Types of Treatment for Alcoholism

Overcoming alcoholism takes a long time and is a continuous process. Nowadays, there is a wide range of treatment options available that will you get back in shape. There are different factors that can affect your recovery and you have to undergo medications and all. The journey isn’t as soft as cotton but thinks of it as an investment for your future.

Most probably, deciding to stop being dependent on alcohol is one of the biggest decisions you have to make especially when you’ve been drinking for a long time. Deciding to ask for help is the second. Here are some of the most common types of treatment for alcoholism:

1. Behavioral therapy:

Behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on helping individuals change the patterns of behavior and thought that contribute to their addiction or other mental health issues. There are several different types of behavioral therapy, including:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):

CBT focuses on helping individuals recognize and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to their addiction.

Contingency management:

This type of therapy uses positive reinforcement to encourage individuals to maintain their sobriety and engage in positive behaviors.

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET):

MET aims to increase individuals’ motivation to change their substance use and to engage in treatment.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT):

DBT is a form of CBT that emphasizes the importance of balancing change and acceptance and is often used to treat individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use.

Behavioral therapy is typically delivered in individual or group therapy sessions and is often used in combination with medication and other treatments to support individuals in their recovery from addiction. The length and frequency of therapy will vary depending on the individual’s needs and progress.

2. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT):

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of treatment for addiction that involves the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and support individuals in their recovery from addiction. Some common medications used in MAT include:


Methadone is used to treat opioid addiction and works by binding to the same receptors in the brain as opioids, but without producing the same high or dangerous side effects.


Buprenorphine is also used to treat opioid addiction and works by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings, without producing a high.


Naltrexone is used to treat alcoholism and opioid addiction and works by blocking the effects of opioids and reducing the pleasurable effects of alcohol.


Acamprosate is used to treat alcoholism and works by reducing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and cravings.

MAT is typically provided in a clinic or outpatient setting, and is monitored by healthcare professionals. The length of time that individuals will remain on medications will vary depending on their needs and progress in recovery. MAT is an evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of relapse and supporting individuals in their recovery from addiction.

3. Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox refers to the process of removing alcohol from the body and managing the physical symptoms of withdrawal that can occur when individuals stop drinking after a period of heavy or prolonged alcohol use. Detox can be a difficult and potentially dangerous process, and it is often recommended that individuals undergo detox under the supervision of medical professionals in a controlled setting.

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During alcohol detox, individuals may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms, including:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Headaches and tremors
  3. Insomnia and anxiety
  4. High blood pressure and rapid heartbeat
  5. Seizures and delirium tremens (DTs)
    In severe cases, withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, and it is important to seek medical attention if you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol withdrawal.

The length of time that individuals will spend in alcohol detox will vary depending on their level of alcohol dependence and their medical history. After detox, individuals may enter an alcohol rehab program, where they can receive further support and treatment for their addiction. The goal of alcohol detox and rehab is to help individuals achieve and maintain sobriety and to support them in their recovery from alcoholism.

4. Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab, also known as residential rehab, is a type of addiction treatment that involves staying at a treatment facility for a period of time, typically ranging from several weeks to several months. Inpatient rehab is designed to provide a supportive and structured environment for individuals to focus solely on their recovery from addiction.

Inpatient rehab typically includes a range of treatment services, including:

  1. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  2. Behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  3. Group and individual therapy sessions
  4. Holistic therapies such as yoga and meditation
  5. Support groups and educational workshops

    Inpatient rehab is often recommended for individuals who have a severe addiction, who have tried other forms of treatment without success, or who have a co-occurring mental health disorder that requires more intensive support. The round-the-clock care and support offered in an inpatient rehab program can help individuals stabilize and begin the process of recovery.

    While inpatient rehab can be a highly effective form of treatment, it can also be a significant commitment, both in terms of time and financial resources. It is important to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of inpatient rehab and to work with a healthcare professional to determine if it is the right choice for you or someone you know.

5. Outpatient rehab:

Outpatient rehab is a type of addiction treatment that allows individuals to receive care and support while continuing to live at home and fulfill their daily responsibilities. Outpatient rehab typically involves scheduled visits to a treatment center or clinic for individual or group therapy sessions, and may also include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), behavioral therapies, and support groups.

Outpatient rehab is often recommended for individuals who have a mild to moderate level of addiction, who have a supportive home environment, and who have completed a more intensive inpatient rehab program. Outpatient rehab can also be a good option for individuals who have work or family obligations that prevent them from committing to an inpatient program.

