Taking the first step in seeking help for alcoholism can feel extremely overwhelming, especially when it comes to deciding which treatment facility will best fit your needs. But the good news is, even at its most severe—with professional treatment and ongoing recovery efforts—this disease may be effectively managed. Learn more about how to find the right alcohol addiction treatment centers for you or a loved one and which questions to ask when discussing your options with admissions coordinators.
Find Out What Levels of Care Are Offered
Depending on your current alcohol use and corresponding level of physical alcohol dependence, any additional substance use, any co-occurring medical and/or mental health conditions, and any previous attempts to quit—which level of care you may need can vary. It’s important to seek the guidance of medical and mental health professionals to help you understand this chronic disease and help inform the course of treatment that you ultimately select. The varying levels of care include:
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may occur when a person has developed a significant physical dependence on alcohol and they decide to quit drinking cold turkey. Because of this, the initial step on the path to recovery commonly involves a detoxification or withdrawal management period. This process allows the body to rid itself of the toxic influence of alcohol while keeping the individual as safe and comfortable as possible.
Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Centers
Inpatient/residential alcohol treatment facility are able to provide patients access to on-call medical and psychiatric services 24-hours-a-day. Residential facilities incorporate a variety of recovery programming such as individual and group counseling, relapse prevention classes, and coping skills education. Most residential treatment facilities offer 30- to 90-day programs so patients can focus solely on their recovery without outside distractions.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
Day programming, also called a partial hospitalization program (PHP), provides a relatively intensive level of care but in a slightly more flexible environment than residential inpatient treatment. This level of care allows you to attend treatment during the day and go home when the day is over. In PHP, you’ll receive 4 hours of group therapy, 5 days a week. This type of program may not be ideal for those with severe cases of addiction or co-occurring disorders.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
For disorders or other dependencies that do not necessarily require 24-hour supervision, an intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) may be ideal. These types of programs still allow patients to continue with their normal lives off-site and require less time weekly in therapies than PHPs. IOPs are designed to establish support mechanisms, provide coping strategies, and help with relapse management.
Outpatient rehabs may operate in a variety of settings and treatment times may be limited to a few hours throughout the week, mostly in the evenings and on weekends. Attendance requirements vary by program, with some only meeting 1 to 3 times per week and others offering daily sessions. Patients are able to live at home while in treatment, allowing individuals the ability to still fulfill family or work obligations.
Finding Treatment Centers Near Me or Traveling Out-of-State
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to treatment at home or out-of-state. Both offer a number of benefits and advantages. For some who may rely heavily on the support of family, being so far from home may do more harm than good. Or their insurance provider doesn’t cover treatment within other states. However, it’s best to check with your provider about specifics; in many cases, they’ll still offer out-of-state coverage.
Alternatively, although a nearby facility may be more convenient, finding a provider in another state may help individuals focus on their recovery away from the toxic relationships and routines that may have led to abuse in the first place. By going somewhere new, you give yourself the freedom to start over in an environment away from triggers.
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Questions to Ask a Potential Treatment Provider
The best way to figure out which provide may be best for you is to just ask. If you have any questions regarding treatment, the grounds, amenities offered or how involved family can/should be, calling their admissions coordinators will prove to be extremely helpful.
Here are a few questions that you may want to ask a potential treatment provider:
- What Type of Licensing or Accreditation Do You Have? There are several national accreditation programs, such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance or The Joint Commission. Look for national accreditations, taking into consideration that accreditation is not the same thing as being licensed. Licensing occurs through the state, and all therapists, counselors, physicians, etc. should be licensed by the state. Look for individuals who have specific accreditation and licensing in the treatment of substance abuse.
- Do You Offer Medication-Assisted Treatment? Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines FDA-approved medications and behavioral therapy to treat substance use disorders. Within a MAT program for alcoholism, the most common drugs used to treat AUD are disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone. While they do not cure the disorder, they can help manage the symptoms of the disorder.
- Do You Offer Any Specialized Groups? Some providers offer specialized groups in order to offer patients a better overall experience. For example, some treatment centers may have groups specifically tailored to veterans and first responders, faith-based groups, LGBTQ, or offer gender-specific tracks. These groups offer a safe space to relate to others in a healthy way.
- What Type of Aftercare or Ongoing Support is There? Aftercare is an important part of the recovery process and includes help with finding 12-step groups, sober living housing or Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Because there is no cure for alcoholism, having a plan and support system in place following successful completion of treatment is essential to maintaining your sobriety. Depending on your treatment provider, they may offer aftercare planning that begins from the moment you arrive.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Substance use disorder treatment is now considered an essential health benefit with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, requiring all marketplace plans to offer coverage for treatment. Plans also can no longer discriminate against pre-existing alcohol or substance use disorders. Based on your insurance provider and specific policy, you may have more coverage than you realize.
If you don’t have insurance or have high copays, there are still numerous ways to pay for treatment, including:
- Crowdfunding: A very popular option for individuals to get funding for medical treatments is to start a crowdfunding campaign. There are various sites that offer the ability to set up a crowdfunding campaign
- Payment plans: Many facilities will work with an individual and develop a payment plan for treatment.
- Credit cards or other financing: Although many individuals do not like to borrow money or use their credit cards to pay for treatment, if one does a cost-benefit analysis, they will find that the benefits of getting sober and getting started on the road to recovery are much greater than the cost.
- Social support groups: Some interventions for alcohol use disorders are actually relatively inexpensive. For instance, participation in Alcoholics Anonymous groups is essentially free. Most members donate $1 at each meeting. Using social support groups in conjunction with therapy and medically assisted treatments is a viable option for many individuals.
Check your insurance coverage now to see if you qualify for care within an American Addiction Centers facility (AAC). AAC is a nationwide provider of substance abuse and behavioral treatment facilities as well as a subsidiary of Alcohol.org. Learn more about AAC, its levels of care, specialized groups and any other questions you may have regarding alcoholism treatment.
- One of the best sources is the SAMHSA Treatment Provider Locator to find treatment. Individuals can input information and find providers in their area with confidence that all the information they input is anonymous.
- Alcoholics Anonymous offers a website to help individuals find meetings in their area.
- Al-Anon offers meetings and support for families of individuals with alcohol use disorders and other substance use disorders.