Many alcoholics may have never been admitted to or even known someone that has been admitted to a residential treatment center, so they have no idea whatsoever about what normally happens in alcohol rehab. While there are many different types of alcohol rehab centers with various treatment methods most have several things in common and are not always what people expect.

One of the most surprising things about alcohol rehab centers that shocks first time visitors is that alcoholics are literally free to leave at any time, even if they have been ordered by the court to enter a rehab center. Alcoholics are free to leave at any time, but often if they change their mind and want to come back they will need to find another rehab facility or face the legal consequences if they have violated a court order. Entering an alcohol rehab center is not like being “committed” to a mental institution that may restrain patients and prevent them from leaving before treatment is complete.

There are literally many thousands of residential alcohol rehab centers throughout America with a wide variety of styles and locations. Some are more rural or urban in location and setting while others remind you of an upscale spa or even an institutional hospital ward. While comfort level and visual appeal often varies from facility to facility, the styling of the facility really has little to do with the success of the treatment.

For alcoholics that chose to stay and complete the alcohol rehab, they can expect some variation on these steps that are common to almost all alcohol rehab centers.

The first step is detoxing and abstaining from consuming alcohol. While many residential rehab facilities have their own detoxification process, many more centers today are requiring clients to complete this necessary step prior to entering their rehab center. If this is the case at a particular alcohol rehab center, you can certainly find centers that specialize and focus in dealing with alcohol withdrawal as an inpatient for a period of time that lasts about five to seven days.

The next step in alcohol rehab often involves educating the alcoholic about alcohol use and the effects of alcoholism on themselves and others. This is often the time that remnants of an alcoholic’s denial are often dealt with so that they realize the true seriousness of their alcoholism and will commit themselves to obtaining and maintaining abstinence from alcohol and living a sober life.

Most alcohol rehab centers will also provide individual and group therapy with a counselor that is specially trained in addiction and alcoholism. During this phase of treatment, the aim is to teach alcoholics the life skills that they need to live and interact with others without the need for alcohol as well as learning new coping skills to deal with cravings as well as how to seek out support and provide support to other recovering alcoholics.

After this, family meetings are an additional component of successful therapy that is offered at many alcohol rehab centers. At these meetings friends and family members learn how to stop enabling an alcoholic to continue drinking as well as giving the alcoholic a chance to hear how their drinking has affected their loved ones and to begin the process of making amends where possible.

Once an alcoholic completes treatment at the alcohol rehab center, many treatment programs provide after care support to continue to counsel, monitor and support the recovering alcoholic as they walk the road of recovery and begin to lead a new sober life.

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