What are the Different Types of Alcohol Addiction Services?

Pablo Garcia
Pablo Garcia
Individuals sometimes self-medicate with alcohol to combat depression.
Individuals sometimes self-medicate with alcohol to combat depression.

There are several types of alcohol addiction services. They correspond to the stages of treatment and recovery for the illness. The process begins with assessment services to determine the appropriate treatment plan, which can include some form of residential treatment in a rehabilitation facility “rehab,” or outpatient treatment coupled with therapy and educational classes. There are also aftercare services following treatment to help the alcoholic stay in recovery, including groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which is available worldwide to offer continuing lifelong support to recovering alcoholics.

Alcoholism is often a form of self-medication for sufferers of depression.
Alcoholism is often a form of self-medication for sufferers of depression.

The first step in recovering from an alcohol addiction is to have an assessment done. Sometimes rehab facilities conduct these assessments, but independent agencies or medical professionals do them as well. The assessment includes a history of the patient’s alcohol abuse and current drinking habits, as well as a brief physical. Following the assessment, the clinician or rehab staff makes treatment recommendations.

Addiction services may be offered through shelters to homeless individuals.
Addiction services may be offered through shelters to homeless individuals.

In cases where the patient’s physical health is in immediate danger, it may be determined that she first undergo detoxification as part of the alcohol addiction services. Withdrawal from severe alcohol addiction without medical supervision can be dangerous. It can include tremors, severe nausea, disorientation, and sometimes audio and visual hallucinations. Without appropriate medication and monitoring, there is also a risk of stroke or heart failure.

An alcohol counselor may help patients work through psychological cravings for alcohol.
An alcohol counselor may help patients work through psychological cravings for alcohol.

When a patient is physically stable, rehab and other alcohol addiction services begin right away. Rehab generally consists of group therapy and educational classes regarding the destructive effects of alcoholism. The aim of group therapy is to let alcoholic begin to feel comfortable talking about the disease in a safe environment, and recognize some of the common patterns of alcoholism. Therapy will usually include weekly or daily AA meetings as well.

Another component of rehab is instruction on establishing good health habits. Alcohol addiction is extremely hard on the body, and alcoholics tend to not eat properly or sleep well. Eating properly and learning to sleep in regular patterns is part of the daily regimen. Often, alcoholism develops because of the patient self-medicating for deep emotional trauma or severe depression. As a supplement to group therapy, there is often individual therapy available with a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Alcohol addiction services extend beyond rehab. At the conclusion of rehab, which can last about a month but sometimes much longer, aftercare services are available. These include more extended group therapy and appointments with doctors and nurse practitioners for monitoring. Treatment providers always recommend attending AA meetings upon discharge from rehab, as a continuing source of emotional support and guidance for successful recovery.

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    • Individuals sometimes self-medicate with alcohol to combat depression.
      Individuals sometimes self-medicate with alcohol to combat depression.
    • Alcoholism is often a form of self-medication for sufferers of depression.
      Alcoholism is often a form of self-medication for sufferers of depression.
    • Addiction services may be offered through shelters to homeless individuals.
      Addiction services may be offered through shelters to homeless individuals.
    • An alcohol counselor may help patients work through psychological cravings for alcohol.
      An alcohol counselor may help patients work through psychological cravings for alcohol.