Alcohol Treatment Programs
Alcohol treatment programs are important in dependency recovery.
Picking the right program, though can be quite a task. Treatment
run the gamut from the medical model to holistic (and homeopathic)
approaches. We've written about some of the more popular programs
as a starting point for researching something that is right for
you or a loved one.
Alcohol Treatment Center
For treatment that uses the medical model, several kinds of medications
can be used in order to treat the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.
Benzodiazepines (Valium®, Librium®) are sometimes used
during the first days after a person stops drinking to help him
or her safely withdraw from alcohol. Because these two medications
are highly addictive, they are not used beyond the first few days
Other medications such as naltrexone (ReVia) are used to
help a person maintain sobriety. A medication called disulfiram
(Antabuse®), discourages drinking by making the person feel
sick if he or she drinks alcohol.
While medications may help the physical aspects of alcohol
withdrawal and abstinence, alcohol counseling (therapy) is
needed for most in order to deal with the underlying issues
that have led to alcohol dependency in the first place. Exploring
the cravings for alcohol and what they mean on a psychological
and emotional level is imperative for long-lasting abstinence.
Figuring out lifestyle-change strategies and working through
the fear and grief associated with making changes in belief systems
and behavioral changes need to be facilitated with a professional
therapist. Combining the medical and psychological models is a
formula that has worked for many.
Alcoholics Anonymous is perhaps the most popular of the spiritual
alcohol treatment program models. Based on a 12-step spiritual
model of recovery, the first step states, "We admitted
we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become
unmanageable." The second step states, "Came to
believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore
us to sanity." It is the belief that a belief in a "Higher
Power" in necessary for recovery which attracts many
(and deters some) into this spiritual model.
Christian programs have also sprung up, for those who wish to
be in recovery with others in the Christian faith. Generally,
both the 12-steps and the Bible are used as texts to aid those
in the recovery process.
Alternatives to 12-Step alcoholism treatment can also be specific
spiritual models like the Christian recovery model or serve as
secular alternatives to spiritual models. Some of the more popular
alternative models include Smart Recovery, Rational Recovery,
LifeRing Secular Recovery, Secular Organization for Recovery (SOS),
and the Lenaire Technique.
Holistic treatment can combine the traditional medical, psychological
and spiritual models with non-traditional approaches integrated
a model tailor-fit to the individual. Many times not only the
individuals are treated but the families as well. Some holistic
programs may be specifically geared towards the treatment of women
or adolescents. Some of the non-traditional methods may include
sauna detoxification, life skills training, meditation, yoga,
fasting, vitamin therapy, biofeedback, journaling, guided imagery
and Reiki to name a few.
No matter what, it is important that you find the right alcohol
treatment program that works for you or your loved one. Not one
size fits all. Not even celebrities are protected from entering
treatment as Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter found out. Carter
was sentenced to 3-months in an alcohol treatment program after
pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge in an Orange County,
California Superior Court. The stigma for entering an alcohol
treatment program is not what it used to be. People from all walks
of life are entering programs to deal with their dependency issues.
What are you waiting for?