In recent news, many celebrities and other prominent figures have come forward about their struggles with the disease of alcoholism and have publicly entered alcohol treatment programs, but alcoholism is an addiction and disorder that can affect anyone. As our awareness and understanding of alcoholism increases, so do alcohol treatment options. Whether you are the victim of alcoholism, or just a concerned family member or friend, there are several programs out there that can assist you in your pursuit of knowledge or help.
Alcohol treatment programs range from the traditional self-help twelve-step programs to out-patient drug treatment centers to all-inclusive, in-patient drug rehabilitation centers.
A twelve-step program breaks the process of alcohol treatment down to simple steps. It often incorporates individual and group exercises that may include a victim’s family or other victims. The most popular support group promoted by alcohol withdrawal timeline treatment programs is AA, or Alcoholics Anonymous. These exercises give an individual the foundation necessary to resist their addiction, allow the family to empathize with the process, and help individuals to form a support group to enforce their resistance. These programs typically utilize a sponsor, which may be a former victim or just a concerned friend. The sponsor acts as a coach and cheerleader, guiding the individual through the process and making themselves available at crisis points.
Out-patient drug treatment centers offer alcohol treatment programs that allow the individual to remain in their own home while treating their disorder. When admitting a new patient, they usually begin a process called dual-diagnosis, meaning that while treating the alcohol abuse they also look for the underlying source of the addiction. This is also called a co-occurring disorder, as the individual’s addiction is often directly related to some other psychological issue, and thus they have two interrelated disorders occurring at once. Out-patient alcohol treatment programs tailor their services to each individual. They will assess the patient’s mental and physical health and prescribe treatments for both.
To address the patient’s mental health, there are a variety of therapies frequently used. They will engage in individual therapy sessions with a professional psychologist to determine the root of their alcohol addiction and to resolve issues of anxiety or depression. They may also participate in family therapy and group therapy as described above. Some alcohol treatment programs may feature a spiritual aspect, while others promote a fitness aspect. Many may recommend a twelve-step program like the one described above for ongoing support.
Drug rehabilitation centers are the alcohol treatment programs most frequently featured in the news. While they endeavor to provide a comfortable and secure environment for their clients, they are not luxury resorts but highly intensive alcohol treatment facilities. These centers remove their clients from potentially dangerous lifestyles and allow them to focus on treating their alcohol addiction away from possible enablers or catalysts that might encourage their substance abuse. These centers are usually the last resort for a chronic alcohol abuser. They offer many of the same services as out-patient treatment programs but in a more concentrated setting. Rehabilitation centers are staffed by professionals that offer their patients 24/7 care. The patients undergo individualized dual-diagnosis programs. These treatment programs may range from one week to several months. Once a patient leaves the center, they may be encouraged to return or be referred to an out-patient center for ongoing or follow-up treatment.