Are you seeking alcohol treatment for yourself or a loved one struggling with alcoholism? Do you have a spouse, child, relative or friend who you suspect struggles with alcohol use? Alcohol rehab can help people ready to address their substance use disorder.
Alcohol rehab is often the only way that an individual who’s struggling with addiction can get help. There are rehab centers all over the country that offer individualized programs to treat alcoholism, regardless of how long the condition has been present. Alcohol treatment programs take many factors into consideration, including the person’s age and gender, and the extent and length of the addiction. Many alcohol rehab centers also offer various aftercare options and recommendations to help clients maintain their sobriety.
It’s important to learn about alcohol treatment centers, payment options, differences between inpatient and outpatient programs, how to find an alcohol treatment center and what the first steps toward sobriety and recovery are. If you’re here seeking information for a friend or family member, we’ve also included resources on how to help a friend or family member, along with intervention strategies.
Table of Contents
There are many types of alcohol treatment programs available. As you research the different treatment options for alcoholism, you’ll find that there are several levels of care available. A doctor, substance abuse therapist or counselor should help you and your loved one choose the level that’s right for you.
Inpatient or residential treatment is the most intensive level of care, with around-the-clock monitoring and clinical management to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and provide structure. After the detox phase, the patient lives at the facility full-time while receiving therapy, group counseling, medication management, holistic therapies, and other services.
- Partial Hospitalization
After completing a residential program, a patient who is stable in his or her sobriety may be transferred to a partial hospitalization program. In this intensive form of therapy, the patient lives in transitional housing or at home while attending classes, counseling sessions and appointments with medical professionals during the day.
Outpatient treatment is the most flexible level of care. Recovery services are provided in a day center, clinic, rehab facility, or other location, while the patient lives at home. Outpatient clients can participate in counseling, therapy, 12-step programming, and other recovery services without giving up their self-determination. This level of care is recommended for patients who have completed an inpatient program or for medically stable individuals who have a high level of motivation to reach sobriety.
- Intensive outpatient treatment
Also known as IOP, this level of care is less intense than partial programs and offers several days of therapy per week.
- Medical detox
This is usually the first step in most alcohol treatment programs. During this stage, the body must rid itself of alcohol and other toxins through a medically-supervised program that addresses the dangers and symptoms of withdrawal associated with detox.
There are a number of different approaches to recovery. To find the right approach, consider the individual’s values, mental health status, personality, and cultural background.
Traditional alcohol treatment programs rely on evidence-based strategies such as psychotherapy, behavioral modification therapy, peer group counseling, nutritional counseling, and 12-step programs. Rehabilitation begins with detox, a cleansing process that allows the patient to withdraw safely and comfortably from alcohol. After detox, the patient participates in a structured series of therapies that are designed to help him or her modify destructive behaviors and create a sober life.
Holistic recovery programs focus not just on treating alcoholism as a physical or psychological condition but on healing the body, mind, and spirit. In addition to the core components of alcohol rehab — individual and group therapy, family counseling, 12-step meetings, and behavioral modification — treatment addresses the patient’s spiritual and emotional needs through activities like art therapy, recreational therapy, guided meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and massage. The goal of holistic therapy is to promote healing on all levels so the patient can build a meaningful, rewarding life.
Integrated alcohol treatment programs are designed for patients who meet the criteria for a substance use disorder and a form of mental illness. In a national study of co-occurring disorders, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 37% of individuals with alcohol dependence also suffered from a mental health disorder, while over 50% of individuals who abused drugs also had a psychiatric illness. These patients face unique obstacles in recovery, such as low motivation, anxiety about new situations, poor concentration and delusional thinking. Integrated treatment, which targets both the patient’s mental illness and substance use disorder within the same program, is the most effective way to achieve a full recovery. Services for both issues are provided at a single facility and delivered by staff members with expertise in substance abuse treatment and mental health.
As part of your initial treatment program, you’ll go through a medical detox program. Facility staff will assist you in detoxing yourself from alcohol and other toxins so you can begin your recovery in the healthiest way possible. With the presence of medical professionals, detoxing in a professional treatment facility is the safest way to detox.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Rehab
Inpatient vs. outpatient is an important consideration to make when choosing a treatment program. The decision ultimately comes down to your availability and finances. Can you afford to stop everything in your life for inpatient treatment? If you need to maintain your job and other commitments, outpatient treatment might be the best option for you.
Alcoholism Treatment Medications
Some of the medications used in alcohol treatment programs include meds that help reduce alcohol cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, or create negative effects when alcohol is consumed. These medications include:
- Acamprosate – Reduces alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- Naltrexone – Reduces cravings for alcohol
- Disulfiram – Produces undesirable effects such as headaches, nausea or vomiting when alcohol is consumed
Alcohol Treatment Costs & Insurance Options
You may be wondering how much rehab costs and if it is worth the price. Inpatient treatment is generally more expensive than outpatient treatment. Depending on the severity of your addiction, it may take some time to recover. The more time you spend in alcohol rehab, the more it will cost. Many people transition from detox to inpatient or residential treatment, to outpatient treatment, and then to a sober living environment.