The Importance of Alcohol Detox, Rehabilitation and Aftercare in Addiction Recovery

For those who abuse alcohol on a regular basis, the risk of alcoholism increases. The more the individual drinks, the more likely he or she is to build up a tolerance, which would mean that more alcohol would be required each time in order to achieve the desired effect. Once alcoholism has developed, it is usually necessary for the individual to complete an alcohol detox before starting the process of rehabilitation.

The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is often seen as a harmless substance because of the fact that it is legal and socially acceptable. It is usually present at parties and social gatherings and is even purchased as gifts for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. It is understandable, therefore, that so many people would not view it as dangerous.

However, alcohol can be harmful to health when abused because it is so addictive. Those who binge drink put their health and even their lives at risk while long-term abuse of alcohol can lead to many physical and mental health problems including heart disease, chronic depression, liver disease, dementia and cancer. For those who abuse alcohol regularly, addiction is very likely, which can lead to a whole new set of problems both with poor health and lifestyle.

Comprehensive Recovery Programmes

Most people who want to overcome an alcohol addiction will require an alcohol detox. This is because they will almost certainly have a physical dependence on alcohol if they have been abusing it for a long time. However, an alcohol detox alone is never enough when it comes to beating alcoholism.

Comprehensive recovery programmes are required to ensure long-term success when it comes to addiction recovery. This includes an alcohol detox, rehabilitation and aftercare. It is important that each stage of the recovery process is completed in order to have a strong and stable sobriety. But what is involved in each stage of the journey?

Alcohol Detox

Alcohol is a substance that depresses the central nervous system; it affects almost every cell in the body and, as such, alcohol detox can be a complicated process. As most individuals who go through the process of alcohol detox will experience many different withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to severe, and because it is impossible to tell which symptoms a person will experience, it is wise to detox under medical supervision in case of emergencies.

Symptoms typically begin around six to twelve hours after the individual has stopped drinking. In general, the earliest symptoms will be mild and could include anxiety, mood swings, sweating, shaking and nausea. As the process continues, symptoms may worsen, and you may feel quite unwell. However, in a supervised facility, medical professionals can usually prescribe medication or nutritional supplements to make you more comfortable.

In general, an alcohol detox will last for around 7-10 days, after which time you will be ready to move on to rehabilitation treatment.


Rehab programmes are generally based on the inpatient or outpatient model. Inpatient programmes are most often provided by private clinics and usually run for around six to eight weeks. With an inpatient programme, the patient stays in the facility and has no access to temptations and triggers from the outside world. Each day is filled with therapy and counselling sessions as well as seminars, workshops and other activities, all designed to help overcome the cycle of addiction. This type of programme is beneficial to all people with an addiction to alcohol, but particularly those with a severe problem. Being away from everyday life allows the addict to focus on nothing but his or her recovery.

Outpatient programmes differ in that there is no overnight stay and the programme is, therefore, less intensive. Patients attend the rehab facility on a regular basis for counselling or therapy sessions but will then return home afterwards. Most experts agree that this type of rehab programme is most suited to those with less severe addictions.


The recovery process does not stop when rehabilitation ends; in fact, aftercare is a very important part of the process and is one that should not be overlooked. While alcohol detox tackles the physical side of the illness and rehab is designed to deal with any psychological and emotional issues, aftercare will help with maintaining sobriety.

Studies have shown that the first year of sobriety is the time when most people suffer from a relapse. It is, therefore, vital that the recovering addict gets all the support he or she needs at this time. Most rehab providers will offer aftercare services, which could mean regular counselling sessions or phone contact as and when needed. There are also several other resources that help, including fellowship support meetings.

If you would like information on the recovery process, including alcohol detox, rehabilitation and aftercare services in your area, contact us here at Addiction Helper today.

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