Guide to Alcoholism Treatment

Taking the first step to seeking professional help for alcoholism can not only be difficult but can also feel exceedingly overwhelming. Whether it’s for you or someone you love, choosing where to seek treatment, what to look for within a facility, or what to expect while in recovery can make the process seem even more challenging.

With this in mind, has created an easy-to-understand alcohol addiction treatment guide based on American Addiction Centers’ (AAC) approach to treating alcoholism. AAC is a leading provider of addiction treatment services across the U.S. and offers a combination of proven therapies and services to meet your individual needs.

As a subsidiary of AAC, is committed to making recovery accessible to everyone in need, while offering further insight into this chronic disease which affects more than 14 million people worldwide.1 In the following pages, you’ll find information on frequently asked questions regarding rehab and alcoholism treatment so that you can successfully begin your journey toward recovery today.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by a compulsive need to consume alcohol.3 Diagnosis is based on an individual meeting certain criteria outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).2

Treatment Philosophy

American Addiction Centers provides personalized addiction services to those in need of help and their loved ones. Everyone deserves the highest quality of treatment, marked by clinical excellence, individualized care, and a supportive community.

How to Choose an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program

Alcohol withdrawal may range from mild to physically dangerous. A supervised, medical detox can help people avoid unnecessary discomfort or life-threatening withdrawal complications.

Why is Medical Detox Necessary?

All treatment centers vary based upon the services they offer as well as the quality of their staff, amenities offered, levels of care provided, and where they’re located. Here are a few things to consider before choosing a facility:
Levels of Care
Levels of Care

It’s important to inquire about what levels of care a rehab facility offers. Some tackle just one part of the recovery process (i.e., medical detoxification), while others address every aspect of care a person may need such as concurrent management of medical issues, dual diagnosis treatment, and aftercare services.

With multiple levels of care you have the option to remain in a familiar environment throughout your recovery process. This is also helpful in allowing you to move up or down levels based upon your specific experience and the physician’s assessment of your progress.

If you attend a facility with few levels of care, you may need to continue care at another facility as you progress through recovery, which would require new intake assessments, getting to know the staff once again, and getting resettled into a new place. This interruption can stifle progress and open the door for trauma to resurface.

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The physical location of a treatment facility is equally important as any other factors when deciding where to attend. A treatment center in your hometown may impact your progress, and may hinder your sobriety since you’ll still be surrounded by people, places and things that may have contributed to your alcoholism.

When you have the option to attend a treatment center out of state, you have the space to focus solely on yourself and your sobriety.

On the other hand, depending on the level of care needed, a treatment center in your hometown may work better for you. If you have positive family support, but are still in need of a recovery program, you may decide to choose a facility that offers a partial hospitalization program (PHP) so that you can still go home each night to be there for your loved ones.

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The quality of the staff and facilities should always be a priority in choosing a treatment center. According to Dr. Casey Green at Greenhouse Treatment Center in Texas, an AAC facility, the staff should be invested, engaged, friendly, compassionate, and open-minded.

Additionally, leadership should be accessible to the patient, as this establishes rapport and allows the patients to feel connected with the staff.

Without this atmosphere, patients may feel like the staff is working against them instead of with them as a team, and treatment tends to not be as effective in these cases.

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You may want to consider a facility that offers aftercare services, a type of going support that you receive once you complete treatment. A continuum of care often increases long-term sobriety. The most common forms are 12-Step meetings, sober living residences, sobriety sponsors, and/or counseling sessions.

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Why Choose American Addiction Centers?

90-Day Promise toggle content icon
Regardless of the level of care needed, research indicates that remaining in treatment for at least 90 days allows for better outcomes.4 AAC offers a 90-Day Promise that if a patient relapses after completing 90 consecutive days in treatment, they can return for a complementary 30 days of treatment. Some of our facilities even offer a sober living environment for a continuum of outpatient care for patients long after they complete the treatment program.
8 Facilities Nationwide toggle content icon
AAC offers 8 facilities across the United States located in California, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Nevada, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. 30, 60, and 90-day treatment options are offered at all facilities. When you first arrive at an AAC facility, staff will perform a comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation to determine the appropriate level of care.
Medical Detox toggle content icon
Those going through a medical detox receive 24-hour monitoring which may include a medical and psychiatric evaluation, medication to minimize the effects of withdrawal, and psychological therapies to promote balance of the mind and body. AAC also provides bed monitoring (through EarlySense technology) that can help observe patient movement, respirations, and heart rate.
Residential Care toggle content icon
Is a more structured treatment environment where patients have access to medical and psychiatric services 24-hours-a-day. Residential treatment programs typically involve everything from medical detox to individual therapy, medication management, private and group counseling sessions, addiction education, skills building classes, and aftercare services.
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) toggle content icon
Allows patients who have a stable living environment to go home at night and attend treatment during the day. Typically, patients have to check in for 3-5 days a week, for at least 4-6 hours a day.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) toggle content icon
Allows patients to attend treatment for at least 3 days per week for a minimum of 3 hours per day. IOP is less intensive than PHP and focuses more on helping you integrate back into your daily life. Patients will work on finalizing aftercare plans and learn how to embrace a new sober lifestyle.

Aftercare and Alumni Benefits

AAC alumni have the opportunity to attend gatherings and events across the country with others in recovery. Alumni coordinators check in regularly to ensure those recovering from substance abuse receive continued support.

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[1]. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables.

[2]. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing; 490-491.

[3]. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Alcohol use Disorder.

[4]. MedlinePlus. (2019). Alcohol Withdrawal.

5]. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Effective Treatment. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).

American Addiction Centers, Inc. is an American Addiction Centers, Inc. subsidiary. Not sure what this means? Learn more about AAC.

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