If you admitted that you have a problem with alcohol it is a big step forward that required courage. However, you will feel now feel a large load has been lifted off your shoulders and you are now ready to move forward and address the problem. The next big step is entering treatment and helping yourself find the support and resources to detox off of alcohol safely and stay abstinent. The good news is that there are plenty of treatment options.
Most substance abuse treatment centers work around the AA-based 12-step program, which is the most popular model for long-term alcohol recovery. The 12 steps are a series of guiding principles to help a person with long-term sobriety. When the 12-step program is incorporated with medical treatment and continued after ending medical treatment, it delivers much better outcomes.
There are many treatment options for patients trying to kick their addiction to alcohol. If detoxification is required to address acute withdrawal symptoms, it is the first and most acute phase of treatment. Detoxification is a process where withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and cravings are addressed utilizing a combination of medication and therapy. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, as it can lead to seizures or even stroke, so it should be done in a medical setting under supervision. Safe alcohol treatment with individualized medication protocols and titration can take between 10 and 14 days.
There are both inpatient and outpatient options. Outpatient detoxification usually delivers better outcomes despite the patient being constantly exposed to the environment in which they abused alcohol. This is because skills learned in treatment can be applied in the patient’s real living environment and what does not work can be adjusted in treatment. Also, the family can be involved in treatment and can be educated by the treatment program about how they can elevate the support for the patient at home and help stay abstinent. Inpatient treatment is only necessitated if the support system for the patient in the home environment is not conducive to recovery or if the patient suffers from a medical condition requiring 24-hour monitoring.
While the most acute phase of treatment, detoxification from alcohol, requires assistance from medication counseling is an important and integral part of treatment. It usually includes group and individual therapy and is focused on relapse prevention and coping skills. Psychological issues are also addressed through counseling and medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is part of a complete recovery program. It is known to be highly effective in treating addiction to alcohol. The purpose of this therapy is to teach the patient coping skills to become sober and stay abstinent.
Holistic therapy is a meditative therapy that is designed to treat the patient’s mind, body, and spirit. Holistic therapy is becoming increasingly popular due to its capacity for helping patients stay sober. Holistic therapy also comes with alternative activities including massage, yoga, and acupuncture.
Dual-diagnosis therapy treats a person’s alcohol addiction as well as a disorder that may have caused it in the first place, such as anxiety or depression. Sometimes. patients turn to alcohol to cope with inner demons and do more harm to themselves. What dual-diagnosis therapy does is treat the person’s problem at the root so that long-term sobriety is more likely.
Sober living takes place in a special home for people recovering from an addiction to alcohol. Patients will live with other people in recovery and are tasked with helping and supporting one another in times of need. Sober living is ideal for patients who have completed formal medical treatment and have a chance of relapsing in the future or returning to their unhealthy addiction due to a less-than-optimal home environment.
As you can see, there are many ways to get treated for alcohol addiction, whether you need medical detoxification or just talk therapy. If you aren’t sure which kind is the best for you, you can talk to a medical doctor for professional advice. Please go to RecoveryCNT.com or call 732 560 1080.
Dr. Cidambi is a leader in addiction treatment and innovator of safe and effective ambulatory (outpatient) detoxification level of care for alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates, and suboxone. Prior to founding the Center for Network Therapy, she completed her residency in Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and an Addiction Medicine Fellowship at NYU/Bellevue Hospital in New York. Due to the successful detoxification program, Dr. Cidambi was featured frequently by media outlets, including NPR, CBS, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal.