The question of who needs inpatient alcohol treatment often comes up when individuals realise that they may actually have a problem. With both inpatient and outpatient programmes available, it is not uncommon for those affected by alcoholism to wonder what type of programme might best suit them.
The reality is that anyone can benefit from an inpatient programme but not everyone necessarily needs it. For example, someone who has realised quite early on that his or her control of alcohol has lessened might benefit from a programme of inpatient alcohol treatment, but he or she might do equally as well in an outpatient programme.
On the other hand, someone with a severe alcohol addiction would more than likely need an inpatient programme as he or she would find it extremely difficult to stay sober if trying to recover in the outside world, where access to temptation is all around.
How Does Alcohol Addiction Develop?
If you are at the stage where you are wondering who needs inpatient alcohol treatment, it is probably because alcoholism either affects you or you are concerned about someone you love. Either way, you might be keen to know more about the illness and how it develops.
As you probably know, alcohol is a legal substance and one that is consumed by most adults in the UK (and indeed, the rest of the world). But did you know that it is one of the most commonly abused substances in our country and that there are hundreds of thousands of individuals currently struggling with alcoholism?
The reality is that not everyone who drinks alcohol will develop a problem, and not even everyone who abuses alcohol will become addicted. There are some who will binge drink from time to time, or drink slightly more than the Government’s recommended weekly allowance of fourteen units. While both scenarios could be classed as abuse, the result does not automatically mean an alcohol addiction.
Nevertheless, for some people, regular abuse of alcohol can lead to a problem. But how does this happen? Scientists do not know for sure why some individuals develop an addiction to alcohol while others do not. They do know how it happens though.
Alcoholism tends to begin with experimentation, which is closely followed by social use. Alcohol affects the brain’s pleasure and reward centres, but in some people, the effects are more profound than in others. These areas of the brain are hijacked in some affected individuals and they feel tend to feel more pleasure from alcohol than others do.
The more alcohol that is consumed, the more tolerant one becomes to it. This means that if you are an affected person then you need more alcohol to achieve the feelings you desire. Maybe you have noticed that you are now drinking a lot more than you used to? This is because your brain is releasing fewer feel-good chemicals in response to the alcohol. You now need more to stimulate the pleasure centres and to force a release of these chemicals. However, the more alcohol that you drink, the more likely it is that your brain and body will become accustomed to it and then crave it when the effects wear off. This is how addiction develops.
Why Did You Develop an Addiction?
Now that you know how your alcohol addiction has developed, you may be wondering why you have been affected when others in a similar situation as you have not. The reason for this is not so straightforward. It is impossible to pinpoint an exact cause of alcoholism for everyone, but certain factors make the probability of it developing higher.
For example, if you have a family history of addiction or mental health problems, the risk of developing an addiction yourself is much higher than someone who does not have such a family history. Your risk is also higher if you have suffered emotional trauma such as neglect, any form of abuse, being bullied, losing a loved one, or witnessing a horrific accident.
Moreover, you may also have a higher risk of becoming an alcoholic if you were exposed to alcohol at an early age. If you drank alcohol before the age of eighteen, for example, your risk is higher than for someone who did not drink until after this age.
Do You Need Inpatient Alcohol Treatment?
So, who needs inpatient alcohol treatment? Do you? The only way to answer this and similar questions is to consider how severe your addiction is. It is recommended that you consider inpatient treatment if:
- you have tried to quit using an outpatient programme in the past but have relapsed
- you have had severe withdrawal symptoms when trying to go without alcohol
- you have underlying medical problems that could result in life-threatening implications were you to relapse
- you have underlying mental health problems that could make recovery more complicated
- you have a chaotic or stressful home life that could have an impact on your recovery programme
- you work in a job that is safety-sensitive, such as operating heavy machinery, driving vehicles, or you are a nurse, doctor, or police officer
- you are addicted to alcohol and another drug.
What is Inpatient Treatment Like?
Private clinics typically provide inpatient alcohol treatment in the UK. These programmes run for anywhere between four and twelve weeks, and how long you stay usually depends on how severe your addiction is, whether you also have an underlying mental health problem, and how you are responding to treatment.
Inpatient programmes are structured, concentrated, and provide the opportunity to get well in the shortest amount of time. If you choose this type of programme, you will be fully immersed in recovery from the moment you enter the clinic.
Every day will be spent in treatment and you will work with counsellors and therapists who want you to get better. You will be provided with a programme of treatment that has been designed with you in mind. Most of your day will be taken up with counselling and therapy but you may also attend workshops and seminars. Furthermore, you might also take part in holistic treatments such as yoga, massage, and meditation.
You will more than likely have a private en-suite bedroom, but in some clinics, shared occupancy is also available. You will be expected to have your meals with other patients in the dining room and there may or may not be free time in the evenings or at the weekends where you can interact with other patients and take part in activities to relieve your stress and improve wellbeing.
Rehabilitation for addiction is all about learning how to live without relying on alcohol. It will mean substantial changes to your lifestyle, and you must be willing to commit one hundred percent to a programme of recovery if you want to achieve long-term success.
If inpatient alcohol treatment is right for you, you can expect to have to pay for treatment. Most inpatient programmes in the UK are privately funded, and while they can be expensive, the cost usually pays for itself in the long run.
If you work hard and commit to the programme, you could become sober in a matter of weeks. You will need to change your lifestyle and work hard on your sobriety going forward, but if you do, you will soon be able to turn your life around. When you are sober and when your recovery is stronger, you can start to get your life back on track. You can return to work or look for a new job and you can start to enjoy spending time with your loved ones again without alcohol dictating your life.
If you are interested in finding out more about inpatient treatment, please give us a call. Oasis Recovery offers excellent treatment programmes to help overcome all types of addiction. We can provide you with information and advice on taking the next steps on the road to sobriety. Call today to talk to one of our friendly advisors who will answer all your questions.