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The length of time that individuals spend in outpatient rehab will vary depending on their needs and progress in recovery. Outpatient rehab programs typically last for several months and may continue for a year or more. During this time, individuals will receive ongoing support and treatment to help them maintain sobriety and prevent relapse.

While outpatient rehab can be an effective form of treatment for addiction, it is important to remember that it may not be appropriate for everyone and that the level of support and structure offered in an outpatient program may not be as intensive as that provided in an inpatient program. If you or someone you know is seeking treatment for addiction, it is important to consider the level of care that is needed and to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment.

6. 12-step programs:

12-step programs are a type of support group that is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which was founded in 1935. 12-step programs are designed to provide individuals in recovery from addiction with a supportive community of peers who are also working to overcome their addiction.

The 12 steps of AA and other 12-step programs outline a set of principles and actions that individuals in recovery can take to achieve and maintain sobriety. The steps include acknowledging one’s powerlessness over their addiction, seeking help from a higher power, and making amends to those who have been hurt by one’s actions.

12-step programs are free to attend and are widely available across the United States and in many other countries. Meetings are often held daily or weekly and are open to anyone who is seeking support in their recovery from addiction.

In addition to the support of a community of peers, 12-step programs can also provide individuals in recovery with a sense of structure and accountability. The steps and traditions of the program can provide a roadmap for individuals as they work to overcome their addiction and build a new life in recovery.

While 12-step programs can be a valuable resource for individuals in recovery, they are not right for everyone. Some people may prefer other forms of support or may find the spiritual component of the program to be incompatible with their beliefs. It is important to consider your own needs and preferences when choosing a form of support in recovery from addiction.

7. Holistic therapies:

Holistic therapies are a type of treatment that addresses the whole person, rather than just their addiction. Holistic therapies aim to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being and can be a valuable complement to traditional addiction treatment approaches, such as medication and behavioral therapy.

Examples of holistic therapies that may be offered in addiction treatment programs include:

1. Yoga:

This mind-body practice can help reduce stress, improve physical health, and increase mindfulness.

2. Meditation:

This practice can help individuals calm their minds and develop a greater sense of inner peace.

3. Acupuncture:

This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to promote physical and emotional balance.

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4. Massage:

This therapy can help reduce stress and promote physical relaxation.

5. Art therapy:

This form of therapy involves using creative expressions, such as painting, drawing, or sculpting, to explore and process emotions.

Holistic therapies can help individuals in recovery from addiction address underlying physical and emotional issues that may have contributed to their addiction, and promote a sense of overall well-being. It is important to work with a qualified healthcare professional to determine which therapies may be most appropriate for you or someone you know.

8. Alcohol Counselling

Alcohol counseling is a form of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals who are struggling with alcohol addiction. Alcohol counseling can take place in individual or group settings and is typically led by a trained therapist, counselor, or social worker.

During alcohol counseling sessions, individuals can explore the root causes of their alcohol addiction and work on developing coping strategies to help them resist the urge to drink. They can also learn about the negative effects of alcohol on their physical and mental health, and work on developing healthy habits and behaviors to replace their drinking.

Alcohol counseling may also involve educating individuals about the stages of change and the recovery process, and helping them set realistic and achievable goals for their recovery. The therapist can also provide support and guidance as individuals navigate the challenges of recovery and work to build a sober lifestyle.

Alcohol counseling can be a valuable resource for individuals who are seeking help for their alcohol addiction and can be especially helpful for those who may be unable to participate in inpatient rehab or who prefer a less intensive form of treatment.

It is important to work with a qualified therapist who has experience working with individuals with alcohol addiction and to find a counseling approach that is a good fit for your needs and goals. Alcohol counseling can be a powerful tool for individuals who are committed to achieving and maintaining sobriety and can help them build a fulfilling and satisfying life in recovery.


There is a wide variety of alcoholism treatment options available. You just have to be good and brave enough to admit your problem and ask for help. Remember, nobody can best help you but yourself. Do not allow alcohol to enter your system and ruin your life. A bright future awaits you!

Alcoholism is a treatable condition and there is a range of effective treatment options available. The most appropriate type of treatment will depend on the individual’s needs and circumstances. Some common types of treatment include behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, inpatient and outpatient rehab, 12-step programs, and holistic therapies. A combination of these treatments may be used to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of addiction, and to support individuals in their recovery from alcoholism. It is important to seek professional help and to remain committed to the treatment process in order to achieve lasting recovery from alcoholism.

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