Alcohol Addiction and Treatment Guide

Approximately one-tenth of all adults suffer from alcoholism. Many of these people don’t recognize it or seek alcoholism treatment, yet those around them see the need for them to get alcoholic treatment very clearly. Alcoholism is a very complex disease that can affect every aspect of a person’s life. It can affect their job, their family life, and social life.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are many great ways that people can find alcoholic treatment.

Alcoholism affects everyone differently, yet, it’s the most severe form of alcohol abuse. People go to great lengths to get their fix. The frequently wind up losing everything including their job, their family, their friends, even their homes. The alcoholic is compelled to drink to “feel good” and relies on that euphoric sensation that being drunk gives them.

Eventually, they begin to drink just so that they won’t have to deal with the alcoholism withdrawal symptoms which can be quite severe. Alcoholic treatment is vital to their survival and if they don’t get help soon, many of them will wind up dying.

Wine Addiction

Because wine is thought of as being healthy in moderation, drinking wine regularly can be a slippery slope into alcoholism. It’s easy for one glass per night to turn into one bottle per night, leading to physical dependency. Though it may be normalized, excessive wine drinking can qualify for diagnosis as alcohol use disorder, which should be treated like any addiction or substance abuse.

Beer Addiction

Beer is one of the most commonly abused substances, particularly on college campuses. This makes beer a gateway alcohol for many young adults. Since it has a low alcohol content, individuals often binge drink beer, which is not only hazardous to health but can lead to tolerance and addiction. Even though it’s a staple of sports bars and barbecues, beer addiction may require professional treatment.

Liquor Addiction

The danger of drinking liquor is that its high alcohol content has a faster and more intense effect on the body and state of mind. Detoxing from liquor addiction may be more difficult because of the high percentage of alcohol in many types of hard liquor such as rum, vodka, and whisky. Withdrawal symptoms from excessive liquor drinking may be more severe and require medical supervision.

Alcoholism Treatments

There are a variety of different treatment options for an alcoholic. These can be found in a variety of settings including behavioral therapy, specialized treatment facilities, Counseling (both group and individual), and even a pharmaceutical approach.

Just as every medication can affect a person differently, every alcoholic will have to deal with the condition slightly differently. What works well for one patient may not work at all for another. It takes a strong dedication and commitment to become alcohol-free for the alcohol addict.

How to Treat Alcoholism

Difference Between Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Rehab

Alcoholism treatment programs that focuses on treating the person as a whole is a great way to help a person who is struggling with their addiction. There are many great treatment options out there. One of the first questions many people ask is whether or not they should go to inpatient or outpatient treatment for alcohol abuse.

The main difference is that if a person is in inpatient treatment, they are living at the facility for anywhere from 30 days to a year depending on the particular facility.

Inpatient treatment is much more intense and will focus on healing the person as a whole.

In outpatient treatment, the patient will go to the treatment facility anywhere from one day per week upwards to all 7 days depending on the treatment protocol that is decided upon between the patient and the counselors.

Stages of Alcoholism Treatment

Pre-Contemplation: In this stage, the person is finding that drinking has negative impacts on their life. They likely don’t really think that they have an issue, but they are beginning to wonder. They don’t however, have any intention of changing their drinking pattern, everyone else has a problem and that is why they’re drinking, they still don’t see that they are the real issue.

During this stage, they are still quite defensive and very reluctant to acknowledge the issues that have brought them to this point. They’re still rationalizing and making ridiculous excuses that they’re just stressed. Drinking is still no big issue, after all, everyone does it.

By this point in time, they are starting to see that maybe they have a problem and perhaps they could use some help. However, they’re likely still on the fence and not likely to really step out and make the necessary phone calls unless someone is really helping them along. However, if someone is helping them, they’re far more likely to succeed. Until they reach rock bottom and really find their low they’re much more likely to continue making the excuses and fail to act on the information that they have at hand.
After remaining in the contemplation stage for a time, they are ready to admit that they have an issue. They’re beginning to plan on going to some sort of treatment and will be taking this step in the next few days to few weeks. They’re likely still drinking but winding down. According to “Changing For Good” by James Prochaska, Carlo DiClemente and John Norcross, if they cut this time of preparation too short, they may fail. This is the time to step in and help them to design a detailed plan and to help them to identify the strategies so that they can become alcohol-free.

The body must first be cleansed of all of the alcohol that has been drunk. There are many serious side effects that can happen during this phase including medical and behavioral side effects. It’s important to keep in mind that this phase will vary from one person to another. In some cases, seizures and other medical emergencies may also occur so it’s important that this first step be closely followed by a doctor.

This first phase, alcohol detox, doesn’t even begin to address the emotional and behavioral issues that the patient is going through during this time. It’s important that the first phase, detox, be closely followed by the patient having a formal assessment and referral to the proper drug addiction treatment facility.

Choosing the facility for rehabilitation is the next course of action. Sometimes detox and the action are done in the same facility, other times, they will be done in different facilities. Choosing the right course of action to help them to lead a life free of their alcohol addiction will take some serious determination. They may choose from long term residential treatment, short-term residential treatment, or outpatient treatment depending on their specific condition. Sometimes, they will start with one such as long-term and work their way through the various options. It may also be dependent on what their insurance allows for.
Maintenance or Aftercare

It's not unusual for this phase to last for several years as the alcoholic learns to live a clean and sober life no matter how stressful things may be. During this stage, they need to learn to allow what they’ve learned to become their second nature and not turn back to their former ways. It is during this step that some will relapse and have to go back to square one.

