If you realize that you have an addiction to alcohol and have decided to seek help but know you can’t do it alone, you may be asking yourself, “Which is the best alcohol addiction treatment for me?”
It’s all right if you’re unsure, because most people are. There are so many options available today, it’s difficult to know which recovery method is right for you. There are gender-specific options. If you’re needing to know which is the best alcohol addiction treatment for men, you’re sure to find one. And the same goes for women, teens, and even those seeking faith-based services.
The first thing you should do is get an evaluation by a doctor or addiction specialist. He or she can help determine your level of addiction and go from there.
The first step likely to be recommended is detoxification, also known as detox.
This is perhaps the most important stage in alcohol addiction recovery. And if not carried out properly, it can cause a relapse, or even be deadly to you.
If you’re a heavy drinker, then detoxing suddenly, and alone, can be dangerous to your health. You need medical supervision to help you through this initial phase, and this is where an addiction counselor comes in. He or she can refer you to a local detox center, or, if you prefer privacy and would like to recover away from your community and prying eyes, detox centers connected to a national brand out of town may be the answer for you.
It’s advised to do some research online, or ask an addiction counselor some questions before packing your bags and heading for the nearest detox center. Or if you’ve reached a wall and are desperate for a change, then by all means head for the nearest detox center.
Just know that stays at detox centers generally last from 7 to 14 days. Once there, there will be an intake period where a specialist will ask questions to determine how to best help you.
There’s no getting around it. Detox can be physically uncomfortable and emotionally challenging. A lot of people give up at this point, before they even get started on the road to recovery. But if you have willpower, information, and a good support system, your chances of recovery are great.
Besides detox, there are other forms of alcohol treatment, and these include outpatient, inpatient, group therapy, SMART Recovery, and support groups.
The best alcohol treatment you can receive shouldn’t depend on what you can afford or what your insurance will cover, and financial help is available through some government agencies or community outreach centers.
Outpatient is a treatment where you travel to and from a treatment center to receive services. This is for a less severe level of alcohol addiction. Outpatient treatment accommodates schedules for work, school, or other obligations. You may meet with an addiction counselor once a week, and you may or may not engage in a support group such as AA. This won’t be determined until you participate in an assessment.
Alcohol addiction affects your family and loved ones too, and help is available for them as well, in the form of support groups and family counseling like Al-Anon and Alateen.
Inpatient is a form of treatment for a more serious alcohol addiction. This is where you stay at a facility while receiving treatment. This may include medication, individual or group therapy, 24-hour medical supervision, treatment for a dual diagnosis, support groups, and recreational activities. Length of stay varies, from 30, 60, or 90 days, generally.
SMART Recovery is similar to AA in that it’s a support group, but it has its differences too. It’s a 4-point program grounded in the latest scientific research. You may have a bit of traveling to do to attend them, but they are offered online as an alternative, if distance is an issue.
The best alcohol addiction treatment for you is one that meets your individual needs, is comprehensive in nature, and teaches you the coping skills you need to live a sober lifestyle, and you won’t know that until you take that first step and talk to a substance use counselor about an evaluation.
For more information on alcohol addiction treatment, visit the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/treatment/treatment.htm