One glance at a Google search result for alcohol addiction treatment could make a person sit there cross-eyed in front of the computer, trying to decipher, out of the thousands listed, what is the best treatment for alcoholism. It is mind-boggling just how many different types of rehabs there are nowadays. They sport varying core philosophies and treatment methods, as well as a plethora of adjunctive therapies and complementary activities. We sit there staring at the computer and scratching our heads, unsure of which rehab will provide the best shot of actually working for you or your loved one’s alcohol addiction. So what is the best treatment for alcoholism anyway?
Heads Up: Not a One-Size-Fits-All
Any rehab that claims that their boilerplate program is the answer to someone’s alcohol addiction should be eliminated from consideration. These rehabs have a rigid, standardized approach to treatment that basically stuffs all variants and all drug and alcohol addictions into one crisp program. For them it is efficient and simplified, for the client it is a failure waiting to happen.
Addiction treatment must be tailored according to the many factors that make each individual’s struggle unique. This means that the 20-something person with an opioid addiction will require a different treatment approach than a 50-something alcoholic with co-occurring depression. By not acknowledging the specific needs of the client, by not creating a fully individualized treatment plan for their unique recovery needs, a rehab is setting the person up for an unsuccessful attempt at sobriety.
Any alcohol rehab worth its salt will provide a wide array of treatment elements and adjunctive therapies and activities that can be pulled from to design an integrated treatment plan for each individual client. This is a deal-breaker, so ask the pertinent question—How customized are your treatment plans?”—when seeking treatment.
The Amazing Role of Naltrexone
The dark horse in alcoholism treatment is the growing popularity of the medication-assisted treatment, which for alcohol addiction means naltrexone (Vivitrol, Revia). Naltrexone has the ability to significantly reduce alcohol cravings, one of the most common triggers for relapse—which for alcoholics is usually chronic relapsing. Naltrexone works by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain and somehow decreases the reinforcing effects of how alcohol impacts the neural pathways.
Naltrexone is introduced after detoxification is successfully completed in order to avoid serious withdrawal symptoms occurring. The drug is available in pill form, as a patch, or as an injectable and should be closely monitored by a professional. Someone who is using naltrexone as one part of a comprehensive approach to recovery, which includes ongoing psychotherapy, sober living housing, and participation in a recovery community, will greatly increase their chances of achieving sustained sobriety.
How Motivation Enhancement Works
Research has shown that individuals in treatment for alcoholism are responsive to a type of therapy called Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET). This type of behavioral therapy uses a reward system to help reinforce sobriety. The short-term therapy begins with an initial assessment battery session with a clinician, the results of which are discussed with the individual seeking treatment. The discussion leads the client to create a plan of action, to make changes based on a self-motivated desire to change their behavior. Through the course of the sessions, the therapist offers coping strategies to assist the client in achieving the goals, while encouraging the client to continue forward.
Other Effective Treatments for Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Considering what is the best treatment for alcoholism, another excellent therapy that alcoholics are particularly responsive to is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Because alcohol abuse may begin initially as a means of self-medication, CBT helps the client identify the distorted thought patterns (my life is worthless, no one loves me, I am a failure, etc.) that led to the maladaptive behavioral response to using alcohol to numb these disturbing thoughts. The therapist guides the client toward shifting these self-defeating thoughts toward positive, affirming thoughts that result in constructive behaviors.
Adjunctive therapies and complementary activities, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, yoga, and mindfulness training are also helpful in alcohol addiction treatment. These types of activities augment, or enhance the effects of the psychotherapy by adding another dimension to the treatment plan. A rehab that emphasizes nutrition and regular exercise is also helpful to the alcoholic who will need to restore health and vitality in recovery.
Golf Drug Rehab Offers Cutting Edge Alcoholism Treatment
Golf Drug Rehab is a premium addiction treatment program serving Southern California. At Golf Drug Rehab our clinical staff embraces the use of naltrexone for assisting clients in overcoming the grip of alcoholism. Combined with evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and Motivation Enhancement, Golf Drug Rehab adds golf therapy to the menu for a well-rounded rehab experience. If you wonder what is the best treatment for alcoholism, you have found your rehab. For more information about the program, please call Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320.