It is during this time that many reconnect with their family and relationships. It’s important that they have some form of support from friends and family during this time however, many have worked hard to burn bridges to their past. Not all family and friends are willing to allow the alcoholic back into their lives.

Education and helping the friends and family to learn and understand the different stages is important and for many, it can help them to find a way to support the alcoholic.

For the alcoholic, this is a time where they have to learn new coping skills and find new friends that won’t be dragging them back into the world of alcoholism. Often, they must move to a new area to find new friends and avoid crossing paths with former friends who would drag them back into the world of alcoholism.

It’s easy to go back to what we know so this step is vital to their success.


Finally, the treatment phases or stages are terminated as the alcoholic is now doing well. It’s important to understand that some patients will always need to remain at the maintenance or aftercare stage to remain clean and sober. If the alcoholic isn’t struggling with the desire to drink they may terminate the maintenance or aftercare portion, however, it’s not recommended and many would argue that as a chronic disease, they should remain attending meetings and other aftercare programs to remain sober.

For many alcoholics, they will move through the stages one right after the other. They may struggle and have to repeat some of the stages wavering back and forth a few times until they are successful. Relapse is very common and up to 60 percent of alcoholics will relapse at some point of time or another.

Many of those who do relapse will have to go all the way back to stage one and start over with pre-contemplation. Others will jump in somewhere in between the stages and start over. It all depends on the particular person and if they have any co-occurring addictions.

Alcoholism Treatment With Medication

During the detox stage many patients will require some form of medication to help ease them through the potentially fatal side effects that can accompany the withdrawal. These medications are given only by a doctor so it’s important that the detox portion always be supervised by a medical person in case these need to be administered.
Finding Treatment for Alcoholism

There are many great places to find treatment for alcoholism. In addition to a special drug treatment facility, there are also rehabilitation centers, doctors offices that deal with alcoholism treatment, mental health facilities, clinics, counseling centers, and residential settings. The first step is admitting that there is a problem with alcohol and then talking with a trusted doctor regarding the condition and the options in a local area.

Often, patients go elsewhere for treatment where they won’t have the same stresses that trigger them to drink. Often they have an inability to cope with change or daily life issues and have simply learned to cope by turning to alcohol. It’s hard to break this habit and focus on finding ways to deal with life the way it comes.

Rehab Costs And Payment Options

Alcohol rehab costs and payment options can be an important topic if a person is in need of alcohol treatment. The cost of an inpatient stay can be prohibitive. Thankfully, many insurance companies now include this in their medical treatment options. They will pay all or a portion of the cost of rehab costs and many employers will sponsor such programs.

There are also private pay options as well as state pay options in many areas. Not all rehabilitation treatment facilities will accept all insurances so it’s important to take the time to find out what the various ones in a general area will accept for rehab costs and payment options for alcoholic treatment.

How to Get an Alcoholic Into Treatment

Alcoholism affects everyone and everything that surrounds the alcoholic. It’s not always easy to get them to recognize that they are in need of treatment. One method that is often used is an intervention. At an intervention, the family and friends will have already met a few times with professional counselors or a rehab facility to find a way to confront the alcoholic regarding their alcoholism and how it affects everyone.

It’s best to meet several times over the course of a few weeks so that everyone understands their role in the confrontation during the intervention. An intervention should always be supervised with a professional and at the ready to offer treatment for the alcoholic on the spot. Otherwise, the alcoholic may just make some lame apologies to everyone and continue on their way.

Unfortunately, not all alcoholics are going to take this step. Some will leave the intervention in anger and go out and really get drunk. It’s important that no one takes the blame here if this happens. The alcoholic has made this choice and he or she is solely responsible for making that choice and for living with the consequences. This is another reason that a specialist should be there during the intervention. Often they can diffuse a situation that may go awry or become volatile.

Alcohol Abuse FAQs
Is my alcoholism severe enough to require treatment?

Even if it appears that you can function normally, alcohol abuse can negatively affect your life and relationships. One of the questions to consider is whether alcohol is significantly detrimental to you. For example, you may often get hangovers, miss work, or fight with your spouse or children.

Another key component of alcohol abuse that is severe enough to require treatment is whether or not you are able to stop drinking or cut back when you want. If you find yourself struggling to stop drinking even though you want to, treatment may be a good option.

How long does recovery from alcohol abuse take?
Alcohol abuse treatment is individualized according to the severity of your abuse and addiction and whether you have co-occurring mental health issues. It often involves several stages including detox, inpatient treatment, and maintenance treatment. Depending on your need, programs can range from 30 to 90 days, but ongoing aftercare to avoid relapse is a lifelong process.
What is inpatient alcohol treatment like?
An effective inpatient program involves several complementary components that work seamlessly to improve your mental health, address the root causes for alcohol abuse, and improve coping and relapse-prevention skills. In practice, these components are addressed through an intensive treatment schedule that includes round-the-clock medical attention as needed, routine individual and group therapy sessions, educational counseling, as well as healthy activities like yoga and meditation.
What are the benefits of inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction?
Since alcohol is one of the most readily available drugs, inpatient treatment is one of the best ways to effectively treat alcohol abuse and addiction. Inpatient treatment provides a safe and supportive space away from triggers and temptations to focus on your recovery and mental health. It’s the equivalent of a wellness vacation, allowing you to disconnect from the stressors that contribute to your problematic alcohol use.

Alcohol Addiction Recovery at Riverwalk Ranch

A Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area Addiction Treatment Center

If you, or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism and need to find alcoholism treatment. The sooner you find it, the better.

There is help, there is treatment available that can give you or your loved one the freedom to enjoy life as it’s meant to be. Help is only a phone call away. Make that call today, before it’s too late.

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