A drug counselor checks a young woman into an alcohol addiction treatment center.In the United States, the great majority of alcohol addiction treatment centers follow the traditional 12-step program methodology. Since the great majority of alcohol rehab programs in the United States have also been proven ineffective, it’s worth taking a look at what other options there are for any of the 2.5 million Americans seeking alcohol abuse treatment in any given year.

12-Step Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers

Since 12-step programs form the majority, we’ll look at them first. In a 12-step program, such as that used by “Alcoholics’ Anonymous,” and frequently used by traditional alcohol addiction treatment facilities, the alcoholic goes through a series of steps, each designed to help him deal with his addiction. A graduate of the 12-step program is called a “recovering alcoholic”. This term suggests that his recovery is not ending but that it’s a continual process. He’s continuing to learn and deal with his addiction, and that he’ll be addicted to alcohol for the rest of his life regardless of whether or not he ever abuses alcohol again.

One of the first steps that a participant in a 12-step program has to take is that he has to admit to himself and to the rest of the world that he is powerless to stop his addiction, that he is totally controlled by his addiction, and that that bottle runs his life. He has to acknowledge that he can’t do anything about it. There is no way for an alcoholic to get further in his 12-step program without doing this. From there, the alcoholic has to recognize a higher power from whom to draw strength, although in the 12-step methodology there’s nothing said to dictate who or what that higher power needs to be called. Then the alcoholic makes a thorough examination of all the errors and misjudgments that he’s made in his life. He looks over all the things he’s come to regret. He is helped through this point by someone who themselves have already made it through the program. Then he makes things right, he adopts a new lifestyle, and he goes on to help others with their addiction. People advanced in 12-step programs regularly attend group sessions where they help other alcoholics to struggle and fight with their addiction. The idea in a 12-step program is that a person never recovers from addiction. Rather, he’s always an addict, forever. As a matter of fact, the famous first words of someone at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is a pretty precise statement of the beliefs of a traditional twelve step program. Namely, “My name is Joe and I’m an alcoholic.” That might be said by someone whose last drink was taken thirteen years ago.

The proponents of other drug rehabilitation methodologies, and detractors from the 12-step or AA program, say that the self-abasement required for someone to go through the 12-step program is actually harmful to the recovery process. Proponents of other methodologies believe that for addiction to be conquered, the person has to gain confidence in himself and confidence in his ability to get better and defeat his compulsion to use alcohol.

For alcoholism to be conquered, the person has to gain confidence in himself and confidence in his ability to get better and defeat his compulsion to use alcohol.Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers – Alternative Methodologies

It should be noted here that the term “alternative” is used to describe even rehabilitation programs which are using the most current, scientifically proven methodologies for drug rehabilitation. The reason for this is that 12-step programs are in the vast majority, even though many more advances have been made in the field of alcohol rehabilitation. The word alternative just refers to the fact that these programs are in the minority.

There are a vast array of alternative mental health programs, some concentrating on different aspects of addiction. Some focus on the emotional aspects of alcoholism. Some solely focus on the physical side – the actual physical dependence that occurs with alcohol. One type of alcohol rehabilitation that should definitely be avoided is hypnotism, because it has widely varying results and according to scientific studies can be harmful to the person.

Also, there are various therapies that just focus on the mental aspect of addiction. The best addiction therapies take a holistic approach. By holistic we mean addressing the whole problem as opposed to just one or more of its component parts. One major distinction between alternative programs and 12-step programs is that many alternative programs hold that addiction is not a brain disease or something someone is cursed with for the rest of their lives. It’s something that can be beat and something that they don’t have to continue to live with. Alternative programs seek to help the person end the struggle that has plagued him for his whole life.

There are some alternative programs that are worse than and get worse results than 12-step programs. That being said, most of the highly productive and successful rehabilitation programs around the world use alternative, more modern methods.

The Importance of Individual Care

Alcoholism is a very broad problem in America, but it’s also a problem that is unique to the individual. While you might say that any two alcoholics have the same problem: alcoholism, in actuality any two alcoholics have vastly different problems. No two alcoholics are the same. In any case, regardless of whether you go with a traditional 12-step program or a more modern alternative program, the biggest thing to remember is that there isn’t an exact set of steps you can apply that’s going to work with every single person. Each person has to be addressed as an individual, and cared for, and helped to defeat addiction. This is an important key to a successful alcohol rehab.