What is alcohol addiction treatment? This is a question that doesn’t have a single answer, because people suffer alcoholism, addiction to alcohol, in different degrees, and it affects their lives in different ways. So we can safely say that alcohol addiction treatment should aim to help people overcome whatever problems that addiction causes them, but beyond that there isn’t any one description that applies in all cases. Because the problems addiction to alcohol causes can be myriad, the forms its treatment takes vary just as greatly.
It can help to note what alcohol addiction treatment is not. Self-help and peer-support recovery programmes like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are not treatment, although they can be lifesavers in helping people stay sober after treatment, and for that reason many alcohol addiction treatment programmes introduce clients to AA.
Treatment for any problem should use methods that have been proven effective by research. A great deal of research on alcoholism shows that an approach called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) works quite well for most people, so many alcohol addiction treatment programmes make CBT their foundation. It works by helping people identify and correct mistakes and distortions in the ways they think about situations and people, because our thoughts are the basis for our emotions and our actions.
Another approach that many find helpful both for alcohol addiction treatment and solving other psychological problems is solution-focused therapy, which guides people to envision the way they want their lives to be, then identify and begin the changes and actions that will get them there.
A sound alcohol addiction treatment programme should be individualized, tailored to each person’s needs. It should be holistic, focused on the person rather than the label. As alcohol addiction is often entangled with other problems in a person’s life – they can range from depression and other mental and emotional problems, to strictly medical concerns, to marital and family relationship troubles – alcohol addiction treatment needs to be integrated with action to overcome those other problems. Each person is unique, and the alcohol addiction treatment plan of each person should be just as unique.