What to Expect from Alcohol Rehab in Edison NJ

Alcohol addiction can have a notable impact on a person’s everyday life. It can introduce risks of physical injury, mental health disorders, financial troubles, and even co-occurring substance use. As with all addictions, identifying it early and treating it before it develops typically produces the best recovery outcomes. However, many individuals in need of addiction treatment shy away from it. For many, that’s because they don’t know what to expect from the recovery process and thus fear it. At Little Creek Recovery PA we’ve seen this manifold, and keenly grasp the need for such information. Therefore, and to hopefully set your mind at ease, here we’d like to outline the process of alcohol rehab in Edison NJ, and beyond.

What is alcohol use disorder?

Initially, let us briefly define alcohol use disorder (AUD). If you or your loved ones are seeking alcohol rehab options, you may find this section of use.

The term previously used for this condition, colloquially anyway, was “alcoholism”. Now, an alcohol use disorder is, as the name implies, problematic use of alcohol and dependence. It describes an individual who does not just consume alcohol, or is not simply a “social drinker” – but one who faces notable everyday challenges because of alcohol use.

This bears noting because feeling excessive guilt over alcohol consumption or misdiagnosing dependence are both counterproductive. At the same time, AUD should not be taken lightly; NIAAA categorizes AUD as a brain disorder. As such, if you or your loved ones do receive such a diagnosis, exploring your options for alcohol rehab in Edison NJ would be wise.

An illustration of a brain over a blue background.
Alcohol use disorders are, in essence, brain disorders.

The diagnosis of alcohol use disorder

To be specific, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines the exact criteria for AUD. Citing it, NIAAA asks if you have, in the past year:

  • Ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended
  • Wanted, more than once, to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t
  • Spent a lot of time drinking, or being sick or getting over other aftereffects of drinking
  • Wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else
  • Found that drinking, or being sick from drinking, often interfered with taking care of your home or family, or caused job troubles or school problems
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink
  • More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt
  • Continued to drink after having had a memory blackout, or even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious, or adding to another health problem
  • Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want, or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you sensed things that were not there, or had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or a seizure

The presence of at least two of the above would qualify someone for an AUD diagnosis. Additional symptoms determine addiction severity:

  • Two to three; mild addiction
  • Four to five; moderate addiction
  • Six or more; severe addiction
A close-up of a doctor keeping notes.
An alcohol use disorder diagnosis must meet specific criteria.

Warning signs and symptoms

Now, before seeking alcohol rehab in Edison NJ, or elsewhere, you would need to observe warning signs of possible addiction. Doing so early can secure an early diagnosis, which should hopefully lead to swift treatment.

According to Addiction Center (AC), the most common signs of alcohol intoxication include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rambling or repetitive statements
  • Difficulty standing up or walking
  • Disorientation
  • Agitation or anxiety
  • Glassy or blank stares

As we highlighted above, however, such signs by themselves shouldn’t alarm you unless they appear consistently. Since alcohol consumption is quite prevalent and socially acceptable, compared to other substances anyway, infrequent alcohol intoxication may not be indicative of an AUD.

Instead, you may use such symptoms as a starting point, and begin to look for the diagnosis criteria above. Consider if you or your loved ones are:

  • Experiencing alcohol intoxication frequently
  • Preoccupied with alcohol consumption
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while intoxicated but continuing to consume alcohol
  • Experiencing social isolation, declining self-care, or decreased academic or professional performance
  • Observing any signs of declining mental health, such as anxiety or loss of motivation

These are the kinds of symptoms that should, indeed, alarm you. Alcohol use in moderation should typically not have such effects, so you may be observing misuse or abuse.

A glass of wine on a black surface.
There are many signs which can signify the line between alcohol use in moderation and alcohol misuse has been crossed.

Risks associated with alcohol use disorder

Finally, AUDs come with an array of short-term and long-term health risks. These include physical, emotional, and psychological dangers, as any treatment provider for alcohol rehab in Edison NJ will confirm.

