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What Are Addiction Treatment Plans like for Alcoholism?

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By April 29, 2019
addiction treatment plans

One in eight Americans is an alcoholic, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The majority of people have had a drink in the past year, with approximately 86% of people over the age of 18 reporting positively.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some addiction treatment plans and what it may be like to recover from alcoholism.

Remember, each person’s journey is completely different, and if you do enter rehab, what you may experience may not be the exact same as what someone else might.

Read on to learn about some addiction treatment plans that you may follow during your journey of recovery.

The First Step

The first step, as the adage says, is admitting that you have a problem. While the saying may be tired and trite, it isn’t untrue. That is, in order to earnestly recover from alcoholism, you need to admit that you are an alcoholic.

If you still believe that your drinking isn’t a problem, or that you could “quit any time,” there is still a level of denial present. As long as you feel that you are in control of your out of control drinking habits, you won’t take steps to change them.

Meeting with an Addiction Specialist or Someone You Trust

After you’ve admitted you, indeed, have a drinking problem, the first step is to get help. This can look like a variety of things, and there are many ways you can reach out.

You may want to visit an addiction specialist or contact a rehab center to make an appointment and discuss your options. Or, if you already have a therapist, you may want to discuss your options for further treatment.

If you’re unsure about where to go, you can also find your local AA, or Alcohol Anonymous, meetings and discuss further treatment with them. While AA is for people who suffer from addiction, they can also point you toward more intense resources if needed.

Alternatively, you can meet with a pastor, priest, rabbi or anyone else who has a vested interest in helping you improve as a person. All of them can point you toward resources to help you on your recovery journey.

Starting Your Journey: Inpatient Recovery

After seeking resources that are a good fit for you, you’ll likely decide if you want to enter a facility to help you recover, participate in partial hospitalization or work on an outpatient basis. There are pros and cons to all of these forms of treatment, and a health professional may recommend one over the other depending on the severity of your addiction.

If your addiction is completely out of control and you cannot function, or you have tried to become sober previously and were unsuccessful, you may enter an inpatient program.

In these programs, you will live with other recovering addicts, attend therapy sessions, workshops and meet regularly with a counselor. You may also meet with a psychiatrist to discuss and treat underlying issues.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

A partial hospitalization program, or an intensive outpatient program, works similarly to a residential or inpatient facility, but you will not live at the campus. Instead, you’ll go home at night and typically either half a half day on Saturday, or have your weekends to yourself. This is recommended if your alcoholism is severe, but not severe enough that you need to be monitored at all times.

You can also participate in this type of program after your inpatient program, as some inpatient facilities also offer a similar program for patients who are progressing.

Outpatient Treatment

An outpatient program would be for someone who is still able to function day-to-day. They may still be able to work or take care of their responsibilities, but need a little bit of extra support.

Most outpatient programs meet a few times a week for a few hours at a time. In these programs, you will likely have group therapy sessions, workshops, and your own one-on-one therapy sessions.

Withdrawal

If you’re an alcoholic, chances are your body has gotten used to frequent alcohol intake. As such, you’ll go through a withdrawal period as your body gets used to functioning without alcohol.

Most alcoholics have learned to function in day-to-day life while drinking, which has likely lead to previous problems. But they may also have maintained a baseline level of alcohol in their system and still appear to be totally sober.

Because of this, you may experience some physical symptoms, as well as mental symptoms like depression and anxiety. Withdrawal is not pleasant, and many people with addiction continue using simply to avoid withdrawal.

If you decide to check into a facility, they may be able to medically assist you to withdraw from alcohol so that it is less painful.

Choosing Between Addiction Treatment Plans

Addiction treatment plans are highly individualized. Instead of simply picking a one-size-fits-all approach, you’ll need something that is tailored to you individually.

Many people with alcoholism also suffer from an underlying issue that has created the need for them to self-medicate. Whether this is due to anxiety, depression, grief or trauma, this will influence the treatment plan.

If you or someone you love feels that they are out of control with their addiction, the time to get help is now. Don’t wait. You can, and deserve, to live your best life.

Ready to make the first step to living a new sober life? Contact us today.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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