Our goal with Drinker’s Helper has always been to help people before they reach the point of needing rehab, or to continue helping them upon completion of a successful rehab stint.
However, we did some basic research to understand what goes on in such programs, and wanted to share our findings with you.
We should caveat this by saying we did not dive deep into any of the particular rehab centers, so their specific programs may be very different from what we describe.
It’s actually the less popular option among formal treatment. According to Sober For Good, 90% of all addiction treatment in the US is actually outpatient, where you continue to live at home and go to a program during the day. Inpatient programs are the ones you’ve probably heard of or seen celebrities go to. Their advantage is that you live at the center, and it’s an important part of ensuring you stick with the program (you’re free of temptation, around others who are also avoiding those substances). Outpatient is cheaper, and has the benefit of making you deal with the situations at home or at work that make you want to drink.
Most programs offer both group and individual counseling. It’s hard to overstate the importance of not feeling alone in this effort; that’s why we have virtual support groups in Drinker’s Helper. Those who give counseling are often former addicts, which means they can empathize with those in treatment rather than coming off as judgmental.
Many are 12-steps based. (If you’re not familiar, this is the Alcoholics Anonymous program). This is not always the case; some focus more on cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy, the two therapies from which we drew our exercises in Drinker’s Helper. But it’s true for 90% of programs.
If you’re interested in formal treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence, there are countless resources available with just a quick scan of Google; the largest national chain is American Addiction Centers.
If you’re not yet at that point, but want to make changes to your drinking, we’d love to help. Drinker’s Helper is an app that offers exercises based on cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy, support groups, tracking, and insights to help people cut back or quit drinking.