Treating My Alcohol Use Disorder

Typically alcohol abuse treatment starts with detoxification, residential programming where individual and group therapy are utilized, supportive or transitional housing, outpatient therapy, and ongoing medical management to include psychiatric medicines that may be needed for recovery. New treatment, however, focuses on the blend of both mental health and substance abuse treatment. Professional treatment teams will work together to create a shared or complementary treatment plan that is unique for each person.

Seeking an assessment or consultation from a clinical professional or treatment facility is highly recommended. Through an assessment, the facilitator can determine what level of care is needed for the alcohol abuse disorder. Most likely, you will initially need to undergo a detoxification stage where you will be acutely managed and given medication to alleviate the withdrawal side effects and prevent any withdrawal complications. Once you are stabilized and “detoxed” is when you will undergo long-term psychotherapy in a specific level of care such as residential treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient or regular outpatient therapy. Finding a reputable treatment recover center where you feel comfortable and cared for is the most important decision along this journey and is your decision to make. Once you enter treatment, your therapy team will guide you along.

What do I do after therapy?

Successfully completing therapy for alcohol use disorder is a major milestone however practicing the coping skills and the tools in the real world is where the biggest challenge starts. Before you leave therapy, you should make connections within your community in order to find recovery support groups and outpatient therapists who you can rely when after treatment. You may also have to change your home environment and you social circle. For example, if you live with people who drink alcohol, you may not want to be around them when they are drinking. Additionally you should not keep any alcohol bottles in the house. Eventually, you may be strong enough in your sobriety where you can be around others who drink but this can take years, if not longer. You may have to meet new friends who are in recovery and this is why recovery support groups are important.

The following are steps to help you be successful in your sobriety after therapy.

  • Meet sober friends
  • Volunteer
  • Get involved in community
  • Join a support group
  • Help someone else (volunteer)
  • Talk about your recovery
  • Focus on your mental health
  • Focus on your physical health
  • Continue outpatient therapy
  • Have an emergency relapse plan
  • Try a new hobby
  • Keep away from negative people
  • Keep away from alcohol
  • Learn how to say “no” immediately and convincingly