Alcohol Rehab Basics
Alcohol rehab, as a treatment, is a relatively new thing in health care. Not long ago there was no treatment for alcoholism as it was considered a moral failing, not a medical condition or a “disease” as it is classified today.
Alcoholics Anonymous was created by two alcoholics who wanted to create a support organization to help one another to stay sober. While a good idea, this was not, and is not, treatment.
It wasn’t until 1948 that the first residential situation specifically for alcoholics was created by Hazelden in Minnesota. This, too, was not treatment, it was a place where alcoholics could go and get a head start on working the 12 steps of recovery, as created by AA.
Alcohol Rehab Programs
For decades, the Hazelden model of alcohol rehab recovery centers was all there was. These were essentially residences, homes that were used as places where alcoholics, and later drug addicts, could go and live with others, who were also attempting to get clean and sober, in a supervised situation where they could work the steps.
In almost all cases going to AA meetings was part of the plan and where much of the steps work was done. Over time many people who had gone through one of these centers came out and started one of their own, seeing that there was money to be made from it as each individual paid to stay a month, sometimes adding up to quite a lot of money. Real estate investors began to use properties for this purpose to maximize the return on their investments.
Little by little services or features were added to help make these better programs, like exercise regimes, and highly nutritional diets.
Rehab for Alcoholics Explained
In the 1980s, the concept of dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders, was introduced into rehab for alcohol, revolutionizing the rehab programs available.
In effective, it was recognized that many instances of alcohol abuse could be traced back to an earlier trauma, or could be co-existing with some other mental health disorder for which the alcohol abuse represented relief from, in other words, self-medicating.
Today, there are a wide spectrum of treatment centers and programs. Some are still rooted in the 12 steps of AA. But many are more science based as research has uncovered the effects of alcohol on the brain and introduced methodologies that can help in recovery, such a neurofeedback, or psychological tools such as dialectical behavioral treatment (DBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), even equine therapy. Hyberbaric oxygen is also another treatment that is being used in treatment of alcoholism and other addictions.
Depending on the length of alcohol abuse and severity, detox can be a critical stage of care as detox from alcohol, in certain circumstances, can be fatal if not handled correctly.
If you are seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one, it is best to contact an expert in the addiction treatment field for guidance, such as you’ll find when you call Recovery Channel.