There are thousands of sites online offering information about alcohol use disorders and potential treatment options, but not all offer the same caliber of updated, cutting-edge information that is research-based and proven.
All of the following websites offer investigative reporting into the nature of different substances as well as in-depth histories, profiles of different states and organizations, and tips and insights into how to apply all this information to your own life if you are living with an alcohol use disorder.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH): The National Institutes of Health regularly publishes research findings on the nature of alcohol use disorders and other substance use disorders as well as a range of medical and mental health disorders. A large portion of their grant-funded research is dedicated to how alcohol impacts the body, what chronic ailments are exacerbated by alcohol intake, and the impact of different treatments and therapies on people who are seeking recovery from the disease.
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD): The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence is focused on increasing public awareness about addiction. Their focus is on helping families to understand how alcoholism and addiction can negatively impact the entire family and on assisting all involved in connecting with treatment to heal.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): The Centers for Disease Control is dedicated to the study of all disease, including the disease of alcoholism and addiction. They analyze a great deal of information and research on how alcohol is impacting Americans so we can better understand the demographics and the financial impact as well as the health implications of untreated addiction.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a coalition that was started by mothers who lost their children to drunk driving accidents, activists dedicated to lobbying for positive change in terms of how alcohol use is regulated with an eye toward keeping drunk drivers off the road. They, too, offer a great deal of information, particularly regarding teen drinking and how individual states are handling the problem of drunk driving.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is one of 27 departments in the National Institutes of Health. It is solely focused on reducing the impact of alcohol use and abuse on the country. The organization conducts its own research and funds alcohol addiction-related research around the world as well.
People who struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and other kinds of problem drinking come from all parts of the socioeconomic spectrum; they may have good jobs and private insurance, or they may struggle with unemployment or homelessness. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) lists, in their Principles of Effective Treatment, that having access to various types of effective treatment is important to recovery. This includes myriad approaches to treatment as well as different levels of access, including free and low-cost options.
Fortunately, state and local governments provide several resources; nonprofits and religious charities offer various support group-based programs; and federal insurance programs offer help getting evidence-based treatment. Here are a few options for free or low-cost alcohol abuse treatment.
Free Alcohol Treatment Help
- Alcoholics Anonymous: The most famous alcohol addiction recovery support program, started in 1935, has become a global phenomenon with meetings in most towns and cities all around the world. With the understanding that support to end alcohol addiction requires social reinforcement and should not be hampered by a lack of money, AA provides a specific framework in the 12 Steps. The model helps a person understand, through guided group meetings, that they can stop drinking, and become healthy and productive members of society again.
- Salvation Army: Inspired by the 12-Step model, the Christian-based Salvation Army offers support and treatment assistance, social and job skills training, and a focus on returning parents struggling with substance abuse, including AUD, to their families.
- Volunteers of America: This religious charity offers a more specific set of treatment options for alcohol and drug abuse, including detox oversight, intensive outpatient and residential treatment options, and specific help for women with children who need to overcome alcohol or drug addiction.
- StepChat: This is an online board for chat rooms, mainly using AA and the 12-Step model, to help people who may want to remain completely anonymous, who do not have access to AA meetings in person, or who may not be able to leave their homes to get peer support to remain sober and on track to recovery.
Low-Cost and Government Assistance for Recovery from Alcohol Abuse
- Department of Veterans Affairs: Many veterans struggle with mental and behavioral health issues, including alcohol abuse or addiction. The VA provides comprehensive medical benefits, which include treatment for mental illness, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders.
- Medicaid: This federally funded insurance program is geared toward those who are low-income or struggling with disability. Many states under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover more people, both adults and children, at more income levels or to provide subsidized treatment. Also under the ACA, insurance programs are required to cover some level of substance abuse treatment, including alcohol abuse. Check the website to determine eligibility for Medicaid or a Medicaid expansion program, and find local resources to help with AUD or problem drinking detox and rehabilitation.
- National Treatment Network: A program associated with the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), NTN manages programs with evidence-based treatment practices, workforce development, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for safe detox, and more. They even oversee programs specifically for women who have been impacted by drug or alcohol abuse.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Finder: Regardless of a person’s insurance or income, SAMHSA’s online treatment finder and phone hotline give everyone access to assistance finding treatment resources nearby that are at their income level as well as at their level of need.