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Alcohol Rehab Programs – Ongoing Process Of Treating Alcoholism

An alcohol rehab program is the first step on the road to “recovery” from alcoholism. Treatment for alcoholism (now referred to as “Alcohol Use Disorder”) provides an educational, therapeutic environment to learn all about this disease, including how to recover by keeping it in remission.

An assessment and evaluation is done to discover a client’s history and psychological make-up. The process begins with detox and stabilization to insure the client is physically and emotionally ready to participate. Their objectives are to teach a client all about the problem and how to recover.

Like “Going to School”

The process of recovering from alcoholism is a journey into a new way of life. Each treatment facility has their own philosophy and various types of therapy modalities.

When someone says “rehab” most people automatically think of the standard 30 days of inpatient care. There are, however, 3 other levels of care to be considered before deciding which is the right one.

Alcohol rehab is a little like going to “school”. It teaches people who have an alcohol problem all about it and what needs to be done about it. Depending on what level of care, there are various activities including therapy, lectures, videos and “homework” assignments.

The 12-Step Model

Today, most facilities subscribe to the “abstinence” model. That means learning how to stop completely. For regular users it seems an impossible task. Going from using alcohol regularly to not doing it at all is a huge shift in behavior and lifestyle. The majority of facilities subscribe to the “12-Step” model as the core philosophy. We are referring to the 12-Steps as they are used in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Most facilities incorporate going to AA meetings and working some of the first few steps as part of the curriculum. For information about non 12 step facilities.

Assessment and Evaluation

The process begins with a thorough assessment.

Good treatment facilities do an extensive evaluation and assessment to determine medical history, personality and mental health concerns. Based on the outcome of the evaluation and assessment process, a recommended course of treatment can be established.

Levels of Care

There are four levels of alcohol rehab care:

  • Detox
  • Outpatient
  • Partial Day
  • Inpatient


Detoxification from alcohol and any mood altering chemicals is the first phase of treatment.

  • Detox MUST be done under medical supervision

Today, there are state-of-the-art medications available to ease and minimize the cravings and effects of withdrawal. There is a possibility withdrawal may cause a severe reaction, resulting in the “Delirium Tremors” (DTs). If someone does go into the DTs, there is a 33% chance it will be fatal.

Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient

An outpatient facility offers similar services as partial day and inpatient except clients do not stay at the facility overnight.
Intensive outpatient (IOP) generally offers 1 hour of treatment 3 days a week.
Group therapy includes skills training, relapse prevention, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET). A qualified addiction specialist, trained in the various therapies, leads the sessions.

The difference between Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient is how many times per week a client is required to attend.

Outpatient Services

  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Lectures and Education

Partial Day Treatment

Partial Hospital Programs (PHP) is also known as “day treatment”. It is a more intensive level of care than outpatient. It provides a half day of therapy 5 times per week. Clients do not stay overnight while being provided therapy and care. This level fills the need of some individuals who need daily treatment, but are unable to attend full-time inpatient residential. PHP provides virtually all the same types of therapy as outpatient on a more intense and regular basis.

Inpatient Residential

Residential inpatient treatment is a type of therapy where the individual lives in the center and receives treatment over a course of several weeks or months. These live-in facilities specialize in expert care for chemical dependency, alcoholism, as well any underlying psychological problems. Because almost half of all people suffering from substance abuse are also suffering from a co-existing mental health condition, many facilities offer some type of dual therapy that addresses both.

Best Alcohol Rehab Programs in the U.S.

Here’s the list of the best alcohol rehab centers in the United States. They are listed in alphabetical order. Click on the name to directly access their website.

  • Programs are listed in alphabetical order by name.
  • Each program’s name is linked to their website.
  • All are accredited by JCAHO

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