It is important to seek medical help if you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism.
Alcohol & Alcoholism Treatment Programs near Me, How to Treat Alcoholism, Doctor for Alcoholism, Alcohol Dependence Treatments, Solutions for Alcoholism, Types of Treatment for Alcoholism, Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder, What are the Steps to Treat Alcoholism?, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, First Step in Treating Alcoholism: Medical Detox, Therapeutic Regimen for Alcohol Abuse
Any type of addiction can cause great damage to a person’s life. It can affect their health, their relationships, their career, their spiritual life, their finances, and many other aspects of their life.
But alcohol addiction is one of the most common types of addiction, and unfortunately, not many people receive the treatment that they need. Around 300 million people all over the world are struggling with an AUD or alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol is the most widely-abused substance in the US, and around 88,000 people die each year as a result. Around 15 million American adults have a drinking problem, but only 7 percent of them receive treatment.
It is important to seek medical help if you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism. It’s easy for people with an addiction to feel overwhelmed by all the physical, mental, and social effects of alcoholism. But proper medical treatment is the most effective way to recover from an addiction and regain your sobriety.
Alcohol addiction may lead you to a downward spiral and make you think your life is out of control. But with the help of medical professionals and addiction experts, you can reclaim control over your life.
The first step in a long journey towards a healthy, sober life is admitting you need help. Then you can begin to look for the right alcohol rehab center for you. Here we are going to cover everything you need to know about alcohol detox and rehab so you can choose the best program and facility for you.
Alcohol & Alcoholism Treatment Programs near Me
Finding a proper rehab facility that suits the patient’s needs is a key element when it comes to addiction treatment. Everyone goes through addiction differently. No two patients are exactly the same. That’s why a personalized treatment plan is always recommended. Remember that a person’s sobriety and health are on the line.
Think about how someone with an alcohol use disorder will make greater progress in a facility that specializes in that type of addiction.
Even among alcohol rehab facilities, there are differences that you should look out for. Do they offer inpatient or outpatient care? What types of programs and therapies do they offer? How far away are they from where you currently live? These are some of the factors you need to take into consideration.
Patients are more likely to finish treatment if they are under the right program. It allows them to get the medical and emotional support that they need. This increases their chances of coming out of rehab sober—and also capable of maintaining their sobriety outside of rehab. That is a crucial factor. Alcohol rehab is not just about getting sober. It’s all about learning how to stay sober.
The number of treatment options can make this decision difficult for addicted individuals. Unfortunately, some rehabs are better than others. Knowing all your options can help you narrow it down to the best fit.
Ultimately, the two most important factors people consider are cost and location. Cost is the number one concern because people want to know that they will be able to pay for their treatment. This is actually the one thing that keeps a lot of people from pursuing alcohol addiction treatment. They don’t know that health insurance can cover a portion of the cost, and that most facilities offer plenty of payment options. Most rehab programs are set up in a way that makes it convenient for addicted individuals to pay for their treatment.
Keep in mind that staying addicted to a substance is more expensive in the long run. Investing on a proper treatment program is investing on your health and future.
Location is equally important because the closest facility is naturally the most convenient. However, some patients come from toxic environments with plenty of stressors and temptations. In that case, separating them from their usual environment will help them focus on getting better.
Other questions you need to ask your local addiction treatment facility are the following:
How long will drug detox take?
What kind of programs do you offer?
Is it an inpatient or outpatient detox program?
Does the facility accept your insurance?
It is important to find a reputable program with a well-trained staff and a high success rate. The more comfortable the patient is in the treatment facility, the more effective treatment will be.
Try to get recommendations from people you know and trust or read reviews online about how certain facilities conduct their detox programs. This should help you narrow it down. Once you have a few options, compare them and try to determine the best fit.
How to Treat Alcoholism
In order to treat alcoholism, patients need to go through a combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy. Detox deals with the physical effects of addiction such as tolerance and withdrawal. On the other hand, behavioral therapy deals with the emotional and psychological aspects of addiction, tackling the root causes of addictive behavior.
To put it simply, detox helps people get sober and therapy helps them stay sober.
