Alcohol Addiction Treatment – Which Program Is Best?

Alcohol addiction treatment helps thousands of alcoholics across the United States make lasting recoveries each year. Although laypeople often still view alcoholism as a matter of willpower, clinical alcohol addiction treatment is required for long-term sobriety. Like every other addiction, alcoholism is a neurological disease.


There are three primary types of treatment plans for alcoholics – inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient. They each have their advantages and disadvantages, and certain programs are better for certain life situations. Here are the details on the different programs offered for alcohol addiction treatment.


Inpatient Treatment


Inpatient rehab programs are designed to quickly produce radical lifestyle changes. They are the most effective way for severely addicted people to become sober, but they also require the most time and effort. Inpatients spend thirty to ninety days living full-time at their treatment facilities, and they receive fifty or more hours of intensive therapies per week.


These therapies primarily include evidence-based treatments such as individual counseling, group discussions, and family therapy. Overall, these therapies are designed to uncover the root causes of alcoholics’ addictions and teach them strategies for coping with future temptations to drink. They also help alcoholics form healthy friendships, repair old friendships, and crate positive home environments. Such long-term strategies are what make alcohol addiction treatment so effective.


Partial Hospitalization


Also called day and night programs, partial hospitalization is a transitional treatment method for alcoholics who have already undergone an inpatient stay. Recovering alcoholics are sometimes not ready to face the challenges and responsibilities of living on their own full-time, so they continue to receive therapies during daytime hours.


In the evenings, they are free to return home under the supervision of clinic staff. They practice clean living and prepare to make their transitions to more independent, sober lives. Although partial hospitalization is less involved than inpatient treatment, participants still receive intensive, evidence-based therapies when they attend their clinics.


Outpatient Treatment


Some alcoholics suffer only short relapses. Others may not have the time to dedicate to an inpatient program. Careers, families, and financial obligations make it impossible for some people to set aside one to three months of their lives to focus on recovery. For these alcoholics, outpatient programs are often the best choice.


Outpatient alcohol addiction treatment involves the same intensive therapies as other programs. However, patients are only required to visit their clinics for a few hours per day. Once they have received treatment, they are free to use the rest of their time as they see fit. Although this level of freedom may not work well for people who are still physically dependent on alcohol, outpatient treatment allows relapsed addicts the opportunity to seek help without disrupting their daily lives.


If you or someone you love is currently struggling with addiction, click the links below to find a treatment center near you. Alcoholism is a crippling disease, but inpatient alcohol addiction treatment can help you achieve sobriety and get your life back on the right track.


Intensive Outpatient Program | Partial Hospitalization Program 


Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Program

Addiction treatment in the U.S. is a growing phenomenon that has led many people to a successful recovery. Many of the philosophies embedded in drug rehab, concerning the different forms of treatment and how to approach them are as old as the day is long; indeed, there has been a continuing quest for finding a better solution to the large-scale issue of substance abuse.


Once an addiction has been medically diagnosed and properly identified, the addict may be advised or mandated to a therapeutic program. There are a few basic types of treatment programs available in the country. Let’s look at each one, and the virtues they possess as they compare to one another.


One level of treatment would be participating in weekly sessions with a group counseling program, wherein you sit with others in a circle (or face to face) and discuss your problems. You can also discuss how your problems are being addressed, describe your recovery experience, your day-to-day progress and improvement, etc. Patients are often content with meeting others and vent-out their thoughts about how to handle treatment It is also a great way to meet new friends and future colleagues.


The function of this form of treatment is to receive professional guidance and advice from licensed therapists, as well as to receive helpful opinions from fellow members of the group. Role playing, such as putting yourself in another person’s shoes in order to perceive how and why they deal with excessive drug usage, is a valuable tool often used in group counseling therapy.


