For all the popularity of alcohol, everyone knows at least one person who has struggled with alcoholism. And there have been hundreds of cases of celebrities, politicians, and other public figures getting treatment for an alcohol habit that got out of hand. We hear a lot about words like “rehab,” “detox,” and “therapy” when it comes to alcohol treatment, but what does all of that entail? How does it help someone get clean and stay clean? And what does this mean for you, or someone you know, who is fighting a battle against the temptation to keep drinking?
What happens in the brain during alcohol withdrawal? GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the main calming neurotransmitter of the brain. GABA and adrenaline are supposed to be in balance during normal brain functioning. Frequent drinking causes the brain to produce less GABA, because the brain begins to rely on alcohol for part of its calming. So, frequent drinking causes your brain chemistry to be out of balance with an excess of adrenaline. When you suddenly stop drinking, your brain doesn’t have enough GABA neurotransmitter to balance the excess of adrenaline, which causes withdrawal symptoms.
Many successful drug and alcohol rehab programs include members of your family in your treatment program. Research has shown that including family and friends in the educational process significantly improves rehab outcomes. Some programs include family members and friends throughout the entire rehab process, from the initial assessment through continued follow-up aftercare.
The signs of addiction vary from drug to drug. Some drugs take longer to produce noticeable symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms blend in with normal behaviors, making it difficult to tell that the person is addicted. Common signs of addiction include needle marks on the arms of people who inject drugs and constant nose sores on people who snort drugs.
Caring for a person who has problems with alcohol can be very stressful. It is important that as you try to help your loved one, you find a way to take care of yourself as well. It may help to seek support from others, including friends, family, community, and support groups. If you are developing your own symptoms of depression or anxiety, think about seeking professional help for yourself. Remember that your loved one is ultimately responsible for managing his or her illness.
In the past, alcohol rehab programs provided a standardized set of treatments for each patient, regardless of age, gender, psychiatric history, or demographic group. Today, alcohol treatment programs and alcohol treatment centers have become more specialized in order to meet the needs of a diverse, highly varied group of patients. Choosing a course of treatment has become more complicated, but the results of a careful search are likely to be more successful — and more satisfying to the individual.
Advances in medical research have given addiction specialists new insight into the treatment of alcoholism. However, the Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report states that alcohol abuse remains the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States, despite innovations in behavioral health modification, psychotherapy, and addiction medication. The following studies and statistics reflect the power of this disease:
Alcoholism treatment typically consists of a detox, followed by rehabilitation. Rehab programmes take place in either an inpatient or outpatient clinic, depending on your needs and circumstances. How severe your illness is, the length of time you have been addicted, and your personal situation will all play a role in what type of programme you choose.

Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy can take place one-on-one with a therapist or in small groups. This form of therapy is focused on identifying the feelings and situations (called “cues”) that lead to heavy drinking and managing stress that can lead to relapse. The goal is to change the thought processes that lead to excessive drinking and to develop the skills necessary to cope with everyday situations that might trigger problem drinking.
As the brain matures, experiences prune excess neural connections while strengthening those that are used more often. Many scientists think that this process contributes to the steady reduction in gray matter volume seen during adolescence (depicted as the yellow to blue transition in the figure). As environmental forces help determine which connections will wither and which will thrive, the brain circuits that emerge become more efficient. However, this is a process that can cut both ways because not all tasks are desirable. The environment is like an artist who creates a sculpture by chipping away excess marble; and just like bad artists can produce bad art, environments with negative factors (like drugs, malnutrition, bullying, or sleep deprivation) can lead to efficient but potentially harmful circuits that conspire against a person's well-being.
Alcohol rehabilitation is the process of combining medical and psychotherapeutic treatments to address dependency on alcohol. The goal of both, drug and alcohol rehabilitation (inpatient or outpatient) is for the patient to remain permanently abstinent and gain the psychological tools for long-term sobriety. Who should attend rehab treatment? Anyone who’s life, health, work or relationships are affected by chronic alcohol or drugs use. The intent of rehabilitation is to enable a patient to be successful in life and avoid the drastic consequences that alcohol abuse can cause.
Within the framework of the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), substance dependence is redefined as a drug addiction, and can be diagnosed without the occurrence of a withdrawal syndrome.[6] It was described accordingly: "When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped. This, along with Substance Abuse are considered Substance Use Disorders."[7] In the DSM-5 (released in 2013), substance abuse and substance dependence have been merged into the category of substance use disorders and they no longer exist as individual diagnosis.[8] Russel Brand on Addiction and the 12 Step Program
All drugs–nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and others–affect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. This area of the brain affects instinct and mood. Drugs target this system, which causes large amounts of dopamine—a brain chemical that helps regulate emotions and feelings of pleasure—to flood the brain. This flood of dopamine is what causes a “high.” It’s one of the main causes of drug addiction. Making the Decision to Get Help - Alcohol Rehab Review
Persistence in drinking, even when daily life is being negatively impacted by the effect of the alcohol dependence, is one of the biggest signs of abuse. A person who is addicted to drinking simply cannot stop drinking, even as the evidence of the harm they are doing to themselves and the world around them mounts. Alcohol offers an escape from their responsibilities and realities, and this is preferable to confronting the truth of the destructiveness of their addiction. Similarly, resisting pleas, requests, and demands to stop drinking is a surefire sign of abuse.
Psychological dependency is addressed in many drug rehabilitation programs by attempting to teach the patient new methods of interacting in a drug-free environment. In particular, patients are generally encouraged, or possibly even required, to not associate with peers who still use the addictive substance. Twelve-step programs encourage addicts not only to stop using alcohol or other drugs, but to examine and change habits related to their addictions. Many programs emphasize that recovery is a permanent process without culmination. For legal drugs such as alcohol, complete abstention—rather than attempts at moderation, which may lead to relapse—is also emphasized ("One is too many, and a thousand is never enough.") Whether moderation is achievable by those with a history of abuse remains a controversial point, but is generally considered unsustainable.[2]
Before starting the treatment process, a person must first recognize their condition and have a desire to quit drinking. Sometimes, an individual may acknowledge they have a drinking problem on their own. Other times, family members or friends may stage an alcohol intervention. This involves loved ones expressing their concerns about the person’s excessive drinking patterns. An intervention also helps to start the discussion about treatment and support options that are available.
Cocaine is often viewed as an elite drug, associated with movie stars, models, and other celebrities; however, the destructive consequences of cocaine addiction are anything but glamorous. Produced from the leaves of the South American coca plant, cocaine can be snorted as a powder, or diluted with liquid and injected into the bloodstream. In the form of crack, cocaine can be smoked for an intensified rush of energy. As a central nervous system stimulant, cocaine accelerates the activities of the brain, nerves, and heart, putting even healthy users at risk of heart attack or stroke.
Engaging with Searidge's extensive aftercare program works efficiently with your daily responsibilities and individual and therapeutic needs and offers proven and crucial support for maintaining sobriety. Our Aftercare program offers group therapy sessions over the phone from the comfort and convenience of your own home. No need to sacrifice an entire evening driving to some location when you can pick up the phone and be connected to a welcoming group therapy session of 5 to 6 others talking with a counsellor, all of whom you may already know through your time at Searidge. You can also get individual counselling over the phone, or communicate with our Aftercare community through our private in-house social network site. Our Twitter and message services send out inspirational funny and engaging tweets and messages several times a day to our Aftercare community. We also offer refresher weekend getaways to alumni who want to reconnect more intensively. We also run a Smart Recovery Aftercare program and are part of the Smart Recovery community that offers virtual Internet meetings across Canada, the USA, England, and Australia. The wide array of Aftercare services including more intensive Sober living facilities are reviewed with each resident as part of their "Exit Plan" which assures them of our ongoing support as they return to successfully stand up to the challenges of their daily lives.
The first step toward recovery is admitting that the problem exists. We understand that this is often the most difficult step. If you suffer from alcohol addiction, coming to terms with the fact that alcohol has become a destructive force in your life is tough. Still, we urge you to face up to the reality as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner you can begin your journey to a clean, healthy, and sober life. We encourage you to do it sooner rather than later.
If the patient has an antisocial personality (ie, severe problems with family, peers, school, and police before age 15 y and before the onset of alcohol problems), recovery is less likely. If the patient has primary depression, anxiety disorder, or another potentially contributory disorder (the other disorder must antedate the problems with alcohol or it must be a significant problem during long periods of sobriety), treat this primary problem aggressively.
Crucially, DBT is also collaborative: it relies upon the ability of the addict and therapist to work things out together interactively. DBT is broken down into four modules – Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness – which is an approach which allows addicts to focus on one particular task or aspect of themselves at once, and enables the therapy to be targeted more acutely at the individual addict and their own particular situation.
Pharmaceutical opiates are now considered to be a more serious threat to public health than illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine. The widespread popularity of prescription analgesics like Vicodin (a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen), oxycodone (OxyContin), and Percocet (a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen) has made these drugs much more accessible to Americans, many of whom obtain the drugs without a prescription. The journal Pain Physician reports that out of the 5 million Americans who admitted to abusing pain relievers in 2010, only 17 percent obtained the drugs through a legitimate prescription.