Detoxification is an important step in addiction treatment because it gradually lowers a person’s alcohol intake while their withdrawal symptoms are managed by medical professionals. This is the safest way for a person to get past their dependence on alcohol.
Behavioral therapy equips people with healthy coping mechanisms so they can conquer alcohol addiction even when they are out of rehab. It will help them stay sober in the long run by avoiding relapse.
Doctor for Alcoholism
It’s not easy to live with alcohol use disorder. But a lot of people deny that they have a problem in the first place, which keeps them from getting the help that they need. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell whether a person is just drinking socially or abusing alcohol. Drinking is so deeply ingrained into our culture that it’s hard to recognize the problem.
It’s important to look for the signs of alcoholism. Drinking in the middle of the day, drinking alone, and trying to hide your drinking habits are a few of the indicators of an alcohol use disorder. Addicted individuals will also lie about their drinking habits.
Alcohol addiction is characterized by the compulsive habit of drinking even when the person is already struggling from its adverse effects. They will lose interest in things they used to enjoy and will start prioritizing alcohol over everything else. They may even neglect their responsibilities and relationships.
A person who is addicted to alcohol will spend a lot of time thinking about or trying to obtain alcohol. Oftentimes, their loved ones will suffer in the process.
Addiction treatment for alcohol is all about addressing the negative effects of alcohol on the body as well as addressing the root cause of abusive behavior. Alcoholism is a complex medical condition—which is why professional help is necessary.
Addicted individuals should not try to quit on their own, especially those who have been drinking for a long time because it may be dangerous for them. Instead, look for a primary care doctor who can recommend a proper treatment program. They can be an excellent source of referrals.
A primary care physician can also evaluate a patient’s health, craft a personalized treatment plan, and assess if medications are appropriate for their condition.
Alcohol Dependence Treatments
For those who want to go into alcohol rehab, there are two main options: inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment.
Inpatient treatment is also known as residential treatment and involves staying in a treatment facility for the duration of the program. When people think about rehab, this is what they usually imagine.
But you don’t necessarily have to stay in a rehab facility if your condition is mild or moderate. Outpatient treatment allows the patient to stay at home in between treatment sessions. However, they are required to visit the treatment facility regularly. Outpatient treatment is less structured, but it allows patients to keep up with their responsibilities. They can attend school, go to work, or take care of their children.
Inpatient treatment is highly structured and organized. In the morning, patients are served a healthy breakfast and then attend meetings or morning classes. Afterwards they go through a series of therapy sessions and activities, with more meals served throughout the day. Patients may be given medication depending on their condition. They then sleep in their own living quarters: they may either sleep alone or be assigned a roommate.
Loved ones are allowed to visit regularly. As for phone usage, facilities may have different rules about that.
With outpatient treatment, patients go through the same process, but meals are not served and they get to go home after a treatment session. This can work well for people with a healthy environment and those who can get support from their family members.
Inpatient and outpatient treatment both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it ultimately depends on the patient’s condition.
Solutions for Alcoholism
Because addiction affects people in different ways, the treatment process can be tweaked according to an individual’s needs and progress. Remember, there is no single formula for the treatment of alcoholism. A personalized approach is always best.
With that in mind, there are certain factors that can influence the alcohol addiction treatment process. For example, the frequency of intake, the amount of alcohol taken, and the presence of co-occurring health conditions can influence a person’s treatment plan. The same goes for other factors such as age, gender, medical history, history of alcohol abuse, severity of addiction, and genetic makeup.
The process becomes more complex if the person also abused other substances like drugs at the same time. Alcohol, when mixed with certain drugs, can cause life-threatening effects.
The entire detox process may take anywhere from a few days to several months. That’s how long it takes to clear the body of alcohol and manage all of the withdrawal symptoms. It may take a while for the body to readjust to being alcohol-free, especially if the person has been drinking for a long time.
Withdrawal is normal, but it is still an unpleasant experience. That’s why you need medical professionals to look after you as you go through detox.
It is also important to take note that detox is only one half of the equation. It does not address the psychological effects of alcoholism. That’s what behavioral therapy is for. Recovering from an addiction is a long journey—but it is worth it in the end.
