Alcoholism Treatment

There are a variety of methods that have been developed over the years to treat alcoholism. The patient’s level of abuse or addiction will determine what their best treatment option is; patients who have a serious alcohol addiction will require a much deeper and immersive level of treatment than others who are suffering with only alcohol abuse. The most important thing for anyone with a drinking problem to remember is that the quality of alcoholism treatment varies greatly amongst the different treatment centers around the country. 

Types of Alcoholism Treatment

Nearly a million alcoholics receive treatment on any given day; however, each one's treatment regimen might look different than another’s. Circumstances such as family, lifestyle, career and relationships can all play instrumental parts in an alcoholic's treatment. Popular types of alcohol treatment include, but are not limited to:

  • Twelve-Step Programs

The most common treatment method, and the preferred approach of Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-step recovery provides a template of humility, self-awareness and spirituality to help people recover from every aspect of their alcohol abuse. Followers of the 12-step program start by admitting they have a problem and acquiescing to a higher power. The rest of the process involves doing whatever it takes to receive treatment, making amends with everyone your alcoholism negatively impacted, and using your knowledge and recovery to help others. The 12-step model is a proven and effective means of alcohol treatment.

  • Inpatient Alcoholism Treatment

Alcoholics are usually encouraged to pursue inpatient treatment, which involves a residential stay in a recovery facility. Inpatient treatment programs allow participants to focus on their recovery with no distractions from the outside world. They will also have access to regular psychiatric therapy and medically assisted detox. Once patients complete an inpatient program, they will be connected with support groups for continued help staying clean in their everyday lives.

  • Outpatient Alcoholism Treatment

Intended for alcohol abuse victims for whom residential programs are logistically impossible, outpatient rehab consists of professional detox and weekly therapy sessions. Patients are required to attend support meetings and counseling, and they also are educated on how to live a sober life. Outpatient options allow patients with a less dire alcohol problem to nip their abuse in the bud before it develops into a full-blown addiction.

  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment

In the event that circumstances prevent patients from enrolling in an inpatient treatment program, it is recommended that they enroll in an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Most IOPs require a commitment beyond that of normal outpatient services and blend elements of residential therapy, such as family involvement and more rigid treatment parameters, with the logistical flexibility of inpatient therapy. Studies have yielded higher success rates for intensive outpatient therapy versus traditional outpatient treatment.

Inpatient versus Outpatient Treatment

It is strongly recommended that victims of alcohol abuse and addiction seek comprehensive inpatient treatment. A residential rehab environment provides patients with a compassionate and distraction-free atmosphere, round-the-clock access to expert addiction care specialists and the elimination of the possibility to relapse while in recovery. Outpatient programs, while helpful in certain situations, don’t allow patients to immerse themselves totally in their recovery and often let patients walk right back into the toxic situations that may have contributed to their alcohol abuse in the first place. An extended, uninterrupted period of self-evaluation, reflection and counseling is an invaluable part of the recovery process, and is offered only as a part of inpatient treatment.

Other types of treatment for alcoholism include:

  • Medication-focused treatment
  • Treatment integrated with couples counseling
  • Treatment integrated with family therapy
  • Psychosocial therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Naltrexone treatment

Contact the National Alcoholism Center anytime toll-free at (888) 515-7704 or through our online form for our recommendations of the best alcohol treatment centers for you or your loved one!

Alcoholism treatment should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a professional licensed treatment facility.