What is Rehab?

Because of the intensely personal qualities of addiction, no two people will follow the same path during the recovery process.  Some will rely on a 12-step program, some will use sheer grit and determination and some will go to a drug rehabilitation facility to get sober.  Drug rehabilitation, or “rehab,” is a general term for intensive, supervised programs designed to help people with drug and/or alcohol addiction. 

What is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient recovery, or residential treatment, is a type of program that is designed to deliver intense and specialized treatment for short periods of time.  Individuals are required to live 24 hours a day within a residential facility and can only leave that facility in special situations or circumstances.  This type of rehab is recommended in certain situations, such as when an individual is currently struggling with significant withdrawal symptoms, when he or she is living in an environment not conducive to recovery (such as dealing with an abusive relationship or when another person in the home is actively using) or when an individual has a severe mental health disorder. 

What is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient drug therapy is another form of treatment where a person attends treatment sessions at a facility or center, but then returns back to their home afterward.  It typically requires the addicted person to spend about 10 to 12 hours a week in recovery, which allows him or her to continue working, remain close to family and friends, and otherwise, maintain a normal daily routine.  In comparison to inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment offers far more freedom and flexibility.

Outpatient therapy is often the preferred choice for those who need to maintain their daily work activities and family obligations.  As with inpatient treatment, most outpatient facilities offer individual and group sessions, relapse prevention classes, various support groups and family counseling. 

Overall, outpatient treatment can be a good stand-alone option for someone with a mild addiction, or it can be part of a long-term treatment program.  Nevertheless, this type of program can address an individual’s many needs and result in a much lesser expense than residential treatment. 

Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab?

While many addicts are in complete denial that they even have a substance abuse problem at all, others are shrouded with deep feelings of guilt or shame about their addiction.  These feelings can lead to isolation and humiliation and can also prevent those from ever admitting to others that they have a problem.

If a person doesn’t think they have a problem or doesn’t have the desire to get clean, there is no rehab center or addiction program that’s going to work.  For an individual to get help, the desire must come from within – not from someone else.  However, there are options for friends or family members who want to help their addicted loved ones but don’t know how.  Through compassionate intervention and professional support, an individual can sometimes be motivated and empowered to seek a better path in life.    

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

The cost of treatment is an important consideration for a person struggling with addiction and, unfortunately, that cost can act as a deterrent for some.  However, the cost of treatment pales in comparison to the many costs associated with addiction. 

The price of treatment generally depends on the following factors:

Insurance Plans

Insurance plans can significantly reduce the price of rehab, and thankfully, insurance companies have begun to recognize that addiction is a treatable condition, much like other medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.   As such, public and private health insurance plans frequently cover a portion of the expense of outpatient or inpatient treatment for nearly every type of addiction.  If you have insurance, call your provider to discuss co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles that need to be met.  For those without insurance, many rehab facilities offer financing options. 

Type of Facility

Inpatient residential facilities tend to cost more than outpatient programs since they provide meals and lodging, along with wellness activities.  The cost of these programs also depends on the length of the program and location.

Location of the Facility

Individuals can choose a facility near their homes, or they could opt for a more luxury-type center in the mountains or by the beach.

Amenities/Treatments Offered

Those requiring more medical care tend to pay more for rehab treatment.  Certain therapies, such as professional counseling, can also affect how much you could pay.  In addition, certain rehabs offer a variety of amenities – all of which are added to the total cost of your stay.  These could include swimming pools, tennis courts, massages and acupuncture.

Ultimately, treatment can be expensive, but it’s important to remember that there are multiple avenues of financial assistance available to help with your addiction.  At Arise, we take into account your budget and provide you with effective treatment that matches your needs and produces long-lasting results.  For more information, please visit www.ariserecoverycenters.com.

Intensive Outpatient Programs and Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder - Intensive Outpatient Programs DFW

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a comprehensive form of treatment for mental health disorders and substance use disorders. It is a higher level of care than individual counseling. Such programs may be specific to treating addictions, mental illness, or a combination of both. Substance abuse IOPs are very helpful for treating alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol use disorder refers to problem drinking that becomes severe and leads to negative consequences. It is characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not drinking.

