Treatment Facilities for Alcoholism

Individuals who are struggling with alcoholism can benefit greatly from undergoing treatment in a specialized facility that can provide them with appropriate guidance and care. Treatment facilities for alcoholism can help these individuals achieve sobriety and minimize the chances of relapse by offering support that is carefully tailored to their particular needs and provided in a controlled and safe environment.

The Importance of Entering an Alcohol Treatment Facility

Understanding the prevalence of alcoholism in the U.S. and its effects can help you understand why entering a specialized alcohol treatment facility is so important, whether it’s you or a loved one that is struggling with alcoholism.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol use disorder or AUD is a recurring brain disorder marked by an inability to manage alcohol use in spite of unfavorable consequences to one’s health, personal or professional life.1

An estimated 15 million people in the United States have AUD:1

  • Approximately 14.4 million adults ages 18 and older had AUD in 2018. (9.2 million men and 5.3 million women).
  • Approximately 401,000 adolescents ages 12-17 had AUD.

Alcohol use disorder impacts people in different ways. According to the American Psychological Association:2

  • Short-term effects may include memory loss, hangovers, and blackouts.
  • Long-term problems associated with heavy drinking may include stomach ailments, heart problems, cancer, brain damage, serious memory loss, and liver cirrhosis.

Alcoholism can also have a negative effect on mental health. It can exacerbate conditions like depression or contribute to new problems (anxiety, depression, memory-related issues).3

AUD does not only affect the person struggling with alcoholism, but can have a serious impact on their family. Spouses and children of heavy drinkers may face physical or psychological abuse (more than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study).4

treatment facilities for alcoholism

When It’s Time to Consider Going to a Facility for Alcohol Treatment

People tend to conceal their drinking issues from others, and can often struggle to admit it to themselves. However, it is important to recognize when an individual is dealing with alcoholism and when they should seek help at a treatment facility.

Individuals dealing with alcoholism may experience guilt when they are reaching for a drink, unable to control their urge to consume alcohol. Additionally, people around them may notice and comment on their drinking. Finally, individuals may even experience physical symptoms unless they have a drink (feeling nervous, anxious, on edge).5 These occurrences may be an indication that an individual needs outside help.

NIAA states that alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers “yes” to two or more of the following questions.6 An individual might want to consider going to a treatment facility for alcoholism if they:

  • Had instances when they drank more than intended.
  • Wanted and tried to stop drinking several times, but were unsuccessful.
  • Spent a considerable amount of time drinking.
  • Experienced a strong desire to drink.
  • Found that drinking interfered with their personal and professional life.
  • Continued drinking in spite of any problems it caused (relationships with friends and family).
  • Neglected other interests in favor of drinking.
  • Had several instances when drinking endangered their well-being (got them into fights, dangerous encounters).
  • Continued drinking despite it making their mental and physical health worse.
  • Found that they no longer experience the same intoxication and therefore increase their alcohol intake (in order to experience inebriation).
  • Found that in absence of alcohol they experience withdrawal symptoms (nausea, shakiness, anxiety, etc.).

If an individual has any of these symptoms, their drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms they have, the more urgent the need for change. A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of the symptoms to see if an alcohol use disorder is present.

Types of Treatment Facilities for Alcoholism

An alcohol treatment facility is fundamentally an adept location where individuals attain the needed attention and treatment to be able to overcome their AUD. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are four basic levels of care or intensity for alcohol treatment.7 These levels, as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, include:8

Before joining a program at a treatment facility for alcoholism, a person with alcohol use disorder should be evaluated by a health professional who has training and experience in alcoholism treatment. When doing an assessment, a health professional will usually ask them about:

  • Their alcohol and possibly other addictions to determine whether they should consider a facility for handling substance abuse.
  • Any existing medical or mental health conditions that will need attention during their treatment.
  • Their social situation (family and friends support, living arrangement, etc.).
  • Any legal issues that will require coordination with the appropriate services.

Tips for Choosing the Right Facility

When choosing a treatment facility for alcoholism, a person should gather as much information as they can about the available options. They should also know that every person may react differently to different types of treatment, so what worked for one individual might not work for the other. Ideally, health professionals would be able to identify which alcoholism treatment is most effective depending on the individual case.

Here are some questions a person considering joining a treatment facility can ask that may help with decision making:

  • What types of treatment does the facility provide?
  • Do they tailor the treatment to the individual patient?
  • What will be required of the patient?
  • Do they keep track of their treatment success?
  • What is the program’s procedure if relapse occurs?

The cost of treatment may also be a factor to consider.It’s important to evaluate the coverage in a health insurance plan to determine what the policy will cover.

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Facilities Near Me

The inability to control one’s alcohol intake is called alcohol use disorder (AUD). AUD, colloquially known as alcoholism, is a mental health condition that tends to get worse if left untreated. Overcoming AUD can be tough and most alcoholics require professional assistance in rehab facilities that specialize in the treatment of alcohol addiction. Choosing the right alcohol treatment facility may be the difference between a successful treatment and an unfortunate relapse episode.11

What to Ask When Deciding on a Treatment Center for Alcohol Abuse? 

