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What is Alcohol Addiction Therapy?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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People drink alcoholic beverages for a number of reasons. For some individuals, the reason is because they cannot stop or abstain. These people are commonly referred to as alcoholics and they may never be able to change their habits without assistance. Alcohol addiction therapy refers to a treatment strategy designed to help people with this type of problem.

Many people fail to realize that alcoholism is a disease. Just as people cannot generally cure gonorrhea or heart disease without professional help, many are unable to overcome drinking problems without professional assistance. Alcohol addiction therapy is often called rehab. This term is a shortened form of the word “rehabilitation,” which means restoration. When a person gets treatment, the ultimate goal is to bring her back to a normal, productive state of being.

For alcohol addiction therapy to be successful, a person must first recognize that she has a problem. Although it may seem very obvious to observers, many alcoholics are unaware of their condition and believe that they are in control. Many people enter these programs due to pressure from others, or perhaps they are forced by threat of incarceration.

Another important aspect of alcohol addiction therapy is to address underlying problems. Substance abuse professionals tend to believe that alcoholism is caused or aggravated by other issues. Some people, for example, may use alcohol as a means to escape pain caused by some sort of trauma. Other people have mental health problems that they medicate with alcohol. If these problems are not addressed, the chances of successful treatment are reduced.

The identification of problems must be reinforced with strategies to cope. Many people are unable to quit drinking alcohol because they do not know how to live without it. One of the aims of alcohol addiction therapy is to teach people to manage their lives without relying on substances.

There are numerous strategies of alcohol addiction therapy. Some are based on natural healing, some are based on religion, and some are based on new age techniques. There are programs that require alcoholics seeking help to live on site. Some programs rely on partner systems where a person struggling with addiction can seek support from someone who has overcome alcoholism.

In some instances, the program a person enters is a matter of choice. In other instances, the choice may be limited by a lack of local options, financial restrictions, or because a person was ordered to attend a certain program. Entrance into rehab is not always voluntary. Sometimes the decision is imposed on people by a court or parents.

Every program will not be successful for every individual. For example, some people may attempt to enter an outpatient alcohol addiction therapy program when their problems have actually advanced to a degree where they need residential programs. Even if the program is suitable, some individuals may have to seek treatment multiple times before they are able to overcome their problems.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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