Tag Archives: Aftercare

Alcohol Treatment Centers: What Treatment Types Do Alcoholics Need in Rehab?

All alcohol rehabilitation programs are not created equal. Finding a rehab center with the most effective types of treatment can make the difference between relapse and lifelong recovery.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best alcohol treatment options for achieving a life of sobriety.

Medically Supervised Alcohol Detox

Patients going through alcohol detox are at risk for a number of potentially dangerous side effects. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal typically begin six hours after the last drink, and include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

These symptoms, and the anxiety that they produce, can make the already difficult process of recovery even harder. Detoxing from alcoholism in a facility with around-the-clock medical supervision ensures that these symptoms are promptly treated.

Medical supervision also helps put the patient’s mind at ease, allowing them to focus on overcoming acute withdrawal and starting their recovery. 

Effective Therapies for Alcoholism Treatment

There are many best practices when it comes to helping alcoholics put down the booze for good. Most of the top alcoholism treatment centers use a mix of clinical and holistic therapies.

Here are five of the top treatment modalities you should look for in a worthwhile alcohol addiction rehab program:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is used in addiction treatment to help clients overcome the harmful patterns of thought, behavior and emotions that led to addiction. CBT can be broken down into two primary components: functional analysis and skills training.

Functional analysis works on the principle that a person’s behavior is influenced by their environment. Through working with a cogitative behavioral therapist at an alcoholism rehabilitation center, clients discover the situations that trigger their addictive urges. Recognizing the situations that lead to addictive behavior is the first step toward avoiding these triggers in the future.

Once the client has discovered the environments and situations that led them to drink, their therapist will begin the skills-training portion of CBT. Skills training is the process of unlearning destructive habits and replacing them with healthier ones. Retraining the way a client copes with stressful environments greatly reduces the risk of relapse.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a treatment strategy that emphasizes both individual psychotherapy and group skills-training classes. The goal of DBT is to help guide clients toward developing a life they believe is worth living.

DBT has five primary components:

  1. Improving the client’s own capabilities through DBT skills training
  2. Improving the client’s motivation through extensive individual psychotherapy
  3. Customizing treatment strategies to each client through in-the-moment coaching
  4. Structuring a positive environment through individual case management
  5. Providing support to the client’s primary therapist with a secondary DBT consultation team

What sets DBT apart from other types of therapy is its focus on finding the right balance between acceptance of one’s present situation and the motivation to change. In other words, DBT helps clients come to terms with their past while building the skills that will improve their future.

The four primary skills clients learn through DBT are:

  • Mindfulness the skill of maintaining focus on the present moment
  • Distress Tolerance learning to accept and tolerate discomfort without trying to change it
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness effectively expressing desires and setting boundaries with the people in the client’s life
  • Emotion Regulation – the ability to recognize unwanted feelings while finding ways to overcome them

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy was developed by psychologist Francis Shapiro in the late 1980s as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because there is a strong link between PTSD and signs of alcoholism, individuals looking for the best alcohol treatment center should make sure that EMDR therapy is utilized in the facility’s addiction treatment protocol.

EMDR therapy works by allowing patients to reprocess the traumatic events in their lives. PTSD entails a person’s brain mistaking a memory for reality. From the brain’s point of view, remembering past trauma is the same thing as the trauma happening all over again. After treatment with EMDR therapy, clients will not feel the same negative emotional response when (or if) they recall these painful events.

EMDR therapy is an eight-stage process that begins by identifying the traumatic experiences in the client’s life that have overwhelmed their brain’s natural coping mechanisms. Next, the client focuses on a painful memory and identifies the negative feelings and beliefs associated with it.

The therapist will then perform a number of exercises that utilize bilateral stimulation (rapid side-to-side eye movement, for example) in order to desensitize the patient to these painful memories.

Bilateral stimulation is an extremely effective tool for reprogramming the mind, which is why we believe EMDR therapy is one of the best alcohol treatment options for those suffering from co-occurring PTSD.

Access to Trauma-Informed Addiction Therapy

Trauma and alcoholism go hand in hand, making it extremely difficult to treat one problem without also addressing the other. Traumatic experiences can result in a number of mental health issues, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

A trauma-informed approach to alcohol addiction treatment refers to a specific mindset. At Reflections Recovery Center, our therapists work closely with both the client and his family members to identify the signs and symptoms of trauma.

Our therapists then create a recovery plan designed to help the client heal from both alcohol addiction and his traumatic experiences at the same time, while actively avoiding any re-traumatization in the process. 

