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Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a common, chronic, and progressive medical condition that involves the compulsive consumption of alcohol. Fortunately, highly effective alcohol addiction treatment options are available to people with mild to severe alcohol use disorders. 

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What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism can be defined best as the incapability to control drinking due to physical and emotional dependence on alcohol. Addiction is a chronic disease portrayed by uncontrolled drinking and a preoccupation with alcohol, despite many negative consequences. 

At least 80,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths each year in the United States.

Alcohol remains one of the nation’s most preventable causes of death, second only to tobacco and a poor diet or inactive lifestyle. Alcoholism is classified as a major medical disorder, and drug and alcohol rehab has been proven to treat the condition effectively. Get the alcohol addiction treatment you need.


Our Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center

In any of our alcohol addiction treatment programs, patients will meet with therapists weekly for individual sessions and engage anywhere from 9-25 hours of intensive group therapy per week. 

Patients will learn coping skills, relapse prevention strategies, emotional regulation practices, and life skills.

Furthermore, patients will engage in intense trauma therapy to uncover the underlying issues resulting in their continuous, chronic use of drugs and alcohol. Patients will address medical problems, or mental health diagnoses will have access to medical staff weekly for medication management.

Learn More About Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol rehab is a great way to assist individuals struggling with addiction and who need support and help. Our alcohol addiction treatment program will consider many facts before admission to best meet the needs of the individual seeking treatment. These facts include concepts such as how long the individual has been using alcohol, the individual’s age, and other co-occurring disorders present.

We have trained addiction professionals ready to assist with setting your loved one up with medical detox to help manage withdrawal symptoms safely from alcohol and arrange continued ongoing care.

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we offer various programs to help individuals work through their alcohol addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Certain medications such as anti-cravings drugs may be integrated into treatment to help reduce cravings for alcohol based on medical assessments. Some medications that can help in alcohol addiction treatment include:

  • Naltrexone to reduce the urge to drink. It works by blocking the receptors in the brain that make people feel good when they drink. 
  • Acamprosate (Campral) helps reduce cravings and urges to drink alcohol. 
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse) discourages people from drinking, causing unpleasant symptoms, like nausea, if they decide to drink. 

Learn more about medication-assisted treatment.

Alcohol Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Many individuals seek continued care after residential care and enroll in intensive outpatient programs or IOP. IOP is ideal for individuals who want to continue alcohol addiction treatment and need the flexibility to return to work, school, family, or sober living. Learn more about our alcohol intensive outpatient treatment program.

Alcohol Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is provided as aftercare services once an individual has completed alcohol rehab. Individual and group therapy will be provided based on an individual’s ongoing needs. Learn more about our alcohol aftercare treatment program.

Another outpatient setting is known as partial hospitalization programs (PHP). This is an intensive form of outpatient care that lets patients live at home while attending treatment for up to 10 hours a day. It can be beneficial for those unable to commit to an inpatient stay but still require a highly intensive level of care.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Some of the most apparent symptoms of alcoholism include repeated alcohol consumption despite related legal and health issues. Physical symptoms may include blackouts, dizziness, shakiness, craving, sweating, among others. 

There are some apparent behavioral and mood symptoms associated with alcoholism, which indicate alcoholism in an individual. People with alcoholism often exhibit aggression, agitation, compulsive behavior, self-destructive behavior, lack of restraint, anxiety, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, or loneliness.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says a physician may diagnose someone with a mild AUD if they meet 2-3 criteria or signs and symptoms of alcoholism. For a moderate AUD, 4-6 criteria and six or more for a severe AUD occurring within 12 months. 

The APA’s diagnostic signs and symptoms of an AUD include:

  • Using alcohol more frequently or in higher amounts than intended
  • Being unable to stop drinking despite attempts
  • Spending significant amounts of time getting, drinking, and recovering from the effects of alcohol
  • Experiencing cravings or strong desires to drink
  • Failing to fulfill obligation at work, school, or home due to alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink alcohol despite social or relationship problems
  • Giving up or reducing the amount of time spent at work, school, or in social interactions due to alcohol use
  • Repeated episodes of drinking at times when it’s dangerous such as while driving
  • Continuing to drink despite physical or psychological problems
  • Experiencing tolerance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or cut back

Not Sure If You Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?

Take Our Alcoholism Self-Assessment

Take our free, 3-minute alcohol abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of short questions designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is required to see the results. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. 

What Causes Alcohol Addiction?

