Alcohol Rehab Programs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Alcohol rehab is a comprehensive addiction treatment program that helps people with an alcohol addiction recover successfully for the long-term. Alcohol rehab offers a number of treatments and therapies that are directed towards treating the withdrawal, mental addiction, and physical cravings for alcohol.
To hear more about alcohol rehab treatment options, call Drug Treatment Centers Pittsburgh at (412) 235-2317.
Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol abuse and addiction are very different, although abuse can lead to physical dependence.
Substance abuse is characterized by binge drinking, which is drinking enough in two hours to increase the blood alcohol content to .08 percent. Blacking out is a common sign of substance abuse and involves memory lapses of some or all of the events that occurred while under the influence. Additional signs of abuse include:
- Engaging in risky behaviors while drinking
- Getting into trouble with the law as a result of drinking
- Drinking to self-medicate.
Addiction occurs when brain structures and functions change as a result of building up a tolerance to drinking, which means that the body requires more and more alcohol to get the same effects. In addition to building up a tolerance, other signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Neglecting responsibilities at home and in the community.
- Experiencing intense cravings.
- Continuing to drink despite negative consequences.
- Continuing to drink despite trying to stop or wanting to stop.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
- Abandoning activities once enjoyed.
How Does Alcohol Abuse Turn Into an Addiction?
Initially, drinking increases the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter responsible for producing feelings of calm and well-being. Over time, however, drinking suppresses the activity of GABA, and more drinks are needed to get the desired effects. At the same time, the activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which is responsible for feelings of excitement, is suppressed, and it responds by functioning at a higher level than normal.
Once these brain functions have changed, quitting drinking will cause the activity of these neurotransmitters to rebound, and withdrawal symptoms will set in as the body's way of indicating that it needs alcohol to operate "normally." Once this occurs, it's clear that a physical addiction has set in.
How Alcohol Rehab Works
Breaking the physical addiction is the first step in alcoholism treatment. Medical detox is used to break the physical addiction and involves administering medications as needed to prevent or alleviate the intensity of certain withdrawal symptoms, which may include a highly dangerous or fatal condition known as delirium tremens, or DTs.
After medical detox has broken the physical addiction, various treatment therapies are employed to address the far more complex psychological aspects of the addiction. These typically include cognitive and behavioral therapies, which help patients develop self-awareness concerning their ideas, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding the addiction.
Alcohol rehab starts with medical detoxification, which breaks the physical addiction with the help of medications that are administered by physicians to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms associated with reducing or abstaining from drinking. The second phase of rehab is the treatment phase, during which various therapies are used to treat the complex issues behind the addiction. The third phase of rehab is the implementation of an aftercare plan to help prevent relapse once treatment has been successfully completed.
After treatment is successfully completed, a relapse prevention plan is personalized and implemented to help patients maintain the momentum for recovery gained in treatment. The aftercare plan will typically include ongoing group, individual, and family therapy as well as participation in a community support group like Alcoholics Anonymous or Smart Recovery.