Alcohol Treatment - What Are Your Options?
Getting help when you come to realize that your drinking has gotten out of control can be scary and confusing. For people who have never sought out addiction treatment before, it can be hard to understand the difference between addiction treatment options and to decide on a plan that fits your needs. Here, we will discuss the levels of care offered by many alcohol rehabs, what treatment is like, and some other frequently asked questions about recovery programs.
Medically Supervised Alcohol Detox
Alcoholism, like other drug abuse problems, is treatable in a variety of ways. Inpatient alcohol addiction therapy, often known as alcohol rehab, is the most comprehensive kind of alcohol addiction treatment. Detox is the initial stage of treatment and is most often done at a private specialized detox center or at a hospital. Medications and therapeutic treatments will be prescribed by the medical staff at the detox center to relieve withdrawal symptoms and safely eliminate the alcohol from a patient's body. Detoxing from alcohol may cause a variety of severe symptoms, which is why it's important to have medical monitoring during this time. In fact, alcohol detox is the only drug withdrawal that can actually be fatal.
Inpatient Alcohol Rehab
After a patient has safely detoxed from alcohol, they continue to get therapy for mental health issues that may have contributed to their drinking or substance usage. Dual diagnosis treatment is a type of therapy that addresses both substance abuse and mental health issues. Dual diagnosis programs are intended to aid in the healing of clients and their families, as well as to provide the groundwork for long-term rehabilitation. The following are some of the therapies used in these types of programs:
- Individual therapy with a professional substance abuse counselor
- Group therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Psychologist-mediated family therapy sessions
- Medication management
- Participation in 12-step support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous
Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Many individuals continue their care after finishing inpatient treatment by enrolling in outpatient treatment. Outpatient programs are often an extension of the treatments and skills acquired during residential or partial hospitalization programs at most treatment centers (PHP). Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) are meant to assist clients who have just finished a partial or residential treatment program in reintegrating into society. These programs are primarily aimed at aiding clients in becoming productive and self-sufficient members of their community.
Is There a Cure For Alcoholism?
Because alcoholism is caused by a variety of circumstances, there is no real cure. Genetic predisposition, early trauma, environmental circumstances, and the use of alcohol as a coping strategy are all elements that contribute to alcohol use disorder (AUD). Behavioral therapy , motivational enhancement, or drugs like disulfiram (Antabuse) may be used in the treatment of alcohol addiction.
While there is no cure for alcoholism, obtaining professional treatment from a rehab center or an organization such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can assist you in overcoming your addiction. It's critical to remember that alcoholism is a disease of the brain that has nothing to do with a person's character. So, just because you've decided to stop drinking doesn't imply weakness or lack discipline. On the contrary, it will assist you in gaining emotional control and leading a healthy lifestyle free of alcohol abuse.
Does Health Insurance Cover Addiction Treatment?
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called "Obamacare"), treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is covered under most insurance plans. Most addiction treatment centers accept commercial medical insurance - these are the kind of insurance policies that are paid for independently through the healthcare marketplace or are subsidized by an employer. If you receive your health insurance through welfare programs like Medicaid or Medicare, you will likely be limited to state-funded treatment programs which you can find on findtreatment.gov, a website hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Does FMLA Cover Substance Abuse Treatment?
The short answer is yes, alcohol treatment is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The following quote on the subject is from the United States Department of Labor:
“Treatment for substance abuse may be a serious health condition if the conditions for inpatient care and/or continuing treatment are met.
FMLA leave may only be taken for substance abuse treatment provided by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services on referral by a health care provider. Absence because of the employee’s use of the substance, rather than for treatment, does not qualify for FMLA leave.
The employer may not take action against the employee because the employee has exercised his or her right to take FMLA leave for substance abuse treatment. However, if the employer has an established policy, applied in a non-discriminatory manner, that has been communicated to all employees, and that provides under certain circumstances an employee may be terminated for substance abuse, then pursuant to that policy the employee may be terminated regardless of whether he or she is presently taking FMLA leave.”
What Is Treatment Like at an Addiction Treatment Center?
A person's experience in treatment will vary widely depending on the kind of treatment program that they attend. Some programs (more often those that are run by the state or department of corrections) operate similarly to psychiatric wards. These facilities are typically "lockdown" and patients are not allowed to leave until they finish their treatment. On the other end of the spectrum, some luxury treatment centers are more like a vacation - offering "adventure therapy" expeditions, massage, and spa-like amenities. At most treatment centers, a patient's experience will fall somewhere in between these extremes. Often, patients are permitted some freedom to leave property, engage in social activities with one another, and participate in recreation. They are held accountable, however, to participate in their therapy and to pursue recovery.
Regardless of the amenities offered or how "enjoyable" a program may be, alcohol treatment is about building a foundation for long-term recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, don't hesitate to reach out to a treatment center near you to learn more about how rehab could help you quit drinking.