The 12-step program is the leading alcohol dependency treatment method in the U.S, if not the world.
This is not so. There are many other treatments for alcohol dependency that can be undertaken either alongside the 12 steps or independent of it.
If you are thinking of treatment then it is essential that you are aware of all of your options. I am not anti-AA, I am merely of the opinion that there are other ways of treating alcoholism that are just as, if not more effective than Alcoholics Anonymous.
This page will guide you through the process of looking for alcohol dependency treatment and point you in the direction of the different options open to you.
Before even contemplating types of and options for alcohol dependency treatment, you need to take stock of your drinking.
The best way to do this is to take an alcoholism test.
Although not foolproof these tests can give you a pretty accurate picture of your drinking status, in other words, tell you if you have something to worry about.
If an alcoholism test confirms your fears, a visit to your physicians is a must. He or she will conduct a complete physical check up as prolonged alcohol abuse can cause a myriad of health problems. On top of this your physician will also ask you questions in order to learn about your drinking habits.
From the physical exam and the information you provide, your doctor should be able to give you a diagnosis and make suggestions as to the next step.
For those in the initial stages of alcoholism (for a more detailed examination of the first symptoms of alcoholism read First Signs of Alcoholism) or the mid-stages of alcoholism your options are many.
The main thing to keep in mind is that it is your choice. Do not let people force you to take an alcohol dependency treatment option that you are reticent to. If you do, the chances are that it will not be successful. keep your options open, if one treatment does not work, move on to another.
When it comes to the latter stage of alcoholism, your options are curtailed. End stage alcoholism is characterized by severe physical and mental decline. You have been drinking so long that the habit has become so much a part of who you are that the chances of alcohol dependency treatment being successful have seriously diminished.
Your doctor/physician will suggest a course of action to you and I would strongly suggest that you take it. Usually this will involve a stay in a general or psychiatric hospital, the reason being that you will need to be closely monitored while you undergo alcoholism detox and then the long road to recovery. If, and there most likely will be, you have serious health issues these will also need to be tended to. For more on this, read End Stage Alcoholism.
Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)
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