Do I Need Alcohol Rehab?


Alcohol rehabilitation may seem daunting from the outset, but it is a process which helps people and ultimately saves lives. Before a person should consider whether rehab is an option, assessment and diagnosis must be done of the individual situation before seeking help. Here is how to get started on the road to recovery.



An individual who thinks rehab may be an option is probably a good candidate for it. The first step is to meet with an addiction specialist who can assess level of alcohol dependency. Typically, a person may be screened for alcohol problems from a family doctor, licensed psychologists or psychiatrist. To diagnose an alcohol problem, a specialist performs an examination and asks questions about drinking habits. The course of treatment is determined between the specialist and individual with specific goals in mind.


When to Go

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) assists mental health professionals in diagnosing a range of mental health disorders. Alcohol addiction is one of the conditions listed. Several criteria need to be met to identify addiction to alcohol as an official disorder from an individual perspective. Here is how an individual may know if it is time to go to rehab:

  • Drinking interferes with work, school or social life
  • Recurrent problems due to drinking does not deter individual from continued drinking
  • Legal problems have arisen on more than one occasion
  • Driving or operating machinery while intoxicated (or other risky, dangerous activities while under the influence)



Physical dependence on alcohol occurs when a person’s body needs alcohol to function. A person diagnosed with alcohol dependence usually needs alcohol detox. At least three of the following criteria must be met within a year to diagnose an individual with alcohol dependence:

  • Tolerance to alcohol (need more of it over time to feel same high)
  • Withdrawal symptoms which are relieved by drinking
  • Spend lots of time drinking or recovering from drinking
  • Drinking more or spending time drinking more than a person intended
  • Unsuccessfully attempts to control or quit drinking



If a loved one is suffering from alcohol dependence or addiction, two types of programs exist to support recovery:


Inpatient: intense treatment which requires a person to reside in the rehab facility. Individuals best suited for inpatient treatment have severe alcohol dependence and can spend time away from work and home to focus on treatment. Most days a person attends individual and group therapy. Eating, sleeping and socializing happen with other individuals with dependence issues. Usually lasts anywhere from one month to a year.


Outpatient: more flexible and affordable than inpatient programs which do not require a person to reside in the treatment facility. An individual will need to travel for treatment in weekly therapy and counseling session.


Is rehab the right for you? Call to find out how we can answer your questions and assist you in deciding if you or a loved one will benefit from our addiction and dependence rehab programs.