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Choosing An Alcohol Treatment Center

Choosing an alcohol treatment center can be a difficult decision. Whether the choice is for yourself or a loved one, the selection of a facility is of vital importance in the recovery process. Many factors must be considered before a choice is made:

  • Inpatient or Outpatient
  • 12 Step Recovery or Non-12 Step alternative
  • Geographical location
  • Medical Approach or Talk Therapy
  • Insurance Programs or Payment Arrangements
  • Credentials of Facility
  • Detoxification
  • Psychological Supervision
  • Medication Management
  • Alcohol Rehabilitation
  • Relapse Prevention

The goal for recovery should be a permanent solution to addiction-and that is known as sobriety.  No other approach should be considered.  Merely cutting back on the  consumption of alcohol will not be sufficient for long term recovery. The motivated individual  must make a decision on a facility that will be the best path to a lifetime of sobriety.  The first step is the acknowledgement that addiction is a serious problem that must be addressed.  The next step is to find the proper professional help that will lead to an addiction free life.

Alcohol treatment centers can be found throughout the United States.  It is not necessary to travel long distances for a facility, although a change of scenery is helpful at times. The most important aspect is the comfort level that must be felt between the patient and the facility. Some facilities offer outpatient care which can cut costs considerably. This must be evaluated and considered because total around the clock supervision for a period of time is necessary in many cases.

Counseling programs also vary from facility to facility.  The 12 Step Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program is offered by the majority of facilities as the counseling  treatment of choice.  However, many facilities also have alternatives to the traditional 12 Step presentation.  Two such examples are Smart Recovery and Rational Recovery.  Some alcohol treatment centers also prescribe medications such as Naltrexone and Campral as tools towards sobriety. These medications are in addition to a full program of psycho/social counseling.

Health insurance varies on addiction coverage.  Some carriers, especially full coverage managed care insurers, will offer as least some coverage for rehabilitation.  If the patient has such coverage they should seek out a facility that accepts insurance coverage.

Alcohol treatment centers should be evaluated on their effectiveness to their patients.  Insist upon seeing the credentials of all facilities that are being considered for treatment.  Ask for references from former patients and examine the success rate for the facility.  Check with state regulators for any complaints or violations.

Detoxification may be necessary for some patients entering rehabilitation.  Many alcohol treatment centers offer "detox" as part of their overall package.  This must be considered because the cost can be expensive.

Psychological supervision is another aspect of recovery.  After a patient is on the road to recovery, the root cause of the addiction must be addressed.  Heredity is a component of alcohol addiction.  Alcoholism runs in families and in entire cultures.  Environmental issues also lead into alcoholism. The end result of such an addiction is disastrous to the individual and society as a whole.  Understanding why this has happened and what can be done through therapy is vital to recovery.

Medication management is necessary where a "medical approach" is being used as a tool to correct the chemical imbalance of alcohol abuse.  The prescriptions are a first step and they are augmented by counseling in a non-12 step program.  An addiction physician supervises the progress of the medication to the patient.

All alcohol treatment centers have prescribed alcohol rehabilitation programs. They are designed to help the patient reach sobriety over a period of time.  This protocol concludes with a program of relapse prevention. Patients need to understand what caused their addiction and what steps can be taken to prevent a relapse of the same.


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