Our commitment to a trauma-informed approach to alcohol addiction treatment is one of the reasons Reflections is considered by many to be one of the best alcohol rehab centers for men struggling with alcoholism.

Nutritional Therapy

Alcoholism wreaks havoc on the body. Consuming too much alcohol can lead to liver damage, memory disorders, heart problems, alcohol poisoning, etc.

One risk of alcohol abuse that is frequently overlooked is digestive system disorders. Over time, alcohol consumption will inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, potentially leading to severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Vitamin therapy for alcoholism treatment helps to reverse this damage. Making sure that clients receive high doses of essential nutrients during the recovery process helps to relieve the symptoms of alcohol detox while also jump-starting the body’s metabolic systems. Many of the top treatment centers also offer nutrition counseling and put their clients on a customized meal plan that addresses their dietary needs, preferences, goals, etc.

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Alcohol Treatment Centers: Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Not everyone can afford to put their lives on hold while working toward sobriety. But for many, programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are just not enough. Intensive outpatient treatment may be the best option for men at this point in their recovery.

A quality outpatient treatment program will include many, if not all, of the services offered to inpatient clients. Intensive outpatient treatment is a reasonable option for those with a stable living situation and strong emotional support system at home. 

At Reflections, men who graduate our inpatient program can move to this level of care afterward (if their family leaves nearby or if they stay in a sober living home). Some of our clients actually start out at this level of treatment if they already live in the area and if their addiction isn’t severe enough to warrant 24-hour supervision in an inpatient environment.

Rehab Aftercare Program for Alcoholism

Making the transition back into society after rehab is no easy feat. A robust aftercare program can make the difference between relapse and lifelong recovery. In Reflections’ aftercare program, we teach men the skills they’ll need to navigate the challenges of everyday life while remaining alcohol-free.

After graduating from our alcohol rehabilitation program, our alumni are offered a number of services for alcoholism relapse prevention, including:

  • Housing and job placement services
  • Weekly monitored urine analysis
  • Recreational activities with fellow alumni and current clients
  • Twice-weekly group counseling sessions

Sober Housing Options

Spending time in a sober living program is a great option for those seeking additional help during the transition process. Sober housing allows patients to receive support from both fellow alumni and addiction counselors while they rebuild their lives. Patients can attend school, maintain a job and practice life skills in an environment dedicated to healing and recovery.

Alcoholism Treatment at Reflections

Reflections’ men-only alcoholism treatment center utilizes the most effective treatments designed to set our clients on a path toward lifelong sobriety. If you or your loved one is seeking to overcome an addiction to alcohol, know that help is just a phone call away.

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The Science of Addiction Cravings and Preventing Relapse

Brain Science Explains Addiction Cravings

Psychology explains that cravings are common, often coming from a place of incompleteness or a need for relief from suffering.

The feeling of incompleteness — feeling inadequate, flawed or fundamentally lacking in some way — can be a source of great psychological pain for many. Self-medicating with pills, too much wine or a penchant for overeating relieves the pain for a short time.

Neuroscience teaches us that the things we crave, the pleasure-inducing parts of life, are things that increase dopamine in the brain. Dopamine makes things, like sex, feel so good it blocks out all other ideas and desires the mind might have, narrowing our focus to one specific goal: to attain that state of pleasure until it’s fulfilled. And anything that feels that good carries the potential for addiction.

The Impact of Cues/Triggers

The third piece of understanding cravings from a scientific perspective is triggers or cues. An association — the sound of opening a beer bottle or the visual of a needle on TV, for example — instantly ignites the addicted person to seek their poison. These triggers or cues elicit an emotional response, rapidly increasing the flow of dopamine to the brain.

Then internal cues – such as memories, wishes and imagination – further increase the flow of dopamine. Pretty soon, the dopamine takes over the brain until there seems only one viable course of action:  to satiate the craving and take the drug or drink.

Each time a person who is craving drugs or alcohol uses or imbibes, the impact of cues gets reinforced and stronger. Repeated cycles of craving and satiation changes the synapses in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, modifying and attuning it to achieve faster relief.

Drug and Alcohol Cravings

Brain science explains cravings as a natural process. The brain’s job is to motivate us to achieve important goals.

When someone has a chemical dependency, their unconscious automated goal is to achieve relief through drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately and ironically, people who start using or drinking for psychological pain relief inevitably end up facing greater and greater pain.

The destruction of their lives, jobs and relationships leads to financial and legal problems as well as more painful cravings, which only cause addicted individuals to feel more incomplete and more pain than when they first sought relief.

