If a person is suffering from an alcohol addiction, going through alcohol rehab is the best way for them to recover from their condition. However, many recovering addicts try to overcome their addictions alone rather than seeking out alcohol rehab. This is a mistake because the majority of alcoholics who try to go it alone fail to fully recover and end up relapsing.
Alcohol rehab is a form of addiction treatment and recovery that occurs in a residential treatment facility. In other words, the person suffering from an alcohol addiction takes up residence (or stays) in a treatment center full time while recovering from and receiving treatments for their addiction to alcohol. This allows a person to focus 100 percent of their time and energy on their addiction recovery as well as to help them avoid relapse while going through treatment as they will have absolutely no access to alcohol while in rehab.
Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction (alcoholism) are two concepts that often get mixed up or confused. This is due to the fact that many people think the two are the same thing. However, alcohol abuse is actually a symptom or sign of alcoholism rather than alcoholism itself. In fact, a person may abuse alcohol without developing an addiction. This is not to diminish the potential effects of alcohol abuse on the mind and body as abuse, even without addiction, can be deadly.
Alcohol abuse is the repeated or habitual misuse of alcohol. This means the person may drink too much, drink at inappropriate times, or may drink to self-medicate for physical and mental illness or problems. Alcohol abuse is often seen in two specific forms, binge drinking and blackouts (or blackout drinking).
Binge drinking is a form of alcohol abuse in which a person consumes a large quantity of alcohol in a short period of time. For the average person, this amount will be between three and four alcoholic beverages within one to two hours maximum. However, the amount may be slightly more or less depending on gender, physical size, and genetics. Binge drinking is most commonly seen in young adults between the ages of 19 and 34 as well as in older adults over the age of 55.
Blackouts from drinking are not a loss of consciousness. The term blackout actually refers to the loss of short-term memory, a condition known as anterograde amnesia. This means that a person's blood alcohol level gets so high that the alcohol interferes with their brain's ability to convert current experiences to memories. This means that until the amount of alcohol in the person's body drops back down to a certain level, everything the person experiences will be a blank when they try to recall them in the future.
Alcohol abuse transitions to alcohol addiction when a person develops a physical addiction to alcohol. When alcohol gets into the bloodstream, it sends signals to the brain telling it to perform some actions and block or stop others. With frequent and continued alcohol abuse, the brain begins to only perform the instructed actions when alcohol tells it to. When this happens and the brain comes to rely on alcohol to perform certain necessary functions, the alcohol abuse has become an addiction.
Alcohol rehab is a useful form of treatment because it addresses both the physical and mental addiction to alcohol while keeping the recovering addict focused on their treatment full time and without the potential for relapse. This is accomplished starting with medical detox to break the physical addiction, and then moving on to the mental addiction with therapy (individual and group) as well as other treatments including restorative yoga and art therapy among others.