When you’re trying to break free from an alcohol addiction, it can be hard to know what kind of treatment to start with. Should you attend a 12-step program on the first day or sign in to a medically-managed inpatient treatment facility? Look into a sober living home or find a sponsor?
Recovery can be a daunting road when you’re starting out, and knowing your options for alcohol addiction treatment programs can make the journey much smoother. Here’s the basics when it comes to alcohol rehab and how you can get connected.

What types of rehab are there?

Alcohol addiction treatment programs are split into two basic categories: inpatient and outpatient. There are many additional and supplemental programs that can be added into treatment at any time.

Inpatient alcohol rehab

Residential alcohol rehab, also called inpatient rehab, is any form of treatment where individuals spend the night in the care and supervision of a provider. Inpatient treatment is often medically-managed treatment, meaning you have access to both medical and mental health support in this stage of recovery. Residential alcohol rehab is designed for a higher intensity of care, and caters to individuals who are trying to get sober for the first time, have experienced a setback in recovery or for those who have relapsed. Inpatient treatment occurs around the clock and is the best place to go through detox.
During inpatient alcohol rehab you’ll benefit from medical care for detox symptoms (like pain relief, seizure prevention, fluids to combat dehydration and so on). You’ll also receive support in planning your next step in treatment, whether you progress to intensive outpatient, called IOP, or outpatient alcohol rehab.

Outpatient alcohol rehab

Outpatient alcohol rehab is treatment in which people return home at night in between sessions. Intensive outpatient programs are less time-consuming than inpatient, but generally fill the bulk of the day following the same schedule as a work week, for example. 
Outpatient treatment can also be less demanding, though, sometimes occurring for an hour or two a day, or a few hours each week. Those who partake in outpatient treatment have completed detox and are generally a week or more into recovery. Once the worst of the physical urges have passed, treatment focuses on the psychosocial aspects of sobriety, like managing triggers, coping and making lifestyle changes.

Supplemental programs

Formal treatment is designed and implemented by trained clinicians and focus primarily on detoxing and therapeutic modalities that prevent relapse and make recovery sustainable. There are many other supplemental programs or living arrangements that can support treatment, but these are generally not termed “treatment” themselves.
Sober living homes may or may not include alcohol addiction treatment programs. Either these homes will have staff that are addiction specialists and provide group or one-on-one therapy, or they will require participation in some form of recovery programming outside of the facility.
12-step meets are peer support groups, and are non-clinical in nature. While-12 step programs can make the difference in long-term recovery and provide great social support, they are, in themselves, not alcohol treatment. 
Other therapies and activities like nature therapy, animal-assisted therapy, self-care, nutrition and exercise are excellent supplemental programs to add to your treatment regiment, but should not replace formal rehab.

How long is alcohol rehab?

Rehab is not one-size-fits-all. How long rehab is will differ for each person depending on numerous factors, including the following.
  • The duration of the addiction
  • The amount of the alcohol consumed
  • The frequency of alcohol consumption
  • A person’s metabolism
  • A person’s size and gender
  • A person’s history of addiction and recovery attempts
  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors

There are many things that play into each experience of rehab, and each person will experience unique symptoms so it’s important to refrain from having rigid expectations of a time frame for rehab. When asking the question “how long is rehab?” you’ll find general timelines to be more helpful and accurate than a hard-and-fast schedule.

Generally, rehab is split into two parts. The first part covers the days a person experiences alcohol withdrawal and detox. The worst symptoms of withdrawal peak within the first 72 hours, and to completely detox takes less than two weeks on average. Detox happens during inpatient alcohol rehab.

The next stage of rehab takes much longer, and includes outpatient treatment and continuing services. A person may partake in intensive outpatient care for two week up through several months. Or, a person may directly begin weekly outpatient treatment after inpatient care and continue with this routine for years.

As recovery progresses, treatment becomes less and less intensive. Once a strong foundation is laid and you feel that you are able to fight off triggers, manage emotions, battle cravings and create a sustainable and sober lifestyle, you’ll find you it takes little maintenance work to keep up with your recovery. However, the time frame for this phase of treatment varies largely and could last months or years.

Where should I look for alcohol rehab in PA?

Choosing the right alcohol addiction treatment program isn’t difficult when you know what to look for. Understanding the options available can help you choose the best alcohol rehab in PA and give you the confidence to pursue sobriety for good.
Silvermist Recovery offers a variety of treatment modalities to help you find freedom from alcohol abuse. With residential and outpatient alcohol rehab programs you’ll be sure to find treatment that meets your needs. Call today to learn more.