Alcohol Counseling & Abuse Therapy

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A recent survey by the National Institutes of Health indicates nearly 86% of the United States population over the age of eighteen has tried alcohol. Approximately 26% of those engaged in binge drinking regularly. Alcohol use disorders are common in the United States. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted 2 years ago suggests nearly 15 million individuals over the age of 12 have an alcohol use disorder. Additionally, roughly half a million youth and teens under the age of 17 meet the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

A vast body of research shows that early problematic drinking increases one's risk for developing an alcohol use disorder in the future. This is perhaps proven by looking at the statistics around juvenile drinking. Many who start drinking at a young age, often before age 18, will develop an alcohol use disorder during adulthood. Without treatment, someone with an unhealthy relationship with alcohol at an early age is inevitably at risk for significant physical and psychological health concerns related to alcohol use as they enter adulthood.

But problematic drinking is not the only factor that increases one's risk for developing an alcohol use disorder. Many underlying physical and mental health conditions also contribute to elevated risk. It is estimated that nearly half of those who seek help for a mental health condition at a treatment center also have a co-occurring substance use disorder. Conversely, a large percentage of those who seek addiction treatment help at an inpatient alcohol rehab also struggle with mental health conditions. This is often because drugs and alcohol are a common form of self-medication used to reduce the severity and discomfort of symptoms related to conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, using alcohol in this way often leads to an elevated risk of dependency and, inevitably, addiction. The most effective way to overcome struggles with alcohol use is to seek help early at a professional treatment center near you.

Overview of Alcohol Abuse Therapies and Treatments

There are many types of alcohol abuse therapies provided at addiction treatment centers across the nation. If you have begun researching potential addiction treatment options, you have likely come across several levels of care and different treatment models offered at various treatment centers. Some of the most common levels of care include inpatient (residential) and outpatient care. Other options you may see are partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment programs.

At an alcoholism abuse treatment program, trained providers offer many different treatment models designed to address their client's individual needs and goals. At a licensed and professional rehab, each of these programs is based on evidence-based models proven successful in addressing the specifics of alcohol addiction for people of all ages. Therapy models such as cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, alternative therapies, peer support (12 step) programs, and alternative therapies are all frequently used at addiction treatment centers across the nation to help you heal and achieve sobriety.

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Outpatient and inpatient alcohol abuse treatment are the two most well-known levels of treatment care for alcohol addiction. Also referred to as levels of care, inpatient and outpatient treatment both provide equally effective addiction treatment therapy; however, the intensity of their programs is vastly different. The "right" level of care for you depends on the severity of your addiction, your relationship with alcohol, and whether or not this is your first time at rehab. Individuals who have completed rehab and experienced relapse may need more intensive addiction treatment care to achieve lasting sobriety.

At an outpatient program, you participate in therapy and support groups during the day while remaining home with your family in the evening. Outpatient alcohol treatment programs allow clients looking to get sober the ability to receive the help they need to accomplish their treatment goals while still maintaining family and work-related obligations. Many outpatient programs are not as intensive as an inpatient or residential programs. Therefore, the level of care provided in the inpatient setting is sometimes insufficient to help those struggling with a severe addiction or chronic relapsing condition get and stay sober.

At an inpatient alcoholic treatment center or residential alcohol treatment center, patients live onsite at the rehab as they seek help to overcome addiction. The rehab provides all necessary day-to-day needs, including meals and housing, while patients attend therapy throughout the day. Inpatient programs are ideal for someone with a severe addiction or someone who needs intensive detox services before they can successfully begin participating in meaningful therapy. Inpatient programs are also the best choice for someone who struggles with a co-occurring disorder such as an alcohol addiction and a mental illness. Inpatient programs provide the higher level of intensity necessary to help those struggling with a severe addiction or dual diagnosis condition address the symptoms of both illnesses safely and effectively.

When Should You Seek Counseling for Alcohol Abuse?

The most successful and effective treatments for any illness or disease are those that start early. Addiction is no different. The most effective treatment outcomes occur when you seek help early. It can be challenging to know when your relationship with alcohol has evolved from the occasional social drink to problematic drinking behavior when you are struggling with addiction. However, if you are concerned that your drinking is a problem, it likely is. If you are wondering if you should seek help, you probably should. When these concerns begin to arise, it is often based on personal concern that you need help to overcome a dependency on alcohol.

