Alcoholism Treatment Options

What Are My Alcoholism Treatment Options?

You suspect you might be developing a problem with your alcohol use.  Lately, you find yourself looking for excuses to drink, no matter what time of day it is.  You have noticed how you look forward to getting off work, not because you necessarily want to see your spouse or kids, but to begin drinking.  You find yourself taking a mental inventory of how much alcohol is left in the cupboard, and trying to remember where you hid that last bottle of vodka.  Most days you wake up looking bloated and unhealthy.

As an alcohol use disorder systematically worsens as the months go by, it is time to acknowledge your need to get help. Once you begin researching treatment you find there are a multitude of diverse inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab programs available, and quickly become overwhelmed. When seeking treatment for problem drinking, it helps to have some general information about the different alcoholism treatment options available.

Types of Alcoholism Treatment Options

When an individual is committed to treatment and recovery, alcoholism is a highly treatable substance use disorder.  There are two categories into which most programs fall, the inpatient and outpatient formats:


Inpatient, or residential, treatment programs are those in which the individual will reside for a specified period of time, usually from one to six months.  Inpatient programs are the best alcoholism treatment option for the individual with a severe alcohol dependency. Inpatient programs provide medically supervised detox and therapeutic support 24/7.

The higher level of care allows for a deeper dive into psychotherapy and other treatment elements than an outpatient program can.  An inpatient program offers a full schedule of individual psychotherapy sessions, group therapy, family therapy, recreational activities, and holistic therapies such as yoga and meditation.  Participation in a recovery support program, such as A.A. or a non-12 step program is usually required. If there is a co-occurring mental health disorder, a dual diagnosis inpatient program will be designed and staffed accordingly.


Outpatient programs offer treatment in varying degrees of intensity, while the client remains at home outside of treatment hours.  This flexibility allows the client to be able to continue with some work and family responsibilities during the treatment program period.  Outpatient programs are best suited for mild to moderate alcohol use disorders.

Detox may be required prior to starting the outpatient program and can be accomplished at a designated detox facility, or on an outpatient basis in certain cases.  After detox, the client attends a certain number of hours of treatment programming per week, where they will participate in individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and recreational activities.  Clients are encouraged to participate in a recovery support community such as A.A. or SMART Recovery.

Types of Therapy Used in Treating Alcoholism

Alcoholism treatment options can involve many different types of therapy.  Psychotherapy allows the clinician to delve into unresolved pain or trauma that may be contributing to the alcoholism.  Therapy can also teach clients new coping skills, healthier cognitive-behavioral patterns, conflict resolution, and to encourage adherence to sobriety through rewards.  Some of the most popular therapies include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Pseudo Attachment therapy
  • Contingency Management
  • Dialectical Behavioral therapy

Pharmacotherapy is another approach to treating alcohol dependent individuals.  The medication-assisted treatment (MAT) involves the short-term use of a drug called Naltrexone that is effective in curbing alcohol cravings, thereby diminishing the desire to drink.  Combined with psychotherapy and a 12-step type recovery group, MAT can enhance the sustainability of abstinence.

Phoenix Rising Addiction Center Leading Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Program

Phoenix Rising Addiction Center is a premier outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program that seeks to help clients restore their quality of life, their family relationships, and their health.  The program integrates the A.A. 12-step program, and uses cognitive behavioral therapy and pseudo attachment theory as the foundation of treatment. For more information about alcoholism treatment options and how Phoenix Rising can help you or a loved one, please contact us today at (949) 518-0345.