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What to Expect at an Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Center in North Carolina

- 6 sections

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 15 million people aged 12 or older suffered from alcoholism in 2019.[1] Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a serious and chronic disease that can make it difficult for you to function in your daily life and put you at risk of developing dangerous health issues. Because of the long-term risks, alcoholism must be treated by a professional alcohol rehab program.

Deciding to enter an alcoholism treatment center can be scary, especially if you have never attended inpatient treatment before. However, being aware of how inpatient alcohol rehab works can lessen some of your fears and make you more prepared for recovery.

What to Expect During Inpatient Alcohol Rehab in North Carolina

Inpatient alcohol rehab in North Carolina treats alcoholism by providing a combination of medical detox, behavioral therapy, and relapse prevention planning. Each client will receive a unique and highly individualized treatment plan that addresses all of their personal needs. When you attend inpatient rehab, you will live at the facility throughout the entire process.

The lengths of inpatient alcohol treatment depend on your personal needs. Most inpatient rehabs offer a 30, 60, or 90-day treatment plan. Treatment involves:

Initial Intake and Assessment

When you arrive at the facility, the staff members will ask you several questions to determine what services you will need during treatment. This is known as an initial assessment, which provides your doctors and therapists with background information on your physical and mental health, your history of alcoholism, and more.

Some of the questions that might be asked during an assessment include:

  • Are you currently taking any medications?
  • Have you been diagnosed with a mental health condition?
  • Besides alcohol, do you abuse any other substances?
  • How long have you been abusing alcohol and how much do you usually drink at once?
  • When was the last time you drank alcohol?
  • Are you experiencing symptoms of withdrawal?
  • Have you ever attended rehab for a substance use disorder in the past?

In addition to these questions, the clinic will gather your medical history, psychiatric history, and your overall family history to determine any additional issues that should be addressed. This information allows the medical staff to create an individualized treatment plan that focuses on your personal needs.

Medical Detox

Once you complete the assessment, you will move on to the detox phase of recovery. During medical detox, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff will help you overcome your withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol detox involves 24/7 monitoring to ensure medical stability, access to psychiatric support, and medications to soothe the symptoms of withdrawal and prevent cravings.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and even life-threatening if left untreated. Some of the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:[2]

  • Shakiness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Body tremors
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Delirium

During alcohol detox, you may be given benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, and other medications to manage your symptoms. The overall goal of medical detox is to remove the substances from your body while monitoring vitals and using medications to prevent severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal like seizures.

Behavioral Therapy

During inpatient alcohol rehab in North Carolina, you will participate in behavioral therapy to address negative patterns of thought and behavior. Because substance abuse is often a coping mechanism used to numb uncomfortable or painful feelings, behavioral therapy is used to teach you positive coping mechanisms that can replace alcohol. This approach to treating alcoholism is evidence-based, meaning it has been proven effective and is backed by experts in the field.[3]

Examples of behavioral therapies used during inpatient alcohol addiction treatment include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Contingency management (CM)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • The matrix model
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Family behavior therapy
  • Group counseling

When treating alcohol addiction, behavioral therapy provides the following benefits:

  • Improved self-control and emotional regulation
  • Ability to recognize events and circumstances that may trigger a desire to abuse alcohol
  • Learning how to avoid and work through triggering incidents
  • Developing healthy coping strategies
  • Being able to cope with issues and behaviors that would have previously led to alcohol abuse
  • Increased capacity to deal with strong emotions while remaining rational and calm

Relapse Prevention Planning

Before you complete your alcohol rehab program, you will create a relapse prevention plan with the help of your therapist. Relapse prevention planning is a process that ensures that you have everything you need to maintain long-term sobriety outside of the facility.

Inpatient alcohol treatment centers in North Carolina include the following in their relapse prevention plans:

  • A list of short and long-term recovery goals
  • A list of personal triggers and coping mechanisms that work for you
  • Continued attendance of individual or group therapy
  • Continued medication management if needed
  • Access to an alumni support group
  • Referrals to sober living housing programs
  • Recommendations on alcohol support groups to attend like Alcoholics Anonymous
  • A list of people that you can call for support in times of need
  • A daily routine that you can stick to so you remain accountable and focused

Start Inpatient Alcohol Rehab in North Carolina Today

If you or a loved one suffer from an alcohol use disorder, help is available. Alcoholism is a serious condition that requires extensive medical treatment, behavioral therapy, and support. Inpatient alcohol rehab programs in North Carolina can help you gain the tools you need to maintain long-term recovery from alcoholism.

Contact Carolina Center for Recovery today to speak with an admissions counselor about finding the best treatment option for you.