Rehab Designed to Address an Alcohol Drinking Problem

Dr. Brittany Ferri PhD

This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Brittany Ferri PhD
Written by livia owen

Mental health professionals view a drinking problem as alcohol consumption that causes severe consequences in someone’s life.

There are various categories of alcohol misuse, including social, moderate, binge, and heavy. These terms can be confusing with a lot of grey areas since most are not official. However, if a person is suffering any significant consequences due to these types of alcohol use, it’s time to get help for their addiction.

How does someone (or their loved one) know when they have crossed the invisible line between moderate and heavy alcohol use?

People may have difficulty with the grey area of knowing when to take action for excessive alcohol consumption. Those who like alcohol tend to have friends with similar preferences and habits. For this reason, alcohol consumption can make the user blind to the amount and frequency of their use and the harm it causes themselves and others.

A person does not necessarily have to be an alcoholic to have an issue with alcohol. If someone loses the ability to control their drinking, this may be an early sign of alcoholism. At this point, they should consider getting a professional assessment. Any one of the following life-altering events indicates it may be time to get help:

  • Inappropriate actions or speech
  • Excessive spending
  • Worsening physical health
  • Brain damage
  • A diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome, which is when a child is born addicted to alcohol or other substances
  • A car crash or other accident resulting from intoxication

Depending on the state where the accident occurs, someone convicted of drunk driving will have to enter some form of treatment for alcohol addiction. And this is typically the bare minimum requirement, which often results in jail time or heavy fines.

When someone drinks alcohol, they can act carelessly due to inhibition. It may say and do things it wouldn’t otherwise say and do. Issues such as getting into a fight or injuring someone else while drunk automatically qualifies someone for treatment.

Another significant sign of alcohol addiction is losing a job because of consistent tardiness, absence, or poor performance. Someone with alcohol addiction may also have strained interactions with others. In some cases, spouses may end their relationships because of alcohol. 

If someone (or their loved one) is contemplating whether or not they have an alcohol addiction, they should begin by answering these twelve questions. These questions should not replace a professional assessment, but the results can give someone a good idea about their relationship with alcohol.

When someone undergoes treatment for alcohol addiction, their care focuses on learning about the disease of alcoholism. It helps a person see more clearly that alcohol is harming them. Another essential component of recovery is intensive therapy, which allows someone to see where their thinking and behavior have gotten off track to behave differently in the future.

Alcohol rehab is an educational, therapeutic process. A person who has been consuming too much alcohol has to learn to make dramatic lifestyle changes. In addition, the academic portion teaches a person about the disease concept.

The therapeutic aspect helps people see how their choices and behaviors have hurt their lives and the lives of those around them. Evidence-based practices are the most effective types of therapy for alcohol addiction.

There are various levels of treatment for alcohol issues. An addiction professional will firstly complete an evaluation to determine the right level for someone’s needs. Each has its type of treatment plan and criteria for admission.

Detox (detoxification) is always the first step of a treatment program. Alcohol, unlike some drugs, requires detoxification. Specific programs, such as Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs), also have a group therapy requirement, usually involving three to five sessions of counseling per week. Day programs, also known as partial hospitalization programs (PHP), consist of half-days of therapy five days each week. 

As you can see, these are just some options that may be suitable ways for someone to recover from alcohol addiction. If you are interested in long-term treatment centers, use this helpful resource to find inpatient residential treatment programs nationwide.