Is alcoholism rehab required to overcome alcohol addiction?

No, you don’t need rehab to stop drinking. But rehab can help. We review typical alcoholism rehab programs and what treatment is usually offered here.

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Rehab = psychiatric treatment

Call it what you will… a rehab clinic, in-patient counseling center, or an addiction treatment program. But the truth is, when you are admitted as an in-patient for substance abuse, you’re actually entering a psychiatric institution – no matter how many plush sofas or colorful plants adorn the main lobby.

And to be completely honest, entering a rehab setting for alcoholism or drug problems is a bit of a double-edged sword. There are pros and cons to be considered before making the decision to check out of the real world and into rehab for somewhere between 30 and 90 days. Below is a quick review the relative advantages and disadvantages of rehab to help you make your decision easier. Please leave your questions and comments below.

Alcoholism rehab is costly

While rehab offers addicts a save haven from the outside world, it’s also expensive. According to one recent study, the average cost for a 28-day stay in an American rehab is $25,166.00. That comes to a whopping $898.00 per day. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have great health insurance, or you’re rich and famous, there’s a good chance that rehab is not an option.

Most alcohol rehabs include complementary treatments

Still, if you can afford rehab, it’s a good idea to know just how much bang you’re getting for your buck. Most rehabs offer a combination of group therapy counseling (psychological/psychiatric) along with AA’s 12 Step approach to overcoming addiction. The problem with receiving psychological counseling in a 30-day program is that a month is just about enough time to identify the issues which drive one’s addiction – or the problems behind the problem of addiction – but do very little to solve them. Understandably, professional counseling requires lots of money and months, or even years, in order to be effective.

Rehab should be more than just 12 step programs

On the other hand, there’s no point in spending $28,000.00 for a rehab program that is based on the 12 Steps. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings cost nothing to attend and are open to anyone. For those that prefer not to attend meetings or join support groups, the 12 Steps Big Book can be found online or at your local library, at no cost. There are also many recovery forums, relapse prevention outlines and Facebook addiction recovery groups available online, as well, which offer a multitude of support and information for anyone struggling with addiction.

While a rehab environment does offer struggling addicts a safe haven from the outside world, it also comes with a hefty price tag. The newly recovering addict must still walk out the door and face the world alone, when all is said and done.

About the author
Dan Farish lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, where he works as an author, spiritual counselor and addiction recovery coach, helping others overcome their battle with addiction.To learn more, or to read free book chapters from his new book: 3 Steps To Recovery, please visit his website.


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  1. If you are going to attend one of these costly rehabs ask to see their PROVEN stats on the efficacy of their program. The Sinclair Method has over 70 clinical trials showing 78% effacacy/cure rate. It works by blocking reward center in brain (endorphins) using Naltrexone while continuing to drink. it is based on Pavlorin theory. Pavlor was awarded Nobel Prize for showing. How behavior is learned and unlearned. By taking 50mg of Naltrexone one hour before first drink of the day, endorphenes are blocked so there is no “reward” felt from alcohol. Gradually, over a period of 2-4 months desire for alcohol goes away. Person can choose to never drink again or drink now and then as long as they ALWAYS take their Naltrexone one hour before they drink. IT WORKS! Why is this treatment not more widely known? Could it have something to do with these facts? Recovery industry is a 6.2 billion $ industry now and 50% of monies earned by alcohol industry comes from heavy drinkers and alcoholics. So these powerful groups have too much to lose! Read book The Cure for Alcoholism by Roy Eskapa PHD and see video One Little Pill and make up your own mind on this treatment before you waste time and money on rehab programs.

  2. Hello HK. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Rehab is a good start to recovery, but not necessary, as shown in your case!

  3. I.m a recovering alcoholic of 14yrs come Sept 14th, 1 day @ a time through the grace of God & AA, Rehab wasnt an option for me, unable to afford it, also wasnt practical,I dont feel I missed out on anything by not doing it, it make me take AA very serious in early recovery, known that all that was available

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