AA

What are Rehab facilities?

People who ask or talk about rehab facilities often do so with a understandable but misguided idea that rehab is are a mix between an upmarket hotel and a country club, a sort of retreat with varying degrees of comfort or opportunities.

The reality is that rehabs differ widely in terms of the facilities that they offer to people, and that approach as to how the environment and addiction treatment programs should be offered to any individual who enters an inpatient rehab.

Traditionally, a rehab would treat someone who was an alcoholic or had a problem with alcohol, and their time spent in a rehab would consist of a medical detox if needed, followed by a period of different types of therapeutic treatment, often a mix of 12-step program ideas and meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

There would be a need some type of clinical facility, along with a modicum of comfort and very basic facilities.

The rise of treatment centers and rehabs has meant the growth of this industry, and a white approach that can differ considerably.

The initiators of the treatment center industry tried to strike a balance between providing an environment where the alcoholic could feel safe and secure, along with facilities treated them as someone who was trying to get well, rather than as a  bad person.

Rehab facilities

At the same time, there was a belief that treatment centers and rehabs  needed to be a fairly structured environment, and should be designed to focus the individual fully on their recovery process.

Rehabs and treatment centers take a number of different approaches. Some believe that a rehab should be a fairly spartan place, with very basic facilities and an entirely structured timetable from morning till night.

Some rehabs believe in an incredibly tight grip on what the individual can bring into rehab, and what they can and cannot do whilst there.

This can seem incredibly regulated some people, inevitably attracting some and alienating others.

There has been a growth in recent years of what can be termed luxury rehabs, which take almost an extreme opposite view. They believe that a rehab should essentially be the most serious and pleasant environment that someone can spend their time in, and that this is conducive to aiding in their recovery.

Both these approaches are somewhat of the extreme, and inevitably there are a wide number of different approaches in between.

There is no right and wrong approach to recovery, and every individual should approach a rehab based on what they feel is most appropriate to them.

The rehab facilities that are available should be outlined on the rehabs website, and rehab should be open to discussing what these facilities are, and how they help a client in their 12 step recovery.

 

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What is a dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a term that specifically refers to people who would consider themselves both alcoholics and drug addicts, or people who have had problems with both alcohol and drugs. The term arose mainly in rehabs and treatment centers, and it is important to understand this context.

Initially treatment centers and rehabs treated people who had a problem with alcohol, whether they were turned alcoholics or problem drinkers, or people who had alcohol abuse issues. As this industry grew, people entered rehab who not only had problems with alcohol but with other substances including many narcotic drugs, and various behaviours.

Treatment centers and rehabs quickly picked up on this, and in the specific case of people who have problems with both alcohol and drugs they refer to them as being dual diagnosed. In addition, the rehab industry widened their scope of potential clients or a client base by beginning to define people as an addictive personality.

This meant that  in effect, any individual who had any addiction to any substance or any type of addictive behaviour could be labelled as an addictive personality, and  their particular addiction,  whether substance or behaviour, could be labelled their drug of choice.

Dual diagnosis

There are many people who believe that the terminology employed in the idea of an addictive personality and a drug of choice is simply to enhance the pool of people who can be susceptible to needing to go into treatment.

There are other people who defend the term addictive personality as being  a reasonably good definition of some help an individual who has a number of differing emotional drives and issues which fuel that alcoholism or addiction.

Whatever someone’s take on the term dual diagnosis, in reality it simply means that it refers to someone who has a problem but with alcohol and drugs, or has had a problem with alcohol and drugs and is now clean and sober.

In terms of 12 step recovery, what it really means is that individual will have used both alcohol and drugs at different stages of the alcoholism and addiction, and probably recognises a need to keep clear of both in order to stay clean and sober.

 

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What are alcoholism symptoms?

People often ask what alcoholism symptoms, often at a way of trying to create a checklist of what constitutes an alcoholic, on the basis that a diagnosis will help confirm  the illness in someone and lead to a recovery.

This approach has been fuelled in many ways by the acceptance in medical circles that alcoholism is an illness, often referred to also as a disease, and inevitably this will lead people to think that because alcoholism is an illness, there are obvious symptoms or signs of it that can be identified and labelled.

The reality of active  alcoholism is much more difficult to define.

Anyone who lives with what has lived with or has been affected by someone else’s alcoholism will either be painfully aware of it, or completely in denial of it.