Types of Treatment for Alcoholism
Aside from inpatient and outpatient programs, there are other types of treatment for alcoholism that you should know about. When choosing a program, pick the one that will give you the highest chance of long-term success.
Treatment programs may vary in terms of duration. For example, there are alcohol rehab programs that last for only 30 days, while there are others that go on for 60 days, 90 days, or even longer. Some addiction experts say that 30-day programs aren’t long enough to be effective. However, there have been plenty of success stories that involved 30-day alcohol rehab programs. So again, this depends on the patient’s specific situation.
That said, most people need at least three months in treatment to get sober.
When it comes to different treatment types, one of the most popular ways of getting through alcoholism is with the help of support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Because most people don’t get themselves treated for their alcohol use disorder, there’s a misconception that support groups are the only option out there. Today there are more choices than you might expect. So while support groups play a major role in helping certain individuals, it is not the only way to deal with alcoholism.
Behavioral treatments, medications, support groups, and alternative types of treatment can help a person make progress towards sobriety.
Behavioral treatments are designed to tackle drinking behavior and other self-destructive habits. They are typically led by health professionals and counselors.
Medications help make the treatment process more comfortable for an addicted individual. Whether it’s to reduce the effects of withdrawal or limit a person’s cravings, medications can make alcohol detox safer. Some of the medications used in alcohol addiction treatment are addictive themselves—that’s why they are only prescribed and taken in medical settings.
Finally, support groups and 12-step programs provide peer support for people who are struggling to cut back on their drinking. Receiving support from people who know exactly what you’re going through can be very powerful. It brings in a sense of community and belongingness, which gives the patient confidence. It can motivate them to keep going even when it’s difficult.
Alcoholics Anonymous or AA is a support group that helps people recover from alcohol dependence. The group is often called a “sober support” network. AA lets people attend group meetings and go through a 12-step program that helps them achieve and maintain sobriety. Due to the anonymous nature of mutual-support groups, it is difficult for researchers to determine their success rates compared with those led by health professionals.
There are plenty of other support groups for alcoholics out there, and all you need to do is reach out to them for help.
Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Aside from the usual therapy sessions, there are facilities that offer alternative forms of therapy. This includes music therapy, dance therapy, art therapy, hypnotherapy, yoga, medication, acupuncture, exercise programs, and equine therapy.
Some of these may sound unorthodox, but they can help individuals who are responsive to these types of treatment. These alternative forms of therapy may even surprise you by how well they work.
These treatments work best when used in conjunction with traditional treatments like detox and behavioral therapy. Different facilities offer different programs. During your search for a rehab facility, make sure you ask them about the therapies they offer.
These therapies can improve a patient’s quality of life and teach them other ways to cope with their cravings. It can even teach them productive ways to channel their energy, so they can adjust to the alcohol-free lifestyle faster.
One controversial form of treatment is called aversion therapy or aversive conditioning. This type of therapy is used to help people give up their unhealthy behavior by having them associate alcohol with unpleasant stimuli.
This therapy is based off the theory of classical conditioning, wherein behavior is unconsciously learned because of particular stimuli. The idea behind aversion therapy is that if a person can associate alcohol with something negative, they won’t keep abusing it. Aversion therapy will use different negative stimuli such as negative imagery, shame, an unpleasant smell, or even an electric shock.
But this type of therapy is controversial because the negative stimuli used are comparable to punishment, which is considered unethical. The research is also mixed on whether or not it is actually effective. Outside of therapy, relapse can occur, which suggests that the effects of aversion therapy do not last long. Other therapies are preferred.
One example of a type of treatment for alcoholism that actually works is family therapy. This is useful if the patient has a strong support system, but it can also address family matters that prevent the patient from getting sober. The therapy involves helping family members improve their communication and resolve their conflicts. Family conflict is a common cause of alcohol abuse because some people try to cope by drinking.
Family therapy is provided by a trained psychologist and is offered in a lot of rehab facilities. It can also be facilitated by a social worker or licensed therapist. Family therapy may include all family members, but if that’s not possible, it can involve just those who are willing to participate. The therapy process will be based on the family’s particular issues.
What are the Steps to Treat Alcoholism?
