Alcohol use disorder affects millions of people across the country, yet only a little more than seven percent of those affected actually seek treatment. Part of this is because many people think they can overcome an alcohol dependency on their own, but an even larger part of it is that they don’t know what to expect from an alcohol rehab program.
They might have heard how difficult and painful it is to overcome an addiction, and they get scared from trying to become sober. Others are simply afraid of any kind of change, even one that will ultimately be healthier for them. Going through any rehab program is difficult, but it is a little easier for some people if they know what to expect. Not all alcohol programs in New Jersey will operate the same way, but there are enough similarities that we can discuss to hopefully put your mind somewhat at ease if you believe that you need treatment.
Your first step when beginning an alcohol rehab program in New Jersey is checking into the facility itself. A reputable rehab center will begin the check-in with an intake interview about your drinking habits and your overall health. This is important for finding out more about you and your needs. Many people who seek treatment for alcohol use disorder also have underlying issues that need to be addressed, and an intake interview or questionnaire helps with that. The staff can then work with you to decide what kind of treatment you’ll need.
Detox and Withdrawal
Since it’s likely that you’ve been drinking for a while, you’ll first need to detox and overcome your physical dependency. This is the hardest part of any rehab program, especially since alcohol withdrawal can cause some intense symptoms such as:
- An irregular heartbeat
- Excessive sweating
- Mood swings
In extreme cases, the worst alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. This is why it’s important that you never attempt to detox by yourself. The worst of the physical symptoms can be managed with medication in a professional facility. Even if you don’t need medically-assisted detox, a rehab facility can still provide a safe environment for you until your symptoms pass. This usually lasts between four to five days, although that can depend on factors such as your age, weight, how long you’ve been drinking, and your overall health.
Treatment and Therapy
Once you’ve completed detox, your next step is to begin your therapy and treatment. This can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days depending on the level of treatment you require. Some facilities offer inpatient programs that will require you to remain in the facility, while others have outpatient programs that allow you to live at home and report to a treatment center for therapy sessions regularly. Some programs last longer and will require you to stay in a sober living home. Sober living homes provide you with some independence so you can get used to living on your own without the influence of alcohol. The kind of therapy you’ll need will depend largely on your needs.
Since no two people are alike, there are plenty of options to choose from. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy helps patients recognize thought patterns and responses so that they can learn to make healthier choices. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy might be helpful if your behavior is influenced by previous trauma in your life. If your drinking is affecting relationships in your life, you might engage in family therapy or marriage counseling. The bottom line is that most people who are addicted to alcohol have underlying issues that also need to be addressed, and therapy can help with that.
Recovery from addiction is an ongoing process. Even after you’ve completed an alcohol rehab program, you’ll likely be in therapy and other treatment programs for years to come. This might involve seeing a therapist regularly, or it might mean attending a program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The goal here is to address the reasons for your drinking and ensure that you remain healthy and sober. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol use disorder, don’t hesitate to contact us at 833-610-1174 to learn more about treatment programs near you. Overcoming any addiction is difficult, but knowing a little more about what to expect can make things easier.