Alcohol is the most common recreational drug, and the most commonly abused drug, in the United States. Studies suggest that more than 8 of every 10 adults in the United States have tried alcohol at least once, and more than half of the adults who were contacted as part of a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) survey told researchers that they’d had at least one drink in the previous 30 days.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, but it initially acts as a temporary stimulant. When consumed, alcohol interacts with receptors in the brain that are responsible for releasing the hormone dopamine. Associated with pleasure, the dopamine prompts a feeling of mild euphoria that is often characterized by decreased inhibition and an overall good mood. At the same time though, alcohol’s depressant effects are also being activated, which leads to slurred speech, impaired coordination, disrupted cognition, and eventually a more morose outlook.
While many people are able to consume alcohol without experiencing severe side effects, the NIAAA estimates that about 17 million adults and 855,000 adolescents have an alcohol abuse problem. Alcohol is a contributing factor in more than 200 diseases and injury-related conditions, and alcohol is involved in more than 88,000 deaths each year.
But the news about alcohol abuse and alcoholism isn’t all bad. Decades of research and documentation demonstrate that a variety of rehab and treatment approaches offer effective solutions for individuals who are trying to end their dependence upon alcohol. At Life Center of Galax in Virginia, comprehensive residential and outpatient programs, followed by extended continuing care planning, have helped thousands of addicted individuals regain control over their lives and resume pursuit of healthy drug-free futures.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Alcohol Abuse Treatment
If someone you care about is struggling with alcohol abuse or alcoholism, then you know how devastating this disease can be. You also know that the impact of alcoholism extends far beyond the addicted individual. What you may not realize is that family members and friends who have been affected by a loved one’s alcoholism can also play essential roles in ending the abuse. Here’s how you can help a loved one get treatment for alcoholism.
- Understand the disease. Alcoholism isn’t a failure of character or a lack of willpower – it is a debilitating, progressive disease that robs afflicted individuals of the ability to control their own behavior. The more you learn about this disease, the better prepared you will be to understand what your loved one is experiencing.
- Research rehab and treatment options. There are a wide range of treatment options for alcoholic abuse. Some people are able to overcome their problems by attending 12-step support groups, while others require extended hospitalization. Within these two extremes are options such as day treatment, outpatient care, and residential rehab Understanding these options will allow you to provide effective guidance to your loved one.
- Be present, be supportive, and be reliable. Show support whenever and wherever you can. Share the information that you’ve learned. Accompany him or her to doctors’ appointments or visits to treatment centers. Help make whatever arrangements are necessary to get him or her into treatment. Understand that there will be setbacks along the way, and be prepared to help your loved one overcome the obstacles that he or she will inevitably encounter on the path of recovery.
It’s not overstating the risk to say that alcoholism can be a deadly disease. But with treatment and support, your loved one can deal with alcohol addiction in a way that will allow him or her to pursue a healthier and happier life free from alcohol abuse.
Why Consider Alcoholism Treatment at Life Center of Galax in Virginia
Alcoholism is a chronic progressive disease. This means that, without proper rehabilitation, not only will the disease not go away, but it may continue to get worse. From recreational drinking to occasional binges to a life that places greater importance on alcohol than on health, family, or friends, the progression of alcoholism robs individuals of their ability to live life as they desire. The negative impact of untreated alcoholism can range from debilitating to deadly. Physical effects can include cirrhosis of the liver, digestive problems, heart problems, liver disease, vision problems, neurological damage, increased risk for developing certain cancers, and birth defects. Alcoholics are also at increased risk for having automobile accidents, relationship issues, financial problems, and legal trouble. Alcohol can also derail academic progress and destroy careers. And for certain heavy or long-term drinkers, even trying to stop without medical supervision can be accompanied by a host of dangerous side effects, including convulsions, seizures, hypothermia, coma, and death.
Types of Alcohol Addiction Treatment Offered at Life Center of Galax
Life Center of Galax is a licensed, accredited, and highly-respected private rehab program located in Virginia that has been providing life-changing care and alcohol addiction treatment to men and women for more than 40 years. The program, which is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia and nationally accredited by the Joint Commission, offers beneficial treatment options for individuals who are struggling with alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorders.
Treatment at Life Center of Galax is a comprehensive and holistic experience that addresses the patient’s physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The goal of the Life Center’s treatment teams is not merely to alleviate alcohol abuse symptoms, but to identify and help the patient overcome the underlying issues that have been preventing him or her from living a drug-free life. For example, in addition to providing detox and residential care for a patient’s alcoholism, Life Center staff will develop a rehabilitation plan that also provides all necessary interventions for co-occurring disorders such as mental health problems, behavioral concerns, and other issues that have either contributed to or have been exacerbated by the patient’s alcohol abuse.
The following are among the various alcohol addiction treatment methods included in the adult addiction residential treatment program at Life Center of Galax in Virginia:
Medical detoxification: Life Center of Galax offers sub-acute medical detoxification services for patients who are in need of a safe and effective way to withdraw from any substances that may be present in their bodies, including alcohol. This medical detox occurs under the supervision of an ASAM-certified medical director and registered nurses are on staff and available for assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Medication management: Patients who are referred by our medical director or therapist for psychiatric assessment and treatment may also receive medication management services when deemed clinically appropriate. Medication is managed by nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants, under the direction and supervision of our psychiatrist. Those receiving medication management services will likely receive additional support through our counselor-led dual diagnosis groups each week.
