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Choosing the right alcohol rehab center is critical to you or your loved one experiencing a safe and long-lasting recovery from addiction. There’s much more that encompasses treatment than just 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and support groups. Knowing which services you need will make your search far easier and less stressful.

Here are seven services you should look for when choosing one that is right for you.

1. Alcohol Detox

Before you receive therapy to recover from addiction, you must first go through detox to overcome physical dependence. Alcohol interacts with certain brain chemicals in ways that can put you at risk for serious health problems when you suddenly stop drinking. Withdrawal can be dangerous and deadly for heavy drinkers and others who are severely dependent. The detoxification process allows you to withdraw while being monitored and cared for by trained medical staff who can intervene when complications arise.

It is usually conducted in a safe hospital-like setting where you can get plenty of rest as you go through withdrawal. Medications may be used to reduce your risk for seizures and to treat certain symptoms. Benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, and barbiturates are some medications commonly used to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Vitamins and nutritional supplements may also be used during detox to strengthen your immune system and restore nutrients that were lost due to such abuse and addiction.

2. Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, combines the use of medications with counseling and behavioral therapy to help you remain sober. It is shown to improve patient survival rates and birth outcomes among pregnant women who are dependent on alcohol, as well as increase retention in treatment. Choosing a rehab that offers MAT can help reduce your desire to drink along with the risk for relapse.

Medications used in MAT include disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone. Disulfiram causes unpleasant side effects if you take it while drinking alcohol. Nausea, vomiting, choking, and difficulty breathing are just some side effects you might experience. 

Acamprosate helps control and reduce cravings to help you stay abstinent, while naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and prevents intoxication. MAT may be ideal for those who have tried other addiction treatments in the past and who have struggled with achieving long-term sobriety.

3. Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, occurs when a person is diagnosed with both a substance use disorder and mental illness. Roughly half of all people with a substance use disorder will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives, and vice versa. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depression, and anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health disorders associated with alcohol addiction.

Addiction and mental health disorders are closely related due to the way one disorder can trigger the other. For example, a person who suffers from major depression may drink daily in an effort to relieve their symptoms. Similarly, a person who suffers from alcoholism can develop major depression due to the way alcohol alters certain brain chemicals responsible for regulating one’s mood. A person with a dual diagnosis must be treated for both disorders to ensure a healthy recovery and positive outcome.

If you or a loved one is experiencing this, look for a rehab facility that offers dual diagnosis treatment. It usually involves behavioral therapy, medications, and support group meetings.

4. Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Program

Every alcohol rehab center offers its own treatment programs. Common types include inpatient and residential rehab, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and standard outpatient. While all programs are shown to be effective at treating alcohol use disorder, an inpatient rehab program offers the highest level of care for those recovering from severe dependence and addiction.

Inpatient and residential rehab programs are more intensive than any other program, and allow you or your loved one to stay at the facility during recovery. These types of treatment are highly structured and involve several different behavioral therapies and group counseling. These programs offer 24-hour medical support and monitoring, and zero access to alcohol. It can keep you safe and away from negative distractions and stressors that may otherwise interfere with your recovery.

5. Recreational Therapy

Your treatment program should include fun, enjoyable activities that make your experience more fulfilling and worthwhile as you recover from alcohol addiction. Recreational therapies can help improve your physical, emotional, behavioral, and mental functioning in the form of activities like dancing, art, and community outings. This helps resocialize patients and teach them how to have fun without using drugs and alcohol. Recreational therapy also helps patients benefit from a boost in confidence and self-esteem, improved well-being, and quality of life.

Many facilities offer a variety of recreational therapies designed to enhance recovery. Look for facilities that offer activities, such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, sports, animal therapy, and other activities that appeal most to you or your loved one.

6. Group Therapy

Depression, shame, and isolation are just some common problems experienced by those who suffer from alcohol addiction. Group therapy at an alcohol rehab center can help treat these problems by connecting you with peers who have similar issues and who understand what you’re going through.

By nature, people are relational creatures who are born into groups and who join various groups throughout their lives. Group therapy is an important aspect of addiction treatment due to the way it offers support, gratification, and connection to those committed to recovery. Many of the people you meet at rehab and in support groups can influence your behavior in positive ways that contribute to higher self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment.

Look for treatment centers that place an emphasis on group therapy and activities. Examples include group psychoeducation and substance abuse education, skills development training, cognitive-behavioral groups, and 12-step groups like AA.

7. Individualized Treatment

Every person who suffers from addiction began abusing it for their own unique, personal reasons. One person may have started drinking to battle stress and depression, while another may have started drinking as a result of being exposed to alcohol every day in their home and community. Treatment should always be customized for the individual, and should never use a one-size-fits-all approach. The types of therapies that work for one person may not be as effective for another depending on the root cause of their addiction.

Choose a rehab center that prides itself on developing customized treatment plans for each individual patient. Most rehab centers will perform an interview, assessment, and evaluation to determine which treatment program and therapies will benefit you the most. Factors they may take into consideration when developing your treatment program include your age, the severity of your addiction, and whether you have a co-occurring mental illness. Rehab centers that offer individualized treatment are invested in your well-being and to helping you experience a lasting recovery from addiction.

If you or a loved one needs help finding the best alcohol treatment center in West Palm Beach, Florida, Summer House Detox Center offers alcohol detox in a relaxed, luxurious setting to help you experience a safe, long-lasting recovery from alcohol addiction. Contact us today at 800-719-1090 to learn more about our available treatment programs. You can also visit us at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.