It Takes Time

According to research, cravings are one of the strongest predictors of relapse.

Drug cravings and alcohol cravings take much longer to subside than the withdrawal symptoms from these substances do. Therefore, the rehabilitation and recovery phase — what people normally picture as traditional rehab — is crucial.

During rehab at Reflections Recovery Center, our male clients learn skills that help them actively recognize triggers or cues and respond in a way that avoids relapse. We teach many other skills and lessons to clients in rehab, including:

  • Insight into the reasons behind why the client fell into addiction
  • Learning how to be sober
  • How to deal with addiction cravings
  • How to return home and avoid the pitfalls of relapse

The cravings among those in rehab will lessen in time and sometimes go away completely, but it’s not an overnight occurrence. It takes new skills, patience, time and effort to become a new man, allow the brain to reset, and experience diminished cravings.

You should expect cravings to occur. But if you’re involved in a recovery program that teaches you how to respond to the cravings in a healthy way, you should have the tools necessary to achieve long-term sobriety.

How Residential Treatment Helps

Reflections Recovery Center utilizes a variety of therapies to help those in recovery recognize and deal with cravings, triggers and cues. These therapies include, but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is the most widely used and recommended therapy for mental health issues. In CBT, the patient spends time talking to a trained therapist who diagnoses and treats mental and emotional problems.

The therapist and patient work together to identify and modify dysfunctional thoughts, emotions and behaviors. The process boosts happiness and confidence with the belief system that unhappiness is not predicated on events or situations in our lives, but rather how we perceive and interpret those events and situations.

The benefit of this way of thinking is that we can reconsider how we view external stimuli and change the way we think, affecting how we feel and behave in any situation. CBT is evidence-based and pronounced highly effective by scientific research.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a type of talk therapy that focuses on providing skills for social behavior and emotional regulation. Originally developed to help people with borderline personality disorder, DBT has since shown to be effective in treating many other mental health issues.

DBT typically involves one-on-one sessions with a trained therapist, although treatment centers also use it in group support meetings where individuals learn and practice new psychosocial skills with others. Group members share their experiences and provide mutual support in these instances.

DBT teaches clients skills in four main areas:

  • Mindfulness
  • Distress Tolerance
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a well-studied and non-invasive treatment for addiction, trauma and many other psychological disorders. The therapist helps move traumatic events and negative emotions stored in long-term memory to the forefront of the client’s mind. Then, the therapist can help the client reassess and reprocess those thoughts in a new way.

The therapist then help the client understand his or her own experience(s) in a more rational, realistic and positive way. Removing the impediments of negative self-thinking opens the channels in the brain’s neurological mechanisms for healing.

The results from this simple therapy are amazing. It clears away negative feelings and emotional distress, helping the client emerge grounded in strength and a survivor mentality.

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Get Help with Coping with Addiction Cravings

Reflections’ rehab program places a heavy emphasis on learning how to deal with addiction cravings in the aftercare phase. This ensures the client has the tools necessary to manage his cravings as he recovers. It also gives him the best chance of a successful and lasting sobriety.

If you or a loved one is struggling with cravings, contact us today. We have a team of trained professionals waiting to help.

See Which Aftercare Services We Offer to Our Graduates

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Transitioning from Inpatient Treatment to Aftercare, Sober Living and Preventing Relapse

Alcohol, opioids, cocaine…regardless of which substances are involved, successful rehabilitation from substance abuse and addiction takes professional care and time. Many are aware that addiction treatment should be completed in phases – if the treatment is to have a lasting effect.

The first phase of treatment is perhaps the most important: Detox.

Drug and Alcohol Detox Before Inpatient Treatment

Initially, medically supervised drug and alcohol detox is important to safely rid the body of the last traces of drugs and/or alcohol before the rehabilitation process can occur. Because withdrawing from drugs and alcohol can cause serious symptoms and discomfort, it is essential that the detox process be overseen by a medical staff in a professional setting.

Medically supervised detox protects individuals from the most serious withdrawal symptoms, which can include:

  • Heart failure
  • Severe pain
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Death

Once this important phase of the treatment process is complete, the individual can move into the next phase of recovery: Treatment and Rehabilitation.

Treatment and Rehabilitation of Addiction and Substance Abuse

The phase of treatment after detox is what many will recognize as “rehab,” and it is often completed in an inpatient facility. This includes counseling and therapy to address the root causes of substance abuse. It also teaches individuals how to cope with aspects of their life that may have formerly given them the urges to use drugs and alcohol.