There are many different treatment therapies and programs out there, but to keep it simple, let’s look at the steps on how to treat alcoholism.
The first step is to admit that you have a problem and to decide that you are going to seek help. After that, you can choose a good rehab facility, ask for your doctor’s recommendation, and find a program that’s good for you.
There’s a stage called intake wherein the patient undergoes a series of tests and interviews that are designed to flesh out their medical and psychiatric histories. This is a comprehensive view of their condition. It helps create a personalized treatment plan for the patient.
After entering the appropriate treatment program, you will then go through medical detox. Detox can be considered a “preparatory step” before an intensive treatment program. Detox can be done safely in both inpatient and outpatient settings. However, round-the-clock monitoring is recommended for most people.
During detox, the patient will go through withdrawal, but their symptoms will be managed by medical professionals who can also administer medications when necessary.
During, or sometimes after, detox, the patient will also go through therapy and counseling. This is a crucial step that addresses their alcohol abuse. At a certain point, the patient’s condition will begin to stabilize.
After the rehab program comes aftercare. This is a normal part of the rehab experience and it is all about helping the patient avoid relapse by providing continued support. Most alcohol rehab facilities offer their own aftercare services and sober living facilities. But if it’s not available, they may recommend an aftercare facility nearby.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a type of treatment that can help with a wide range of mental health problems. This includes anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and alcohol use disorder. CBT has been shown to improve a patient’s functioning and quality of life.
CBT is different from other forms of therapy because of its core principles. According to CBT, psychological problems are partly based on unhelpful ways of thinking. It means that these thoughts lead to unhelpful behavior—which is what CBT helps to unlearn.
CBT is all about teaching people better ways to cope with problems, particularly by coming up with better ways to cope with difficult situations. Going through CBT means patients have to challenge their own way of thinking: to face their fears instead of running away from them.
Cognitive behavioral therapy may teach patients problem solving skills that can help them once they step outside of rehab. This will essentially allow them to become their own therapist. Recovering individuals need to become self-reliant so they can stay sober even after rehab.
Motivational interviewing is a method used in counseling to encourage patients to set goals for self-improvement. It motivates people to become better versions of themselves. But beyond motivating patients, this method also teaches them to stay motivated on their own.
MI is a popular technique for treating people with substance abuse disorders—including alcoholism. This is because most people feel powerless against addiction. The very nature of this condition prevents them from wanting to get better. So a motivational interview uses techniques that will help patients commit to change. This is a psychological treatment approach that is facilitated by a therapist.
MI is designed to help patients increase their perspective on their situation: to realize that they have the power to quit alcohol. If a patient is not motivated but wants to change, this is a good treatment method for them.
First Step in Treating Alcoholism: Medical Detox
So to summarize, alcohol addiction treatment has two major components: detox and therapy. Keep in mind that detox and rehab are not the same. Detox is just one part of the rehab experience. It is a natural process that occurs within the body as it attempts to eliminate harmful substances like alcohol.
During detox the patient’s alcohol intake will be reduced gradually. Their progress will be monitored by medical professionals and health care experts who can provide emergency care if their withdrawal becomes too intense or dangerous. Medications will be given as necessary.
If a person quits drinking, they will automatically go into detox. But this process can be dangerous because of withdrawal. Alcohol is one of the substances that can cause life-threatening withdrawal. That’s why medical detox is designed to make this natural process as comfortable as possible.
A proper detox program will restore them to a healthy state while reducing the risk of relapse.
Therapeutic Regimen for Alcohol Abuse
After detox, the patient will undergo therapy. Psychotherapy is a general term for the treatment of a wide range of mental health problems. A psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health provider will facilitate these programs.
Psychotherapy teaches patients how to process their thoughts, feelings, moods, and behaviors. It can give them control over their life by learning how to respond to life’s challenges in a healthy way.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is actually one of the many forms of psychotherapy. Counseling, talk therapy, family therapy, and psychosocial therapy are all considered forms of psychotherapy.
Alcohol addiction has both physical and psychological effects. That’s why it’s a complicated condition that you shouldn’t face alone. Not only is it dangerous, but trying to quit alcohol on your own is also likely to lead to relapse.
Seek professional help today if you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction.