Drug and Alcohol Rehab: Exploring Treatment Options in Western Canada

alcohol addiction

The decision to enter drug or alcohol rehab in Western Canada should be considered by the person concerned and his or her closest relatives.

The effectiveness of the treatment relies mostly in the person’s willingness to undergo treatment and in the support of his or her family and friends. If the alcohol problem is not severe, it may still be possible to deal with it without entering a rehab facility.

However, in cases of chronic alcoholism, it is necessary to enroll the person in a rehab facility for better treatment.

To check the person’s level of dependence on alcohol, it is helpful to answer the following questions.

Does the person experience the following morning symptoms?

When the person wakes up after a night of heavy drinking, he or she feels sweaty or is completely drenched in sweat. His or her hands shake.  Worse, the person’s whole body shakes if he or she has not gotten a drink early in the morning.

Upon waking up, the person feels dread, despair, or fright.  The person doesn’t want to meet anyone first thing in the morning.

Even after a night of binge drinking, when the person wakes up, he or she still has that strong craving for a drink. The person’s body shakes until he or she has had the first drink in the morning. And when the person drinks, he or she gulps down the drinks as fast as possible. An early morning drink has been a habit for this person.

How much does that person drink?

A person who drinks more than a bottle of wine, four doubles or four pints of beer in a day needs the help of a rehab facility.

How does that person behave?

The person feels guilty about his or her drinking and keeps telling himself or herself that he or she would stop. He or she tends to be anxious and aggressive when he or she has drunk and he or she usually forgets what he or she has said or done the previous night.

Depending on the severity of the addiction and a person’s beliefs and personal preferences, there is a specific alcohol rehab program that is most suitable in helping him or her overcome alcohol addictions.

It is also important to note that alcohol addiction cannot be cured; but it can be treated. However, after treatment, it is still possible for the person to suffer a relapse. This is why it is best for people who have undergone an alcohol rehab program to do everything they can to control or discipline themselves.

Medication Programs

A medication-based program is offered in many alcohol rehab facilities in the country, including those treatment facilities in BC.  These programs are best done through the use of three oral drugs – disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone.

Disulfiram is used to discourage drinking and to reduce the person’s alcohol tolerance by making the person feel sick after drinking alcohol. What the drug does is to multiply the effect of alcohol, making the person reach his or her limit quickly.

Acamprosate is used to reduce the withdrawal symptoms (including insomnia and anxiety) due to abstinence from alcohol for a long period of time.

Naltrexone reduces the person’s craving for alcohol after stopping drinking.

For those whose conditions aren’t as severe as that of chronic alcoholics, they have the option to undergo holistic treatment programs. In these programs, the use of medications is reduced or eliminated.

The treatment usually focuses on meditation techniques and alternative remedies. In fact, acupuncture is included in some holistic treatment programs. However, before deciding to get into a treatment program, check the rehab center’s licenses and the staff’s certification to perform these procedures.

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