For someone looking back on our society from several hundred years in the future, one of the paradoxes they’ll note is the proliferation of facilities dedicated to the treatment of alcohol abuse, at the same time that alcohol is widely sold and its use so socially acceptable. One of the failings of our era might very well be that so many of our citizens have fallen into the spiral of alcohol abuse at the same time that so many treatment options are available, if only they knew to seek out help.
In reality, things aren’t quite so cut and dried. Alcohol is a drug with a long history and its use has been ingrained in our culture dating back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Banning its use was tried in the US for more than a decade starting in the 1920s, but the only real effect Prohibition had was to drive consumption underground and give rise to criminal elements that grew wealthy from selling illegal liquor. Given the ubiquitous nature of alcohol today -try going to a restaurant, dinner party, and BBQ or baseball game without having alcohol served all around you- banning it isn’t a realistic option, so treatment of those who have developed a dependency is the most likely solution.
Unfortunately, the existence of uncounted clinics and Alcohol Treatment centers does not necessarily mean that the people who need help are finding their way to the right facility. There’s a wide range of treatment options ranging from spiritual to holistic and clinical, with everything in between. Choosing a treatment method that suits the patient is critical to their success. Geographical location comes into play, as does the focus of the program; for example, a clinic may specialize in treating heroin addiction, but also offer services for alcoholics. In some cases, a center that focuses on alcoholism will offer the best chance of success, compared to rehabs that offer it as only one of their many options. And the reality is, not all centers offer the same quality of care either. Drug and alcohol treatment can be seen as a lucrative field for some, so knowing which treatment centers are well-established, successful and in it for the long term is valuable information for a prospective patient. Choosing the clinic that will be the right fit for the patient becomes critical, something that hasn’t been easy to do in the past. There are now web sites that act as online directories, providing comprehensive listings for treatment options.
Having the information available to make an informed choice may go a long way toward reversing some of the grim statistics.