Do Alcohol Detox Centers Provide Mental Health Treatment?

Published: 10/28/2015 | Author:

Alcohol detox centers are often the starting point for many individuals who decide to stop abusing the substance and gain back control of their lives. Like drug addiction, alcoholism often goes hand-in-hand with the presence of mental disorders; as stated by the National Library of Medicine, “you may be more likely to have problems with alcohol if you… have depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, or schizophrenia.” This causes many individuals going into detox to wonder if the facilities that treat the earliest issues associated with alcoholism also provide any manner of mental health treatment.

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Mental Health Treatment as Part of Detox

Yes, a large number of detox programs provide mental health treatment to patients. This is because of the strong link between substance abuse and mental disorders, as well as the fact that alcohol abuse can cause––and be partly caused by––certain mental issues or imbalances that must be directly addressed and treated for the individual patient to be able to end their dependence on alcohol and, with further treatment, recover from their addiction to the substance.

Availability and Type of Mental Health Treatment at Alcohol Detox Centers

Alcohol Detox Centers

Mental health treatment can help you succeed in alcohol detox.

According to the NLM, “Patient and family counseling” is often available as part of outpatient treatment for individuals in alcohol detox. This is partially meant to assess the mental state of the patient and partially to help them prepare to discuss the “long-term issue of alcoholism” that have been plaguing them and will require further care beyond detox.
Family counseling is also provided in many instances to help reestablish normal family functioning, provide support for the alcoholic, and teach family members about appropriate ways to help their loved one that do not include codependent actions or enabling. While these treatments do not always identify and treat all the issues the patient is dealing with, individual patient and family counseling can be largely beneficial during this time of laying the groundwork for further addiction treatment. However, inpatient care can be somewhat different for alcohol detox than for other substances.

The Seriousness of Inpatient Alcohol Detox

Often during inpatient detox, “sedation using medicines” is necessary until the entire withdrawal process is complete. This is because individuals in inpatient detox for alcoholism are often in danger of experiencing severe symptoms, such as hallucinations, fever, seizures, severe confusion, and paranoia. When patients need to be put under sedation for the entirety of their withdrawal process, they will be unable to engage in mental health treatments like behavioral therapies, group, and family counseling.
Still, once a patient comes out of sedation, and often several times during, they will be monitored for a clear mental state. Once this is achieved to the point where the individual can attend treatment, the patient may do so through the same detox facility or through another program. While the psychological issues the patient may be wrestling with are not usually treated during severe withdrawal, this is because acute psychological and physical issues must take precedence when it comes to treatment.

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