Searidge Drug Rehab is located in the famously picturesque Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia overlooking the Annapolis Basin and just minutes from the seacoast. Throughout the year the lush scenery reflects the healing cycle of nature’s seasons in all their beauty. The serenity of being surrounded by nature on an extensive acreage helps to heal the mind, the body, and the spirit.
Inpatient medical residential treatment involves pharmaceutical therapy and medication management from health care professionals to help clients safely work through recovery. It’s at this time that co-occurring disorders are also diagnosed and evaluated (dual-diagnosis). Inpatient drug rehab centers like The Recovery Village are designed with clients in mind. The Recovery Village offers a variety of wellness programs, therapy options and medical support structures to ensure clients have the tools they need to heal.
Two factors have been identified as playing pivotal roles in psychological dependence: the neuropeptide "corticotropin-releasing factor" (CRF) and the gene transcription factor "cAMP response element binding protein" (CREB).[9] The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is one brain structure that has been implicated in the psychological component of drug dependence. In the NAcc, CREB is activated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) immediately after a high and triggers changes in gene expression that affect proteins such as dynorphin; dynorphin peptides reduce dopamine release into the NAcc by temporarily inhibiting the reward pathway. A sustained activation of CREB thus forces a larger dose to be taken to reach the same effect. In addition, it leaves the user feeling generally depressed and dissatisfied, and unable to find pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, often leading to a return to the drug for another dose.[17]

Under the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity Act, rehabilitation centers are able to bill insurance companies for substance abuse treatment.[51] With long wait lists in limited state-funded rehabilitation centers, controversial private centers rapidly emerged.[51] One popular model, known as the Florida Model for rehabilitation centers, is often criticized for fraudulent billing to insurance companies.[51] Under the guise of helping patients with opioid addiction, these centers would offer addicts free rent or up to $500 per month to stay in their "sober homes", then charge insurance companies as high as $5,000 to $10,000 per test for simple urine tests.[51] Little attention is paid to patients in terms of addiction intervention as these patients have often been known to continue drug use during their stay in these centers.[51] Since 2015, these centers have been under federal and state criminal investigation.[51] As of 2017 in California, there are only 16 investigators in the CA Department of Health Care Services investigating over 2,000 licensed rehab centers.[52]

