Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers

Rehabilitation is the term used to refer to the restoration of lost capabilities or the treatment used to heal a body from ailments. Alcohol addicts are usually admitted to an alcohol rehabilitation center. Alcohol addiction begins with a casual curiosity or peer pressure. It affects the brain and creates a desire to consume more alcohol resulting into addiction. Typically, a person starts consuming alcohol to obtain relief from his problems. Alcohol addiction affects a person’s life in all spheres.

A rehabilitation center begins treatment by studying all the psychological factors of the patient, including their social background and the degree of addiction of a patient, to decide a course of treatment. A patient is counseled, and sometimes given medication. There is a whole range of treatments to choose from. The time required for recovery varies from one person to another. Money can be a major constraint for treatment. Apart from a few charitable centers, most treatment programs are expensive.

While choosing a rehabilitation center, it is of prime importance that the patient is kept away from the people or surroundings where this addiction began. In the initial stage of addiction, an outpatient treatment program may be sufficient. Patients with an acute history of alcohol addiction may require an inpatient treatment program wherein a patient is supervised and his progress is monitored 24 hours a day. This treatment may be in a hospital or a residential surrounding which offers supervision like a hospital.

Almost all major cities have well-equipped rehabilitation centers. Rehab centers not only work towards treating a patient, but also towards ensuring that the patients do not revert back to the addiction. They restore the addict’s lost faith and confidence. These patients come out as confident individuals ready to face life with renewed vigor.

Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol abuse refers to the chronic consumption and craving for alcohol, so that it interferes in the normal social and economic functioning of the person. Alcohol Rehab tries to treat and bring back to normal victims of this condition.

The alcoholic is unable to stop his craving for drinking. He fails to complete his obligations at work or home. He undertakes activities that are dangerous in his condition, including drunk driving. He may encounter legal problems, and cannot and will not stop drinking despite personal, official and medical problems.

Alcoholism can be fatal. It affects the addict’s health in many ways. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is an irreversible condition associated with excessive consumption of alcohol by pregnant women. It leads to physical and mental deficiencies and even fetal death. Another killer condition is Cirrhosis, caused by alcoholism and leading to liver failure and death.

Alcohol Rehab must be done carefully by trained medical professionals. It involves evaluation and management of acute alcohol withdrawal, treatment of nutritional deficiencies, detoxification and the maintenance of abstinence.

Medical treatment of alcoholism involves initially the management of alcohol withdrawal. Treatment includes the use of thiamine and folate fed intravenously to prevent Wernicke Kosakoff syndrome (an eye disorder). Seizures must be treated with Benzodiazepines.

After medical management is over, a psychosocial Rehabilitation program must be undertaken. This includes educating the entire family of the patient, individual or group therapy, or even a spiritual ‘12 steps to sobriety’ program given by Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are some important points to remember. Supervised withdrawal is the first step and must not be hurried. Hurry can be fatal. A medically supervised detox program is the first step. Next step is to choose a Rehab center. Find a treatment center that deals not only with addiction but the holistic picture of psychosocial and legal problems.

The program must involve a major amount of therapy–counseling and occupational. Therapy or counseling is critical for alcohol treatment. Patients learn to resist alcohol use, replace drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding activities. They are asked to shun alcohol abusing company. They also relearn normal family and social living patterns.

Treatment involves continuous monitoring for alcohol use. Some people may require medication for their treatment, and this too must be monitored. Some may be suffering from mental problems that need special treatment. The treatment duration may vary with each case, but 3 months is a safe period for most treatment.

The main point is that there is no singular Rehab formula. The success of treatment depends on finding the right program and methods. Effective treatment must address the patient’s drug use and also related medical, social, psychological, vocational and legal problems.

The treatment may be long-term, involving periods of relapse. The crucial point is not to give up hope, but work patiently till you reach complete abstinence.

