How do I move beyond alcohol addiction without rehab?
There are numerous reasons people ask this question.
– you can’t afford private rehab, like Abbeycare
– you’ve done it already and feel you’ve learned enough
– you don’t have time to spare from the rest of life, to give to a rehab process
One of the main benefits of paid addiction treatment, in a secure facility, is the idea that they have a specific, and tailored approach to alcoholism and drug addiction, in which the variuos aspects of care required, are connected together, and provided under one roof.
Need help with a piece of therapeutic homework? The therapists are on-site.
Looking for reassurance about medication or detox? The medical team is available to help.
Beyond the joined-up approach a private program can offer, there are aspects of the care provided that CAN be replicated outside an addiction clinic. Not all, but some.
Perhaps the most difficult to replicate since it requires medical specialists, there are some local healthcare authorities better placed than others, in terms of space available for alcohol/drug detox, and the speed and thoroughness of the assessment process.
For instance, in the UK, obtaining alcohol detox from a local authority body is usually a long and challenging series of assessments, with absolutely no guarantee of being offered a place at the end.
After keeping a drinks diary, working with a keyworker over many months, demonstrating your enthusiasm to get well, and completing a number of assessments, 18months later, you may be offered something suitable. Or you may not.
The best approach here is to repeatedly demonstrate willingness to work with the healthcare provider, attend meetings, and find a sympathetic medical professional who understands the urgency for detox and your plans for afterwards.
The more diligently you have planned supports etc for after-treatment, the more likely you may be, to have your detox approved.
In the States and elsewhere of course, the system is private and insurance is required in almost all cases.
As you might imagine, coverage for addiction treatment is sparse, and limited to only the most expensive policies at the top tier.
Some policies will cover (e.g) the detox element of recovery only, and work on a week-by-week basis.
Others do not cover addiction at all.
In all cases, approaching your doctor or GP should be your first port of call, to understand the options that may be available.
The rehabilitation portion of a private treatment centre usually revolves around therapeutic input, in various forms.
There should be a core psycho-therapeutic approach used in a given clinic, often CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy) is used in combination with other complementary therapies such as massage, reiki, reflexology, homeopathy, energy therapy, etc.
Usually a program will also contain psycho-educational work, on the nature of addiction, how it manifests, it’s physical and emotional manifestations, and it’s impact in your life.
Life event work, to compare situations of previous triggers for alcohol or drug use, life histories, etc are often used to bring the cause and impact of addiction in your life, into perspective.
How do we replicate these elements, into your recovery, sans-rehab?
This is more tricky.
The reason is again, that whilst such therapeutic tasks are done “in-house” under the care of a clinic team, the risks reduce, not only of side-effects from physical detox etc but also of potential emotional abreactions, which must be handled by a professional.
Progress you make, whilst under the care of a psychologist or therapist on an outpatient basis, can fluctuate from week to week, as life presents you with stressors that may challenge the progress you made last week, in therapy.
The best option here is to find a trusted local therapist, to work with. Expect progress on an out-patient basis, to take longer than it would do, in a residential setting.
Ask for extra help about identifying and avoiding addiction triggers.
Ask about extra support that may be available out-of-hours, if you need it.
This is not so much about finding the right psychological therapy approach to use, but more about finding an individual to work with, that you’re comfortable with.
If you need additional mental health support beyond therapy, e.g. for psychiatric diagnosis, ask your therapist for a referral.
Likewise, additional body-work complementary therapies can be found locally.
Add these in to your schedule, and stick to it, as overcoming addiction, by whatever means, is often about re-introducing structure and function into your life, where previously there was chaos and confusion.
Maybe you’ll pick up yoga, pilates, or another form of physical therapy.
How To Make It All Fit Together
If you were in paid treatment, you would expect there to be a daily schedule, for each day in rehab. This would include a structured approach to ensure each day has a healthy mix of physical .v. emotional work, and a balance for exercise, socialising etc too.
It’s time to be extremely practical at this point.
Long term addiction recovery will mean a massive change to the pattern of your day to day life.
So, put together a structured plan – as detailed as possible – about what your daily life in recovery will look like.
What supports will you have? What will your day consist of? When will all of this happen?
The more practical you are at this stage, the easier it will make it, when it’s time to follow-through and actually do what you’re supposed to.
Replicating addiction rehab treatment in the environment outside private care is difficult.
But using the above guidance, you may be able to recreate, and focus on, the elements that will be crucial to your long term recovery success.