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Alcohol addiction treatments can help you, depending on what your alcohol recovery needs.

Think of a trip you want to take. You can pack your bags and scour the map, but first you’ll have to step through out the door. If recovery is the journey, how can you take the first step away from alcohol addiction?

Often, many people suffering from alcohol addiction begin by entering treatment. We’ve already explained alcohol use disorder, along with the facts of how you can spot it. Now, we’ll explain a few treatment options which can help you respond to alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Addiction Treatments

1. Medically-assisted treatment (MAT)

Earlier this week, we wrote about MAT for opioid addiction, but did you know that this treatment plan also suits alcohol addiction? MAT for alcohol dependence combines medications (like disulfiram, acamprosate and naltrexone) with careful counseling to create one treatment program. Treatment is the key word here: MAT (and all the other treatment options) will treat your addiction, not cure it. Its program works to break alcohol dependency in both your body and mind, which takes time but can be effective for some patients. SAMHSA gives a more in-depth overview of MAT, and you can also revisit our overview.

2. Inpatient residential treatment

This program is what we see in pop culture versions of alcohol recovery: rehab, where a family member drops you off and returns when you’re “cured.” In this “classic” alcohol addiction treatment, you live in a medically-supervised clinic for your rehabilitation. Depending on how severe your addiction is, you’ll usually stay there for at least 30 days.

Inpatient treatment shelters patients from regular life and its stresses. That way, they can better focus on alcohol recovery. You can’t get to alcohol during your stay. But you can get medical supervision during detox and during therapy sessions. Next week, we’ll explore the specifics of inpatient alcohol treatment, so you’ll understand what to expect during the first few days.

3. Partial hospital treatment

As you might’ve guessed, this treatment program involves alcohol at a healthcare facility (like a hospital). It also gives patients the chance to go home every night, which makes it more partial than inpatient residential treatment. It’s closer to outpatient treatment than to inpatient residential – at this point in your recovery, you can start returning to your regular life.

But you’re not quite ready. That’s why partial hospital treatment continues intensive counseling for you every day (ranging from five to eight hours). This partial system balances your gradual return to the everyday with your need for continued alcohol recovery.

4. Intensive outpatient treatment

Some people might confuse intensive outpatient treatments (IOPs) with partial hospital programs, but they differ in just how intensive they are. Partial hospital programs take more of your time each day for continued counseling, while IOPs take less time (according to Addiction Campuses). That means three or four hours of counseling at a clinic or hospital. And it might only mean three or four days a week, rather than all seven.

Like partial hospital, IOPs can help you transition back into your life after a residential program. They’ll give you a similar balance of both alcohol recovery and reintegration into your regular life.

5. Regular outpatient treatment

This treatment program demands the least of the three outpatient treatment. It may mean only bi-weekly or weekly visits to a clinic or hospital, rather than the daily schedule for hours at a time.

One more note: outpatient treatments don’t always happen at the end of inpatient treatment, as Alcohol Rehab Guide explains. You’ll only need inpatient treatment if your alcohol addiction is already severe. But outpatient treatment can happen from the first step, if you don’t suffer from severe alcohol addiction. It requires intentional reflection and careful re-centering for recovery, but leaves you able to continue with your work, family and relationships.

What Now?

Learn more about these treatment options (we’ll list our sources below, for textbook-type reading). Next week, we’ll have a more in-depth article to explain inpatient residential treatment. Or, if you’re still unsure about alcohol addiction, make sure to read our overview one more time.

Whatever you do, come by In The Rooms and learn how our recovery community can serve you today. If you need online recovery meetings or informative content, we might have just the thing. Join today for free!


Medication and Counseling Treatment” – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Difference Between Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) and Partial Hospitalization Programs” – Addiction Campuses

Outpatient Rehab” – Alcohol Rehab Guide

The Science Behind MAT” – In The Rooms

Opioid Treatment: Not Just Another Drug” – In The Rooms

Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

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