About 15 million people in the United States have alcohol use disorder. A diagnosis of this condition can only be met when you meet the criteria as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

According to the 2018 NSDUH study, 86.3 percent of people ages 18 or older reported drinking at some point in their lifetime. About 70.0 percent reported drinking in the past year. Also, 55.3 percent reported drinking in the past month.

For many people, alcohol consumption can very quickly become a problem. Over time, tolerance can develop. Eventually, dependence on alcohol and addiction can occur. Treatment is, however, possible, and many people are currently in recovery. Intensive outpatient programs can be instrumental in sobriety.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An intensive outpatient program is a structured therapeutic environment for substance abuse rehabilitation. As the name implies, it is an outpatient treatment. People visit a treatment center several days a week for a few hours at a time. IOPs are, however, more time-intensive than other standard outpatient programs. Unlike an inpatient program, it does not require living in the facility.

Intensive outpatient programs typically meet three to five times a week. Most programs meet three times weekly. These sessions are usually about 3-4 hours each day. The duration of IOP treatments vary but most run for about five to eight weeks.

IOPs may be a good treatment option for people who cannot go to a residential treatment facility. It is also helpful for those who were inpatient but need to continue treatment on an outpatient basis. Additionally, people in weekly counseling who need more support can step up to this higher level of care.

Typically, meetings are on weekdays in the mornings or evenings. Some programs offer multiple daily sessions. Treatment primarily consists of group therapy. In some cases, they may also provide individual counseling, medication management, case management, and even employment assistance. Drug testing is usually a component of many programs.

Goals of an Intensive Outpatient Program

Heavy alcohol consumption has many adverse effects. These include damage to the liver, brain, and other body organs. There are also legal, social, and financial issues with excessive drinking. In addition, secondhand drinking is a well-known complication of alcohol use disorder.

The primary goal of an IOP is to help individuals attain recovery and maintain their sobriety. These programs can do this while the participants still live in their homes. Thus, people can attend an IOP without disrupting their work, routine, or relationships. One huge advantage of an intensive outpatient program is that it helps people stay sober in a real-life setting. It is also much cheaper than an inpatient program.

In general, intensive outpatient programs aim to:

  • Encourage and maintain abstinence
  • Improve problem-solving skills
  • Help with a change in behaviors
  • Manage cravings
  • Develop a support system
  • Address stressors such as employment, housing, and legal issues
  • Aid participation in support system such as 12-Step groups

IOPs can provide unique personalized treatments. Groups usually have 6-12 people in each session. People are exposed to various evidence-based treatment methods. Some of these include:

Detoxification (detox) is the first stage of substance abuse treatment. This process involves safely eliminating alcohol and drugs from the body. Following detox, treatment can commence. Most IOPs do not offer services for detox. For people who require this level of treatment, referral to a detox program is needed.

Bottle, Beverage, Wine, Drink, Alcohol, Alcoholic

Differences Between an IOP and Inpatient Treatment

The primary difference between an IOP and inpatient treatment is residence. In an inpatient program, people live in a facility where they receive care. Thus, residential programs offer housing, meals, medical care, and recreation.

People with longstanding and more severe addictions tend to benefit more from residential inpatient treatment. One reason for this is that such people need to be in a different environment, free from alcohol or drugs. In some cases, home environments can be a big trigger for substance use. Hence, the need to stay away from such a situation to get proper treatment.

As much as inpatient treatment has its advantages, there are also some drawbacks. Firstly, the cost is usually higher. The time commitment can also be an issue. Most programs require at least 30 days. Some residential treatments can be as long as 3-12 months. As a result, individuals have to contend with being away from family and work for long periods.

Note, though, that treatment can be stepped down or up, depending on the case. Thus, an individual may attend an intensive outpatient program after residential treatment. Also, if an IOP is not the right fit, residential inpatient treatment is an option.

With alcohol dependence, the important thing is to get the necessary help. Depending on several factors, such treatment may be outpatient or inpatient. In either case, addiction treatment requires a comprehensive approach. Following treatment, it is crucial to have ongoing care. As we know, recovery is a journey.