Some people are at higher risk of developing alcohol addiction. It depends on how much, how often, and how quickly they consume alcohol. In addition, biological, psychological, and social influences play a role in the development of AUDs. Common risk factors that may lead to someone developing alcohol use disorder include:

  • Genetics
  • Family history of addiction
  • Parental drinking patterns
  • Trauma
  • Drinking alcohol at an early age

Certain mental health disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and antisocial personality disorder, pose a higher risk of developing a co-occurring alcohol use disorder. Some studies suggest that schizophrenia, depression, and personality disorders are also predisposing factors for AUDs. This means that if a person has one or more of these psychiatric conditions, they may have an increased risk of alcoholism.

Behavioral Therapies for Alcohol Abuse

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs provide various treatment services that can help treat AUDs. These therapies may include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): evidence-based psychotherapy focuses on helping people identify and change negative thoughts and unhelpful behaviors that contribute to their addiction. CBT teaches people healthier and more effective coping mechanisms to deal with stress and develop the skills they need to prevent relapse. 
  • Motivational interview therapy (MI): a short-term therapy to motivate patients to reduce or stop drinking patterns. They’re encouraged to make positive changes. This form of therapy helps patients identify the benefits and disadvantages of treatment, make a solid plan to change their behaviors, increase their confidence, and develop the skills necessary to develop recovery-related goals. 
  • Family therapy: is a form of psychotherapy that involves a patient’s family members and loved ones in therapy sessions./ This form of treatment can help rebuild strained relationships while also addressing any issues that may have developed within the family unit due to the patient’s drinking habits. 

Lighthouse Recovery Institute is a leading provider of alcohol rehab programs in South Florida. We offer a range of tailored, personalized programs that are designed to address your specific needs. This includes programs that address co-occurring psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorders. 

All of our programs use research-backed therapies, including CBT, motivational interviewing, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to treat trauma, motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and more.

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Aftercare and Long-Term Recovery

Recovery from alcohol addiction is often a long-term process that doesn’t end with treatment. After completing a rehabilitation program for alcohol use disorder, most people choose to enroll in some aftercare program. 

Aftercare offers long-term, ongoing treatment support to help prevent relapse and help people transition back into sobriety. Patients can choose to participate in different forms of aftercare, including:

  • Stay in a therapeutic community (TC), where patients live with others in recovery as they re-enter sober life
  • Keep individual counseling to continue learning coping mechanisms to remain sober.
  • Attend group therapy with others who are also in early recovery
  • Join a mutual support group, such as 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, or non-step groups like SMART Recovery
  • Attend couples or family therapy to address underlying issues and continue to work on rebuilding these relationships

Frequently Asked Questions About Alcoholism Treatment

What types of professionals are involved in treatment?

Different types of medical professionals can participate in treatment for alcohol addiction, including:

  • Primary care providers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists
  • Alcohol counselors 

What is the cost of rehab for alcoholism?

The price for treatment varies between treatment facilities, patients, method of payment, and the type of rehab program you choose. Lighthouse Recovery Institute is in-network with many private health insurance companies that might cover the total cost of alcohol rehab. 

Tips for finding the best alcohol treatment

Finding the best treatment center involves making phone calls to understand the services and types of treatments offered by the different centers. Look at reviews online to learn what other patient’s experiences have been like. When calling a rehab center, always ask about what they expect from the patient, measure treatment success, address relapse while in treatment, and their treatment plans. 

Can your body and brain repair themselves from alcohol abuse?

Sometimes. Over time, some of the detrimental effects of alcohol can be repaired with sobriety and treatment. Most people with an AUD show some degree of improvement in brain structure and functioning within a year of abstinence, but it can take longer in some instances.

When do I know I need help?

Usually, if your drinking habits are negatively impacting your life in any way, that means you should consider professional treatment. It’s always a good idea to discuss alcohol addiction with your physician; they can help you diagnose the problem and refer you to the right medical progressional to begin treatment. 

How addictive is alcohol?

Alcohol affects people very differently. Some people drink heavily and never develop an alcohol use disorder.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that most people who drink heavily (9 out of 10) don’t meet the criteria for an AUD. One in eight American adults, or 12.7 percent of the U.S. population, now meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder.

insurance for drug and alcohol rehab

Does Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab?

Insurance plans will cover some or all the cost of alcohol rehab programs. Individual insurance companies each have their criteria and medical necessity guidelines.

If you or a loved one are considering entering alcohol addiction treatment and looking to obtain detailed information about your insurance plan, call our trained and compassionate staff today to learn about your insurance plan’s behavioral health care coverage.

Related Topics


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2020). Understanding alcohol use disorder.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (fifth ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. What are the symptoms of alcohol use disorder?

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2015). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) series, No. 45. HHS publication no.(SMA) 15-4131. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of drug addiction treatment: a research-based guide (third edition): alcohol addiction.

McKay, J. R. (2009). Continuing care research: what we have learned and where we are going. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 36(2), 131–145.

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