Often an individual or independent observer would be able to see that someone has a serious problem drink, either by their behaviour or that attempting to cover up their problems, or the inability to see their own truth about the problem.

Alcoholism symptoms

Is worth pondering the recovery process of  Alcoholics Anonymous to have a better understanding of how alcoholism can be understood and processed.

For someone who is an alcoholic themselves, Alcoholics Anonymous offers a wide range of literature details experience of Alcoholics Anonymous, and presents many stories and examples of people who identify as alcoholics.

The stories and people’s personal sharing is give the individual and opportunity, if they so choose, to identify and begin the process of realising that they themselves may be an alcoholic.

Someone who is closely affected by another person’s alcoholism, either family or friends, then there is a separate concept organisation known as Al-Anon which will help the individual break out of that and measurement with the alcoholic or the alcoholic family and begin the process of re-establishing their lives as a separate person.

Once this process has started, then it is more likely the individual will gain some type of objectivity about the individual drinking and their alcoholism.

It is also were saying that Alcoholics Anonymous, along with other organisations, produces a wide range of literature that tries to explain alcoholism that is specifically geared to people who are not themselves alcoholics, but may well come into contact with people you are and who seek help.

 

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What is chemical dependency ?

Chemical dependency is a term that has come to be used with reference to almost any type of substance abuse or addiction to alcohol/drugs etc.

The original sense of addiction in the context of a 12-step recovery was an addiction to alcohol, normally referred to as alcoholism.

As an understanding that alcoholism was an illness grew in medical and therapeutic circles, treatment centers and rehabs began to treat people who they referred to as being dual diagnosed, that is that they had an addiction to some type of drug as well as a problem with alcohol.

Since then rehab’s and treatment centers have broadened their concept of addiction treatment programs to essentially deal with anyone who had any type of addiction, to any type of substance or behaviour.

This approach certainly has its critics, many will argue that seeing the individual as an addictive personality, and their chemical dependency or behaviour is simply a drug of choice is highly oversimplistic.

Chemical dependency

At the same time, most people who have had any dealings with anyone who is an alcoholic or addict, either active or in recovery, will happily testify that they have significant personality and identity problems that have undoubtedly fuelled that alcoholism or addiction.

The linkage between chemical dependency and addiction and rehabs is one that is important to seek an context.

It is very easy for someone unfamiliar with the world of  12-step recovery who is confronted with someone who has a terrible addiction to simply follow the dictates of a particular rehab or treatment center.

Sometimes time is of the essence, and it is often essential to get someone into a rehab or some type of detox program so that the health can be stabilised, at least in the short term.

The process of recovery from any type of addiction or alcoholism, in the context of 12 step recovery, can be done either in a rehab or by going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or another 12 step organisation.

This process of 12 step recovery is by necessity a long-term process, and one undertaken by someone who had at some level either acknowledged their chemical dependency and are willing to try and deal with it, or are willing to acknowledge the life is a complete disaster and are willing to try and change it, even if they don’t know why.

 

 

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ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL ADDICTION

Anyone entering a rehab for a problem with alcohol, commonly referred to as alcoholism or alcohol addiction would be well advised to be aware of the potential effects of alcohol withdrawal, sometimes referred to as a detox, historically referred to as the DT’s.

The effects of withdrawal from alcohol addiction or alcoholism can be severe in some people, and it is a good idea to make sure that anyone entering a rehab is clinically assessed,  by experienced clinical staff to  monitor the effects of withdrawal from alcohol.

One important aspect of alcoholism that is often not fully understood is that it is regarded commonly as what is termed a progressive illness.

There are sometimes a debate about whether alcoholism is a disease or an illness or a combination of nature or nurture, and people will have differing views on this question.

Too many  people who have got sober using Alcoholics Anonymous, they are very aware that her own alcoholism is a progressive illness, and for many it is the progressive element that is really important.

ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL ADDICTION

The progression of alcoholism in many people is not simply a issue of tolerance for alcohol, it is a description of both how their drinking has progressed over a period of time, how that emotional state has changed during that time, and how alcohol has become at the end of the drinking the only thing of real value, the only thing that needs to be protected and kept safe.

One of the reasons this is so important, is in terms of understanding the nature of alcoholism, and in truth the only people who probably really do understand it either active alcoholics themselves, or people who have got sober and would consider themselves to be alcoholics in recovery.

