Effectively treating alcoholism is a relatively new and constantly evolving medical discipline. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the best clinics for alcoholics offered nothing more than a bed to dry out in, perhaps some cursory medication to ease symptoms and a couple of admonishments from the attending doctor to get a grip and show some self–control.
Today, a deeper understanding of the problem has given rise to a vast range of treatment options, based on an array of models for understanding this complex disease. For the alcoholic seeking treatment, as well for those affected by the alcoholic’s drinking, choosing the best clinics for alcoholics can be very challenging.
New research presents an opportunity to better understand what is needed to successfully treat alcoholism, allowing those searching for help to make better informed choices. Understanding alcoholism as a chronic condition, treatment for the disease is as successful as treatment for other chronic conditions, such diabetes and asthma. Encouraging as this is, the study emphasises that not all treatments are equal.
Key findings of the research can serve as an effective guide to finding the best clinics for alcoholics. For starters, it is noted that the shorter the delay between the alcoholic asking for help and the actual admission to a alcoholism clinic, the greater the likelihood of a successful treatment.
This is vital information for family members, friends and employers: timing is everything, and if the drinker is showing readiness for treatment, it is best to find an alcoholism clinic that can admit the patient as quickly as possible.
Length of treatment has a very real effect on outcomes. Evidence suggests that a stay of less than 90 days if of little value to those with extreme alcohol addiction, whilst for those seeking help earlier in the course of their disease, brief interventions can be effective. The best clinics for alcoholics are able to assess this need, and provide a holistic treatment programme that addresses the alcoholics comprehensively looking for sign of co-morbidity such as depression or anxiety disorders.
Clinics must be able to offer sound medical and psychiatric interventions, all within context of the treatment of the alcoholism. Medical and psychiatric interventions on their own are simply never effective. Equally, the outcomes for an alcoholic also suffering from an untreated psychiatric problem are poor. Correct medical interventions and holistic treatment plans offered over a long enough time frame are critical contributors to the outcome of successful alcohol rehabilitation.
Regular attendance at self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous as well as professional aftercare groups are immensely beneficial to those seeking long term sobriety. The best clinics for alcoholics put great emphasis on this and focus on establishing a sound connection between the alcoholic and support groups. The research is clear that through including this, treatment is of increased value.
Other findings that will benefit those seeking the best clinics for alcoholics should be borne in mind. Notably, the study emphasises that individuals forced into treatment – by family pressure, work pressure or legal pressure – have similar outcomes to those volunteering for treatment. It is counterproductive for families and alcohol rehabs to rely on self-motivation as an admission criteria. Furthermore, individuals should not be denied access to rehabilitation programs should previous treatments not have been successful.
Many alcoholics need more than one treatment, and each successive treatment should be seen as part of the process towards recovery – not as time and money wasted!
The best clinics for alcoholics offer holistic treatment. They help the alcoholics address medical, psychiatric, legal, professional and social problems, providing a firm foundation for the client to lean on when leaving treatment.
Ultimately, the best alcoholism treatment will not only seek to enhance the patients motivation to recover, but also to help the individual find a healthier and more positive orientation to life in general.