Excessive drinking leads to 88,000 deaths every year in the U.S., according to the CDC, and if you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, finding help is absolutely essential. But with so many options available and the decision being such an important one, finding the right type of alcoholism treatment isn’t easy. Although there are a lot of things to consider, here’s a brief guide to help you choose a rehab for alcohol-related issues.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: How Severe Is the Situation?
The simplest distinction you can draw between different forms of alcohol treatment is whether the center you’re considering offers inpatient or outpatient treatment (or both). There are many factors to consider here, but the simple point to remember is that inpatient treatment is much more intensive, and ultimately more effective, for people with severe alcoholism. The advantages of inpatient alcoholism treatment include taking the individual out of his or her daily — ordinarily drink-filled — routine and offering a supportive, sober environment 24/7.
If you or your loved one’s abuse of alcohol isn’t too far out of control, the more relaxed and less demanding schedule of outpatient treatment may be a better fit. Additionally, there are some potential advantages in that you’re more likely to be able to meet your existing responsibilities in outpatient treatment (although your main priority until you recover should be your alcohol treatment).
Regardless of which level of care you need, choosing a treatment center that offers both inpatient and outpatient care is the simplest solution. When you or your loved one’s situation is evaluated, on-staff experts will be able to give you a tailored recommendation.
Detoxification Services: Helping You Safely Sober Up
Detoxification is the process of “getting clean” from alcoholism. Really this is more than just “sobering up,” because when you’re addicted, your brain adapts to cope with the continuous influx of alcohol, and detoxifying means giving these changes time to reverse. For many substances, including alcohol, this can be a dangerous and even life-threatening process, so detox services are something you should consider when you’re looking for alcoholism treatment.
Most inpatient treatment programs will offer support during detox, but some outpatient services offer it as a brief period as an inpatient for those who need it. The important thing when you’re thinking about how to choose a rehab for alcoholism is that detoxification services are often needed and are very important for heavier drinkers.
Traditional Treatment, Complementary Care or Both?
One of the last things to consider when you’re looking at different alcohol treatment options is what specific approaches to treatment are used. Most rehab treatments can be separated into traditional treatments and alternative or complementary treatments.
Traditional therapies are the backbone of most alcoholism treatment programs. This includes psychotherapy like cognitive behavioral therapy as well as 12-step treatments, which are widely used across the country and are considered conventional treatments for addiction. Alternative or complementary treatments include art therapy, yoga and mindfulness meditation, which people struggling with addiction often find helpful but are less widely used.
When you’re thinking about how to choose a rehab for alcoholism, make sure that the treatments offered are well-suited to your personality and preferences. Centers solely depending on alternative or complementary treatments are not recommended. Robustly researched evidence-based approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy must be in the quiver to give you the best chance of sustained sobriety. Alternative treatments are very valuable as additions to traditional treatment, though, and many centers offer a holistic combination of both modalities.
Choose Your Alcohol Rehab Carefully for the Best Chance of Success
Choosing an alcohol rehab program isn’t as simple as you may have hoped, but as long as you consider your own or your loved one’s needs, ensure there is medical support during detoxification and check that the treatments offered are appropriate and evidence-based, you’ll be able to find the perfect center. Now all you have to do is focus on staying sober and changing your life for the better.