Also, suppose you notice symptoms related to alcohol addiction such as craving alcohol, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you do not drink, new financial struggles related to alcohol purchases, legal problems related to alcohol, or changes in your physical and mental health that occur because of drinking. In that case, it is crucial to seek help at an inpatient alcohol rehab to begin the detox and healing process.

Alcohol Abuse Therapy vs. Rehab

It is vital to understand that there is no one-step treatment for alcohol addiction. The most effective and successful treatments are those that are comprehensive and provide a range of care services, including detox, alcohol abuse therapy, nutritional supports, and comprehensive aftercare planning. Choosing to participate in just one step of the treatment process is often ineffective and frequently leads to relapse. Just as detox is not a standalone treatment for an alcohol use disorder, neither is alcohol abuse therapy.

When you go to alcohol rehab, a team of treatment providers will work with you to design a treatment program focused on your needs based on your relationship with alcohol and chronic relapse. Each step of the treatment program process is designed to build on the last. In other words, it is crucial to progress from one stage of treatment to another to ensure the most favorable treatment outcomes. The first step in the treatment process is often detox. Without detoxing entirely from alcohol, it is impossible to successfully immerse yourself in the therapeutic portion of a program, as you are likely to still crave alcohol and experience withdrawal symptoms when you're not drinking. The inability to focus on therapy makes treatment success impossible.

Alcohol abuse therapy is a part open alcohol rehab program. There are many different types of alcohol abuse therapy used as part of evidence-based programs by skilled treatment providers at inpatient rehabs across the nation. When used as part of a holistic program, evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing as well as alternative therapies such as meditation and yoga can help clients overcome their physical and psychological struggles related to alcohol safely and effectively.

When used as a standalone treatment, counseling on its own is often not sufficient to help someone struggling with an alcohol use disorder achieve lasting sobriety. There are many other steps to the recovery process, including relapse prevention skill development, aftercare planning, nutritional and medication supports, ongoing therapy, and of course, detox. All of these are necessary as part of a well-rounded treatment program. Choosing just one or the other may increase your chances of relapse after treatment is complete.

Helping Your Loved One Begin Alcohol Counseling

If your loved one struggles with alcohol addiction, there are many things you can do to help them begin alcohol counseling. First, it is essential to remember that they may not be ready to seek help to overcome an alcohol addiction, even if that is the most beneficial thing they can do for their health and well-being. Be patient, encouraging, and supportive as they work through the process of acknowledging their struggle with alcohol. Once your loved one decides that they are ready to begin treatment, begin the research process. Depending on their treatment needs and your location in the United States, this may involve reaching out to their primary care provider or calling a local alcohol rehab near you to learn more about their programs.

Under the best of scenarios, your loved one will decide on their own that they are ready to begin their sobriety journey. However, this is not always the case. If your loved ones could benefit from alcohol counseling but are unwilling or unable to acknowledge a problematic relationship with alcohol, contact a family support service near you or an alcohol rehab near you to learn more about things that you and your family can do to help your loved one begin alcohol counseling.

Tips on Finding the Right Type of Alcohol Addiction Treatment For You

The process of healing from alcohol addiction will look different from person to person. Someone who struggles with a mild addiction will face far fewer roadblocks and challenges as they begin their journey to sobriety. Conversely, someone with a severe addiction, dual diagnosis, or a chronic relapsing disorder (meaning they have been to treatment before and experienced relapse-maybe more than once) may face a more complex journey. However, no matter what the challenge is, seeking help from a professional alcohol addiction treatment center is the safest and most effective way to get and stay sober. Recent data from the National Institutes of Health note that there are nearly 29,000 residential addiction treatment centers in the United States. It can quickly become challenging to find the right type of alcohol addiction treatment for you with so many options.

Choosing the right type of treatment, the right level of care, and the most effective treatment model for your needs, is a crucial step in producing positive treatment outcomes. Choosing outpatient care when inpatient care would be best or selecting a 30-day program when the severity of your addiction is significant and best addressed with a long-term treatment program may all hinder your ability to successfully heal and put the struggles of alcohol addiction in the past. But how do you know which factors to consider when researching alcohol rehab options? Before you decide on a treatment program, consider the following:

Although not a comprehensive list, the above can help you begin narrowing down the list of thousands of treatment providers in the nation to those that offer the services and treatment models you need. In addition to the above considerations, many other factors may help you decide the best type of treatment for you. If you are unsure where to start, an alcohol addiction specialist can help you get started.