Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

Alcohol Treatment and Rehabilitation

Table of Contents

Are you or someone you know struggling with alcohol addiction? Do you feel like your life is spiraling out of control due to your drinking habits? If so, you’re not alone.

Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is a widespread problem that affects millions of people around the world. It can have devastating consequences on a person’s health, relationships, and overall quality of life.

But here’s the good news: alcoholism is treatable. Alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs can help you overcome your addiction and develop the skills and support needed to maintain sobriety.

What is Alcoholism Treatment, and Why is it Important?

Alcohol addiction treatment is a comprehensive approach to helping individuals overcome their addiction to alcohol. Without professional treatment, alcohol addiction can have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences.

Alcohol addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition that can have serious consequences on a person’s health, relationships, and overall quality of life. Long-term alcohol use can lead to liver disease, cancer, and other chronic health conditions. It can also damage personal relationships and negatively impact a person’s career and financial stability.

An alcohol addiction treatment program is designed to help individuals not only overcome their addiction but also develop the skills and support they need to maintain their sobriety.

Alcohol treatment centers offer individuals a path toward recovery and a chance to reclaim their lives from the grip of addiction. With the right treatment and support, individuals can develop the skills and resources they need to maintain their sobriety and lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

When is the Right Time to Seek Treatment?

The right time to seek treatment for alcoholism is as soon as possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, we urge you to seek help before the problem worsens.

Look out for the following signs of alcoholism:

  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol, or recovering from alcohol use
  • Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • Drinking to relieve stress or anxiety
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed about drinking
  • Drinking in dangerous situations, such as while driving
  • Neglecting responsibilities or hobbies because of drinking
  • Experiencing alcohol withdrawal when trying to quit drinking

Remember that only credentialed medical providers specializing in mental health or addiction can diagnose alcohol use disorder (AUD) or alcoholism. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it may be time to seek professional help.

What Strategies are Used to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment can involve different strategies, depending on an individual’s unique circumstances and needs. These strategies include:

  • Medications. Medications can help manage alcohol withdrawal, reduce cravings, and prevent relapse.
  • Counseling and therapy. Counseling and behavioral therapies can help individuals identify triggers and develop coping skills to manage cravings and stress. Two of the most commonly used types of behavioral therapies used for AUD treatment include cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.Support group. Peer support groups can provide emotional support, guidance, and encouragement during recovery.

The Stages of Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction treatment usually involves three stages:

Step 1: Detoxification

Alcohol detoxification, or the process of safely weaning the body from alcohol, is the first line of treatment for alcoholism.

During detoxification, patients may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shaking, and anxiety, as a result of stopping alcohol use. Medical professionals may administer medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms and make the process more comfortable during this time.

Alcohol detox programs can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction.

Keep in mind that alcohol detox should always be done under medical supervision, as withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening in some cases.

Step 2: Alcohol Rehabilitation

Alcohol rehab involves addressing the underlying psychological and emotional factors that contribute to the addiction. It is at this stage that patients go through counseling, therapy, and other treatments to help them overcome their addiction.

Alcohol rehab is also an opportunity for patients to learn new coping skills, develop a relapse prevention plan, and address any co-occurring disorders that may have contributed to their addiction.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

There are two main types of alcohol rehab programs: inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment.

  • Inpatient or residential treatment programs require patients to live in a rehab center for a period of time, typically ranging from 30 to 90 days. These programs provide a highly structured and supportive environment for substance abuse treatment, with 24/7 supervision, support, and access to medical care. An inpatient program like this allows individuals to focus solely on their recovery without distractions from the outside world.
  • Outpatient treatment programs, on the other hand, allow patients to live at home while attending treatment sessions several times a week. These programs are generally less intensive than inpatient programs but can still be effective for individuals with milder forms of addiction or who have responsibilities they cannot leave, such as work or caring for family members.

Step 3: Maintenance

After successfully completing an alcohol rehab program, patients enter the maintenance phase of substance abuse treatment. This stage involves ongoing care and support to help individuals maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse.

Maintenance can include continued therapy, participation in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and monitoring for signs of relapse. Some people may also opt for medications to help manage cravings and prevent relapse, while others may focus on adopting healthy lifestyle changes to support their sobriety.

The length and intensity of maintenance care will depend on the individual’s needs and progress in recovery.

Types of Alcohol Addiction Treatment

While most people think that 12-step programs or 28-day inpatient rehab are the be-all and end-all of alcohol rehabilitation, the fact is there are a variety of treatment options currently available.

Below are some of the common types of addiction treatment options available:

Alcohol Counseling: One-on-One and Group Therapy

One-on-one and group counseling services are designed to help people (1) understand the causes and consequences of their alcohol abuse, (2) develop coping skills and strategies to avoid relapse, and (3) set realistic and achievable goals for recovery.

Alcohol counseling is a great way to uncover co-occurring disorders that lead to alcohol abuse and substance abuse. During treatment, your counselor will be able to work with you on developing achievable goals and benchmarks. Some may be short-term, like overcoming an urge to drink that day or attending a self-help meeting.