The nature of alcoholism as an illness can be quite varied and widespread, the progression of it is an element that people who are alcoholics will at some level be able to identify with, either in terms of the  tolerance or lack of tolerance of their drinking, or a more general felt sense of their inner and outer world closing in on them, and alcohol remaining the only thing that is holding them together.

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12 STEPS TREATMENT

The 12 steps treatment program of Alcoholics Anonymous has become widely regarded as a yardstick for recovery from alcoholism, whether it be practised within the organisation of Alcoholics Anonymous, or in a rehab or treatment center.

The phrase 12 steps has become widely used, and often misinterpreted in terms of what they really mean.

This is important, because many rehabs and treatment centres often promote themselves as being 12-step based, which can mean a variety of different things.

Equally there are a number of rehabs and treatment centers that specifically promote themselves as being non-12-step based, and this has implications in terms of what they do offer as addiction treatment programs, and to what extent they are clinically-based or proven.

The original 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous can be found in its entirety in the book of the same name, and is widely available anyone to buy, borrow from their local library, or read online for free.

It should always be remembered that the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous should be taken in context of its writing.

This means that it was written along with a number of descriptive chapters as a record of experience, of what the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous found worked for them.

12 STEPS TREATMENT

People are a perfect liberty to use any or all of  the 12 step program in anyway that they find helpful or not.

A number of treatment centers and rehabs use a variation of the  12 step program, but do tend to promote it as if they were offering the benefits of the program as practised within Alcoholics Anonymous.

This can be slightly misleading, and can also be  seen as taking advantage of people who are quite  vulnerable and do not fully appreciate the difference between the two approaches.

In addition, a number of  rehabs and treatment centers will be very supportive of 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and will actively encourage or insist there resident clients attend meetings of these organisations.

In this way a number of rehabs will align themselves with a 12 step recovery program.

 

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ALCOHOLIC TREATMENT

The nature of alcoholic treatment can be detailed in certain ways, but should always be fully understood that there are a number of variables that determine whether any form of addiction treatment programs will actually work or not.

Probably the most proven method of treatment for an alcoholic is effected through the  organisation Alcoholics Anonymous,  and its 12-step program of recovery.

There has also grown a huge industry of treatment centres and rehabs which offer a wide range of varying treatment programs for an alcoholic, normally residential, and normally for a period of around 28/30 days.

One of the main issues concerning any type of treatment for an alcoholic relates to what is commonly referred to as the self delusion of the alcoholic themselves.

This normally refers to the nature of an alcoholic themselves, in terms of emotional and mental character, and  the nature of how they relate to alcohol itself.

There are a number of different interpretations of what being an alcoholic means, and how alcoholism itself manifests within different people.

They are also a number of common features of alcoholism and alcoholics, which allow people to relate to each other at a particular level, and can help in terms of enabling people who are alcoholics to get a measure of stability and stay sober.

An alcoholic treatment program, whether it be in a rehab or treatment center, will need to address a number of highly sensitive areas, one of which will be the relationship between the alcoholic and alcohol itself.

ALCOHOLIC TREATMENT

It is probably fair to say, that at some point in their drinking, an alcoholic will come to see alcohol as being the solution to their problems, rather than the problem itself. This may happen at the beginning of their drinking, or maybe an element of the progressive nature of their drinking, Becoming the only type of reality they are able to understand towards the end.

This sense that alcohol becomes the only thing that is holding them together is perhaps unique to alcoholics, and is one of the hardest things for anyone outside of that circle to either understand or be able to deal with.

What is important, is that there is a safe environment created that allows an alcoholic to begin the process of feeling safe enough to dismantle the various emotional coping mechanisms that they have erected in order to keep themselves safe. This can include a variety of emotional survival  skills as well as the main coping mechanism, alcohol itself.

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ALCOHOL ABUSE TREATMENT

Alcohol abuse is a term that is often used amongst many others, such as alcohol dependency, when people are in some senses either trying to avoid using the word alcoholism,  or when people are quite significantly opposed to the idea of alcoholism being a progressive illness.

In some ways, the terminology itself does not really matter.

People debate the nature of alcoholism, whether or not it is an illness, and whether or not a rehab or treatment center is the best option, whether people should or should not use Alcoholics Anonymous etc.

Whilst all of these are valid questions and debates in their own right, the reality is that someone has a drink problem it should be owned as such, either by the individual themselves if they are able, or by family members, or by an employer or friends.

