Treatment Options for Alcoholism

Dr. Purushothaman
September 10, 2013

Treatment options for alcoholism include residential inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization or day/night programs. Each of these programs offers a distinct level of treatment. For instance, inpatient treatment is often very successful for people who have never received any kind of therapy for alcoholism before or those who are chronic relapsers. An outpatient program might be better suited for someone who has recently relapsed, or has a long history of drinking. Whatever the case may be, each treatment option for alcoholism has its own unique set of features and benefits, and success rates with these programs continue to offer promise to suffering alcoholics.
Residential inpatient treatment is the most intensive type of treatment for alcoholism available. A true inpatient program where clients live and receive therapy in the same facility is difficult to find, but drug rehab centers that offer them generally have very high success rates. Clients in this type of program engage in what is known as "reality-based" therapy. This is because in addition to receiving therapy, attending groups and working on an individualized treatment plan, clients in this type of program will cook, clean, attend appointments and outings and shop for themselves. This helps to develop skills that will be vital for a lifetime of recovery in the real world. These programs usually last between 28-30 days, with some offering much longer programs for those who need it.
Many people who complete a residential inpatient treatment program for alcohol then "step down" to a partial hospitalization or day/night program. This program, also referred to as PHP, provides intensive therapy during the day and a structured sober-living environment in the evenings. Daytime therapy sessions are augmented with supervised trips in the evening to support groups such as AA, NA and Al-Anon and many programs offer a sober living environment as well. This treatment option for alcoholism is a custom-made program designed to offer anywhere from 30 to 90 days of intensive support. A day/night program can be especially helpful to those who have recently relapsed.
The least intense type of treatment for alcoholism is outpatient treatment. This type of program is transitional in nature, providing skills and therapies to help a person successfully transition back to society. Treatment in an outpatient setting usually consists of 3-5 therapy sessions each week for a period of up to two months. In some cases, outpatient treatment clients may be provided with semi-supervised clean and sober living arrangements. Outpatient programs are ideal for someone who is in danger of or has already relapsed, or for those who have completed inpatient or day/night treatment.
It would be considered rare that a drug treatment center would offer all three types of treatment for alcoholism. Understanding that this disease can apply to any person and any substance is a critical part of being able to offer the right help to the right person. Therefore, the most successful rehab centers must offer treatment at all levels. If you are suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction and you need help, you can take action right now by requesting a free, confidential and no-obligation consultation. Even if it's three in the morning and you need to get answers, you can still get help. Why wait any longer?

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