Another form of counseling, similar to that of group counseling, involves meeting up with either a certified psychologist or a licensed psychiatrist privately. This is generally more expensive than group therapy, but the great thing about it is that it offers a level of care that is not found in group therapy environments; for example, addiction specialist often dig deeper into the patient’s emotional and mental condition concerning his or her addiction. Close, friendly bonds proliferate due to intense counseling. As a result, the client is able to better understand the source of their addiction problem, answering questions such as, “Why do I self-medicate,” “How do I generate the proper mental attitude to quit permanently, and “What can I do to make things right for myself and my family and friends.” The answers to these questions are pivotal for reaching full recovery; drug addiction isn’t only about being physically cured, but emotionally as well. In addition, it is important to know that the psychiatrist will seek a medical solution before exhausting the cognitive approach, whereas a psychologist will first listen and talk for the allotted time period.


Another form, which indeed involves more freedom and trust in the patient, isintensive outpatient therapy (IOP). Patients can continue working outside the rehab center and place focus on their daily normal lives; they don’t have to be a resident of the facility. However, they must check-in with the treatment facility for at certain times of the week in order to monitor/track your recovery. In this type of treatment, detox is generally not an issue, neither is it a requirement. Here, addiction is treated using a combination of individual and group counseling sessions between 10 and 15 hours a week. The general rule is that IOP is more effective than individual therapy because of the intensity of the program. Participants must be well-disciplined, be able to live a mostly normal life, go to work, deal with their family, live at home, and still have time to visit their recovery facility. Most rehab centers in the country include the 12-step program for those enlisted in IOP.


The next rung on the treatment-ladder is partial hospitalization. A growing approach over the past 20 years, partial hospitalization is an effective approach because it is less expensive than a full residential program, while offering the best of both worlds: inpatient therapy, which offers intensive and structured care, and outpatient programs, permitting flexible schedules and lower costs. Utilizing this approach does not result in an increased relapses or co-existing diseases or symptoms.


One of the most effective and powerful addiction treatment approaches in the “ladder of resolution” is inpatient care. The addict is required to be a resident of the treatment facility, wherein they will undergo daily activities and programs in accordance to the severity of the addiction. Psychiatrists and medical personnel evaluate the condition of the addict upon their arrival to the facility in order to determine whether or not prescribed/supplemental medication is needed for their condition. Withdrawal pain for some addicts are unbearable, so certain drugs can be prescribed in order to treat these effects and slowly eradicate the initial drug from his or her body. An immediate halt to drugs such as heroin can cause seizures and is not recommended-detox and prescription drugs are able to steadily decrease the user’s desire to return to their vice.


In inpatient care, several things occur simultaneously. First, because the addict is in a residential environment on a full-time basis, the chaos at home is quieted. Thanks to the opportunities afforded by 24/7 observations, and working with a myriad of professionals and recovering addicts, the inpatient approach offers the most comprehensive set of therapies to the addict. There are many treatment programs and care services in existence that offer similar care to older individuals.


Choosing the right addiction treatment program for substance abuse in the U.S. is something that should be considered and discussed with professionals prior to making a commitment. Visit as many facilities as you can to assess their applicability to your situation. Remember: It’s up to the client to make the decision to recover. All you can do is offer the opportunity.


Since 1995, A Center For Addiction Recovery has been helping families find the courage to find recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse. We assist patients in restoring their lives by embracing a way of life based upon the 12-Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and by applying a variety of recovery therapies.


Exposure and Response Prevention | Intensive Outpatient Program

Outpatient Drug Treatment

Outpatient drug treatment is a lower intensity alternative program to long-term inpatient treatment. These are comprehensive, multifaceted, highly individualized programs designed to address chemical dependency issues of individuals while remaining in their homes. Outpatient drug treatment is more educational than therapeutic. Outpatient drug treatment is given to those individuals who need a supportive environment. Outpatient drug treatment is mainly grouped into three: outpatient individual therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. These would include problem-solving, insight-oriented psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step program, etc.


Outpatient drug treatment gives prominence to group and individual counseling sessions in order to achieve good results. Outpatient daytime, evening, and weekend programs are available. The program offers education on how to reenter the society after treatment, how to lead a successful drug-free life, etc., which would enable the individual to take up responsibilities in life.