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Yes, alcohol is considered a drug and has a variety of short-term and long-term adverse effects.  It enters your bloodstream as soon as it is consumed.  As you drink, you increase your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, which is the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream.  The higher your BAC, the more impaired you become by alcohol’s effects. 

Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?

Alcohol is classified as a depressant, meaning that it slows down brain functioning and neural activity – resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions and an inability to react quickly.  It also reduces the functioning of various vital functions in the body.  This is due to the increased production of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. 

However, although alcohol is classified as a depressant, the amount consumed can drastically impact whether the user experiences depressant or stimulant effects.  In small quantities, alcohol is more likely to act as a stimulant, resulting in increased talkativeness, overconfidence, increased heart rate and improvements in mood.  But if a person consumes more than the body can handle, then he or she is more likely to experience alcohol’s depressant effect. 

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain?

Alcohol can actually cause physical changes in the brain’s chemistry and functioning, which also plays a major role in the development of alcohol dependence.  When a person consumes alcohol regularly, the brain reward and pleasure centers become overloaded with increased levels of dopamine.  This “high” users experience keeps them hooked, causing them to repeat their drinking habits and behaviors. 

In addition, alcohol also can compromise one’s ability to make decisions, as well as impact one’s impulse control.  Often times, this results in a compulsion to drink.  This also makes relapse more likely when one attempts to quit drinking.  What may begin as recreational alcohol consumption can easily transition into an alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence – all due to the fundamental changes caused in the brain.

But, the brain isn’t the only place in the body that alcohol can negatively affect.   Alcohol consumption can cause problems with the heart – leading to high blood pressure and stroke and the liver – leading to cirrhosis and steatosis (fatty liver).  It can also cause serious issues within the pancreas.  More specifically, regular alcohol consumption can cause the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

Everyone is different, and though there is no litmus test to determine whether a person is drinking too much, there are signs to look out for that could signal you need to seek help.  These include:

  • You have health problems associated with your drinking.  If your doctor has shared his concerns that your drinking has caused tangible effects on your health, take heed of his advice.  Your body is telling you loud and clear that alcohol has taken its toll and it’s time to seek help.
  • Your friends and family have told you they’re concerned about your alcohol use.  When those closest to you notice your drinking, it’s time to take note.  After all, it’s easier to see the changes in your life from the outside.  If those close to you are concerned, you should be, too.  After all, they have your best interests at heart.  
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms. These can range from anywhere to headaches and nausea to cramps, insomnia and irritability.  These withdrawal symptoms signal there’s a bigger problem at bay and show how much addiction has taken hold on your mind and body.  
  • You’ve suffered consequences associated with your drinking.  This can include having lost your job, having been kicked out of school or having lost your marriage.  Either way, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your alcohol intake.  Getting help now is imperative if you want to stop the consequences you’ve already experienced from getting any worse. 
  • You’ve lost your freedom.  Incarceration is the ultimate rock bottom, and there’s nothing like sitting in a jail cell to force you to reevaluate your life and all your past choices.  If you’ve found yourself in this humbling situation recently, don’t brush it off like it’s nothing.  Get the help that you need and start moving forward with your life. 

If you are concerned about alcohol’s role in your life and would like to learn more about your recovery options, click here to connect with one of our team members. Arise Recovery Centers is an Intensive Outpatient Program that is conveniently located in Dallas, Fort Worth, McKinney, Southlake and Sugar Land. We offer individual, family, and group therapy to help those struggling with alcohol addiction recover and grow.

Early Signs of Alcoholism

Every evening you get home from work, you pour yourself a glass of wine. It has become a daily ritual, one that you spend the whole day looking forward to. But as you swallow that first sip, you suddenly realize that you’ve drank every day for as long as you can remember. A little voice in your head might be wondering: am I an alcoholic?

Determining if you have alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) can be tricky to self-diagnose; after all, no two individuals who experience alcohol abuse are the same. However, there are definite warning signs to pay attention to, and thankfully, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-5 (DSM-5), a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, has provided us with a little guidance. The DSM-5 provides clinicians with a set of 11 factors that can guide them in the diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder and its severity grade. 

