Alcohol is a commonplace part of American socialization. Most people don’t think twice about having a drink or two while they’re out with friends. But for people with alcohol use disorders, social drinking can lead to dangerous complications. If you drink and drive, you could end up seriously injured or killed. Driving under the influence is a huge sign that a person has problems responsibly managing their alcohol intake.
If you got a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania, you will probably be legally required to complete a state-approved alcohol education course. You might also lose your license. Depending on the severity of the DUI, as well as whether there was property damage involved, you may be looking at hefty fines and even jail time.
For many people, being arrested for a DUI is their rock bottom. When you can no longer deny the existence of a problem, it’s time to face it. Even if it’s not legally required, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to enroll in a treatment center.
How Rehabilitation Can Help Your Legal Case
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, enrolling in a treatment center is a way of showing personal responsibility. It shows the judge in your case that you understand that you have a problem, and that you’re committed to taking the appropriate steps to work on it. If this is your first DUI, being proactive about your treatment can even help to keep you out of jail.
Even if you already have multiple DUI offenses, proactively seeking treatment can help lessen the legal repercussions you’re facing. Depending on the circumstances, enrolling in a treatment program can even save your license. If you appeal your DUI conviction, your lawyer can use your ongoing treatment as proof that you’re getting whatever help you need. Sometimes it’s possible to leverage this into a large reduction in punishment, or even getting the charges against you dropped entirely.
How Rehabilitation Can Help You Personally
Even if there weren’t legal benefits to a treatment center, enrolling in rehab would still be a good idea. You’ll have access to intensive treatment that you wouldn’t otherwise have sought out. Treatment centers can see you safely through alcohol detox, which is incredibly important given the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Following your detox, you’ll execute the steps of a personalized treatment plan. The length of treatment will depend on your circumstances. Short-term rehab stays are usually three to twelve weeks, while long-term residential stays tend to last longer than six months.
Most importantly, rehab is not a prison. Treatment centers won’t lock you in. If you were legally mandated to complete a treatment program, you’ll need to prove you’ve gone through all the steps or face jail time. But if you enroll voluntarily in a program, you can voluntarily leave at any time. The drawback to leaving early is that you’ll fail to prove you’ve taken responsibility for your actions, and therefore may face higher penalties for your DUI.
What Can I Expect From Treatment?
Comprehensive treatment programs tend to address the following:
- A medically supervised detox to ensure your alcohol withdrawal is safe and as painless as possible
- Counseling and behavioral therapy to address underlying mental health issues
- Medication to address physical problems related to alcohol use as well as mental health issues
- Creative therapies and group therapy
- Family therapy for your loved ones to help heal and establish a healthy support network
In most cases, you’ll also be required to complete a state-approved course about alcohol and substance abuse. You’ll also have access to relapse prevention methods of therapy, and you may be required to take a urine test for drug and alcohol screening.
Is Treatment Different for People Who Haven’t Gotten a DUI?
Treatment is definitely different for people without a DUI. They tend to have more options regarding the treatment programs they complete, and they also have a wider variety of rehab facilities that provide the care they’re seeking. When you have a DUI, you’ll need to make sure the rehab facility you enroll in is approved by the state. You’ll also need to make sure your treatment plan covers any and all court-mandated treatment qualifications.
Because people without a DUI aren’t in legal trouble, they tend to have more freedom regarding their treatment. When you’ve gotten a DUI, failure to complete your treatment could result in legal consequences including huge fines and jail time.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. All this means is that you’ll be held to a higher standard of accountability. It’s hard to stick to your treatment plan and responsibilities. Therapy can be confrontational and admitting you have a problem can be painful. If you’re facing legal repercussions, you have an external motivation to get the help you need.
Rehab centers that chiefly help DUI clients report that these are their most commonly used treatment methods:
- Substance abuse counseling
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Many of these rehab centers screen for underlying mental disorders. Should you be diagnosed with a previously-unknown mental health issue, most treatment facilities will offer mental health help in the form of counseling and medication.
Some facilities are designed only for DUI patients, while others enroll patients from many different circumstances. If you have the opportunity, you might want to seek a treatment center that treats more than just DUI patients. Sometimes DUI treatment centers will only provide the bare minimum treatment you need to prove your responsibility to the court.
Ultimately, you’ll get as much back from treatment as you put in. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, now is a good time to take a look at your life and decide if you need to make changes. Our trained counselors are available twenty-four hours a day to support you. Call 888-380-0342 to move forward in your alcohol treatment today.