The very first step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program
gives us the key to alcoholism treatment. “We admitted that we were
powerless over our alcoholism –that our lives had become
That may sound trite, but there are two very important points for
the person affected in that statement, that,
- we are out of
- 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
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 alcoholism treatment, 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. Alcoholism treatment 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 alcoholism treatment
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
30% Dropout rate for outpatient treatment
There is no substantial evidence to suggest that inpatient is
better than outpatient for alcoholism treatment, other than there is
a 30 percent dropout rate in outpatient people.Treatment success is hard to measure because many go to free services as well as paid services so data consistency of the total population is hard to collect.
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.
Are you or a family member struggling?
Do you need help RIGHT NOW?
Available 24/7 for HELP!
and Finally Remember:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
– Matthew 7:7-8
Dan, Ned and Debbie continue their discussion of the 12 steps reviewing what it takes to get everything out of this important treatment progam, this week on Recovery Now!
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