The previous article outlined the role that alcohol rehabilitation and loved ones can play in an alcoholic’s life. It pointed out that accessibility of treatment programs make a difference. A string of failed rehab visits can still contribute to ultimate success. And total abstinence may not be necessary in every case.
This installment looks deeper into the beliefs and thought patterns of alcoholics according to research published by Addiction Today, the National Addiction Centre and eATA. For alcohol treatment to be effective, it has to be flexible. Programs that cater to specific belief patterns and personality traits enjoy much higher rates of success. When looking for an alcohol rehab program, it is important to look for those that customize treatment to meet each client’s needs and situations.
The second set of five facts about alcohol and drug rehab look specifically at how a client’s belief systems, attitudes and understanding of relapse play into long-term recovery:
6. Client’s Beliefs Have to Be Considered
One of the most encouraging findings about alcohol rehabilitation is that a range of approaches will work. With this in mind, it is important that the client and addiction counselor work together to create an effective treatment regimen.
Evidence suggests that recovery programs are more effective when the client’s beliefs and worldview are taken into account. If a client adheres to a particular religion, then it is completely appropriate to tailor a rehabilitation program that takes these religious tenets into account. Opposite this, a program that contradicts a client’s beliefs or worldview is less likely to succeed.
7. Customized Rehab Is More Effective
No two clients are the same, and an alcohol rehab program that fails to realize this is doomed from the outset. There are many variables to consider in treating alcoholism. The use of medication, length of treatment, therapeutic approach and setting should all be taken into account.
One client may flourish in a rehab setting that is close to home, where friends and family can visit. Others may see better results if they withdraw and spend time working through their drinking problem in a more private setting. Pushing for a one-size-fits-all approach is ill-advised, and the rehab programs that recognize this enjoy higher rates of success.
8. Motivation and Belief in Oneself Matter
Motivation matters when it comes to treating alcoholism. The previous article pointed out that initial motivation does not correlate to successful recovery. However, any alcohol rehab program that aims for success has to engender motivation as part of the process.
Luckily, motivation is something that can be inspired in the course of treatment. A client has to believe in their own ability to change, and the desire to achieve recovery is essential to ending an addiction. Rehabilitation programs can enhance a client’s motivation and self-efficacy, and those that do so are significantly more effective.
9. Obstacles to Recovery Have to Be Considered
Some of the biggest obstacles to long-term recovery are the attitudes and beliefs that alcoholics develop over time. In many cases, the client may not even be aware of their own destructive beliefs. Addiction counselors are trained to identify these attitudes and address them in a constructive, non-aggressive way.
There are a few common but destructive beliefs that most alcoholics and drug addicts live by. One is that drinking or using are necessary in order to cope with daily life. When stress piles up or tragedy strikes, some alcoholics truly believe that drinking is the only way they can get by. Similarly, some addicts believe that having a good time is impossible unless they are intoxicated. For the clean and sober, it is easy to see the fallacy of these beliefs. However, alcoholics often need guidance in understanding the fundamental problems with these views.
10. Preventing Relapse is Essential
Dealing with relapse is precarious. Research indicates that backsliding can be a natural part of long-term recovery, and that it does not equate to utter failure. However, clients who accept this too readily may be more prone to letting a momentary backslide turn into full-blown relapse.
The goal of any comprehensive alcohol rehabilitation program is encouraging clients to prepare for the possibility of relapse without resigning themselves to its inevitability. Successful programs set time aside to strategize. The client and counselor can talk about potential relapse scenarios and how to deal with them. Along the way, it is important to underline that preparing for the potential to backslide does not mean that relapse prevention is not possible.