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There are many treatment options available for alcohol use disorder (AUD).
Residential treatment centers (RTCs) offer comprehensive detox and recovery programs to help people overcome an AUD.
Residential treatment is a choice for some, while it may be medically necessary for others.
In 2015, more than 37,000 people battling alcohol use disorder entered residential treatment programs in the United States. For those battling AUD, along with another substance, that number rose to over 43,000.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Residential treatment centers are inpatient facilities that offer 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day treatment programs. In some cases, residential programs can last up to a year. This form of treatment provides 24-hour-a-day care in a non-hospital setting.
Treatment begins with a medically-assisted detox. On-site medical specialists are available to monitor withdrawal symptoms.
After detoxing, treatment can take multiple forms, including:
Residential and inpatient treatment are often conflated with each other, but there's a difference:
Inpatient treatment is short-term and intensive. It's meant for emergency situations, such as when a person is detoxing. It usually takes place in a hospital.
Residential treatment is longer-term and less intensive. People go to attend therapy sessions and take medication to prevent relapse. It's also voluntary - patients can leave whenever they like.
Residential treatment centers can treat a variety of obstacles to recovery.
Those who have relapsed before have a higher chance of doing so again.
People over 60 are more likely to experience complications during withdrawal. For this reason, regular monitoring of symptoms is necessary to ensure the best possible outcome.
Those who have both an AUD and a mental illness need additional medical intervention during detox and afterward.
Residential treatment centers have mental health specialists on-site that can help a person through the effects of detox. They can also work with the person's mental health care following detox to help prevent relapse.
Anyone with AUD and another substance use disorder may experience complications during and after detox. In a residential facility, specialists monitor vital signs and help manage withdrawal.
Alcohol detox and its withdrawal symptoms can be very hard on the body.
Those with a history of heart, breathing, or liver problems should be under medical care during detox and recovery.
This is due to:
A 2004 study looked at the effectiveness of long-term residential treatment centers for women. Researchers discovered abstinence rates of 68 to 71 percent in women who spent six months or longer at an RTC.
By contrast, those that didn't complete a full six-month treatment only saw a 51 to 52 percent abstinence rate.
There are many treatment options available for alcohol abuse and addiction, including:
Inpatient treatment takes place at a licensed residential treatment center.
These programs provide 24/7 comprehensive, structured care. You'll live in safe, substance-free housing and have access to medical monitoring.
The first step of an inpatient program is detoxification. Then behavioral therapy and other services are introduced. These programs typically last 30, 60, or 90 days, sometimes longer.
Most programs help set up your aftercare once you complete the inpatient portion of your treatment.
Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are sometimes referred to as intensive outpatient programs (IOP).
Compared to inpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs provide similar services. These include medical services, behavioral therapy, and support groups, along with other customized therapies. However, in a PHP you return home to sleep. Some services provide food and transportation, but services vary by program.
PHPs accept new patients as well as people who have completed an inpatient program and still need intensive treatment.
Outpatient treatment is less intensive than inpatient or partial hospitalization programs.
These programs organize your treatment session based on your schedule. The goal of outpatient treatment is to provide therapy, education, and support in a flexible environment. They are best for people who have a high motivation to recover and cannot leave their responsibilities at home, work, or school.
Outpatient programs are often part of aftercare programs once you complete an inpatient or PHP program.
Sometimes, medications may be used in alcohol addiction treatment.
Some medicines can help reduce the negative side effects of detoxification and withdrawal. Others can help you reduce cravings and normalize body functions. Disulfiram (Antabuse), acamprosate (Campral), and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat AUD.
When combined with other evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), MAT can help prevent relapse and increase your chance of recovery.
They are peer-led organizations dedicated to helping each other remain sober. They can be the first step towards recovery or part of a long-term aftercare plan.
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