“Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” You hear this phrase in alcohol rehab programs often. You also hear it in pop culture and everyday conversations too. But depending on the context, this phrase can be a real problem. Sometimes it’s helpful, but sometimes it’s just false. Effective alcohol rehab programs make the distinction clear.
People do recover from alcoholism. This is an empirical fact. Alcohol rehab programs witness success stories and miracles every day. These often involve people who have suffered for decades yet never drink again after treatment. So if the phrase means permanent recovery is impossible, then it’s simply false.
But if it’s said to bring home the fact that true recovery takes work, then it’s probably true for most alcoholics. Some folks leave alcohol rehab programs and never drink again without a whole lot of maintenance. But most alcoholics have to keep changing to maintain relief.
Treatment works, good treatment at least. Alcohol rehab programs help drinkers identify their distorted thinking and educate them on their disease. They also begin to unmake the traumas that cause many alcoholics to drink destructively. In this way, alcohol rehab programs provide some modicum of “immediate” relief.
But effective treatment doesn’t stop here. It continues to work even after the alcoholic achieves some stability. Alcohol rehab programs continue to work by fine tuning their solution. They accomplish this with cognitive behavioral therapies and peer support. The client should leave treatment feeling stable and equipped with a foundation for long term relief.
But perhaps the most important aspect of an alcohol rehab program is what they provide in terms of aftercare. The good ones make sure that clients are truly connected to the recovery process when they leave. They accomplish this by setting up continued therapy sessions and connecting them to support groups. These support groups are often 12 step programs, but other options are available as well.
With this three pronged approach – foundation, solution, maintenance – alcohol florida rehab programs do more than save lives. They transform them and make them worth living.