What To Expect When Entering an Alcohol Recovery Program

Drinking alcohol requires intentional actions to practice balance. But this is not always the case for most people. You lack self-control upon finishing the first drink. And now you are not able to say no to a drink.

You see people on the other side of life living happy, fulfilling, sober lives, but don’t think that could be you. Luckily, you are not beyond recovery.

That’s why alcohol recovery programs exist. Once you make the most important decision to enroll in one, here’s what to expect.

Checking In

Recovery begins the moment you check in for alcohol rehab. At this stage, a professional interviews you about your addiction and health to help identify other conditions you may suffer from. They can use a questionnaire to know more about you, the nature of your addiction, and other co-occurring or underlying conditions.

With this knowledge, they can create an individualized treatment plan to ensure your treatment is effective. The National Institute of Drug Addiction guidelines show that check-in is a vital step for rehab as it provides the opportunity for a customized treatment plan for the patient.


Detox is the first and hardest treatment step. Withdrawal from alcohol is what makes this step difficult. It brings uncomfortable and dangerous psychological and physical symptoms like headaches, seizures, anxiety, agitation, and depression. The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms depends on the severity of a patient’s addiction.

Some symptoms can be life-threatening and are part of delirium tremens, a severe withdrawal reaction. That is why alcohol detox needs to be medically supervised for professional management. You receive treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms, making the detox process safer and easier to bear.

Types of Treatment

During check-in, the professionals create an individualized treatment plan for your specific needs. This means that different patients will have different treatment plans because they have different needs. After successful detoxification, you begin therapy, although, in some programs, therapy comes during detox.

Behavioral therapy

Alcohol recovery programs use different types of behavioral therapies. This treatment consists of group and individual therapy to help you understand why you behave the way you do and pinpoint your alcohol abuse triggers. Once you understand the motivations behind your behavior, you can develop coping skills to address those motivations and triggers in healthy ways.

You also receive cognitive behavioral therapy to help you identify your thought patterns and responses so that you can consciously interrupt those responses and substitute them for more positive ones. You also get trauma-focused therapy to help you understand trauma and how it affects your behavior. This therapy session allows you to connect the trauma to your behavior and intentionally work towards breaking that connection with alcohol abuse.

Family Therapy

Sometimes, your family dynamics may significantly affect how you respond to treatment. That is why most alcohol recovery programs have these therapy sessions with the patient’s family or spouse as an avenue of support. They learn about how they enable alcoholism and how to change their patterns and become a reliable support system.


Alcohol recovery programs provide comprehensive treatment to ensure you recover successfully and resume normal functioning while leading a sober life.

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