At Hope Network Center for Recovery, we understand how difficult it can be to recognize when social drinking has turned into an alcohol addiction. So often, “problem drinkers” try repeatedly to regain control over their drinking, and sometimes they are successful for a short period. But inevitably, they resume drinking despite promises never to drink again.
The problem drinker often cannot understand what is happening or why he or she cannot control their drinking. They may even notice that they are drinking more than they used to, maybe needing a drink to get started in the morning or in the middle of the night to get back to sleep. Perhaps they notice that they are giving up things that they used to enjoy because they would rather drink or the alcohol hangovers are too painful. They might notice that if they do stop drinking for a day or two, they are shaking, nauseous, and unable to pursue their daily tasks.
If this experience seems familiar, you are not alone. Approximately 20% of adults in Michigan and 18% of adults nationwide drink excessively.*
*USA Today 03/08/2018 with cdc.gov Data on Excessive Drinking report.
Why can’t some people just stop drinking on their own? Why do they need professional help?
At Hope Network Center for Recovery, we know that some people can stop on their own or perhaps just need a little support to help them through the initial rough spots. In this case, outpatient sessions may be recommended for the patient. Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that often gets worse before it gets better, and relapse after a period of sobriety may occur. Here are some reasons why a person may relapse or not be able to stop on their own:
- Problem drinking can be genetic and/or hereditary, passed down from older generations to the person afflicted.
- The alcohol is often seen as a survival coping mechanism for persons who have experienced trauma.
- The group of friends who drink heavily every time they get together can lead to binge drinking.
- Many with mental health concerns drink to self-medicate for anxiety and depression.
How We Can Help
So how do we provide alcohol rehab? First off, at Hope Network Center for Recovery the process begins with getting to know the person. An experienced therapist meets with the patient to find out how alcohol has affected her or his life, relationships, physical and mental health, and sense of self. The therapist will conduct an in-depth assessment to see if “problem” drinking is an alcohol addiction or on the way to becoming one. After the assessment, the therapist will offer a professional recommendation as to the appropriate level of care based on what has been shared or observed, as well as results from evidence-based substance abuse assessment tools. A recommendation for detox may be given if the patient is at risk for significant withdrawal symptoms.
The following is a snapshot of the levels of alcohol rehabilitation services offered at Hope Network Center for Recovery:
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Patients at this level of care meet in a group setting, three mornings per week from 9am-noon. In addition to learning about addiction, relapse prevention, and coping skills for recovery, they spend time processing how they are coping with day to day stressors at home or at work after the IOP sessions ended. IOP allows the patient an opportunity to disconnect from the stresses and anxiety that may be contributing to her or his drinking, share with others going through similar feelings and situations, and to practice recovery skills with others before returning to a potential stressful environment.
- Sample Topic for Intensive Outpatient Therapy Group:
- “I have to attend a family social event this weekend, how can I do that and not drink when everyone around me is?”
Individual Outpatient Therapy: This level of care is an opportunity for patients to meet one-on-one with a therapist. It is often started after completing a more intensive level of care or as a recommended level of service at the time of the initial assessment. Sessions are typically one hour and include suggestions on how to manage day-to-day life when not drinking and address deeper concerns that have contributed to feeling the need to escape now that relationships, work, and daily life are back on track. Our therapists also provide coordination with probation, and coordinate care with oversight programs such as LJAP, HIMS, and HPRP. Outpatient sessions can be scheduled for multiple times per week, weekly, bi-weekly, or scheduled as needed for patient support.
- Sample Individual Outpatient Session:
- We begin with taking a few minutes to practice a breathing exercise to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. A client may then raise an issue of how their spouse may still be angry and does not trust that the drinking has stopped.
If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol addiction, please call us at 616.279.3725. Our experts would love to have a confidential conversation with you to learn more about what you’re experiencing, and to talk about how we can help.