The goal of outpatient drug treatment program is complete abstinence from drugs. Complete abstinence can be achieved by identifying and solving the emotional and behavioral disturbances of the individual; implementing an effective aftercare treatment plan; and learning about physiological and psychological side effects of drug addiction to the individual and family.


An outpatient drug treatment team will consist of social workers, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, mental health workers, and lawyers. They provide individual therapy, group therapy, guest lectures, recreational activities, value clarification and education, spiritual healing, etc. Participation of family and friends accelerates the process of recovery. Drug treatment program for teenagers require parental involvement, which would enable the family to create a better home environment for speedy recovery. Outpatient drug treatment is a cost effective program when compared to inpatient drug treatment. In addition to attending sessions at a facility, outpatient clients are often required to attend 12 step meetings and case management sessions.


Partial Hospitalization Program | Exposure and Response Prevention

The Difference Between Alcoholism Treatment Centers and Recovery Programs

Yes there is a difference between alcoholism treatment centers and a recovery program. Personally, I have been through inpatient treatment on three different occasions so these experiences are from my own point of few. Different treatment centers utilize different techniques and approaches so what I share is from my own experience. It’s also important to mention that each time was somewhat of a different experience for me, but that will be more for a later article. For now, I’m going to stick with the differences, as I see them between treatment centers and recovery programs.


Treatment centers

Treatment centers are facilities which provide inpatient rehab programs and/or Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP). The purpose of these facilities is to help the alcoholic deal with the immediate emotional and physical issues which arise when stopping the consumption of alcohol. The most immediate benefit of alcoholism treatment centers is the enormous support the patients receive when being admitted. If the patient has been consuming large amounts of alcohol for an extended period of time, a detoxification process is usually necessary. Many times this is done at a separate facility, such as a detox center, better equipped and staffed to handle the serious physical and/or medical side-effects of detoxification. Although, many treatment centers have the staff and are qualified to detox the patient at the same facilities.


Treatment centers are where the alcoholic is introduced and educated on the aspects of the disease of alcoholism. Generally the patients attend lectures and classes throughout the day which inform them not only about the physical and medical aspect of the disease, but the great emotional aspects as well. In addition to classes and lectures, small group sessions are usually held which give the individual patients a chance to get used to the group therapy process. One-on-one counseling (between certified counselor and patient) is most commonly done either on a day-to-day basis as well or as many time as the counselors schedule allows. When researching a treatment center, it may be a good idea to inquire about the patient to counselor ration. In my experience, I was able to meet with a personal counselor at least three times a week and more if needed.


The length of stayed required at in-patient treatment centers varies, many times depending on insurance coverages. The most common is 28 days and can range from a few days to several years. There are also programs referred to as an IOP, or Intensive Out Patient program. These due not require in-patient accommodations and generally consists of lectures and group therapy three to four times per week.


There are those in recovery who have achieved long-term sobriety without entering a treatment center. A common saying heard around recovery is “treatment is a great place for discovery, Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) is a the place for recovery.” Moreover, there are those who feel treatments centers are just out to make money off information and techniques sufferers can get for free from AA. With that said, I personally am grateful for treatment centers. In my experience, they are helpful in getting a start on learning about the disease of alcoholism and the tools needed to build a long-term recovery program. However, to achieve long-term sobriety and a happy and joyful life, an alcoholic must work some type of ongoing recovery program which is what we’ll look at next.


Recovery Program

A strong recovery program consists of an on-going process, if maintained, will lead the alcoholic to a productive, joyful, and happy life. And most important of all, sober! In my experience, AA has been the only recovery program that has worked, for me. Abstinence is not recovery. Not in my opinion. Just because I stop drinking, all my problems do not go away. Many times they get worse. After all, they say you’ll feel better if you stop drinking. Yes, you’ll feel everything better including fear, anger, resentment, sadness, etc.. A saying often heard around recovery is “sober up a horse thief, and you’ve still got a horse thief.” It is necessary to deal with the underlying factors that contributed to ones drinking. That is where a 12 step program comes into play.


