors around you who you can call on when you are struggling will help you to avoid falling back in to the same routines. Setting up a strong support network will mean that you do not have to rely solely on yourself, but can draw from several different sources of support.
If you do have slip ups, the best thing you can do is examine the reasons and learn from it. Take it as a positive and move forward, trying to avoid the same mistakes again.
As well as creating a support network around you The Online Rehab provides a unique online Recovery Support Programme which can be used to support you once your recovery is well underway and can be a useful tool to help you adapt to being at home again.
For free independent and confidential advice on choosing the best solution for your alcohol addiction call us today on 0330 088 9518.