What to Expect from Alcohol Addiction Treatment


  • Author Terek Shastalon
  • Published March 3, 2012
  • Word count 704

Alcoholism is a crippling disease, but modern clinical treatments have proven astoundingly effective at helping people with their drinking problems. Although many people still view alcoholism as a lack of willpower, most medical professionals have come to understand that it is a neurological disorder. Like every other addiction, alcoholism involves permanent changes to people's brain chemistries - changes which require clinical treatment and constant management.

Despite the success of rehab, few people understand what goes on at treatment facilities. Because drinking is so widely accepted in American society, laypeople need to learn more about the methods used to treat alcoholism. Addiction can afflict anyone, at any time, and communities must to be better-equipped to effectively handle their members' drinking problems.


The first step in most addiction recoveries is detox - a one to two-week process of drug deprivation. In every case of addiction, addicts' brains become dependent on foreign substances to perform normal functions. Alcoholics must therefore take this time to clear their bodies of alcohol and prepare themselves for further treatment.

Rehab patients will of course continue to abstain from alcohol as they receive their treatments, but this initial period of deprivation lays an essential foundation for successful recovery. Without detox, alcoholics would be utterly unable to focus on their therapies as constant compulsions to drink occupied their thoughts.

The Right Treatment Plan

Most rehabilitation facilities offer three levels of treatment - inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient. Inpatient programs require addicts to live at their treatment facilities for thirty to ninety days, during which they receive fifty or more hours of intensive therapies per week. This type of treatment is best for alcoholics who are seeking help for the first time, and who have are able to devote all of their energies to their recovery efforts. Inpatient treatments are rigorous, but the reward of lasting sobriety is well worth the effort.

Partial hospitalization and outpatient programs are less involved. They each still require patients to attend intensive therapies in the daytime, but they are free to leave their clinics in the evenings. Partial hospitalization patients must return home under the supervision of rehab clinicians, while outpatients are free to spend the rest of their time as they see fit. These programs can work well for addicts to transition between inpatient treatment and normal life. They are also a good choice for people who suffer short relapses or who must continue to tend to careers, families, and other personal matters.

Evidence-Based Therapies

The most widely used and successful treatments are known as evidence-based therapies - those which have been scientifically tested, statistically proven, and government-approved. These treatments include one-on-one counseling sessions, group discussions with other addicts, and family therapy. Despite their differences, these treatments are all designed with one goal in mind - lifestyle changes. Maintaining sobriety for years after clinical treatment requires large changes in the way alcoholics think, feel, and act on a day-to-day basis.

Individual counseling sessions offer addicts the chance to make personal discoveries regarding the causes of their drug problems. Counselors also help patients identify their addiction triggers - the people, locations, objects, and behaviors which most often lead them to use drugs. Armed with this knowledge, addicts can develop effective coping mechanisms for dealing with cravings in the outside world.

Lifelong Support

Because alcohol is so pervasive in American society, alcoholics typically require continued support to avoid relapse. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous allow addicts to congregate, talk about shared struggles, and hold each other accountable.

Accountability partners can make or break each others' recoveries. They may call each other in times of need, when the temptation to drink seems almost too great to resist. They can also help each other maintain the healthy habits and proactive recovery strategies necessary for avoiding cravings in the first place.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a drinking problem, don't give up home. Alcoholism is a crippling disease, but help is available. Click the links below to find an alcohol addiction treatment center near you. No matter how much you've been suffering, and no matter how severe your addiction is, rehab specialists in your area can help you get your life back on the right track.

No matter where you live or what time of day or night it is, our New York Drug Rehab has addiction experts standing by to provide a free, confidential consultation about your options.

To check you insurance, request a call back or ask an addiction expert a question, click here regardless of where you live: New York Drug Rehab Center.

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