Most people are familiar with The Twelve Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. The program is designed to help the alcoholic develop a spiritual life, ego deflation, deal with their past, move on into their future, and is considered a design for living based on a set of spiritual principles. From the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, “A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.” For me, this has been true.


Before any alcoholic can recover, they first must admit they need help and start moving out of denial. One of the things that kept me in denial for so long, was I refused to believe I had any emotional issues. I drank simply because I liked it, I had nothing better to do, or it was fun. But at some point it stopped becoming fun, even though I continued to convince myself otherwise. It wasn’t until I actually worked a recovery program did I realize there were things, emotional things, I needed to work on. I accepted the fact I needed help and from that point on I was in recovery. Today I insist on being in the solution and not in the problem.


Intensive Outpatient Program | Partial Hospitalization Program

10 Tips To Reduce Your Exposure And Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft is the country’s fastest-growing financial crime. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 27.3 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the past 5 years, including 9.9 million people last year alone. Some ways to prevent becoming a victim could include avoid using credit cards or debit cards, stop filling out more credit applications, and cancel all of your credit cards. But the fact is that most exposure to identity theft is beyond your control, because there is still enough information about you and your finances floating around out there for identity thieves to put their hands on. Here are some tips to reduce your exposure and prevent identity theft:


1 – Make It As Difficult As Possible For The Thief.


Most Identity thieves aren’t dedicated, but opportunistic creatures. If they come across any difficulty in getting your information, they will move on to the next potential victim. Keep your documents under lock and key. Don’t make it easy for a repairman or a guest in your house to walk off with your checkbook or some of your important files. Don’t fool yourself, you don’t have to be rich or have a high credit score to have your identity stolen. Some identity thieves say that middle-class folks make the best targets, because they pay less attention to their finances than wealthy individuals.


2- Monitor Your Credit Report Constantly.


The first hint that you might have become a victim is a suspicious entry on your credit report. Experts recommend that you review your credit report twice a year or more.


3 – Buy a Paper Shredder.


Papers and documents that include personal financial information or your social security number must be shredded before is sent to the trash.


4 – Ask About Business Shredding Policies.


When required to give personal financial information, ask if the business has a shredding policy in place. Financial institutions, tax preparers, and companies with medical information should all be able to shred copies of your documents or have you come and pick them up, so you can do it yourself.


5 – Don’t Give Out Your Social Security Number.


Only Employers, IRS, DMV, Social Security Administration and certain Financial Institutions and Insurers that use your SSN to run credit checks to determine your premiums should be allowed to have this nine-digit number. When asked for your SSN as proof that you are who you say you are, give them only the last four digits.


6 – Protect Your Incoming and Outgoing Mail.


Get a Locking Mailbox. Many identity thieves simply follow the mail man around and grab what they can from unprotected mailboxes. Consider using the nearest post office to send all your mail, rather than leaving it out where anyone can take it. Or sign up for a secure online bill-paying service.


7 – Always Keep an Eye on Your Debit Card.


Just like a credit card, your ATM card can be used without punching in a personal identification number. The banks won’t hold you responsible for fraud using VISA or MasterCard logo cards but a thief can quickly empty your bank account and could be days until the bank can restore the stolen cash. Use a credit card when paying a restaurant bill or anywhere you won’t be able to monitor the actual transaction.


8 – Be Wary of Phone Solicitors and E-mails.


Don’t give out sensitive information by phone or email to requests purporting to be from financial institutions, unless you initiated contact or really thrust the institution. Criminals are using a technique called “phishing,” which uses an email claiming to be from your Bank and that redirects you to a look-alike website where you are asked to input your account numbers. When contacted this way, do not reply to the email and only call the Bank’s 1-800 number from your statement for communication.


9 – Monitor Your Social Security Statements.


Make sure you are being credited for all the taxes you have paid into the system. Missing earnings or earnings that are not yours can be an indication of fraud. Call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 if there are any discrepancies.


10 – Carry Only the Necessary in Your Wallet.