Alcohol use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and the duration of excessive alcohol intake. Since alcohol alters an individual’s brain chemistry, they start losing their ability to think clearly and recognize the scope of their problem. Before long, their behavioral patterns become disrupted and their decision-making starts to revolve around alcohol consumption.12

The highly individualized nature of mental health issues is one of the reasons why every case of alcohol abuse differs. What works for one patient may not be the best choice for the other, so it’s very important that people find the right treatment program that will address their unique medical condition. Satisfaction with one’s treatment of choice is one of the most important factors that determine the overall success of the rehab procedure.11

There are several important factors to take into consideration when deciding on the right alcohol rehabilitation center:11

  • What rehab programs the facility offers? – There are several proven rehab approaches that are designed to target the varying levels and types of alcoholism, including various behavioral techniques, inpatient and outpatient programs, medication-assisted rehabs, and partial hospitalization treatments. 
  • Is detox included as part of the treatment? – Most cases of alcoholism require detoxification to cleanse patients from alcohol before they are ready to start with their chosen rehab program.
  • How long are the rehab programs offered? – Shortest programs last for 28 days or a month, but there are longer programs available for those who have more stubborn forms of AUD. It’s recommended that severe cases stay in treatment for at least 90 days.
  • Are personalized treatment plans supported? – Quality treatment has to be adjusted according to the specific needs of each patient, taking into account their age, personal preferences, and both their mental and physical condition.
  • Does the rehab center offer programs for different segments of the population? – High quality treatment centers offer specialized rehabs for members of different groups including Jews, Native Americans, Veterans, LGTBQ+, Executives and Business leaders, and Mothers and Couples therapies.
  • What payment methods are accepted? – There are multiple ways to pay for treatment. Besides using insurance to pay for treatment, some rehab centers accept credit cards, cash payments, government grants, Veterans administration covered rehabs as well as various sponsored treatment options.
  • Does the rehab center offer aftercare options? – Quality follow-up care can make the difference since people tend to be especially vulnerable once their rehab procedure ends and they have to get back to their everyday lives. Preventing relapse during this testing period is an important component of full recovery.
  • Do 12-step programs form a part of the recovery procedure? – Despite advances that were made when it comes to alcohol recovery during the past years, 12-step programs still achieve great results when it comes to alcohol-related issues. Peer support and faith-based approaches still have a large part to play especially in the treatment of severe alcohol users.

How to Choose the Right Alcohol Rehabilitation Center

Another important thing to look for when deciding on the appropriate rehab center are the licenses, certificates, and accreditations provided by various federal, state, and local agencies. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services for 2020 that looks at rehab centers in the US, 94% of all facilities reported that they held a license, certificate, or accreditation by at least one agency or organization.13

The best alcohol treatment facilities are run according to the highest standards and will look to appropriate agencies to provide them with the appropriate documentation. This will also help them attract and retain the best possible medical personnel and staff needed to remain at the top of their game. When deciding on the right rehab center it’s also advisable to look into clinical staff credentials and reputation as well as the amenities the facility has to offer. Some rehab centers have amenities that can resemble a luxury resort with golf courses, outdoor pools, private chefs, and multiple outdoor recreational options.14

How to Find an Alcohol Rehab Center Near Me

If you have an idea of what you want from a rehab center but don’t know where to start, one of the most user-friendly ways to look for facilities near you is to use SAMHSA’s online facility locator. Locator is easy to use; simply type in your address, city, or zip code and see what facilities are available in your vicinity. You can also type in the facility name or try tracking rehab centers according to the type of treatment offered.

If you still aren’t sure and would like some questions answered, then calling an alcohol addiction hotline may be the best option. Hotlines are a great way to gather all the necessary information with just one call. Hotline staff is trained to dispel any doubts and answer all the questions you might have regarding various facets of treatment, including your insurance coverage, available benefits, overall costs of treatment, various rehab approaches, and FDA- approved medication.

How to Help Someone Who is an Alcoholic? 

Alcohol use starts as a personal issue but soon turns into a problem for the entire family and the wider community. Alcoholics are not aware of the pain they are causing their loved ones. In addition to various mental-related issues, children of people who suffer from increased intake of alcohol have a greater chance of turning to substance use once they get older. Spouses often find themselves between a rock and a hard place trying to keep their families functioning.15

The best thing anyone can do to help a person who’s been drinking is to encourage them to seek professional help. You can try to encourage them to take a self-assessment test that will hopefully act as an eye-opener about the true extent of their alcohol use disorder. Try thinking of alcohol-free activities that you can do together, or suggest incorporating alcohol-free evenings during the week that would represent a positive step in the right direction. Start with small realistic steps that are easily measurable. Celebrate every achievement they make but be careful not to sound condescending.16

How to Convince an Alcoholic to Get Help? 

