Alcohol Rehab Treatment Modalities
For those working to end a dependence on alcohol, inpatient rehabilitation programs offer support, medical intervention and strategies for remaining sober. An effective alcohol rehab treatment center offers individualized recovery plans which draw from several types of treatment modalities.
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, or CBT, is frequently used to treat individuals dependent on alcohol or drugs, or both. CBT is a form of “talk therapy” with two main components: functional analysis and skills training. In functional analysis, the patient works with a therapist to identify the thoughts and feelings associated with drinking, and to gain insights into the motives for drinking. Skills training aims to help the patient unlearn old coping strategies and incorporate healthy new ones.
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment can be used in conjunction with other treatment modalities such as medication or support groups and can be accomplished on both inpatient and outpatient bases. For some patients, CBT is the primary or one of the primary treatment modalities; for others, it supports another type of primary treatment such as medication.
Medical treatment involves the use of medications to support an individual’s return to sobriety by affecting the body’s responses to alcohol dependence. FDA approved drugs for medication management include Disulfiram, which causes a severe reaction when the user drinks alcohol; Naltrexone, sold under a variety of names, which blocks the “high” alcohol delivers to the brain; and Acamprosate, which helps reduce the physical discomfort of quitting alcohol.
Medication can only be used by those who are not actively drinking, and this treatment is most often used in combination with other treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral treatment.
Inpatient rehab facilities, particularly those geared toward long-term residence, make work a part of treatment. Everyone in the rehab community has a job to do, and in this way patients learn personal responsibility, how to work with others, and how to make positive decisions.
Work therapy is also combined with other treatment modalities. Successful work performance can earn rewards such as an outside pass or a “promotion,” and CBT and group therapy sessions can offer additional support for an individual’s recovery.
In long-term rehab programs, the patient’s environment is highly structured and initially limited. A patient earns more freedoms as treatment goals and milestones are met. Rewards such as passes into the world outside the community, free time and more responsibility in work duties can help patients learn to work toward goals and make responsible decisions.
Group work, in the form of AA-type meetings or other groups planned by the therapy staff, can help patients share experiences and support each other, and offer ways for therapists to teach healthy strategies for recovering from alcohol dependence. In long-term rehab facilities these sessions complement one on one sessions with therapists and counselors, and other modalities such as medication.
Recovery from alcohol abuse can be a long process. Drawing from a variety of modalities, inpatient rehab facilities provide individualized treatment plans to support each patient’s unique circumstances.