Are you seeking an inpatient rehab center near you? There are hundreds of residential rehabilitation centers (inpatient rehab facilities) all over the country. The Recovery Village has various outpatient and inpatient treatment centers locations throughout the U.S. To find an inpatient facility near you, refer to the following Local Rehab Resources page, which allows you to narrow your search by city and state.
Quality of life improvement. Drug rehab is about helping the patient learn how to avoid relapse on an ongoing basis, but it should also be about helping patients to improve their daily experience. This happens when they are given the assistance they need to handle the other issues in their life that may be diminishing their ability to remain clean and sober. Health problems, legal issues, family problems – all these and more should be addressed on an as-needed basis at an effective addiction treatment program.
Inpatient addiction treatment focuses on stabilization and assessment of your health to ensure you are ready--physically, psychologically and emotionally--to learn about core recovery concepts and to begin practicing recovery principles. Each day, you will be given a schedule of treatment activities, appointments and services tailored to meet your specific recovery needs and goals. Learn more about what happens in a typical day of inpatient addiction treatment.
Detox is not the expulsion of ‘toxins’ from your system,  but a reaction of your nervous system to the absence of alcohol. Withdrawal from alcohol and its sedative effects results in an overreaction of the nervous system. A number of severe symptoms can develop, such as disorientation, extreme anxiety, diarrhoea, very high blood pressure, delusions, heart rhythm changes etc. This is very dangerous if not supervised and monitored by personnel experienced in addiction recovery treatment. These symptoms can now be controlled in a safe way through proper medical attention and pharmacotherapy during the detox period. Our clinical staff has extensive experience dealing with alcohol detox and conducts the process in as much safety and as comforting an environment as possible. This is a vast improvement from a time before modern medicine when there was a death rate of 33% for those going through severe alcohol withdrawal.

Group therapy tends to involve a licensed professional and multiple patients. Although group therapy sessions can occur at inpatient facilities, they are more likely to happen in the other rehabilitation programs. Group therapy sessions can last up to an hour. These sessions tend to be particularly useful because they help confront one of the primary issues of addiction.


Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment is intended for men and women who are struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This includes alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Many who struggle with alcoholism find the most success with inpatient rehab treatment. Clients in this program typically begin with inpatient alcohol detox to rid their bodies of any harmful toxins from the drugs or alcohol. If necessary, they may also be prescribed medications to help reduce alcohol cravings or reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Whether you’re seeking inpatient PTSD treatment, residential rehab for depression (inpatient treatment for depression), or any other inpatient mental health treatment, The Recovery Village’s programs can help. As an outpatient and inpatient facility, The Recovery Village is equipped to treat these disorders simultaneously with substance use disorders on an inpatient basis. Treating these conditions together is often the best way to achieve optimum results.

Some factors are relatively straightforward – for example, location (unless you feel that you would benefit psychologically from knowing that you are as far away as possible from your dealer/s and your drug-taking environment, it is usually best to look for a facility relatively close to you) and cost (it may be that some specifically luxury facilities are outside what is affordable for you).


Friends and family: The loved ones of those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often want to help but aren’t always sure how to bring it up. It’s worth it to ask loved ones if they are willing to assist with the cost of treatment, even if one is embarrassed to do so. Perhaps it could be discussed as a loan that the individual can work to pay back over time. This may be a last resort for some, and even for those who ask, the answer may be no, but it’s a chance for loved ones to be involved and invested in recovery.
Many patients get caught up in trying to define their relationship with drugs and alcohol. For example, drug abuse, has a far less threatening reputation than that of drug addiction. According to Medline Plus, an issue with drug abuse is defined as the regular abuse of any illicit substance including alcohol over the course of a year with negative consequences. These negative consequences can be financial, interpersonal, work-related, legal, health-related – anything that changes the patient’s experience of day-to-day life for the worse.2

For all the popularity of alcohol, everyone knows at least one person who has struggled with alcoholism. And there have been hundreds of cases of celebrities, politicians, and other public figures getting treatment for an alcohol habit that got out of hand. We hear a lot about words like “rehab,” “detox,” and “therapy” when it comes to alcohol treatment, but what does all of that entail? How does it help someone get clean and stay clean? And what does this mean for you, or someone you know, who is fighting a battle against the temptation to keep drinking?
Nalmefene, an opiate antagonist that is similar in its chemical structure to naltrexone, is one of the most recent drugs being investigated for the treatment of alcoholism. Like naltrexone (sold as ReVia, Depade, or Vivitrol), nalmefene deprives the person struggling with substance use of the pleasurable feelings associated with drinking. But nalmefene is less toxic to the liver than naltrexone. As of 2013, nalmefene was still undergoing clinical trials through the U.S. National Institutes of Health before receiving FDA approval. From Rehab to a Body Bag | Dying for Treatment: VICE Reports (Full Length)
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