Individual therapy: All Life Center patients participate in individual therapy sessions on a regular basis. These sessions occur in a confidential, one-to-one setting and give patients the opportunity to discuss their progress (or setbacks) in rehab, address any concerns they have about the treatment process, and address any issues or emotions that have arisen during the course of their alcohol abuse treatment.
Group therapy: Group therapy is cornerstone to the therapeutic process at Life Center of Galax. The adult alcohol addiction residential treatment program features a variety of group therapy opportunities, which provide structured and supervised environments in which patients can interact with, learn from, and share personal experiences with others who are dealing with similar struggles. The types of groups offered may include the following:
- Daily Reflections
- Start Up Group
- Community Group
- Home Group
- Lectures (didactic presentations on various aspects of addiction)
- Dual Group
- Relapse Group
- Thunder Alley
- Men’s and Women’s Recovery Groups
- Men’s and Women’s Flex Groups
Recreation therapy: Under the direction of a certified recreational therapist, the Virginia-based Ridge & Valley Recreational Program provides Life Center patients with the opportunity to hike on the New River and Appalachian trails, as well as participate in activities such as therapeutic horseback riding, cooking classes on a regional farm, painting, and ropes courses.
Experiential therapy: Life Center incorporates various experiential therapies that are designed to increase each patient’s awareness of his or her true self, as well as form a connection between the mind and body. The following experiential therapies are featured within this exceptional program:
- Personal mask sculptures
- Wall exercise
- God boxes
- Self-esteem exercises
- Therapeutic recreation
These therapies are day-long tracks that are offered once per week and feature topics such as King Baby, relapse, family and triggers, cravings, and anger.
Family workshops: Family members can be integral parts of successful long-term recovery. To support family members as they both work through their own issues and prepare to support their loved one, Life Center holds family workshops every weekend. These workshops include a variety of educational and therapeutic opportunities related to the impact of substance abuse on the entire family, including lectures, group sessions, and individual counseling.
Additionally, Life Center of Galax in Virginia offers the following innovative services that can be incorporated into a patient’s programming during his or her time in treatment. Each individual’s participation in these services is based on his or her unique, individualized needs and is designed to be a beneficial component to the holistic care we offer. These services include the following:
Comprehensive opiate recovery: Our opiate addiction program is designed to take individuals who have developed a dependence upon opiates from detox to abstinence and then into a medication-managed recovery program using methadone, buprenorphine, or Vivitrol.
Spirituality-based treatment: To meet the needs of patients who desire a strong spiritual component in their recovery, Life Center of Galax offers both the Prodigal Program and the Mind-Body-Spirit Group. The Prodigal Program is a Christian-focused experience that incorporates Biblical principles into alcoholism and drug addiction treatment. The Mind-Body-Spirit group is a nondenominational experience that focuses on spiritual elements within the 12-step recovery model.
Dual diagnosis service: This service was created to provide specialized assistance to individuals who are simultaneously battling substance abuse concerns and co-existing psychiatric problems. When a patient’s mental health has been identified as negatively interfering with his or her ability to be successful in recovery, this service will provide him or her with additional counseling, specialized group sessions, educational opportunities, and workbook activities that are designed to enhance his or her ability to cope with the presence of a dual diagnosis.
DUI/DWI service: Individuals who are facing legal charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol or another drug may benefit from our DUI/DWI service, which features comprehensive medical and psychological assessments; education on the disease of addiction, counseling (both individual and group), and an introduction to the 12-step recovery model. Also, with the patient’s permission, we can provide documentation of program completion to counselors, attorneys, and the court system, as deemed appropriate or if requested.
Chronic relapse prevention service: When a patient has engaged in one or more prior treatment experiences, he or she may be referred to this intensive programming option, which incorporates educational lectures, journaling exercises, additional group sessions, and workbook activities. These interventions are designed to help prevent alcohol addiction relapse.
Continuing Care and Levels of Alcohol Treatment
At Life Center of Galax, we know that entering our residential treatment center is just the first step on the path of lifelong recovery. In order to ensure that all patients are prepared to build upon their progress when they complete treatment at our center, we place a strong emphasis on continuing care.
Discharge planning begins with the meeting that a patient has with his or her primary counselor and is then finalized at least three days prior to his or her discharge.
For patients who have completed residential programming at our Virginia-located rehab center and are ready to return home, yet would benefit from the intensive structure of a day-long therapeutic program, Life Center of Galax offers a partial hospitalization program (PHP). The services and groups that patients engage in during PHP are determined on an as-needed basis and are outlined in each patient’s individualized treatment plan. Patients taking part in PHP have the option of returning home at night or of residing in the onsite housing provided by Life Center.
From the moment a patient walks through our doors for the first time, the goal of Life Center of Galax is to be a source of lasting and positive change and to provide the comprehensive care and compassionate support that will allow struggling individuals to overcome the obstacles that have prevented them from achieving long-term recovery and living happier and healthier lives.