11 Questions To Help Identify Alcoholism:

1.     Have you had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended?

2.     More than once have you wanted to cut down or stop drinking, but couldn’t?

3.     Have you spent a lot of time drinking or getting over drinking’s after-effects?

4.     Have you wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else?

5.     Have you found that your drinking – or being sick from drinking – often interfered with taking care of your home or family obligations? Or caused problems at school or at work?

6.     Have you continued to drink even though it was causing damage to your relationships with family or friends?

7.     Have you given up on activities that were important to you/gave you enjoyment so that you could drink?

8.     More than once, have you gotten yourself into situations that increased your chances of getting hurt?

9.     Have you continued to drink even though it was making you feel anxious or depressed? Or after having a memory blackout?

10.  Have you had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you wanted?

11.  Have you experienced withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating or shakiness, after you stopped drinking?

According to this DSM-5 tool, if a person can say “yes” to at least two of the above symptoms in the past year, then that person is considered to have alcoholism. More specifically, the existence of two or three of these symptoms equals a diagnosis of mild alcohol use disorder, while four to five symptoms is considered moderate, and six or more is considered severe.

But even if you don’t exhibit any of the above symptoms, experts say there are still other situations that you should pay attention to. First, take heed if you have a family history of alcoholism. Genetics account for about half the risk of developing addiction. Those with a family history of addiction, meaning one or more blood relatives has had a drug or alcohol problem, are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from addiction and other mental health disorders. Children of alcoholics, for example, are four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics, themselves. Secondly, if you’re using alcohol as a mechanism to cope with a life event, such as losing a job or grieving the loss of a loved one, this is a sign that you may have a drinking problem and need to make some changes to your lifestyle.

If you’re concerned about your level of drinking, Arise Recovery Centers can help. We offer a variety of outpatient alcohol treatment services that deliver personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s needs. For more information on these treatment services, please visit our Alcohol Rehab & Treatment page on our website, call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com

The Lesser Known Stage of Withdrawal: PAWS

If you’re thinking about getting sober, chances are you’ve heard about the dreaded withdrawal symptoms that occur not long after quitting drugs and alcohol.  But did you know there’s a second stage of withdrawal that’s not as well-known?  Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS, is a series of ongoing withdrawal symptoms – largely psychological and mood-related – that occur after the initial acute withdrawal symptoms have gone away.

These symptoms are individual to the drug that was used, but typically include:

  • severe mood swings;
  • anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure from anything beyond use of the drug);
  • insomnia;
  • extreme drug craving and obsession;
  • hostility or aggression;
  • anxiety and panic attacks;
  • depression;
  • and general cognitive impairment

The onset of PAWS usually occurs around four to eight weeks after getting sober, with each withdrawal episode usually lasting for a few days.

So, why does this even have to happen?  Isn’t the first stage of withdrawal symptoms enough? The damage done to a person’s brain pathways after years of drug abuse doesn’t go away overnight, and it takes time for the brain to recover.  The healing process varies from individual to individual, but some have reported post-acute withdrawal symptoms to last as long as two years.  However, don’t get discouraged – it’s important to remember that these episodes come and go and can lift as quickly as they started.

So, what can you do to help stay strong when experiencing PAWS?

First, be patient and take it easy on yourself.  Though these symptoms can be frustrating, all you can do is take your recovery one day at a time and focus on the positive changes you’re making by being sober.  Experiencing these uncomfortable side effects is actually a sign you’re moving in the right direction.

Next, practice good self-care.  How you will treat yourself in recovery will be the opposite of how you treated yourself in addiction.  Getting enough sleep, exercising and eating right will help give you strength during these post-acute withdrawal episodes and help you heal more quickly afterward.

Finally, be prepared.  If you’re caught off-guard, PAWS and the symptoms associated with it can trigger you to relapse.  But educating yourself about this syndrome and the lingering effects of substance abuse can go a long way towards maintaining your sobriety.

At Arise Recovery Centers, we have many resources available to those struggling with PAWS. With four Texas locations open to the public – Fort Worth, Dallas, McKinney and Southlake – we provide intensive outpatient and aftercare treatment to individuals battling addiction.  For more information on our individually tailored drug and alcohol treatment programs, contact us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com.

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