If you know someone who is suffering from alcohol-related issues, there are certain steps you can take to try to help them come to terms with their condition. In most cases, alcoholics have a hard time verbalizing their issues, so it’s advisable to try to approach them first. There are several useful things to remember when trying to establish communication with the person who is showing signs of alcohol use disorder:17

  • Practice what you’re going to say to avoid spontaneous outbursts
  • Wait for people to get sober before approaching them
  • Use “I” in order to highlight the effects their drinking has on your wellbeing
  • Tell them that you will stand by them while they are trying to get better
  • Try expressing concern about their health without sounding fatalistic
  • Listen to what they are saying even if you don’t fully agree

Once you’ve had this conversation and elicited a positive response, you can provide your loved ones with facts concerning their alcohol use and how their situation differs from before. You can also offer to drive them to see a doctor or encourage them to try enrolling in alcohol counseling or an individual or group therapy. Keep in mind that recovery from alcoholism is a long-term process that may include ups and downs and episodes of dangerous withdrawal. Be supportive during all stages of recovery since a positive outlook is an important element of rehabilitation.18

What are the Things You Should Not Say to an Alcoholic Person? 

Discussions about alcohol addiction issues always have to be planned and caution is advised. It’s not uncommon for people to turn to alcohol consumption to deal with underlying issues that are overwhelming them. Some people with AUD may be more vulnerable than they appear and it’s important to understand that opening up puts them in a position they would rather avoid. No matter how hard or complicated the conversation is, it’s important not to:16

  • Use labels and terms like “alcoholic” or “addict”
  • Make excuses for their drinking issues
  • Resort to feelings of guilt or shame
  • Threaten, plead, or use emotional blackmail
  • Sound judgmental or like you are lecturing them
  • Engage in a drinking session with them

How to Help a Teen Who is an Alcoholic? 

SAMHSA research from 2020 shows that roughly 2.8% of kids aged 12 to 17 struggled with alcohol use disorder in the US during the previous year. The same report estimates binge alcohol use among underage people at 9.2%, or just shy of 3.5 million individuals. Heavy alcohol use affects 1.8% of people from the same age group, or roughly 670,000 people. These numbers have been steady for years now, showing that little change has been made despite numerous attempts by various government agencies to raise awareness.19

Teens are especially vulnerable due to peer pressure and the challenges they face in their everyday lives. Sometimes the availability of alcohol makes teens turn to drink without even suspecting how damaging it can be. Alcohol is particularly damaging to kids developing brains and it’s important that they steer clear of alcohol consumption in its entirety. Developing a drinking habit at a young age may lead to a host of unwanted issues later in life, both in terms of physical and mental health.12

If you suspect your teen may be consuming alcohol or developing alcohol-related issues, it is best to look for clues that may indicate he/she needs help. These signs will help you act before things have developed into a full-blown addiction:20

  • Bad grades or problems at school
  • General loss of motivation or unwillingness to engage in previously cherished activities
  • Sudden and unexplained changes in attitude or mood swings
  • Personality issues and irritability
  • Drastic changes in weight or physical appearance
  • Disrupted sleeping patterns
  • Persistent requests to borrow money

How to Help an Alcoholic if He Doesn’t Want Help? 

Even with the best intentions and well-thought-out plans, there is a great chance that the person you want to help will remain in denial and refuse help. Although it’s hard watching your loved ones wasting their lives through alcohol abuse, don’t try to force the issue because you risk alienating them or making the situation even worse.21

Educate yourselves about alcohol use and addiction in general in order to better understand the mechanisms of substance abuse. A deeper understanding of the challenges addicts face will give you a clearer idea of what they may be thinking or feeling. You will also have a greater grasp of their motivations which may serve as a useful tool when trying to devise a plan to approach them. Learning about addiction will equip you with the knowledge of possible solutions and treatment options that are available.11

In some cases, setting clear boundaries may be a good way to start. Grounding them, taking away the car, or slashing their budget may be a decent way to make them understand that their actions have consequences. It’s important to stand behind your decisions, or they will soon start viewing your boundaries as idle threats that may backfire. You may warn them that you will not stand for drinking in your house, but it’s advised that you reserve this option only as a last resort.21

Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab? 

Civil commitment, also known as involuntary commitment or involuntary hospitalization, is a legal mechanism that family members and friends can use to force at-risk individuals into rehab with the help of a judge or a person acting in a judicial capacity. Although it’s usually reserved for people who represent a danger to themselves (in case of overdose, for example) or their surroundings (in case of violent or destructive behavior), unlike with drug courts, individuals don’t have to have a history of criminal offenses in order to receive treatment.22

Regulation that mandates civil commitment differs from state to state, both in terms of standards and procedures for commitment and in terms of the maximum commitment period. Currently, 35 states and Washington D.C. have laws in place that allow for some form of civil commitment. With the increase in substance use issues that are affecting the US population, more states are rethinking their civil commitment legislation and looking to expand on their existing options.22

Frequently Asked Questions