The very first step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program gives us the key to Alcoholics Anonymous. “We admitted that we were powerless over our alcoholism --that our lives had become unmanageable.”
That may sound trite, but there are two very important points for the person affected in that statement, that, (1) we are out of control and, (2) our lives are unmanageable.
I see people come and go from the treatment center every week. Some are seeking help after a repeat bout with the disease, while others are obviously there because someone else has either encouraged them or pestered them enough to force an action.
Sometimes a person is there because of a court order. Those who have had a relapse may be discouraged or angry with themselves, but they are participating because they agree with Step 1.
People who are not in agreement with that initial realization will most often say it’s the other person’s problem. If they are there by court order, they are often pretty angry about it. People who are either abusing alcohol or are in the grip of alcoholism may completely deny their problem, and when they enter treatment it’s with “kicking and screaming” and not their own idea.
Why is treatment necessary?
Why is treatment necessary? Consider the following pieces of information and make your own determination. If a person with the disease decides to quit on their own, they stand about a four percent chance of staying sober for a year.
If that same person were to go through treatment, their chances of staying sober for the following year will increase to 50 percent. If a person goes through Alcoholics Anonymous, accepts weekly aftercare and regularly participates in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, their chances of staying sober for the next year increase to 90 percent. You can see that treatment and maintenance are effective. But it doesn’t stop there.
There is no cure for alcoholism
There is no cure for alcoholism. It’s important to understand this vital fact. Because of that, alcoholism needs to be managed. People need a plan. Alcoholics Anonymous programs for alcohol abuse and alcoholism are varied, but we’ll give you an initial look at some of them. The treatment option that is right for you, or someone you love, is best outlined by a professional and we encourage you to seek help. The professional counselor or therapist is well equipped to map out the right strategy for the individual.
Correct diagnosis imperative for Alcoholics Anonymous
Like any disease, there needs to be a correct diagnosis, followed by a treatment plan. That initial assessment may lead to a stay in a residential treatment center, or outpatient treatment, or participation in an AA group. In any case, it is important to tailor make the best possible program.
The program will be determined largely by an individual’s battle with the disease. What is the level of alcohol dependence? Let’s say, for example, that a person is functioning well in life and they can demonstrate a level of control over their drinking, some minor intervention to assist in giving the person tools to help control the disease may be sufficient. However, if a person is farther down the path and they are not in control, that option is not going to be effective. They must stop drinking entirely and that will take some work.
30% Dropout rate for outpatient treatment
There is no substantial evidence to suggest that inpatient is better than outpatient for Alcoholics Anonymous, other than there is a 30 percent dropout rate in outpatient people.
The dropout rate for inpatient is about 10 percent, so that would suggest an edge to inpatient treatment. The following page will give you a look at the various types of treatment, and as you pursue options, you may want to consider what each has to offer.
In any case, we encourage you to seek help.
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