New Choices Treatment Center Logo

Alcohol Addiction Treatment: Pathways
to Recovery and Support for Alcohol Use Disorder

Discover alcohol addiction treatment at New Choices Treatment Center, including holistic and evidence-based approaches.


Alcohol Addiction: A Persistent Challenge Across the U.S.

Alcohol addiction is a persistent challenge across the United States, and San Antonio is no exception. According to a 2022 survey, 29.5 million people in the U.S. struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD). This translated into roughly 10.5% of the population aged 12 and above.1

In Texas specifically, the numbers are even more concerning. In 2022, 16.5% of adults in the state engaged in regular binge drinking.2
As a result, 1162 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes.3
alcohol addiction treatment

Underscoring the Need for Alcohol Addiction Treatment

These numbers point to a critical need for effective alcohol addiction treatment options. The community must address this widespread challenge with accessible treatment programs to help people overcome addiction and lead healthier lives.

NCTC: Pioneering Holistic Solutions for Alcohol Addiction Treatment

New Choices Treatment Center (NCTC) in San Antonio stands at the forefront of combating AUD by adopting a holistic approach to recovery. We aim to redefine the path to sobriety and make recovery a more accessible and sustainable process for those struggling with alcohol dependence.

We recognize that each person’s journey to recovery is unique and requires more than just traditional methods. That is why we integrate a variety of therapeutic modalities to address all aspects of our clients’ health.
These include:
  • Life skills
  • Fitness
  • Healthy living

Purpose: Navigating Effective Alcohol Addiction Treatment Recovery Strategies

This article explores core strategies for effectively overcoming alcohol addiction. It draws insights from NCTC’s holistic approach, which includes:

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

AUD is an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite knowing the consequences. The diagnosis is based on a person’s pattern of alcohol consumption that leads to significant distress or dysfunction.

Signs and Symptoms of AUD

AUD exists on a spectrum, ranging from mild to severe. People with AUD may exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
  • A strong need or urge to drink alcohol
  • Inability to stop drinking once it begins
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like sweating and shaking when not drinking
  • Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home
  • Giving up or reducing social, occupational, or recreational activities
  • Consuming alcohol in physically dangerous situations, such as while driving or operating machinery
  • Drinking despite knowing it’s worsening a physical or psychological problem
  • Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of alcohol
Recognizing these symptoms is a critical step toward seeking help for AUD.

The Complex Nature of Addiction

The development of alcohol addiction is influenced by a complex interplay of factors, including:

Psychological Factors

Addiction often starts with the desire to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression. People may turn to alcohol as a temporary escape from reality or to manage negative emotions.
Over time, this can develop into a psychological dependence where the person feels unable to function normally without alcohol.

Physiological Factors

Physiologically, alcohol affects the brain’s reward system by releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and satisfaction.
Regular consumption alters the brain’s chemistry, leading to tolerance and dependence. This means the person needs to consume more alcohol to achieve the same effect. As they increase their alcohol intake, the risk of addiction increases.

Binge Drinking Culture

Social norms that glorify heavy drinking can create a misleading perception that such behavior is harmless or even expected in certain social settings. This can make it easier for people to slip into unhealthy patterns of consumption.
Pressure from peers to drink heavily can be a significant risk factor. The desire to fit in or be seen as cool can lead people to consume alcohol beyond their comfort level.

Health Consequences of Alcohol Addiction

Chronic alcohol use can have a devastating impact on a person’s physical and mental health. Some of the potential consequences include:

Liver Damage

The liver is primarily responsible for processing alcohol, making it especially susceptible to damage from chronic alcohol drinking.
This can lead to serious conditions, including:
  • Fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis, stemming from inflammation and swelling of the liver
  • Cirrhosis, where healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue
Notably, 46% of 98,457 liver disease deaths in 2022 were associated with alcohol.4

Increased Cancer Risk

Alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of developing cancers of the:
  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Esophagus
  • Liver
  • Colon
  • Breast
Recent estimates indicate that in the U.S., 5.6% of all new cancer cases and 4% of cancer deaths each year are directly attributable to alcohol consumption.5

Cardiovascular Issues

Alcohol addiction puts significant strain on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of:
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure

Nutritional Deficiencies

Alcohol interferes with the body’s absorption of nutrients, leading to essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
This can:
  • Weaken the immune system
  • Increase susceptibility to infections
  • Contribute to various health complications

Corresponding Mental Health Challenges

The relationship between alcohol addiction and mental health is a complex and cyclical one. Below are some important points to consider in this regard:


Many people with anxiety and depression drink alcohol as a coping mechanism. Alcohol initially provides a sense of relief, but the effects are temporary. Heavy drinking can often worsen these conditions in the long run.