If the fact that the person has a drink problem can be owned, that Lisa is a process set in motion whereby the nature of the problem is identified, whatever the terminology.

Once a problem has been to some extent owned, then at least a search some type of solution will move forward.

If the debate stays around terminology, be it alcoholism, alcohol abuse, binge drinking, Alcoholics Anonymous, then quite literally the person may never get the proper help and treatment that they need.

ALCOHOL ABUSE

There is a much greater sense that if people are open to the reality of their lives, then they can see over time clearly the nature of the problem and of the solution.

Alcohol abuse may relate to either active alcoholism, heavy drinking at a sustained level, periods of binge drinking or simply a long-term decline in an individual’s sense of motivation and purpose about the life.

Getting an individual to relate to the fact and understand the fact that they have a problem with alcohol is obviously the most difficult and pressing challenge.

If someone is an alcoholic or has a serious alcohol addiction and / or alcohol abuse there is a fair chance that at some point they have moved that locus of control from within themselves to alcohol.

At this point they are likely to see alcohol as being the solution to their problems, rather than the problem itself.

It is this viewpoint that is the most damaging to both themselves and their own lives, and is without doubt the most difficult barrier to get the  the person to lower and seek help.

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SUBSTANCE ABUSE DETOX

A substance abuse detox assessment is a crucial and necessary part of any addiction treatment program that is offered by a residential or day care type rehab or treatment center.

The facilities and personnel to oversee such an assessment should be a vital part of any research that is done prior to treatment being sought.

The terms of substance abuse is nowadays pretty much applied lightly to any type of addiction of a substance that could be termed mood altering, and normally applies to alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs, glue sniffing etc.

The need for a detox, a medical detox, for anyone who has had a serious problem with alcoholism or alcohol addiction and/or  narcotics or prescription drugs is something that needs to be assessed properly for each individual on a personal and holistic basis.

A medical detox for someone who has a drink or a drug problem is important because the withdrawal affects for both these sections can be serious and in some cases life-threatening.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE DETOX

Someone is entering a residential rehab or treatment center for treatment for substance abuse, then at point of entry the rehab should perform an assessment to see if a medical detox is needed.

The rehab or treatment center may have the clinical facilities and clinical staff available itself to oversee the assessment, and oversee the medical detox if needed.

Sometimes a rehab does not have such facilities or staff itself, but will use a local chemical facility such as a hospital to oversee and perform the detox on its behalf.

That is fine, but it is important when assessing what type of rehab treatment option is best suited for a particular client, that this area of a substance abuse detox is carefully considered and thought through.

Any individual entering a rehab center should be reassured that the chemical facilities that will be needed to help them through the early stages of recovery are in place, and that whatever discomfort there may be in terms of physical, mental or emotional pain will be managed in a safe and secure environment.

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BINGE DRINKING

Binge drinking is one of those phrases that is generally used to refer to people who go off on what is also sometimes called a drinking spree, that may in reality last days weeks or even months.

The meaning behind binge drinking is that whilst an individual may go off on one for a certain period of time, there will then follow another period of time, short or long, where they do not drink and stay sober.

The thought process and sometimes the intent behind this approach, drinking is to imply that because they have periods of time when they do not drink they do not actually have a problem.

This line of thought can be well-meaning, and can arise from people’s confusion about the fact that they can drink excessively for a period of time and then either stop or go for another period of time without drinking at all.

BINGE DRINKING

This type of drinking gives rise to the illusion of control, and is a myth in many ways concerning both the nature of alcoholism, and a sense of control or not that an individual may have concerning their ability to control their consumption of alcohol.

Anyone familiar with the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous will be aware that at meetings of AA there are numerous sayings is and viewpoints that AA members have and are often willing to share concerning their understanding of alcohol and alcoholism.

Some of these sayings can seem a bit trite, and some of them a bit suspect or dubious.

One of the better sayings however someone is likely to hear at an AA meeting  is something to the effect  that alcoholism is not about how much you drink, or when you drink, or what type of drink you have, but what alcohol does to you when you do drink.

However this sentiment may be put, it is pointing to a pretty fundamental truth that it is not about the structure of someone’s drinking in terms of amount or time, but it is about the effect of alcohol on an individual which should be the starting point for an assessment of whether or not they have a problem.

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