According to AC, short-term side effects of alcohol abuse include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Impaired judgment
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Blackouts

Long-term side effects are numerous and come in all 3 of the above categories. Physical risks include serious health complications, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Hand tremors
  • Gastritis
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Neurological impairment or nerve damage
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Compromised immune system
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat

Psychological and emotional side effects, including kindling mental health disorders, can include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mood swings or aggression
  • Sexual problems
  • Social isolation
  • Poor self-care and hygiene

And finally, many combinations of the above can lead to non-medical complications as well – including:

  • Legal and financial issues
  • Accidents or injuries at work
  • Decreased productivity or performance at work or in school
  • Strained relationships with friends and family, leading to isolation
  • Dependence on alcohol to relax

The frequency and severity of such symptoms do of course depend on the severity of each addiction. Still, an AUD can have a devastating impact on a person’s everyday life – especially if left untreated for too long.

A depressed individual leaning on a wall.
Alcohol use disorders can often lead to social isolation and depression.

What to expect from alcohol rehab in Edison NJ

Now, with the above in mind, it should be clear that AUDs can present serious risks if overlooked. Still, it’s only logical to feel reservations about seeking help if you’re unaware of what the rehab process looks like.

So here, to set your mind at ease, we may cover how alcohol rehab centers in Pennsylvania treat AUDs. While your experience may vary across treatment providers, the fundamentals will remain the same.

Program structure

First, all rehab programs follow a specific structure. One’s journey across them may differ depending on addiction severity and other factors, but the framework remains the same.

  • The journey to recovery begins with the admissions process, where your treatment providers will evaluate each case. They will often explore your financing options, instruct you on what to pack, and make arrangements for your transportation.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). The initial phase for most addictions, except the mildest ones, comes in MAT. This process helps the individual detox from harmful substances using appropriate, FDA-approved medications in a safe clinical environment.
  • Inpatient/residential programs. Once MAT concludes and the individual has endured withdrawal, continued clinical care is often necessary. In such cases, programs for inpatient alcohol rehab in Pennsylvania will continue the journey in clinical settings and under strict medical supervision.
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs). Often a step-down service from Inpatient programs, PHP programs for alcohol rehab in Edison NJ then follow. These serve as a link between clinical programs and outpatient ones, as they begin to focus on therapy more strongly. They entail some hospitalization as needed, but allow the individual some flexibility to see to outside duties.
  • Outpatient/Intensive Outpatient programs. Once the individual is ready to focus on therapy and begin returning to everyday life, Outpatient programs become an option. Outpatient detox rehab in PA will entail specific hours of weekly therapy, depending on the program and its intensity. Here, the individual will typically attend group therapy, and have such options as family counseling.
  • Finally, once the individual successfully completes rehab, aftercare programs offer the final safeguard against relapse. Such programs will build a support network, including communication with therapists and additional group therapy options, to cement recovery. For alcohol addiction specifically, sober living homes offer an excellent aftercare option.
A close-up of a person holding a medical prescription.
From the admission phase to post-rehab prescriptions, alcohol rehab programs follow a rigid structure.

Daily structure and free time

During rehab itself, you should also expect a solid everyday schedule as well as recreational free time. In rehab of all kinds, both are necessary; structure is needed to promote discipline and well-being, as well as enhance recovery outcomes, and free time allows the individual to grow and thrive on their own.

The exact everyday structure you follow may vary quite significantly, of course. It will depend on factors like your exact program progress and unique needs, and on your providers’ settings and amenities. Still, the following should outline the typical day in alcohol rehab in Edison NJ:

  • In the morning, you will typically wake up early. You can expect a healthy breakfast, and often some guided classes like yoga or exercise to start the day strong. After that, some therapy sessions should take place – either individual or group therapy.
  • You may then have some time off until lunch, after which you may continue therapy. If the prior sessions were group ones, these will likely be individual ones and focus on behavioral therapy. Afterward, you will typically get some more free time to rest, reflect on your sessions, or engage in recreational therapy.
  • After your afternoon break, and typically after dinner, you may have the option of another brief group session. In alcohol rehab, those tend to be ones based on the “12 Steps” of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). After that, you may get more time off, and should then expect bedtime at a reasonable hour.
A close-up of a psychotherapist keeping notes.
Psychotherapy is a staple of alcohol rehab, to help the individual uproot the causes of addiction.

