If you have an alcohol problem and live in New York, you should know you are not the only one with such a problem. And this, by the way, is not baseless conjecture but rather a reality substantiated by multiple studies that have examined binge drinking and full-on alcohol use disorders (AUDs) across the state. One of those studies comes from the New York State Department of Health. According to researchers, approximately 18% of adults in New York regularly engage in binge drinking. And close to 6% engage in “heavy drinking” with about the same frequency.
Understanding the Breadth and Scope of Alcohol Abuse in New York and Across the Country
Because alcohol is readily available in supermarkets, convenience stores, and liquor stores that have been fixtures in some neighborhoods for years, it’s easy to forget that it is a drug. Like other drugs, some people become physically, psychologically, and emotionally dependent on alcohol. And this becomes abundantly clear when you look at alcoholism in New York and alcoholism across the country. According to a 2019 study published by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), over 25% of Americans ages 18 and older admit to regularly engaging in binge drinking. Meanwhile, nearly 7% said they engaged in heavy drinking with similar frequency. The same data revealed an estimated 14.5 million people in the U.S. aged 12 and older have an alcohol use disorder. The long and short of it is alcoholism is a big problem in New York and an even bigger one nationally.
How Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Facilities Are Helping New Yorkers Achieve Sobriety
The road to sobriety is not the easiest to navigate. To make the journey somewhat easier, most rehab facilities in New York will direct individuals needing help overcoming an alcohol problem to an inpatient treatment program. And this is because inpatient programs are well-equipped to help individuals cope with the withdrawal symptoms that stem from detoxing from alcohol. Nearly all inpatient alcohol rehab facilities in New York offer medication-assisted treatment, which eases many of the severe and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms individuals face when they abruptly stop drinking. Some of these symptoms, which can start 6 to 12 hours after someone takes their final drink, include the following:
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- High blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate and body temperature
- Rapid breathing
Along with these symptoms, some people also experience delirium tremens when they quit alcohol. For reference, delirium tremens is a severe and potentially life-threatening form of alcohol withdrawal characterized by hallucinations, confusion, and seizures. The medication-assisted treatment, which includes round-the-clock monitoring by healthcare professionals and prescription-based medications, offered by most rehabs helps keep delirium tremens at bay and eases most of the other symptoms caused by abrupt alcohol cessation. The prescription-based drugs used in medication-assisted treatment by most alcohol rehab facilities in New York include
Although hailed as a godsend, medication-assisted treatment is not the only reason to choose an inpatient program over an outpatient one when trying to quit alcohol. For some people, access to behavioral therapy sessions with a licensed therapist is another reason to choose an inpatient program over an outpatient one.
Why Many Inpatient Programs Offer Behavioral Therapy in Addition to Prescription-Based Drugs to Help Individuals Achieve Sobriety
Helping individuals end their relationship with alcohol often requires a multipronged approach. For that reason, most rehab facilities will provide prescription drugs in addition to behavioral therapy. This combination keeps withdrawal symptoms under control and significantly improves an individual’s chances of achieving long-term sobriety. One of the behavioral therapies that many inpatient rehabs make available to individuals is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches individuals how to cope with self-doubt, fear, and other internalized feelings so they can stop turning to alcohol to self-medicate. But it does not end there; cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches individuals how to recognize, avoid, and cope with triggers that would otherwise lead to them drinking again.
Why Most Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Facilities Are Proponents of Support Groups and Sober Living Homes
Most rehab facilities realize long-term sobriety requires more than medication and behavioral therapy alone. It also requires having someone who has been where you’ve been in your corner. For this reason, many rehab facilities will provide individuals with referrals to Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups. The same applies to sober living homes. Both support groups and sober living homes make it possible for individuals to receive support from their peers who are also in recovery. Studies show access to both support groups and sober living homes helps lower the risk of relapse. For reference, available data shows the relapse rate for alcohol use disorders is almost 69%. Bearing that in mind, having access to these two things can be helpful to individuals wrapping up rehab and integrating back into society.
What Most People Don’t Know About Inpatient Alcohol Rehabs but Probably Should
How long an inpatient program last can vary depending on several factors, including the substance involved, how long an individual has been using, and much more. Generally speaking, inpatient addiction recovery is available as 30, 60, and 90-day programs. And they all guide individuals on the five stages of addiction recovery, which consist of the following:
- Precontemplation – This stage is characterized by defensiveness and trying to justify drug-related behaviors. During this stage, individuals can’t see how their drug or alcohol problem is ruining their life as they are too preoccupied with getting and staying high.
- Contemplation Stage – Also known as contemplative readiness, the contemplation stage is where individuals, even though they are still somewhat preoccupied with getting and using drugs, become a little more receptive to getting the help they need to overcome addiction.
- Preparation stage – During this stage, most individuals feel a sense of urgency in that they want to overcome their addiction sooner. Many will showcase that sense of urgency by going to the gym, switching their diet, or seeing their addiction therapists more frequently.
- Action stage – This stage is where the rubber meets the road. The action stage is one characterized by improved self-care and self-understanding. Improvements in these areas show that an individual is mentally preparing to lead a life that does not include ongoing struggles with an alcohol problem.
- Maintenance stage – At this stage, the most challenging parts of getting through rehab are well behind most individuals. At this point, cravings, temptation, and other tell-tale signs of addiction have more or less fallen by the wayside, but the threat of relapse is still there. On average, it can take anywhere from six months to five years to get out of this stage. According to most addiction experts, concentrating on day-to-day life, such as working, cooking, and exercising, can keep the threat of relapse low and help individuals get out of this final stage sooner.
Despite being legal to buy, possess, and consume, alcohol can be as dangerous as some street-level drugs. And like some street-level drugs, breaking the cycle of addiction sometimes requires getting help from a licensed rehab facility that offers an inpatient addiction recovery program. To learn more about how inpatient alcohol rehab can help you overcome your struggles with alcohol, consider speaking with a Long Island Interventions associate today.