Choosing the Right Alcohol Cessation Therapy for You
Posted Sep 30 2008 12:19am
In-House Rehab – Support Group – Confidential Counseling Any form of recovery from alcohol abuse and excessive drinking is a great method if it works for the recipient. However not all forms of treatment are created equal and that’s an important consideration for someone who is in the acute phase of withdrawing from Alcohol. Picture this – you have just gone through a heart wrenching, mind numbing intervention with your family and friends and all you want to do is have a drink and escape to nothingness. You feel like your world is falling apart and you have no control. People around you are making decisions for you that you ordinarily would never let them make. You are weak physically and drained mentally so you succumb to their decision making and begin to let go of your obstinacy and pride. You will accept whatever they feel is best for you because you haven’t got the strength to help yourself at this point.
According to Michael Pearlman M.D. founder of www.FreedomFromAlcohol.com, a confidential alcohol recovery and counseling provider, these situations are all too common but options exist for the alcoholic. “ The treatment for alcoholism is often based on the good fortune of meeting the right people and having the resources and positive intention to seek out what is best for you, as a drinker. The more conscious you are of what would be the most comfortable treatment program for you to start your recovery process, the better it will be for you. ” Pearlman continued, “ Unfortunately many, many alcoholics are forced by circumstances. As such there is not much choice for where they will wind up. However, the recovering excessive drinker or alcoholic will ‘surface’ in their recovery process. There will always be an opportunity to improve and expand upon your treatment choices and options “.
Although situations like the one above are played out on a regular basis, all too frequently when the cognitive abilities of the alcoholic begin returning so to will the stubbornness and pride they so willing gave up to get them to this point. They may not feel comfortable with the choices made for them and in many cases their lives could suffer permanent damage because of the lack of confidentiality and blown secrets that are now out in the open. The impact this can have on their recovery process won’t be fully known for months or even years down the road.
Let’s look at the most commonly used forms of treatment before making a decision on the right one for you.
Social Support Group – A.A. A very popular and well branded form of treatment Alcoholics Anonymous has been helping alcoholics stop drinking since the mid 1930’s. Based on the premise that one alcoholic can help another alcoholic because they know what it is like to be addicted to alcohol. There are no professionals at A.A., only other alcoholics who have been where the new comer is now. These alcoholics have stopped drinking themselves, so problem drinkers coming to A.A. know that recovery is possible because they see people who have done it.
Unlike the other forms of treatment discussed here there is no cost to joining A.A.; only a simple collection after each meeting to help with expenses based on your ability to pay. You become a member of A.A. when you say you are a member. You simply need to have the desire to stop drinking. Alcoholics Anonymous is more suited for the individual who has finished the acute stage of detoxification and requires a plan of action to continue alcohol free.
The advantage of A.A. is that it is a self managed program and will not interfere with your employment and lifestyle.
As an example you could take a couple weeks off of work on sick leave, detoxify to the point of being able to attend meetings regularly and maintain your employment with no one being the wiser. As always it is recommended you have your physician support you during the detoxification phase of your recovery. Doctor Pearlman noted,
“ Depending upon your circumstances, if it’s necessary for you to have inpatient hospitalization for detoxification, with a referral to an intensive outpatient program or outpatient therapeutic counseling specifically for alcohol treatment and / or attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, you would probably be following the usual path of people with this problem “.
Alcoholics Anonymous has helped millions of suffering alcoholics get their lives back and to live alcohol free. Friendships flourish at A.A. because of the familiarity everyone has for the same condition. Everyone is available to help those in need of a hand up in the recovery process and this is comforting for the new A.A. member.
In-house Rehab The 28 day rehabilitation program for the addicted has become the corrective measure of choice for the unruly celebrity to regain lost status. Make a mistake in your career, go to rehab, too much bad press then you must atone for it in rehab. Putting aside all the nonsense, for those seeking addiction assistance in-house rehab is a frequently recommended method of renewal. Not until former first lady Betty Ford attended rehab did it really start to become an alternative form of recovery.
Whether it is for 1 month or 6 months, in-house rehab has helped countless people successfully battle their addictions. The obvious drawbacks are you are sequestered away from your family and loved ones for a prolonged period while you learn how to cope without alcohol. The cost for in-house rehab will be out of the reach for most people unless they have insurance. Even with insurance the coverage may not be enough to sustain adequate treatment time.
The main consideration for some should be that if you are employed, unless you have your employers’ full assurance that it will not affect your job status to seek this form of treatment, alternative treatment options should be considered. If you are trying for full confidentiality from your employer, family and friends than this is not the treatment method of choice. In-house rehab has helped many people live a normal life and the conscientious addict follows up with attendance at A.A. meetings to keep their “recovery tank fueled up!”
Confidential Counseling If Flexibility and one on one therapy is important to the suffering problem drinker than the versatility and customization of treatment private counseling delivers may be an option. Where confidentiality is a major issue for someone seeking a recovery program, this choice should be considered. The right practitioner who is experienced with alcohol recovery can assist their patient in the entire recovery process from detoxification to life coaching and behavioral therapy to get the most out of recovery and learn to live a more fulfilling life without the burden of alcohol.
When choosing a therapist it would be optimum to find someone who has actual first hand experience with alcoholic behavior and has successfully treated many patients. The ideal counselor will be able to prescribe a medication program if necessary to treat the gnawing symptoms of withdrawal and prescribe anti-craving medication as an ongoing therapy for as long as needed.
Treating the mind as well as the body is imperative for successful long term recovery so your counselor should have a plan of action concerning your mental and emotional well being in the short to long term. Learning how to live clean and sober is an ongoing process that will be enhanced with private counseling.
Confidentiality is the main reason many choose this method of recovery. The patient wishes to keep their drinking problem private and yet take advantage of top notch treatment. The individual who chooses this form of therapy is likely a self motivated individual who has a determined stubbornness that at this critical time in their life can be used to their full advantage during the healing process.
Whichever form of treatment you choose make sure it offers what you will need to maintain your sobriety and enable you to comfortably continue your long term recovery. Framingham, MA based Michael Pearlman, M.D. has the last word on treatment choices.
“ If you have the wherewithal and the means to pick and choose your treatment options you may want to inquire from your physician, friends or family who are familiar with the disease of alcoholism, what some of the options are that they and or family members have pursued ” continuing, “ I think, in summary, the more capable you are (or your ‘alcoholism’ allows you) of making decisions on your own behalf, the more discerning you can be. Then, perhaps, the more effective the choice of treatment program will be for you “.
To set up an appointment with Michael Pearlman, M.D., Call 1 (866) 285-3400 toll-free or (617) 620-2230,