Make a Decision for Rehab

Make the right for rehabilitation care. Getting ready for recovery is the best way to make sure you get the most out of your addiction treatment.

Recognizing a Drinking or Drug Problem and Taking Action

Drug and alcohol rehab is a place to go when drinking alcohol or drug use has become a problem in your life, and you can’t stop. If this is the case for you, then rehab is for you.

We can use a model to help conceptualize the process of recognizing there is a drinking or drug problem and taking action to do something about it. This model is called the “Stages of Change” model.

What are the Five Stages of Change?

When a person struggles with alcohol addiction, the path to making a positive change involves several different steps or stages. Essentially, there are several phases a person passes through one they realize they have a drinking or drug abuse problem up until they take action to make a change. The model that defines these different phases is called the “Stages of Change” model. The Five Stages of Change include Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance, and Termination. We’ll discuss each of those stages in more detail below.


The person doesn’t see that they have a problem, and therefore, are not yet thinking about changing their behavior. The person is in ‘denial’ about the problem, and isn’t aware that change is needed. At this stage, the person needs help in seeing that they have a drinking or drug problem. An intervention is helpful for accomplishing this. While a ‘confrontational’ style of intervention is commonly used, research has shown that an alternative style of using positive reinforcement is perhaps a better type of intervention.  Alcohol Rehab also provides intervention services worldwide.


A person sees there is a problem, and considers doing something about it. Still, at this stage, the person hasn’t yet made a commitment to change. At this stage, professional providers and family members should support the person by helping them to deepen their understanding of the pros of leading a sober life, the consequences of their drinking or drug use, and that help is available.


The person has made a decision to change, to stop drinking or using, and prepares and plans to do so (e.g., makes an appointment to see a counselor). Because there is the real possibility of not following through with intent and plans, the person here needs a lot of encouragement and support regarding following through with their intentions. There’s always the risk of falling back to an earlier stage in the model.


The person makes substantial changes, not just plans, in their life. Plans from the Preparation stage are put into action, e.g., going to rehab.

Maintenance and Termination

The person has changed their behavior and is living clean and sober, and works to maintain it, i.e., to not relapse. Until the person has had some years under their belt living sober, the risk of relapse can remain high. Termination occurs when the risk of relapse has diminished substantially—to a high degree—due to the well learned skills and abilities for remaining sober, and due to the positive experience of living clean and sober for years. However, even after years of sobriety, the risk for relapse can always be there. Support from family and friends is always helpful. If relapse occurs at any time after being sober for any length of time, taking the necessary steps to get bake to sobriety, e.g., going back to rehab, should happen as quickly as possible. Relapse is not failure; for some, it’s part of the journey of recovery and living sober.

Types of Alcohol Rehab

Once having made a decision to get treatment, where to go needs to be decided, including whether to go to an inpatient facility or and outpatient facility—the two main settings for rehab.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehabs are also referred to as residential treatment centers. This choice may be best for persons who are moderately to severely affected by excessive consumption of alcohol. This type of treatment costs more compared to the outpatient treatment because residential costs and other expenses are included. Inpatient rehab provides an environment away from many triggers, e.g., people, places, and things, and an environment of continuous care.

Also, some questions to consider:

* Are you using alcohol or drugs on a daily basis and are not able to remain drug or alcohol free for 24 hours? If “Yes,” inpatient treatment is indicated.
* Do you experience severe withdrawal symptoms if you try to abstain and stop drinking or using drugs, e.g., convulsions, seizures, blackouts, delirium tremens (DTs) (body tremors, confusion, disorientation, stupor, hallucinations)? If “Yes,” inpatient is indicated with detox. Alcohol and some drug withdrawal can be fatal is not managed medically.
* Are you unemployed? If “Yes,” you may have too much free time on your hands, putting you at higher risk for spending time the old way, i.e., going back to using your free time for drinking. Inpatient rehab may be most beneficial.

Outpatient Rehab

With an outpatient program, people visit the treatment center on a periodic basis for counseling and treatment (for example, 3x / week for 10 weeks). This type of treatment is less costly compared to the inpatient treatment because the client does not incur residential costs.

Making a Call to a Recovery Center for Treatment

If you or a loved one is in need of the very best in drug and alcohol rehab services, we can help. Please explore our website and give our intake counselor a call. Also, be sure to check out our web page, How Rehab Works, for information on the steps involved in participating in  Alcohol Rehab’s  program.

Recovery Options: The Complete Guide (2000) by Joseph Volpicelli and Maia Szalavitz was utilized for some of the content on this page.

Information Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is only intended to be general summary information to the public. The primary purpose of this publication is education. Nothing contained in this publication is, or should be considered or used, as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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