You have made the decision to do something about your drinking issue but are unsure about what alcohol treatment options are available. There are many different types of programs available to help you overcome your alcohol problem.
Twelve Step Programs The best known of the alcohol treatment options is that of the 12 steps, originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and adapted by Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and other groups. The 12 steps are based on a fundamentalist religious movement that was popular during the 1930s. It promotes the belief that alcoholism is an incurable disease, that alcoholics must abstain from alcohol for the rest of their lives, that they must submit their will to God or a Higher Power, that they suffer from "loss of control," that they must always be on guard against relapses, and that they will need suport for the rest of their lives.
AA claims about 2,000,000 members and meetings can be found in both large cities and small towns around the world. However, bigger doesn't always mean better, which is the case for 12 step programs. The success of AA after one year is only about five percent. The federal government has found that participating in no program yields a higher success rate. Thus, it appears that the 12 steps actually hinder progress toward sobriety.
Methadone Clinics Using methadone clinics is another alcohol treatment option. Methadone clinics provide clients with methadone (or sometimes suboxone) to take in place of drinking. The logic is to transition people from alcohol to methadone and then to abstinence from either substance. Methadone and suboxone are opiates, like vicodin and oxycontin. If overused or misused, they have the same risk of dependency as vicodin and oxycontin. Some people fail to complete the transition, become addicted to methadone or suboxone, and remain addicted for life.
Holistic Methods Another alcohol treatment option is a holistic approach. It uses yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapy, music therapy, aroma therapy, movement or dance therapy, equine or horse therapy, and any of a number of other techniques in an effort to help people become sober. This natural approach is available in both outpatient and inpatient formats. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that any of the techniques commonly used in holistic programs are effective in leading to sobriety.
Cognitive Behavioral Education Cognitive Behavioral Education, offered at the St. Jude retreats, is an effective alternative to traditional alcohol treatment options. Periodic evaluations by outside professional research organizations have found that the long term success rate of past St. Jude guests in achieving and maintaining fulfilling lives free of alcohol is at least 62%.