How Long Does Alcohol Rehabilitation Last?

Rehabilitation Treatments Depend on the Patient

Typical treatment plans for alcohol use disorder (AUD) will cover three levels of programs: a 30-day program, a 60-day program, and a 90-day program. There is an interview and physical first, along with input from your doctor if your doctor determines you need treatment. Treatment can also be out-patient, in-patient at the rehabilitation center, or partial hospitalization.

All treatment plans are dependent on the patient and what the issues are which also need treatment, aside from alcohol. If the patient had a spouse or other family member pass away, the pain of loss and continuous grieving may be what caused the initial attraction to drink alcohol.

Sometimes, just talking about the loss with a counselor can help with getting past some of the grief.

A counselor can also discuss with the patient about things the patient might like to do in life, providing a glimpse of what is possible for the patient to focus on and look forward to.

Grief therapy becomes part of the program along with detoxing the body of alcohol and then staying away from alcohol altogether. In a customized program like this, in-patient treatment is required to keep a focus on the goal of returning to healthy living.

If the loved one’s passing was traumatic, such as a car accident or a murder, where feelings of anger are in play because the patient was not there to help the loved one, then grief therapy becomes very important to overcome this anger and grief. The highs (anger) and lows (grief) can swing radically from one level to another and drinking alcohol exacerbates these emotions.

How do you know you are addicted to alcohol? You may have always been a moderate drinker, such as one to two drinks every night before or during dinner. This is what we call a habit. But when you lost your spouse to death, you began drinking more than usual until you found you could not stop drinking. Now you are addicted because you cannot stop, even if you tried to reduce your intake. It is time to ask for help. Recognizing that you need help, is the first step to recovery.

So how does the alcohol treatment work when you are an in-patient at a rehabilitation center?

The In-patient Program

If you have an alcohol addiction, you will first need to detoxify your system. This means enduring an amount of time going without alcohol and monitoring how your body and mental state react to detoxing daily. In detoxification, alcohol has numbed your mental processes as well as your central nervous system and, now, that cushion is no longer there to take off that edge.

When your body is deprived of the numbing effect of alcohol, you are more alert and aware, which is painful to your body. Everything occurring around you is amplified ten-fold in the early stages of your treatment, and you may think you need something, anything to take the edge off what you react to.

You may feel out of control because you are having withdrawal symptoms. Typically, withdrawal symptoms begin about six hours after taking your last drink. The next 48 hours to 72 hours are the hardest to get through in detoxification and you require another two weeks of full 24/7 monitoring of withdrawal symptoms after that.

Rehabilitating in a treatment center provides a more soothing atmosphere. Instead of being bombarded with your daily routine, you are in a calm place which helps you ‘dial down’ better than trying to detox while still living at home and going to work. Detoxification is the hardest part to get through when starting your treatment program. After two weeks, you will begin mental therapy to address the issues of what caused you to become addicted to alcohol, such as the loss of your spouse to death.

Partial Hospitalization

In some situations, and depending on your body’s chemical makeup, you may need to be in a hospital while going through a detoxification program. This happens when you have another physical issue (illness, injury), such as heart or breathing problems. You may also have panic attacks or asthma, any number of things that require more intensive care than what a rehabilitation center offers.

Once you are beyond the crucial point of withdrawal symptoms, you would enter the rehabilitation center to complete the rest of the program. You meet your counselor and begin speaking about those things which caused you to abuse alcohol in the first place. You are still monitored for symptoms of addiction throughout the time you are in rehabilitation.

Your program may also require you to enter an exercise program that starts you off slowly so you can build your strength as you progress. Exercise is healthy and a great way to release natural chemicals called endorphins in your body which make you feel good. You may find that this is a good habit to take on as your body becomes healthy.

Getting Help Breaking the Addiction Cycle

Whether you figure out that you need help or someone close to you says you have a problem with drinking alcohol, then it is time to ask for help to get healthy again. Alcohol addiction treatment center in San Diego, CA can help you with any substance addiction and/or mental issues you might have so you can regain a happy and functional lifestyle again. Call us for a free consultation and to set up an appointment to start getting help as soon as possible. 619-350-8220.

Skip to content