Alcohol Rehab Facilities

Alcohol detoxification programs must be uniquely planned taking into consideration the individual’s age, severity of the problem and the duration of time needed. Extra care and attention is required to be provided to patients. The severity and intensity of the withdrawal symptoms due to the discontinuation of alcohol depends on the usage history of the patient. The physical and emotional symptoms may be extremely severe depending on the patient’s alcohol abuse history. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include sweating, rapid pulse, increased hand tremors, insomnia, nausea or vomiting, physical agitation, anxiety, auditory hallucinations, and the possibility of grand mal seizures. Hallucinations are a very disturbing symptom of alcohol detoxification. However, it is seizures that put patients at the greatest risk of injury or death and require admission to drug rehabilitation.

Alcohol abuse is usually treated in specialized rehab facilities and mental health clinics. Among the various alcohol rehab programs are a wide range of financial variables including levels of care and philosophical differences. Economic impacts for alcohol abuse are costing billions each year in America. The cost and the problem are dramatically reduced through alcohol rehabilitation. Alcohol rehab levels of care include inpatient (detox), partial hospitalization, short-term residential, long-term residential and intensive outpatient (IOP) or outpatient. Partial hospitalization or PHP is also known as partial alcohol rehab programs. Partial alcohol rehab programs usually consist of half days of rehabilitation. Short-term can be anywhere from one to four weeks of full time treatment, while living in a freestanding facility. Long-term care can last from one to three month or more. Wide varieties of programs are also available for outpatient treatment from a few hours to several times per week.

Medications are prescribed for alcohol detoxification. Medical monitoring is very important. Persons with daily alcohol use are physically dependent on alcohol and may sometimes need to have a monitored daily intake of alcohol in order to ward off withdrawal symptoms.

When it comes to entering long-term recovery from an addiction, choosing the right alcohol or drug rehab facility can make all the difference.

Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox implies the removal of alcohol from the body of an alcoholic. Alcohol detox is brought about by abstinence from alcohol, medication, and altering the diet of the patient. Detox is not possible without support from friends and family and a commitment on the part of the patient.

The liver and kidneys normally carry out detoxification in the body. However in hardened alcoholics, alternative detoxification processes become necessary. There are several general practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists who volunteer in detox centers for alcoholics.

In most cases, detoxification can be done at home. This is when the alcohol consumption is moderate, but in complicated cases that involve symptoms such as hallucinations, severe withdrawal symptoms, and multi-substance misuse, inpatient detoxification becomes necessary. Volunteers even conduct community detox programs, usually in compliance with the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Alcoholics attending AA meetings are stressed upon the need to be determined to give up alcohol.

In extreme cases, medication is used to detoxify heavy drinkers. This is also termed pharmacological detoxification. Here, the patients are forewarned that they may suffer anxiety and insomnia for a couple of days. The most common drugs used for alcohol detoxification are benzodiazepines, with Chlordiazepoxide being the most preferred benzodiazepine used. Diazepam is also widely used, but fatal effects may occur if it is mixed with huge doses of alcohol. Hence, supervision is necessary for use of diazepam as a detoxifier.

A detoxification session usually lasts 5 to 6 weeks. The diet is to be protein-rich and with a generous amount of fiber and fluids, and the person should consume water throughout the day. Since most alcoholics have sugar problems, hypoglycemic substances should be consumed. Parsley and chamomile teas are effective alkaloids which stimulate kidney elimination processes.

Inpatient detox is carried out in rehabilitation centers, but there is a social stigma attached to being admitted in such rehab centers. Usually, such centers are located in the lesser-developed areas of the country, causing people from affluent classes to be reluctant to be admitted in them. Also, the ratio of workers to patients is generally 1:4, meaning that there is an emphasis on self-care.

Alcohol Abuse In The Army

Alcohol abuse has reached an all time high in the US military. For almost twenty years now, the army has been unable to lower the figures of military personnel who are alcohol abusive drinkers. Findings show that military people between 18 to 25 years of age tend to drink more than their civilian counterparts.

As is the case for most abusive drinkers, stress and tension are the primary forces behind such excesses. The military personnel however, face an altogether different kind of stress. Their training programs are not only physically demanding, but also mentally challenging. To make them tougher and ready to deal with any kind of situation, they are deliberately put through strenuous training. Many try to look for solace in alcohol to deal with so much exertion. Many even find it difficult to strike a comfortable balance between their family and military responsibilities. At times of war or conflict, pressure and expectations increase.

