There are over 586,000 dependent drinkers in the UK, and over 82% are currently not seeking treatment. Certainly, drinking is not a wholesome coping mechanism. But not just that; it’s also very harmful to your health.
It can be difficult to deal with the hardships of life, which makes alcohol seem appealing. But the fact is, it only provides temporary respite, and in the end, you’re still left dealing with the repercussions of everything.
If you’re ready to stop drinking and are interested in alcohol rehab centres in the UK, then keep reading. We’ll tell you how a rehab clinic can help you detox and recover from your addiction.
Why You Need to Go to Alcohol Rehab Centres
When giving up alcohol, it can be an extremely tough road to go on. Not only do you likely have a psychological dependence on it, but probably also a physical one.
For people who have serious alcohol dependence, you can actually experience seizures and other serious side effects if you quit cold turkey on your own. Even if you don’t have such a serious dependency, the withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant enough that it drives you back to drink again.
This is why it’s important to seek the help of professionals in a detox clinic.
Around 6 to 8 hours after your last drink, you’ll usually start feeling the withdrawal effects. The severity and length will depend on how dependent you were on drinking. For some, these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can last up to 48 hours.
As we mentioned above, it may be dangerous to withdraw on your own, especially if you try and do it cold turkey. Not only that, but it can be very painful and even scary.
When you seek out an alcohol clinic, the staff can help ensure that you have a safer and more comfortable time withdrawing from the effects of alcohol.
What Happens in Alcohol Detox?
When you first arrive at your choice of an alcohol rehab clinic, they’ll first do a thorough exam, complete with bloodwork. The medical professionals will also figure out what your mental and physical health is like.
Then, the detox phase begins. Again, how long this lasts will depend on how addicted you were to alcohol.
Around 6 to 12 hours after your last drink, you’ll experience slight symptoms, such as anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. Then, 12 to 24 hours after, you may be disorientated and get seizures or hand tremors. Then, 48 hours after, some people may experience hallucinations, high blood pressure, insomnia, and delirium tremens.
If you’re a long-term alcoholic, you might also experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) after your body detoxes from alcohol. Symptoms can include fatigue, irritability, depression, lack of focus, mood swings, and lack of libido.
At alcohol treatment centres, they’ll have medical professionals available who can prescribe medications that’ll help with withdrawal. These can include benzodiazepines and anti-seizure medications. Not only will these make you feel more comfortable, but they can also prevent dangerous seizures from occurring.
During detox, you’ll also be put on a healthier diet to promote healing and better recovery. For instance, you’ll drink more water and soups and eat more foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
What Happens in an Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre?
Once you’ve made it through the challenging part of detox, your body is ready to heal and become sober, as is your mind; after detox comes alcohol addiction treatment.
There are two ways you can receive this treatment: in an inpatient setting or outpatient. Read on to find out what happens during treatment and what the difference is between the two.
Inpatient treatment means you live at the facility while you receive alcohol addiction help. This is the most effective way to recover, as you’re focusing all your energy and time on sobriety. Plus, you have access to all the facility’s services and personnel at all times.
During this time, you’ll be learning about what triggers you to drink. This may bring up some painful and uncomfortable subjects. Still, without getting to the root of your issues, likely, you’ll keep using alcohol as an escape from these unbearable memories.
You’ll work with counsellors and therapists to identify not only these triggers but also learn ways to handle them in healthy and wholesome ways. An effective method of counselling is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which breaks negative thought cycles and actions.
To help you find healthy outlets, alcohol abuse treatment facilities offer alternative treatments, such as arts and crafts, massage, meditation, and yoga. These, combined with therapy, are all life skills you can take and make use of in the future when you have to deal with stressors again after leaving the facility.
The length of time you spend in alcohol rehab will depend on several factors. For example, how much time and money you can spend since you have to be away from your everyday life, such as family, school, or job obligations.
It’ll also depend on how severe your dependence is. The staff will have discussed this with you at the initial assessment. In most cases, these programmes last anywhere between 4 to 12 weeks long.
With outpatient treatment, you’ll pretty much receive all the care as you would in inpatient treatment. However, you won’t live at the rehabilitation centre. Instead, you’ll go in whenever you need, such as for therapy, alternative treatments, and/or medications.
What’s appealing about outpatient treatment is that it doesn’t cost as much; the bulk of the cost that comes from an inpatient treatment is that you have to live and eat at the facility. Also, it means you can continue with most of your regular everyday activities, such as taking care of your family, going to uni, or going to work.
Outpatient treatment can also be good for you if you have a good home environment, have a good support system, and/or your dependence isn’t that serious. Otherwise, this option may not be ideal, especially if you’re susceptible to triggers and feel you might relapse again before completing treatment.
What Happens After Your Time in Alcohol Rehabilitation?
Once you’re done with rehab for drinking, it can be an exhilarating feeling, knowing you’ve conquered your addiction and came out on top.
But sobriety is a lifelong journey, so you can’t just stop after alcohol rehab. Quitting alcohol is something you’ll have to wrestle with for the rest of your life, which means you need to ensure you have the proper tools to deal with that.
Of course, you’ve got most of those tools from your counselling sessions in rehabilitation. But there’s more that comes afterwards; aftercare is essential in keeping yourself sober.
Here are the types of treatment available for you after you’ve left residential alcohol rehab. These are available in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, CBT is extremely effective in treating several mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Once you’ve left rehab, it’s important to keep up with CBT so you can continue having a good frame of mind.
You may also participate in emotive behavioural therapy, which is a type of CBT.
Whether or not you have a good support system at home, it’s important to build one with people who have been in your shoes. You all share a unique experience that other people may not understand fully, so it’s great if you have the support of people who are doing exactly what you’re doing.
These can be in the form of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
If you enjoyed the alternative therapies you experienced in rehab, you could continue to receive these services in aftercare. They can include reflexology, reiki, massage, and meditation. These all help you with mindfulness and self-awareness, as well as stress relief.
Stop Drinking With the Help of Compassionate Professionals
Deciding to stop drinking and go to alcohol therapy is an amazing and right step in your life. While it may be challenging at first, getting on track to sobriety will all be worth it, especially when you consider you’ll have valuable skills for the rest of your life.
The most important thing is this: always know that you don’t have to walk this path alone. With knowledgeable and compassionate professionals by your side, you can get through the most difficult parts and come out a stronger person.