The rehab phase is not “one size fits all,” and therapies that the treatment staff utilizes should meet the unique needs of each individual. The time frame needed for this phase also is unique to each patient, based on the amount of time they used substances, the type of substances used, and the quantity.

However, rehab is generally viewed by addiction treatment professionals as the phase where much of the progress of recovery is completed. What must be taken into consideration by family members and loved ones of recovering addicts is that the recovery process does not end with the completion of this phase of treatment.

Does Addiction Recovery Get Easier?

Prescott Arizona Watson Lake Reflections Recovery Center

For many, recovery will begin to get easier as the treatment and rehabilitation phase comes to a close, but the work is far from over at this point. Ensuring that there is a plan for ongoing addiction therapy and aftercare is essential in ensuring that the individual can maintain his or her newfound sobriety and won’t fall victim to relapse in the months or years after leaving the addiction treatment facility.

Does addiction recovery get easier after rehab? It does get easier – if you have support, ongoing therapy and an aftercare plan in place to help along the way.

The First Year of Addiction Recovery

The first months and years of recovery after inpatient treatment will pose unique challenges to a person in recovery. These challenges can either strengthen a person’s dedication to sobriety, or cause them to give in to them and return to drug and alcohol use.

Those in the first 12 months of recovery need to have an outlet for their feelings and access to therapy and help in order to remain on the path that rehab initially set them on. This is why Reflections Recovery Center puts such a strong emphasis on aftercare and ongoing help after rehab.

Aftercare Helps Treat Symptoms of PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome)

Parents and loved ones of recovering addicts are often not aware of PAWS, or that withdrawal symptoms can – and often will – return months or years after detox and treatment. In fact, even those in recovery, who have already gone through acute withdrawal and made significant progress in their sobriety, are confused and scared when symptoms return months later.

Everyone in Recovery Can Benefit from Aftercare

EVERYONE that goes through detox and treatment needs to have access to counseling and professional help if and when the symptoms of PAWS show up. Unless the initial treatment plan includes aftercare and ongoing support, individuals may not have easy access to counseling and therapy. They may not even have someone to tell them what is happening to them, that what they are feeling is normal and that everything is going to be OK as long as they continue with their recovery.

The Risk of Addiction Relapse During PAWS

Withdrawal is one of the main reasons that those with a chemical dependency to drugs or alcohol keep using, and reject help to quit. The symptoms of withdrawal will temporarily subside if a person puts drugs or alcohol back into their system. This is the mechanism in the body that keeps people hopelessly bound to the drugs and alcohol to which they are addicted.

When it comes to post-acute withdrawal, the same mechanism is in play, and individuals will be tempted to use substances to get the withdrawal symptoms to stop – even months or years into recovery. When family members ask, “Why do addicts relapse after rehab?” this is a big factor in their decision.

How Long Does PAWS Last?

Both acute (severe symptoms when first stopping drugs or alcohol) and post-acute withdrawal have their own timelines, and depend on many factors including the type of chemical and the severity of dependence. These timelines also vary depending on the individual and his or her chemical balance.

PAWS can last anywhere from several months to a year, but it rarely lasts more than 18 months. It peaks on average from six to 10 months, and it is not permanent. The fear that the symptoms won’t go away or that a person will feel this way forever is a dangerous deterrent from full recovery and sobriety.

What Families Need to Know About Addiction Aftercare

Family members are usually not aware of just how strong addiction and chemical dependence can be. The biggest myth about rehab that family members often believe is that beating addiction only takes getting a person off drugs for long enough for them to decide they want to stay off the drugs.

Addiction just isn’t that simple, and those in recovery need the support of family members and help from treatment professionals for a much longer time frame than can be provided in an inpatient program.

How Reflections Transitions from Inpatient Treatment to Aftercare

At Reflections Recovery Center, our ultimate goal is for our guests to achieve a full recovery, and we know what that takes. Our residential addiction treatment prepares individuals for the transition out of residential treatment and prepares them for life outside of inpatient therapy. We also place a major focus on aftercare and ongoing help.

Our alumni – in addition to having help, support and assistance from us in the future – are invited into a community of peers through our alumni support, sober living and aftercare programs. Our alumni are given the best chances for success when they return to life after rehab, knowing they are not leaving behind the support system that they have just found.

With confidence and determination to stay sober, our alumni can look to the future with hope and a new yearning for life.

Parents and Family Members, We Invite You to Learn More About How Family Support Is Integrated into Our Recovery Programs

Family Addiction Counseling Services