Man at Crossroads making decision about alcohol treatmentChoosing between alcohol treatment facilities can be a daunting task. Over two million Americans receive alcohol abuse treatment every year, and this number continues to grow. There are literally thousands of treatment facilities to choose from.

That being said, they fall into some broad categories that can help you understand shat options you have.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Facilities

This is the first decision people wrestle with when trying to choose a rehabilitation program. Some actually dismiss doing an inpatient program out of hand without researching it at all. The reasons for this can be that they have the conception that inpatient rehabs cost a lot of money, or that inpatient rehabs take a long time.

Actually, neither of these considerations should bear much weight when deciding what type of program to go with. The truth is that inpatient (also called ” residential”) treatment is entirely different from outpatient services. It’s a common misconception that outpatient rehab services are just like inpatient services, only you get to stay at home. Actually they meet entirely different needs.

Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Programs

In an out-patient program, people receiving rehab typically check in with their alcohol rehab counselor on a daily basis. They receive help with withdrawal and sometimes some counseling. Often the person is scheduled to come to the rehab for meetings and further services. After graduation, many outpatient rehabs connect their patients with support groups such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) for follow-up.

Inpatient Alcoholism Treatment Programs

In-patient alcohol treatment rehabs are designed to provide a drug- and alcohol-free environment. Residential programs vary in length from 28 days to several months or longer. An alcoholic has a better chance at lasting recovery in an inpatient facility because the counselors and support staff have more time to work with him. Not only does he have more “clean time” before going back into day-to-day life. During inpatient rehab he also is able to confront and handle the issues that predisposed him to addiction.

Cost and Time are Not Really The Issue in Choosing an Alcohol Rehab Option

As mentioned before, cost and time should not be the factors considered when choosing between inpatient and outpatient services. The truth is that the cost of addiction is far higher than any fee charged by rehab facilities. What is more, addicts have already lost a lot of time to their habit. Even if the process takes months, if they are able to achieve a lifetime of sobriety then it ends up being worth the time spent.

No, the main issue to consider is what will be most likely to provide a successful outcome.

When an Inpatient Alcohol Rehabilitation Program is Really the Only Option

If the person is habitually abusing alcohol, or he has tried to quit with an outpatient program previously, or if he has a high-pressure environment that is causing him difficulties, he should give a lot of consideration to the benefits of an inpatient program.

Inpatient programs have a higher success rate and are often the only thing that will work if the alcoholic has gotten to the point where he needs professional help to quit.

12-Step Programs vs. Alternative Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs

Traditional substance abuse rehabs frequently use a 12-step program similar to that employed by Alcoholics Anonymous and other programs.

12-Step Program Fundamentals

The basic tenets of a twelve-step program are that recovery is possible through the addict going through the following steps:
-Admitting that he can’t control his addiction or compulsion to drink alcohol
-Recognizing a God or higher power from whom to draw strength
-Examining his past errors and mistakes
-Righting the wrongs that were caused by those errors and making amends
-Adopting a new code of conduct in order to start his new life
-Moving on to helping others who are suffering from the same problems

Alternative Alcoholism Rehabilitation Program Fundamentals

Alternative programs may have different basic philosophical tenants. One of the key principles of many alternative programs that varies from traditional twelve-step is that it is believed that the addict can regain control of his problem. Drug counselors and other rehab personnel and case workers working in alternative programs find that a client who believes he can beat addiction has a better chance to recover, and this is borne out in statistics. This may be a reason why some of the largest networks of alcohol abuse treatment centers a turning to alternative methods of therapy.

How To Research Alcohol Treatment Facilities

Choosing an alcohol treatment center is a big decision and one that should be made with some certainty.

Don’t Just Google the Alcoholism Rehab

It isn’t enough just to “research” the center’s website or Google it’s name. Only an on-site visit will let you know for sure whether you feel comfortable in that environment.

Shop Around

Be willing to communicate with counselors from a few centers before making your decision. If these counselors have your best interests at heart, they should be more than willing to let you find out more about your best options, and even make a recommendation if their center isn’t the right one for you.

Referral Services

Rehab referral services can also be a good choice to help you make your decision with certainty. Rehab referral services often provide service at no cost to you, and with a broad list of rehabs to choose from, they can act as an impartial guide to help you find the best program for your individual situation.