In addition to learning how to quit drinking effectively, other benefits of alcohol counseling include:

  • Improved relationships with family and friends
  • Better mental health
  • Improved physical health
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Reduced stress and anxiety

Alcohol counseling can be done individually or in a group setting, depending on the needs and preferences of the patient. Individual counseling allows for a more personalized and confidential approach, while group counseling provides peer support and feedback from others who share similar experiences and challenges.

Outpatient rehab is ideal for individuals who need comprehensive treatment for alcohol addiction but want to maintain their daily routines and responsibilities. This type of alcohol rehab allows patients to live at home and attend scheduled sessions at a treatment center.

Most outpatient programs offer flexible scheduling options and a range of evidence-based therapies to help you or your loved one overcome alcohol and substance abuse and prevent relapse.

Outpatient rehab is suitable for people who have a mild to moderate level of alcohol dependence, a stable and supportive living environment, and a strong motivation to change. Outpatient rehab typically involves a combination of alcohol counseling, medication-assisted treatment, education, and aftercare services.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): A Middle Ground Between Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) provide a middle ground between inpatient and outpatient rehab. This program is ideal for people who need more structure and supervision than outpatient rehab can provide but do not require round-the-clock medical attention.

PHP usually involves attending treatment sessions for several hours a day, five to seven days a week, at a hospital or clinic. PHP may include alcohol counseling, medication management, medical monitoring, detoxification, and other therapies.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Flexible Treatment for Busy Schedules

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a flexible treatment option that allows individuals to maintain their daily routines while receiving comprehensive care for alcohol addiction. This type of program is ideal for individuals with busy schedules who need a high level of care but can’t commit to inpatient treatment.

If you have work, school, or family obligations that prevent you from attending PHP or inpatient rehab center, IOP may be a good option. In fact research suggests that IOP may be as effective as inpatient treatment for most individuals seeking care.

IOP typically involves attending treatment sessions for three to four hours a day, three to five days a week, at a convenient location. IOP may include alcohol counseling, medication-assisted treatment, relapse prevention, life skills training, and other services.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Alcohol Treatment and Rehabilitation Program

When looking for an alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program, there are several factors to consider. The right program can make a significant difference in your chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Types of Addiction: Alcohol-Specific or Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Some alcohol treatment programs focus solely on alcohol addiction or other forms of a substance use disorder, while others may also address co-occurring mental health disorders. Dual-diagnosis treatment programs may be necessary for those who struggle with both alcohol addictions and mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

  • Gender and Sexuality: Gender-Specific or LGBTQ+ Friendly Programs

If you feel more comfortable in a gender-specific or LGBTQ+-friendly environment, look for a program that caters to your needs. This can provide a safe and supportive space for you to focus on your recovery.

Gender-specific programs may be helpful for those who feel more comfortable in a single-gender environment. Additionally, LGBTQ+-friendly programs may provide a more accepting and supportive atmosphere for those in the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Profession and Social Status: Programs Tailored for Executives or Working Professionals

If you have a demanding job or need to maintain certain social obligations, look for a program that can accommodate your needs.

Some alcohol rehab centers offer specialized care for executives or working professionals who may need to balance treatment with their work responsibilities. These programs may offer flexible schedules, access to technology for remote work, and other amenities tailored to the unique needs of these individuals.

  • Religion, Culture, and Values: Faith-Based or Culturally Sensitive Programs

If you have strong religious or cultural beliefs, finding a program that respects and incorporates these values can enhance your treatment experience. Some treatment centers have faith-based or culturally sensitive programs that can be tailored to your specific spiritual practices, beliefs, and cultural values and traditions.

  • Location and Amenities: Rural vs. Urban Settings and Program Amenities

The location and amenities of a treatment center can play a massive role in your overall treatment experience. Some people prefer a rural setting for a more peaceful and secluded environment, while others may prefer an urban setting with easier access to more amenities and resources. It is also important to consider the amenities offered by the program, such as private rooms, fitness facilities, and recreational activities.

  • Costs & Insurance Coverage: Program Costs and Insurance Benefits.

Treatment costs can vary widely depending on the program and its amenities. It is important to understand the costs and what your insurance will cover before committing to a program. Some treatment centers offer financial assistance or payment plans to help make treatment more affordable.

Some programs may also offer financing options or sliding scale fees based on income.

Find the Support You Need at our Top Rated Addiction Rehab Center in Los Angeles, CA

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction or mental illness, don’t wait any longer to seek help.

NuView Treatment Center offers comprehensive alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs tailored to meet your individual needs.

Our team of experienced professionals is committed to helping you achieve lasting sobriety and regain control of your life.

Contact us today to learn more about our programs and take the first step towards a healthier, happier future.

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Cucciare, M. A., Boden, M. T., & Weingardt, K. R. (2013). Brief alcohol counseling improves mental health functioning in Veterans with alcohol misuse: Results from a randomized trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 147(1-3), 312-317.

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McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D. R., Dougherty, R. H., Daniels, A. S., Ghose, S. S., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014). Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 65(6), 718.

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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