It is obvious that you can’t stay sober on your own. You need support from a professional addiction treatment center, family, friends, and self-help groups in the form of 12-step fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous. It is much too easy to engage in self-denial and think that you can solve your problems on your own. Not only are you not the best judge of what’s good for you, but you also fall back into old self-destructive patterns if you try to kick alcohol on your own. Sure, you may get yourself sober, but you’ll likely not stay that way unless you have a solid support network of an addiction treatment center. As recovery experts are the first to tell you, recovering from addiction is easier when you have the support and encouragement, comfort, and guidance from people who know and care about you.
Let’s assume that you want to go to an addiction treatment center to go through detox and treatment for alcohol abuse. How do you find such a facility? You can start with the treatment facility locator maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or call their toll-free treatment referral helpline. The locator is a searchable database of addiction treatment centers across the United States offering treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. Use the list search or detailed search functions to refine your search. You can specify service provided, type of care, special groups/programs, forms of payment accepted, payment assistance, or special language services. The search tools will return listings of facilities within a maximum of 100 miles. Comb through the listings to find the type of alcohol rehab facility that offers what you need. Then do your homework and check out the listings that you’re most interested in.
Don’t assume that because an alcohol rehab facility is residential that you can’t afford it. If you have private medical insurance, your policy may cover some or a good part of the treatment. There are also state substance abuse agencies that may be able to provide assistance locating the appropriate treatment facility. Maybe you go for an alcohol rehab center that offers a sliding-fee scale or payment assistance. Other facilities may offer to finance or have grants or other programs to help you get treatment.
Since detox is a prerequisite to treatment at an addiction treatment center, after the alcohol is gone from your body, the active treatment phase begins. Keep in mind that each patient receives a personalized treatment program based on their wants and needs. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment program.
Typical treatment programs for alcohol abuse and addiction, as with other addictions, include individual and group counseling, learning how to identify and recognize triggers, learning healthier coping strategies, how to make better decisions when dealing with life’s challenges. When you enroll in a treatment program, if your goal is long-term sobriety, you’ll also need to face the underlying problems that led to your alcohol abuse or alcoholism in the first place. Most treatment programs for alcohol abuse also utilize the 12-step group approach – although not all do. Those that do introduce the concept of the 12-step group and patients attend 12-step meetings as part of the overall treatment program.
You’ll also learn relapse prevention skills and develop a recovery program along with your therapist. Once you leave treatment, your counselor or therapist will recommend that you continue to attend 12-step meetings for at least the first year following treatment.