Alcoholism can be a complicated addiction to overcome. Several treatment methods help overcome alcoholism; some have been noted as more effective than others.
In general, alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs will often include the following:
Some combination of counseling.
Attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Participating in 12-step recovery programs.
Taking medications like Vivitrol or Naltrexone.
This strategy may also involve behavioral therapy to work through issues behind the addiction or cognitive therapy to identify triggers and cravings that lead to relapse behaviors.
The most crucial factor for success in recovery is participation in a formal treatment program. However, it’s essential to make sure that you select the right approach for your specific needs and preferences.
Alcoholism is a progressive disorder, meaning that after a person stops drinking, it only takes one or two drinks for their body to return to the tolerance level of a heavy drinker (and risk of relapse). Because of this incredibly high relapse rate, many rehab programs have adopted immediate post-treatment care as part of their treatment strategy. This usually involves living at a reintegration residence or using an intensive outpatient program (IOP) to supplement inpatient alcohol rehab treatment.
An inpatient alcohol rehab program is the most intensive form of treatment. You are entirely separated from potentially problematic situations and distractions in this environment. You will likely be under 24-hour supervision and care. You will not be able to leave the program or visit with friends or family unless your doctor or therapist permits.
Inpatient alcohol rehab programs also offer several other services as part of their treatment programs, such as:
The main advantage of an inpatient alcohol rehab program is that you can completely isolate yourself from aspects of your old life that could trigger a relapse. In these programs, you will be held accountable for following all the recommendations of your therapist and doctors.
Some inpatient alcohol rehab programs are more effective than others. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has identified the following best practices for these programs:
Outpatient alcohol rehabilitation is a less intensive treatment in which you will receive therapy and counseling over several days per week, but you will not stay overnight at a clinic. In outpatient alcohol rehab, you may typically go to groups on Monday and Wednesday, see your therapist on Tuesday and Thursday morning, attend one-on-one counseling sessions with your therapist on Tuesday afternoon, and have three 12-step meetings per week.
The main advantage of outpatient alcohol rehab is that you can live at home while receiving treatment. You will likely be given a care plan to follow and closely monitored by your therapist, especially during the first few months after treatment. You may also be required to go back to the clinic for follow-up visits with your doctor, attend AA meetings regularly, and continue using medications like Naltrexone or Vivitrol to avoid cravings and prevent relapse.
However, you must choose an outpatient alcohol rehabilitation program with high success rates. This is because many people who undergo this treatment eventually return to drinking again. This can lead to a downward spiral, as they relapse due to withdrawal symptoms, relapse into the same old patterns, and relapse further.
Sometimes people begin drinking alcohol in high school or college. These alcohol abusers will typically continue using alcohol despite their negative consequences for up to 15 years after starting. This is known as “desisting” from alcohol use. Some research has shown that teenage drinkers who persist through college may have specific physiological and genetic characteristics that make them more likely to have an alcohol problem later on. However, research also shows that there is no set trajectory for drinking during middle adulthood; some people drink heavily, while others remain compulsive but non-problematic drinkers.
Naltrexone and Vivitrol are two FDA-approved medications that are very effective for the treatment of alcoholism in both inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab programs. When used in this manner, these medications prevent symptoms of addiction. Studies have indicated that naltrexone is safe and effective when administered to patients via the injection route. In contrast, the clinical use of Vivitrol is safe and well-tolerated by patients. Another benefit of using medication is that it allows you to remain abstinent while taking care of treatment goals and getting your life together. Call us at 833-497-3808.