For more than a decade, the Finnish government has taken a very proactive stand in dealing with alcoholism in that country. Their efforts at eliminating alcoholism are the direct result of the fact that alcohol abuse is a far more serious problem than the use of illicit drugs. Alcohol rehab in Finland reflects that reality in its very structure.
Accessing alcohol or drug rehab in Finland usually begins by seeking out assistance at a public health centre. There are private rehab centres in the country, but these are not as abundant as other regions of Europe. In fact, the biggest challenge for rehab in Finland is a fractured and inconsistent system that can vary widely from one municipality to the next.
Any resident of Finland in need of rehab would do well to seek out the assistance of a referral agency like ours. Britons who plan to travel abroad for treatment can also contact us for more information about going to Finland. The most important thing to know is that treatment is necessary to overcome alcohol dependence.
The Structure of Alcohol Rehab in Finland
As alcohol addiction is far more widespread than addictions to illicit drugs, most of the public treatments in Finland are rather generic in nature. Addicts of all kinds are funnelled into the alcohol abuse programme and then treatments are more focused from there. As far as the structure of treatment is concerned, it is based on a multi-tiered system similar to that which is found in other European countries.
Alcohol rehab is divided into five tiers, or categories: outpatient clinical care, short-term inpatient care, long-term rehab, peer support activities, and social support services. The first category, outpatient clinical care, is the most generic and is the starting point for almost all addicts in Finland.
Outpatient alcohol treatment includes a comprehensive assessment designed to determine whether the patient needs more comprehensive treatment or not. After the evaluation, a patient could be referred only to counselling or, alternatively, be sent to detox. Family counselling may also be recommended as a result of the assessment.
Both short- and long-term inpatient treatment include detox. However, there is a very substantial difference between detox in Finland and detox in other European locales. Finish treatment facilities can complete detox in as little as 24 hours or as long as four weeks. It all depends on the approach used and how the patient responds.
Inpatient Drug Rehab in Finland
Outpatient treatment is reserved mainly for alcohol abusers whose conditions are not serious enough to warrant residential care. As for short- and long-term inpatient treatment, they are the options most often recommended for clinical alcoholics. The kinds of treatments offered in inpatient programmes can vary between municipalities and treatment providers.
Both psychotherapy and occupational health services are a big part of drug and alcohol rehab in Finland. Psychotherapy is based on the same philosophy recognised throughout the rest of the world: treatments are intended to address the psychological and mental aspects of addiction after detox has addressed the physical. Psychotherapeutic treatments are very much counselling-based with added 12-step work tailored to the needs of recovering alcoholics.
While patients are receiving psychotherapeutic treatments during long- or short-term inpatient treatment, family members may also be undergoing similar therapies at the same time. Family counselling can be offered by the same local treatment facilities or completely separate clinics – depending on circumstances. Again, the fractured nature of rehab in Finland makes it very difficult to pinpoint a specific course of action that would be taken in the majority of cases.
In terms of length of stay, short-term inpatient treatments can last just a couple of weeks where long-term treatments can be up to several months.
Accommodation for Rehab in Finland
Finnish residents and alcoholics travelling to Finland to receive rehab should be aware of the accommodation. Private, residential clinics offer accommodation and treatments in the same facilities. Residential treatment conducted by public clinics is different.
Over the last several years, local governments have attempted to streamline addiction treatment by housing residential programmes in the same facilities where outpatient treatments are offered. As a result, patients in both kinds of treatment programmes are often treated together. Outpatient clients leave the facility at the end of the day while inpatient clients remain. Patients hoping for a more separate and distraction-free environment would be better suited to looking at rehab in a privately-run clinic.
On a positive note, the move to integrate housing has made it possible for the Finnish government to provide additional reintegration services alongside detox and rehab. This is where the final two categories of addiction treatment come in.
Both in- and outpatient clients have access to peer support services and social support services as they near the end of their medical treatments. Peer support services can be offered in the form of 12-step fellowships or other similar activities that promote interaction among patients who will support one another through the end of treatment and after being reintegrated into their local communities.
Social support services take the form of things such as employment training and ongoing mental health support. Patients may learn specific job-related skills and then offered assistance finding a job. Those in need of ongoing mental health counselling are enrolled in programmes that will continue after formal treatment is over.
Getting More Information about Rehab in Finland
The rehab picture in Finland is one of a fractured and inconsistent system that can be very difficult to pin down on a nationwide basis. A better way to approach rehab there is to look at what is available in each of the major metropolitan centres. Clients looking to receive alcohol rehab are best served on a case-by-case basis according to where they live and where treatment will be accessed.
If you would like more information about travelling to Finland for alcohol rehab, feel free to contact the Addiction Helper 24-hour helpline. If you are already a resident, you can still contact us or seek out local social service agencies for help. Rehab programmes are available, it is just a question of what can be found near where you live.