Chemical Imbalance

Alcohol disrupts the brain’s chemistry, affecting neurotransmitters that regulate mood, behavior, and cognition.
This disruption can contribute to the development of new mental health problems, such as:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Cognitive decline

Therapeutic Interventions in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Addressing alcohol addiction requires a multifaceted approach that tackles physical, psychological, and environmental factors contributing to the condition.
Our alcohol addiction treatment program at NCTC combines various modalities with personalized care plans to meet each client’s needs.

Evidence-Based Approaches to Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Evidence-based approaches are central to effective alcohol addiction treatment at NCTC. Some of the most common among them are:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

CBT is a cornerstone of alcohol addiction treatment. It focuses on the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Therapists work with clients to:
  1. Identify negative thought patterns: Many people struggling with addiction engage in distorted thinking patterns that fuel their desire to drink. CBT helps them identify these patterns, such as catastrophizing or all-or-nothing thinking.
  2. Challenge distorted beliefs: Once unhelpful thought patterns are identified, therapists guide clients in challenging their validity and developing more realistic and empowering beliefs.
  3. Develop coping skills: CBT equips people with practical strategies to manage cravings, cope with stress, and navigate triggers without resorting to alcohol. These skills might include relaxation techniques, assertiveness training, or problem-solving exercises.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

In some cases, medication can be a valuable addition to therapy. MAT aims to:
  • Reduce cravings: Medications can help lessen the urge to drink and alleviate withdrawal discomfort. This makes it easier to focus on therapy and recovery goals. Alcohol addiction treatment typically involves medications such as naltrexone and acamprosate.
  • Support abstinence: By managing cravings and withdrawal, MAT allows clients to focus on the cognitive and behavioral aspects of recovery with greater clarity and less disruption.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

DBT was originally developed in the late 1970s to treat borderline personality disorder. However, since then, it has been adapted for other uses, including alcohol addiction.

DBT in alcohol addiction treatment focuses on helping clients build skills in four key areas:


DBT teaches people to be fully present in the moment. This can help them avoid impulsive decisions to drink.

Distress Tolerance

DBT helps develop strategies to endure uncomfortable situations without resorting to alcohol. This skill is crucial for managing situations that might trigger a relapse.

Emotion Regulation

DBT teaches clients how to manage and control intense emotions that can lead to heavy drinking. Through this, they learn to recognize and adjust their emotional responses. This ultimately reduces their reliance on alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

DBT emphasizes improving interpersonal skills. This helps:
  • Enhance communication
  • Assertiveness
  • Conflict handling without alcohol
By building stronger relationships and social support, people can create a stable environment that fosters sustained recovery in alcohol addiction treatment.

Holistic Modalities in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Holistic modalities address not only the physical symptoms of addiction but also the psychological and spiritual aspects.
Some of the most common holistic modalities utilized in our programs include:


Yoga combines physical postures, breath control, and meditation. It enhances physical flexibility, improves mental focus, and promotes emotional calm.

In the context of alcohol addiction treatment, yoga serves several critical functions, including:

Stress Reduction

Chronic stress is a major trigger for relapse. Yoga’s focus on mindful breathing and gentle movement helps to calm the nervous system and promote relaxation. This reduces stress levels and cravings associated with alcohol.

Improved Sleep

Alcohol disrupts sleep patterns, and poor sleep can exacerbate cravings. Yoga practices can promote better sleep quality, leading to increased energy and improved mood, both crucial for recovery.

Body Awareness

Addiction can disconnect people from their bodies. Yoga postures and mindful movement help clients reconnect with their bodies and develop a sense of self-compassion. This encourages a healthier relationship with themselves.

Increased Self-Esteem

Learning new skills and achieving goals can be empowering during alcohol addiction treatment. Mastering yoga poses can boost self-confidence and provide a sense of accomplishment. This contributes to a more positive self-image.

Meditation in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Meditation cultivates a state of deep relaxation and inner peace. Regular meditation practice can offer significant benefits for those struggling with alcohol addiction, including:

Mindfulness and Awareness

Meditation teaches people to pay close attention to their thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help stop the automatic reactions to cravings or negative feelings that often lead to relapse.

Emotional Control

Practicing meditation during alcohol addiction treatment regularly helps people manage their emotions better. It calms anxiety and reduces how quickly they react to stress. This is crucial for those recovering from alcohol addiction, as it reduces the need to use alcohol to cope.

Improved Focus and Clear Thinking

Meditation helps sharpen the mind and improve focus, which can be weakened by alcohol use. Better concentration can help improve relationships and work performance.