Things are especially tough for women military personnel. They need to establish themselves and prove their worth in what is traditionally defined as a x91manx92sx92 arena. With an extra burden of this kind, tensions reach sky high. Sexual harassment at work is another issue, which women have to tackle with.

The army recognizes the need to control this rise in the number of abusive drinkers. Such activities affect the over all performance of the army, as it reduces efficiency. An ill and hurt soldier is of absolutely no asset to the army during war. Studies show that soldiers who drink heavily are more likely to abuse their spouses and are also involved in all kinds of personal clashes with each other, creating bitterness in the working arena.


Alcatraz is an old prison, which was used as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963, a total of 29 years. It is located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California and when it was opened to the public from 1972, it has become a very famous historic and tourist site. The National Park Service, as a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, now maintains the abandoned prison.

Alcatraz Island was also the first long-term Army prison. During the 1800s, Civil War and Spanish American War Prisoners were the first inmates to arrive on the Island. Later on, due to its isolated location and the freezing San Francisco Bay waters, the authorities considered Alcatraz as an ideal place for holding dangerous prisoners.

Initially, Alcatraz was just another Federal institution but the prison started gaining fame after it began housing notorious criminals like George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Robert Franklin Stroud, Alvin Karpis, Henry Young and Al Capone. Criminals who could not be controlled by other Federal institutions were also incarcerated here.

The average number of inmates in Alcazar was around 260 and approximately 1545 total men imprisoned here during the 29 years of its operation. There were escape attempts but there is no official record if any of them had been successful. A few prisoners disappeared but were all presumed drowned in the San Francisco Bay waters.

After the prison was closed down in 1963, some Native Indians from 1969 to 1971 occupied it. Alcatraz is now a National Historic Landmark, opened to tours. Visitors to this place can also explore the oldest lighthouse in the west coast, remnants of early military fortifications and natural features such as rock pools.

Alcatraz Souvenirs

A souvenir is a product or an item bought from a particular place to serve as a reminder of that place. It helps relive the experience of the visit to the place. The Alcatraz prison off the coast of San-Francisco is one of America’s major tourist destinations. One can commemorate the experience of going there by buying souvenirs, either from the prison or from the various other places in the city.

Inside the prison complex, there are many shops that sell souvenirs to the visiting public. Ranging from key-rings to coffee mugs, a lot of different products are sold. One of the most popular souvenirs is the striped t-shirt. However, this seems to be a bit ironical, as the inmates of the island prison never wore striped clothes. Picture post cards and miniature models of the prison are also preferred by visiting tourists.

After a tour of the prison, when the visitors reach the gift shops, they usually intend to buy replicas or reminders of the highlights that they were most moved by. A pair of fake handcuffs or a book about the history of the island is some of the most popular souvenir items.

These souvenirs not only serve as a remembrance but can also be used to give as gifts. The different books available narrate the island’s history, and they serve as ideal gifts for history students. The picture postcards, on the other hand, are an interesting way of letting your near ones share your experiences. The fake handcuffs and guns are a special favorite among kids, who love to fancy themselves as guards and convicts after the tour.

With prices ranging from a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars, the souvenir shops at Alcatraz have something to suit everyone’s pocket. Almost every tourist wishes to take a part of history back home. This is the main force behind the sale of these souvenirs.

Alcatraz Lighthouse

Alcatraz islands off the cost of San-Francisco have only two lighthouses. The foundation of the first was laid in 1852, and the entire structure became operational in 1854.

The first lighthouse was a two storey structure with a tower at the center. The fifty-foot structure was black and white and used a fixed third order lens. The need for this lighthouse can be attributed to the 1849 gold rush, which made west coast lighthouses a priority. By 1856, it was found that the San-Francisco fog often rendered the lighthouse ineffective. This led to the installation of a fog-bell. The bell was first rung by hand and later, thanks to a clockwork mechanism, the bell would ring automatically at prescribed intervals. Due to the growth of the city, a flashing fourth order lens had to be installed later, to help mariners distinguish the lighthouse from the city lights. This lighthouse was badly damaged in the 1906 San-Francisco earthquake, which cracked the lighthouse tower and toppled one of its chimneys.