Do not carry your Social Security Number in your wallet and only a few credit and debit cards should be in it. In case you have your wallet stolen, grab your cell or the nearest phone immediately and call to cancel your most important credit cards such as 1-800-VISA911 and 1-800-MASTERCARD. Also, make a photocopy of all your cards and your driver’s license. This will make it easier to report the thefts and get them replaced.


Partial Hospitalization Program | Exposure and Response Prevention

Choosing Intensive Outpatient Drug Treatment

Intensive outpatient drug treatment allows people who have an addiction to drugs, the chance to recover from the addiction and work on creating a better life for themselves and for their families. These kinds of programs help to develop life skills that can help them maintain their sobriety and provide a good support system. A lot of people know more about the residential drug rehabilitation facilities than the intensive outpatient drug treatments. It is good to learn about them both because each person is different and one treatment may certainly be better than another one for them.




Probably the biggest difference between the two treatments is that in residential treatment programs, patients are required to live on site and are not allowed to leave while in outpatient programs, they are can leave each day when it is over. Both are still very effective treatments because they both offer assistance through detoxing and counseling. One just lets people have more freedom than the other and some people cannot handle that while trying to recover. Some people need more structure than others.




There is a common misconception that residential programs are more effective but this holds no validity at all. They both help get patients sober and keep them that way. They just approach it differently.


Communicate Feelings


Outpatient programs give individuals a chance to safely talk about their addiction in a comfortable environment. They usually feel safe discussing this topic in front of everyone because everyone has similar problems. With this, they are able to talk about things that they might not get to share with other people.


The First Step


Discussing the various problems in their lives is usually the first step to any recovery. This allows them to let things out instead of bottling things up inside. By doing this, they are able to build strong bonds with each other.


Time and Dedication


This treatment requires a little bit of time and dedication but as long as people are willing to work hard, it can lead the way to successful recovery. It can take up to thirty days for a person obtain sobriety and they need to be at every meeting and really stay committed.




This kind of program allows for a bit more freedom than the other so people must take a bit more responsibility for they own recovery. They are still allowed to go to work and do other things during the day but in the morning or in the afternoon, they have to make sure that they are in the meetings. It is up to them concerning how fast they recover.


Exposure and Response Prevention | Intensive Outpatient Program

Kicking Alcoholism With Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Intensive outpatient alcohol treatment offers individuals who have grown to be dependent on alcohol the chance to live a sober and happy life. It helps develop skills needed to maintain this sobriety and live a normal and healthy life. Many people know about residential alcohol rehab facilities and programs but many do not know about intensive outpatient alcohol treatment. It is important to stay informed about both types of programs when it comes to recovering from an alcohol addiction because some people might be better suited for one type over another.




For the most part, both types of treatments seem to be effective because they both have detox programs, advice and counseling. One of the most obvious differences however, is that in residential programs, individuals have to stay in the facility all day everyday while in the outpatient treatment programs, the participants are free to come and go as they please without penalty. Some people will need to attention and time that is required by the residential programs but some can handle the freedom of the outpatient programs without compromising their recovery.




One big misconception is that outpatient programs are not as effective as residential programs, which is wrong. They both work very well. They both help their patient get better and stay sober.




Outpatient programs are helpful because they allow people to freely express themselves in a safe environment. They get the opportunity to tell their stories to people who are willing to listen and who want to help them change for the better. Usually they do not get the chance to tell their stories and they feel safe doing so because everyone in the program is going through similar situations.


Building Bonds


This helps them recover because it allows them to talk about all the problems and get everything out. This also helps them build strong bonds with each other and they are able to keep each other strong. The support of others is vital for recovery and continued sobriety.


It Takes Time


This kind of treatment usually takes some time before it becomes effective. The members will have to commit to going to every meeting and staying committed on their own. They can have great results if they are willing to focus and work hard for it because it is not an easy process.


Normal Daily Routines


They have the freedom to go to work or do other daily activities but then they are required to go to the meetings at night or early in the morning. If the patient is determined to get better, they must commit to going to every meeting. There many benefits associated with these meetings so attendance is very important.


Partial Hospitalization Program | Exposure and Response Prevention