Feeling Connected to Something Bigger

Spiritual aspects of meditation help people feel connected to a larger purpose in life. This sense of a bigger picture can motivate people to stay on the path to recovery.

Art Therapy in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Art therapy is a creative form of expression used in alcohol addiction treatment. It allows clients to express their thoughts and feelings through art. The therapy helps them understand their emotions and manage them, which in turn provides a therapeutic outlet for stress and anxiety.

Non-Verbal Expression

Art therapy offers a way to express complex emotions without words. This can be particularly helpful for those who struggle to articulate their feelings or who experience emotional blockages that can contribute to addiction.

Stress Relief

Artistic activities like drawing, painting, or sculpting can significantly reduce stress. Through these activities, clients can focus on positive things instead of cravings.

Enhanced Self-Discovery

Various artistic activities help clients:
  • Explore different aspects of themselves
  • Uncover hidden emotions
  • Reflect on their recovery journey
This process of self-discovery can lead to greater self-awareness and insight, which are important for personal growth and healing.

Building Resilience in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

A crucial aspect of NCTC’s alcohol addiction treatment program is equipping clients with the tools to prevent relapse and navigate challenges.
These include:

Relapse Prevention Techniques

In alcohol addiction treatment, our clients learn to identify specific situations, emotions, or people that trigger the urge to drink. We help them create a plan to follow when this urge unexpectedly occurs.
This relapse prevention plan can include:
  • Calling a supportive friend
  • Engaging in a distracting activity
  • Practicing relaxation techniques
Qualified therapists constantly engage with each client to ensure they focus on their recovery plans. Our goal is to keep them on track by giving them regular feedback and guidance. This helps us address any emerging challenges promptly.

Coping Strategies

At NCTC, we help clients build resilience against relapse using coping strategies. These include:

Stress Management Techniques

Stress is a significant trigger for relapse. We equip our clients with different stress management techniques, including deep breathing exercises and regular physical exercises.
Each of these techniques helps to:
  • Calm their mind
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Decreases the physical symptoms of stress

Developing a Structured Routine

A chaotic lifestyle can be a hotbed for triggers. To combat this, we assist our clients in establishing a structured daily routine that includes time for:
  • Work or productive activities
  • Regular meals
  • Physical activity
  • Relaxation
  • Social interactions
The presence of routine stabilizes their daily lives. It also integrates healthy habits that support their physical and emotional well-being.

Nutritional Guidance

Proper nutrition plays a critical role in recovery. Alcohol misuse often leads to nutritional deficiencies that can affect physical health and emotional stability.
Our program includes nutritional counseling to help clients understand and implement a balanced diet, which can improve mood, energy levels, and overall health.

The Role of Family Involvement in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

NCTC recognizes that addiction is a family disease. The effects of alcohol dependence impact not only the person struggling but also their loved ones.
For this reason, we prioritize family involvement throughout the recovery process through:

Family Therapy

Family therapy sessions help improve communication skills within the family. In these sessions, family members express their feelings and thoughts in a safe and controlled environment.

Addiction often breeds conflict and misunderstanding within the family. Family therapy provides tools and techniques for constructively resolving these conflicts. This encourages a healthier family dynamic.

Educating Families

A key part of family therapy involves teaching family members about addiction as a real medical condition, not just a bad behavior. This helps them understand that addiction affects the brain and body in complex ways. It also teaches that alcohol addiction is not about lacking willpower or moral strength.
When family members know the science behind addiction, they can better understand it. This enables them to support their loved ones with more empathy and less judgment.

Creating a Supportive Home Environment

Family therapy builds a strong support network necessary for the client’s recovery. The goal is to teach the family how they can help effectively without encouraging addiction.

This includes:
  • Setting clear and healthy limits
  • Improving how everyone communicates
  • Learning how to handle the challenges that come with recovery
This strengthened support network does more than just help prevent relapse. It helps strengthen the family bonds and prepares for both good and bad times during alcohol addiction treatment.

NCTC's Approach to Alcohol Addiction Treatment

At NCTC, we understand that every client’s journey to sobriety is unique. Our comprehensive treatment approach emphasizes personalized care, tailoring treatment plans to address the specific needs and circumstances of each client.

Easy Rehab Admission at NCTC

Starting the journey to recovery can be daunting. However, NCTC is here to make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible.
Here’s how we ensure a streamlined entry into our program:

Accessible Online Information

Our website provides detailed information about our admissions process. Visit our admissions page to learn more about how to begin.

Guided Assistance

From your first contact with us, our admissions team guides you every step of the way. They are available to answer all your questions, help you understand what to expect, and assist you in preparing for your treatment.

Quick Response Time

We respond promptly to all inquiries because we know the importance of timely support. Our goal is to facilitate immediate action toward recovery.