The military prison on the island rendered the old lighthouse ineffective and by 1909, work started on a new lighthouse. With an eighty four feet tall tower and fog sirens at the front and back of the island, the new light house ran on electricity. In 1963, when the Alcatraz prison was finally closed due to the high maintenance cost, the lighthouse was automated.

The lighthouse stopped working for a short while in 1969, when electricity to the island was cut because it was being occupied by the natives. Power was restored after a while, with the help of a generator smuggled in by prominent San-Francisco citizens who were worried about maritime safety.

By 1972, the natives were driven out and Alcatraz became a national reserve. Today a 200,000 candle power lens is used in the old lighthouse.

Alcatraz Inmates

Alcatraz is famous for having housed some famous gangsters and criminals. Most of these prisoners were those considered dangerous, disobedient, escape risks and known for committing serious crimes such as murder, racketeering, smuggling etc.

Al Capone, one of the most notorious gangsters in America, was born in New York in 1899. He started his career in Brooklyn before moving to Chicago and had already been on the Bureau of Investigation’s “Most Wanted” list by the end of the 1920s. Al Capone was indicted and convicted for income tax evasion in 1931, and found guilty on five counts. In 1932, he was initially sent to an Atlanta prison, and then finally transferred to Alcatraz in August of 1934.

George “Machine Gun” Kelly Barnes, infamous for crimes, which included bootlegging, armed robbery and kidnapping had already been in the gangster business by 1927. In 1933, Kelly received life sentence for the kidnapping of Charles F. Urschel, a wealthy businessman and his friend Walter R. Jarrett. He was first incarcerated in Leavenworth, Kansas and was later transferred to Alcatraz in 1934 due to his constant escape threats.

Henry “Henri” Young started his career as a bank robber and committed murder in 1933, was found guilty and served time in different state prisons. In 1935 he was sent to the U.S. Penitentiary on McNeil Island in Washington State and was transferred to Alcatraz in the same year. In 1942, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after he stabbed a fellow inmate to death. His life-story was made famous by the Warner Brothers movie, “Murder in the First”.

Robert Stroud, the “birdman of Alcatraz, was first convicted of manslaughter in 1909, after he brutally shot and murdered a bartender. Stroud was transferred from McNeil Island, Washington to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas where he began to develop a keen interest in birds. He was allowed to breed them and maintain a lab. He was transferred to Alcatraz in 1942 to spend the rest of his days. The story of his life was made famous by the movie, “the birdman of Alcatraz”, starring Burt Lancaster.

Alcatraz History

Alcatraz Island was declared a military reservation in 1850 and troops were permanently stationed by 1859. For almost eighty years Alcatraz Island was the site of the first fortress and military prison on the west coast. The United States Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz were acquired by the United States Department of Justice on October 12, 1933. Soon, it became a federal penitentiary on January 1, 1934

Alcatraz was also the first long-term Army prison. The first prisoners to be brought in to Alcatraz were Civil War and Spanish American War Prisoners during the 1800s. With the number of inmates increasing everyday, the prison structure was also extended and renovated. By the 1920s, the three-story building was almost at full capacity.

Due to its isolated location and the freezing San Francisco Bay waters, the authorities considered Alcatraz as an ideal place for holding dangerous prisoners. Criminals like George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Robert Franklin Stroud, Alvin Karpis, Henry Young and Al Capone are some of the most famous inmates to claim residence on Alcatraz.

Alcatraz operated for a full 29 years and during that time, there had been no known case of any successful escape attempts. Most escapees were shot dead or presumed drowned in the San Francisco Bay waters. In 1962, three prisoners – Clarens Anglin, his brother John and Frank Morris – disappeared from the premises and were never found. But nobody knows if they ever reached the shore.

On March 21, 1963, when the prison was closed, Alcatraz had already accommodated 1033 prisoners. From November 1969 until June 1971, the American Indians inhabited the island. Since October 1972, Alcatraz has become a historic site and part of the “Golden Gate National Recreation Area” – supervised by the National Park Service, which is now open to tours.