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Alternative Alcohol Addiction Treatment—A Recovery Plan That Really Works for You


Alternative Alcohol Addiction Treatment—A Recovery Plan That Really Works for You

Just because a path is well-worn does not make it the best possible means of moving forward. Traditional 12-step recovery programs, while helpful for many, do not work for everyone all of the time. Maybe you’ve tried one before, only to find yourself relapsing shortly thereafter. Or, perhaps you worry that a standardized approach will not provide enough support on an individual level to pull you or a loved one out of the downward spiral of alcohol addiction.

Alternative alcohol addiction treatment options do exist, thankfully. If 12-step programs seem like a poor fit for you, you have a variety of other potentially more suitable paths to choose from—any of which may ultimately lead to the sustainable recovery you seek.

What Are Some Common Alternative Alcohol Addiction Treatments?

So what are these alternative addiction treatment options, and how can they help you break free of alcohol dependence? Below, we’ve compiled a list of a few of the most common holistic and evidence-based therapies that are widely available today.

bubbles iconPeer Recovery Groups

While similar to typical 12-step programs, there are some peer recovery groups that do not follow a standardized “step” program. Instead, they focus on peer support and educating participants on coping skills and creating individual goals. These include programs in networks like SMART Recovery and Secular Organizations for Sobriety, as well as other standalone programs like LifeRing or Women for Sobriety. Support groups may also play an important role in aftercare planning following a more intensive inpatient or outpatient treatment program.

head iconPersonal Therapy

Personal talk therapy options for alcohol addiction treatment often include behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). These therapies emphasize recognizing triggers and addressing underlying issues, as well as practicing healthy coping skills. Acceptance and commitment therapy, as well as positive psychology, have also been found to be helpful for shifting perspectives and building long-term resilience to cravings and triggers.
multiple heads iconGroup Therapy Like peer recovery groups, group therapy offers an opportunity to socialize and connect with others facing struggles and working toward goals that are similar to yours. What’s the difference? Group therapy typically occurs within a clinical environment, while support groups often either rent out a public space or gather online. Support groups may be more informal, led by either a clinician or simply someone who has personal experience with addiction and recovery; group therapy is more structured and must be led by a trained clinician.
homeFamily Therapy Family participation in addiction treatment is often a key piece of the recovery puzzle. Family therapy provides a safe space in which loved ones can express themselves and work through the healing process together. Family therapy also provides an educational opportunity for you and your family to better understand how addiction has affected the family as a whole, and how your loved ones can help you recover without falling into the trap of enabling.
eye iconMindfulness Practices Yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness practices improve mental clarity and focus, as well as emotional stability and physical wellness. In particular, building a mindfulness practice can improve your overall outlook on life, making you less likely to feel a need for alcohol in the first place. Mindfulness can also help you better understand your emotions and reactions in challenging moments, giving you the space and clarity you need to cope in healthier ways, instead of instinctively reaching for a drink.
sun iconExperiential Therapies Experiential therapies, such as art, music, or play therapy, use expressive tools and techniques to revisit and reframe past experiences that may be contributing to an addiction or otherwise hindering the recovery process. These approaches allow individuals to work through denial, guilt, shame, and other difficult emotions related to addiction under the empathetic guidance of a trained professional. Many experiential therapies also include a social element, giving individuals who struggle with direct conversation the opportunity to build connection and trust through artistic or physical expression.

Any one of these approaches may provide adequate support on which to begin building a foundation for lasting recovery. However, just as a toolbox contains a variety of tools, each specially suited to certain applications, so too will the best recovery plans typically include multiple treatment options to provide optimal support.

Building a Recovery Plan That Works for You

The reason comprehensiveness is an important quality in any treatment plan is simple: successful recovery from addiction requires more than one kind of healing. There are physical aspects to consider, such as malnourishment or medical conditions related to heavy drinking. But there are also psychological aspects, including difficult emotions and memories—perhaps even trauma—that may need to be addressed as well. And of course, alcohol abuse can have a strong negative impact on social wellbeing too; there may be personal relationships in need of mending, or unhealthy attachments that need to be severed or minimized. 

No one type of treatment can fully and effectively address all of these factors at once. The benefit of a comprehensive treatment plan is that multiple therapies can be combined in such a way as to do exactly that—give you the support you need to heal from the damage alcohol addiction has wrought on your mind, your body, and your life.

Innovative, Holistic Addiction Treatment

To truly be effective, there is one more thing any alternative addiction treatment plan should be—individualized. No two people share the exact same body or the exact same personal history with alcohol. Even someone who began drinking the same things at the same time may have walked a very different path from yours and may require different treatment options than you will to get well again.

As such, a personal approach is imperative to long-term success. Regardless of whether you’re considering inpatient options or outpatient programs, your care providers should continue to tailor your treatment plan to your unique experiences and recovery goals. The more competently they can match your needs to the right combination of therapies, the more effective treatment—and sustainable recovery—will be.

New Choices Treatment Centers offers an alternative alcohol addiction treatment approach to standard 12-step programs that include inpatient, as well as outpatient options. Our programming is comprehensive and highly personalized to provide the best possible experience for each individual. For more information, reach out to us anytime online or by phone at (726) 888-7003.