Alternative Alcohol Treatment
When most people think about getting help for alcoholism, they think of inpatient rehab centers, 12-step treatment programs, group or one-on-one counseling, and endless attendance at AA meetings. And while these are all excellent treatment methods for many recovering alcoholics, many people are unaware that alternative alcohol treatment options do exist, and that they can be just as effective, if not more so, than these traditional treatment styles.
What is Alternative Alcoholism Treatment?
When it comes to treatment for alcoholism, the word “alternative” refers to any method that is different from the norm, which, in this case, is the conventional treatment methods listed above. An alternative alcohol treatment can take many forms, but the general idea is to help the addict change his or her addictive habits and behaviors, and to work towards repairing the physiological damage that furthers the cycle of alcoholism. In doing so, an addict may have better success at getting and staying sober.
How Does Alternative Alcohol Treatment Work?
Alternative alcoholism treatment differs from traditional treatment methods in that it tends to place a greater emphasis on the biochemical disruption that has occurred due to excessive drinking. This means that, instead of simply discussing the psychological causes and effects of an addict’s drinking, addicts work to repair and reduce some of the chemical imbalances that create some of the symptoms of alcoholism, such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, and cravings for alcohol and its effects.
An alternative treatment for alcoholism also involves changing an addict’s environment to reduce or eliminate the old habits and behaviors that may have furthered the cycle of addiction. By removing temptations and forming new, healthier habits, many addicts find it easier to reduce or eliminate their need for alcohol; simply breaking the habit of reaching for a drink can be an effective first step in the treatment of alcoholism.
Who can Benefit the Most from Alternative Alcoholism Treatment?
Of course, it’s important to realize that alternative treatments for alcoholism will not work for everyone, just as conventional treatments will not work for everyone. Many doctors and counselors recommend that patients try a more traditional treatment method before seeking an alternative alcohol treatment.
However, many people turn to alternative methods after trying the conventional treatment methods with little or no success. For these people, it can be beneficial to try a new, alternative method that they may not have thought of before.
Additionally, people who have already gained the foundation for recovery through AA or other rehab programs may be looking to get even more out of their treatment. Alternative alcohol treatments can be a great way to supplement that foundation, and to provide new and better ways for a recovering addict to continue to stay sober.
Are Alternative Alcohol Treatments Effective?
The short answer is an enthusiastic “Yes!” And while an alternative treatment for alcoholism may not work the same for everyone, people who are struggling with traditional rehab and treatment programs may be more likely to benefit from trying an alternative approach.