Therapeutic activities

And finally, regardless of your everyday activities, you should also expect a wealth of therapeutic activities. Most treatment providers understand the need for such therapeutic approaches and offer an array of them to best facilitate recovery.

Such activities during alcohol rehab in Edison NJ can include:

  • Music therapy. There is a long history of using music therapy for addiction treatment, and most providers will encourage it. Depending on their amenities, you may have such options throughout the day.
  • In part due to its increasing appeal, yoga has also preoccupied treatment professions. Yoga for addiction treatment does indeed help heal the mind alongside the body, so many providers will provide yoga classes and encourage participation.
  • Outdoor adventure. Especially for later stages of recovery, the great outdoors can also offer tremendous healing benefits. If your provider offers one, an adventure program will entail outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and others.

What to look for when choosing an alcohol rehab center

Of course, who you choose as your treatment provider will depend on an array of factors too. Your location, exact needs, recommendations by friends and family, and other factors will inform your choice.

Still, having discussed all of the above, we strongly encourage you to examine your candidates carefully. Addiction can run deep, and will often require a thorough and consistent approach to uproot. So, if you’re looking for alcohol rehab in Edison NJ, we advise that you look for the following in your candidates.

A smiling man talking on a mobile phone.
Choosing your ideal alcohol treatment provider should depend on specific criteria.

Prior experience

Naturally, prior experience is a crucial factor. Your candidates should have as much knowledge and hands-on experience on the subject of addiction treatment as possible. Examine their story and years of activity, possibly including their portfolio and client reviews. Don’t neglect to gauge their professionalism in advance if you contact them, either.

Thorough therapeutic options

Second, as we discussed above, addiction can manifest in different ways and will often require different approaches. Psychotherapy is a key part of alcohol addiction therapy, most notably including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral therapy (DBT). As such, you should ensure they offer CBT and DBT for alcohol use disorder treatment – ideally alongside other therapeutic activities and approaches.

Dual diagnosis treatment

Third, you should thoroughly confirm that your providers offer dual diagnosis treatment. AUDs often co-occur with mental health disorders such as depression, as NIH finds. These cases require simultaneous treatment for both addiction and such disorders to guarantee successful recovery outcomes.

Robust aftercare

That’s because relapse rates are unfortunately quite high. Across all addictions, NIH finds that 40-60% of all individuals eventually relapse. For alcohol addiction specifically, NCBI notes that up to 65–70% of recovered individuals may relapse within one year of treatment. Therefore, your providers should offer a robust aftercare program which can help prevent relapse.

Insurance coverage

And finally, you should ensure your provider accepts your health insurance. Rehab costs can become prohibitive without coverage, unfortunately, which can prevent individuals from seeking treatment. Collect such common questions as “does Cigna cover alcohol rehab” and make sure your provider helps you with this crucial part of the process.

A hiker on a mountaintop.
Alcohol rehab may seem daunting, but it’s only a journey to the life you deserve.

Summing up

To summarize, alcohol rehab in Edison NJ, and beyond can feel prohibitive or unappealing for many reasons. You may not have identified an AUD in yourself or a loved one, for instance, or you may fear insurance coverage and final costs. Even more commonly, you may simply not know what rehab looks like, and that may be making you anxious.

There’s no need to fear, however. Alcohol rehab is typically very comfortable and follows a robust science-backed framework while personalizing programs for each case. If you pick your treatment providers carefully, you can look forward to a structured and pleasant journey to recovery. While brief, we hope this outline of AUDs and the addiction treatment process has set your mind at ease. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact us today.

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