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Is an Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Treatment Center Really Necessary?

Alcoholism can have devastating effects in peoples’ lives, making it all but impossible to change things around for the better. More oftentimes than not, people struggling with chronic alcohol abuse problems require an intensive treatment approach in order to overcome alcohol’s effects in their lives. Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers take a comprehensive treatment approach that works to help those in recovery overcome the damaging effects of chronic drinking.

Alcoholism’s Effects

Alcohol works as a depressant-type drug, slowing down chemical processes throughout the brain and central nervous system. Over time, these slowing effects all but rot the body’s cells, compromising a person’s health and bringing on any number of ailments and diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, between the years 2006 and 2010, alcoholism accounted for 88,000 deaths per year within the United States.

alcohol abuse

Alcohol abuse can lead to a cycle of dependency.

In effect, alcohol abuse practices set the stage for a cycle of dependency to take hold. This dependency cycle affects how the mind works while causing widespread deterioration throughout the body. Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers specialize in addressing the types of problems alcoholics face, both physical and psychological.

Physical Withdrawal

Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to get past at the start of recovery entails the severe withdrawal effects that develop once a person stops drinking. For chronic drinkers, withdrawal effects can be life-threatening depending on the extent of damage alcohol leaves behind.

According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, withdrawal effects can develop within five to 10 hours after a person’s last drink, with the worst of effects unfolding within 48 to 72 hours. From there, both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms can persist for weeks.

Withdrawal effects may take the form of:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation

Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers have ample experience in helping drinkers make it through this difficult stage of recovery.

Psychological Dependency

More than anything else, an alcohol addiction affects how a person thinks to the point where alcohol becomes the only motivating factor in his or her life. Alcoholism breeds psychological dependency, leaving a person unable to cope with daily life without alcohol’s effects.

Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers place a heavy emphasis on helping a person overcome the hold alcohol has on his or her thinking and life outlook. Psychological withdrawal effects commonly encountered in inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Muddled thinking processes
  • Poor judgment and decision-making
  • Panic episodes
  • Denial of the problem

While the physical withdrawal effects can prevent a person from abstaining, it’s the psychological withdrawal effects that drive him or her back to the addiction lifestyle.

Signs of Alcoholism

During the course of a growing addiction, the brain naturally develops an increasing tolerance for alcohol’s effects. By the time a person needs the level of care offered by inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers, he or she is likely showing clear signs of alcoholism.

As tolerance levels rise, drinkers must keep increasing consumption amounts in order to experience the desired effects. In effect, increasing tolerance levels become the driving force behind alcohol addiction.

Signs of alcoholism to watch out for include:

  • Frequent episodes of physical withdrawal
  • Loss of control over amounts consumed
  • Persistent drug cravings
  • Binge drinking
  • Blackout episodes
  • Problems at work
  • Problems at home
  • Problems with the law

Considering the overall destruction left in addiction’s wake, inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers also provide aftercare planning to help a person get his or her life back on track in terms of finding work, housing or other daily life needs.

Dual Diagnosis Conditions

The damaging effects of alcohol on the brain can quickly cause full-blown psychological disorders to develop. According to the University of Washington, as many as one out of every three alcoholics struggles with some form of mental illness, with heavy drinkers four times more likely to develop major depressive disorders.

Once psychological disorder takes hold, it becomes that much more difficult for drinkers to maintain sobriety. In effect, alcoholism and psychological disorder feed off one another creating a vicious cycle of addiction and mental illness.

Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers offer dual diagnosis treatment, which works to address the effects of addiction and mental illness together, rather than as separate illnesses. The integrated treatment approach provided by inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers offers those in recovery the best chance at maintaining long-term abstinence.

Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Treatment Center Provisions

Medication Therapies

The effects of alcoholism on the brain create a state of chemical imbalance that severely limits a person’s ability to abstain from drinking for any length of time. Likewise, once a person stops drinking, the full effects of withdrawal can be too much for a person to bear.

Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers provide medication therapies during the detox stage of recovery as well as for long-term maintenance purposes in cases where severe brain damage is present. Medications used include:

  • Naltrexone
  • Antabuse
  • Gabapentin
  • Ondansetron

For people struggling with dual diagnosis conditions, inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers may also use medication therapies to treat symptoms associated with mental illness.

Psychosocial Treatment Interventions

The psychological effects of long-term alcohol abuse essentially warp a person’s mindset to the point where alcohol becomes the focal point of his or her life. Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers offer a range of psychosocial treatment interventions designed to help alcoholics undo the addiction mindset and develop healthy lifestyles.

Interventions used by inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers include:

  • Drug education
  • Drug counseling
  • Daily psychotherapy sessions
  • Group therapy
  • Relapse prevention training


Alcohol rehab programs exist to treat all stages and severities of alcoholism with inpatient alcohol rehab treatment centers offering the most intensive treatment approach. Not everyone will require the level of care provided through inpatient programs, but those who do really can’t afford to settle for anything less than the type of comprehensive treatment approach these programs employ.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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