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Alcohol abuse rehabilitation centres: What to expect?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for information on alcohol rehab centres. Alcohol rehabs are places that you go to shake off your addiction to alcohol permanently.

So, what happens in an alcohol rehab centre? What can you expect during your stay in one? In this article we answer the common questions people have about alcohol abuse rehabilitation centres. Let’s get started.


What should I know about the rehab process? How long does it take?

Rehab is a gradual process that takes time. There’s no fixed timeline for the rehab process. Each stage of the treatment is just as long as it needs to be, as each case is different. For many people, a 28-day rehab would be just perfect. For others, the treatment may take anything from 3 to 6, or even 9 months. The major stages of the rehab are the same for all patients.


Can you tell me more about the different stages of the treatment?


#1: The Early Stage of the Treatment–The first stage of the treatment for alcohol addiction is all about helping you understand the nature of the problem and realise how alcohol abuse has affected your life. This is the time when you go through the detox process, followed by individual or group therapies.

This is usually the most difficult part of the treatment as your withdrawal symptoms would be at their worst during this stage. Your cognitive ability would still be affected by alcohol and you will be in two minds about giving up drinking for good.


#2: The Middle Stage of the Treatment – During this stage of the treatment you will tackle critical issues and make a serious effort to make important behavioural changes.

Your therapist will go to the root of the problem, and find out what led you to become an alcoholic in the first place. They will discuss your childhood, anything negative that may have happened in your life, past trauma, etc.

You won’t go through this alone. You will have the support of a group, who will help you deal with your emotional baggage. In fact, groups are very important during this stage as they help you experience a range of emotions in a safe and encouraging environment.

It is during this stage that your cognitive ability – which was impaired by alcohol – starts coming back to how it was before the addiction. You will be able to communicate your feelings better and will be more confident about expressing yourself.


#3: The Late Stage of the Treatment – During the final stage of the treatment, you will work hard to sustain the personal growth experienced so far. You will learn how to anticipate relapse and avoid it before it comes to pass.

It is during this stage that you will begin to truly understand the importance of healthy relationships – an ability that you had lost during the addiction. You will learn to resolve issues and conflicts without resorting to alcohol.

You will learn how to prepare for a possible relapse and avoid the triggers that lead you to it. You will learn how to control your cravings for alcohol, recognising the cues before they turn into something serious and most importantly, how not to allow a single slip, if that were to happen, turn into a full blown relapse.

You will learn to keep other compulsive behaviours at bay such as overeating, excessive sexual activity, gambling, etc.

Am I permitted to receive visitors while at the alcohol rehab?

Yes, you’re usually allowed to receive visitors during your stay at a rehab. In fact, visits from your friends and family are often encouraged. When at the rehab, you’re at the most vulnerable stage in your life and need all the help and support you can get.

However, your family and friends can visit only during the designated visiting hours. You may not be allowed to call them up during the first week of your stay at the rehab.

There are certain boundaries established between yourself and your loved ones as recovering from alcohol abuse is something you have to do by yourself.

friends and family visit

What can your friends and family expect if they visit the rehab?

Visits from friends and family are an important part of the recovery process. They help reduce the sense of loneliness that creeps in during your stay at the centre, and relieves any stress or anxiety that you might have been feeling. Your friends and family will be asked to attend educational sessions with you, to understand more about the addiction.

They might be invited to a family therapy session along with you. There are other fun things you can do together, such as having a picnic, play soccer with the kids, etc. Any visit by your friends and family is likely to be a very emotional one. The rehab staff will always be there with you to come to your assistance if you feel overwhelmed at any stage.


Final Thoughts – what else can you expect?

For most people struggling with an addiction to alcohol, the alcohol abuse is a consequence of other serious issues such as health problems, mental illnesses such as depression, poor social skills, bad relationships, breakups, problems at work or school, unemployment, legal problems and financial issues.

During your stay at the alcohol abuse rehabilitation centre, you will not only deal with the alcohol addiction, but also with the underlying causes that led you to become an alcoholic in the first place.

You will be put through a regime of healthy eating and exercise so that you can get back to being healthy and fit again. You will receive counselling from a trained psychologist or psychiatrist. You will be given great advice on your legal and financial problems.

You can request for family therapy as well. Finally, an effort will be made to give you the essential educational and vocational skills to build self-esteem and prepare you for the life that is ahead of you.


Is someone you care about affected by addiction? Please leave a comment or contact Addiction Friend for independent advice and support.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent post! My friend will soon be going to the alcohol abuse center, I have got to share this post with him so he can learn on what to expect in these rehabilitation centers, the experience will surely not be pleasing.

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