Assistance with Insurance and Payment Options

We work with you to navigate insurance coverage and explore financial options to ensure financial concerns do not hinder your path to recovery.

We work with most insurance carriers, including:

  • Aetna  
  • Aetna CVS 
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield  
  • Cigna/Evernorth  
  • HealthNet
  • Magellan Healthcare  
  • Ambetter 
  • Multiplan
  • Tricare EAST- Humana
  • MHN/HealthNet
  • Imagine
  • First Health
  • Zellis
If your insurance plan does not cover alcohol addiction, we provide alternatives, including cash payments, to ensure you get the help you need.

Comprehensive Assessment

Upon admission, a team of experienced professionals conducts a thorough assessment. This enables us to craft a personalized treatment plan tailored to each client’s needs.
The key components of our assessment plan include:
  • Initial screening
  • Medical evaluation
  • Mental health assessment
  • Social and environment review
This comprehensive assessment forms the foundation for developing a personalized treatment plan.

Detoxification to Safely Manage Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person who has been drinking heavily stops their alcohol intake, their body may experience withdrawal symptoms due to the sudden absence of alcohol.
Detoxification is the critical first step, where we focus on safely managing the physical symptoms that occur as the body withdraws from alcohol. This includes medically supervised detox programs and possibly medication.
These symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Tremors and shakes
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • In severe cases, hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs)

Residential Treatment Versus Outpatient Treatment

Following detox, clients may benefit from either residential or outpatient treatment programs. The choice between inpatient and outpatient treatment depends on several factors, including:
  • The severity of the addiction
  • Physical and mental health
  • Support system
  • Daily responsibilities

Residential Treatment

This intensive program provides 24/7 care and support in a structured environment. It is ideal for people with:
  • Severe addictions
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders
  • A high risk of relapse
Inpatient programs offer a safe and controlled space to focus solely on recovery without the distractions of daily life and temptations that could result in relapse.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs allow clients to live at home and maintain much of their daily routine, such as work or school. However, they are required to attend treatment sessions at scheduled times.

Since relapse is very common in people with alcohol addiction, this option is only recommended for those who have a strong support system at home.

alcohol addiction treatment

Challenges and Solutions in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Despite significant advancements in treatment approaches, alcohol addiction remains a complex and challenging issue.
The following are some key obstacles and potential solutions:

High Relapse Rates

The relapse rate for alcohol addiction is between 45% to 56%.6 To prevent relapse, it is necessary to follow a comprehensive approach to treatment.
This includes:
  • Taking part in ongoing support groups
  • Continuous counseling
  • Practicing holistic modalities
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Many people with alcohol addiction also suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders. These include:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
According to a 2022 survey, 21.5 million U.S. adults have a co-occurring condition.7 In Texas, 13.1% of opioid overdose deaths from 2010 to 2019 also involved alcohol.8
At New Choices Treatment Center, we’re committed to challenging these statistics with comprehensive, whole-person, and accessible treatment opportunities.
Together, we can create a healthier community — one individual at a time.

NCTC’s Approach to Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Therapists at NCTC are trained to address the specific needs of people with dual diagnoses. Our treatment plans integrate evidence-based therapies for addiction alongside appropriate treatment modalities for any co-occurring mental health conditions.

Social Stigma

The stigma surrounding addiction can be a significant barrier to seeking help. Fear of judgment, shame, and social isolation often prevent people from entering treatment.
NCTC tackles this challenge by:
  • Promoting education and awareness
  • Creating a safe and supportive environment
  • Offering a wide range of programs to suit individual needs

Accessibility to Treatment

Access to alcohol addiction treatment can be limited due to location, cost, or lack of resources. To address this, NCTC is working on:
  • Providing more flexible payment options
  • Collaborating with insurance companies to cover more services
  • Increasing the availability of outpatient and community-based programs 

Maintaining Long-Term Sobriety

Maintaining long-term sobriety is often the most challenging part of recovery. To support sustained sobriety, ongoing care and support are necessary.
This can include:
  • Taking part in alumni groups
  • Continuous outpatient therapy
  • Engagement in sober activities and communities

Take the First Step in Alcohol Addiction Treatment with NCTC

The journey to overcome alcohol addiction begins with a single, courageous step forward. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependence, NCTC is here to guide you toward recovery and a healthier future.

Contact us today to get started on the path to sobriety with our alcohol addiction treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, our compassionate staff will be able to assist you confidentially.

At NCTC, we are committed to providing the tools, support, and care needed to help you reclaim your life from alcohol addiction. Let’s begin the road toward a sober future together. Give us a call today to get started.