More than 15 million Americans battled alcohol addiction at the time of the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). As addiction is such a widespread disease, there are over 14,500 specialized addiction treatment facilities offering treatment services within the United States, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) publishes.
In general, there are two main forms of alcohol addiction treatment: residential (or inpatient) and outpatient. Regardless of the type of treatment program, NIDA recommends that individuals actively participate in treatment for at least 90 days.
A residential treatment program can provide a stable, supportive, structured, and encouraging environment as well as treatment services around the clock, seven days a week. This type of program can be highly beneficial in helping a person to heal and move forward into recovery.
A General Schedule
No two treatment programs will be exactly alike, as addiction is a highly individual disease. For example, one person may go through a medical detox program prior to entering into a residential facility in order to allow alcohol to safely process out of the body. Someone who is heavily dependent on alcohol, who has been drinking a lot for a long period of time, may need medical detox to become physically stable before admission into an addiction treatment program.
Generally, a detailed assessment is done prior to admission into any program that allows trained professionals to design the right kind of plan for treatment and recovery. While each treatment program is individual in nature, a sample daily schedule of an alcoholism residential treatment program is outlined below.
7 a.m.: Wake up
7:30 a.m.: Breakfast
8:15 a.m.: Morning reflection and meditation
8:30 a.m.: Exercise/fitness activity
10 a.m.: Group behavioral therapy session
11 a.m.: Life skills training workshop
12 p.m.: Lunch
12:45 p.m.: Midday reflection time
2 p.m.: Individual therapy session
3:30 p.m.: Relapse prevention skills group
5 p.m.: Dinner
6:30 p.m.: Support and recovery group meeting
8 p.m.: Recreational time
9:45 p.m.: Evening reflection
10 p.m.: Lights out
Each day in a residential treatment program may not be exactly the same, as some days may include group activities, and weekends may build in family and visiting time. There may also be time set aside each day, or every few days, for clients to make a phone call or use the Internet to email friends and family members.
In general, residential treatment programs are highly structured, so individuals have a clear idea of what to expect. The daily schedule is often posted or handed out each day or night, and individuals are kept apprised of any potential changes. Typically, programs will include daily group and individual counseling, and therapy sessions as well as life skills training and relapse prevention workshops. Educational programs may be offered daily or every few days, and the same is true for support group meetings. Intensive family programs may be held on the weekends at certain times as well.
Holistic and complementary methods may be included in a residential addiction treatment program. Individuals may participate in art therapy, yoga, or mindfulness meditation, or receive acupuncture, chiropractic care, or massage therapy as part of an individual treatment program.
Medications are often necessary during alcohol addiction treatment, and these are managed and monitored daily by trained providers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that close to 8 million people in the United States struggled with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues in 2014. When co-occurring disorders are present, additional services and programs may need to be built into an integrated alcohol addiction treatment program.
A residential alcohol addiction treatment can be tailored to fit each individual as needed, and programs offered may be gender-, age-, or culture-specific. As a result, each person may have a slightly different daily schedule that is specifically designed for them. Treatment programs are often progressive, and may change from week to week as a person moves through the program, so schedules can fluctuate. Treatment consultants work closely with clients and their families to design and implement a plan that will optimize the recovery process.