When you’re at the end of the road
And you lost all sense of control
And your thoughts have taken their toll
When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul…
…You’re in ruins
(from Green Day’s song, 21 Guns)
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, which describes common stages or phases individuals go through in changing behavior: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance and Termination.
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.
Inpatient or Outpatient
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 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.
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. You can call us at [phone_int], or email us at [email protected] 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.