Other Treatment Options for Alcohol Use Disorder


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the 12-Step Program

AA is volunteer organization that provides self-help advice, and local support groups. Meetings are available every day of the week, in many different parts of the world. Much of the format of AA is based upon the 12 Step Program, under which members are lead to admit that they are powerless over alcohol, and need help from a “higher power.” Prayer and meditation help to guide people towards their goals. Because AA groups are self-funded, there is no set cost for the program, but contributions are limited to $3000 annually. These meetings can provide a helpful community, but they can be difficult for those who don’t agree with the philosophy, and there is little evidence to show that AA is very effective. Despite this, a number of other groups have adopted the 12-Step method, including many Residential Rehab Centers.

Data suggests only 5% to 10% overall success.

Find Your Own Addiction Specialist

“Most doctors are uninformed about this disease and rarely are equipped to offer a diagnosis, provide treatment, or connect patients with appropriate specialty care.” -Drew E. Altman, Chair, CASA Columbia National Advisory Committee on Addiction Treatment.

This might be a challenging search on your own. However, if your local University Hospital has an addiction center, you might be able to find an addiction specialist there. Active centers include U. Penn, Hopkins, U. Michigan, and Columbia.

Treatment with Vivitrol costs about $1000 per month.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Some hospitals and rehab treatment facilities offer intensive outpatient programs. These are usually geared towards people who are still active at work or school, or patients exiting detox or rehab programs. If you are participating in an IOP program, you will often need to be at the facility at least four hours a day, and five days a week. These programs often provide a mixture of group therapy and education, with individual therapy available in certain situations.

IOP treatment costs $5,000 to $10,000.

Inpatient Treatment Centers (Rehab)

Traditional rehab treatment happens at closed residential facilities, and is a common choice for people who struggle to get sober while living in their communities. Rehab programs typically last for a minimum of 28 days, and provide all of the services of the IOP in a residential setting. As part of their program, these facilities usually require abstinence, and the use of the 12 step system is common.

Rehab costs $20,000 to $35,000 per month.

Ria Health

Ria Health provides a variety of treatment options for alcohol use disorder, all supervised by a physician specializing in alcohol addiction. Patient’s get treatment that is customized to their needs, and access to support from coaches via a smartphone app. They can track their progress with a number of tools, including a mobile breathalyzer, to see how they are improving over time. Patient’s can participate from the comfort of their homes, without uprooting their personal lives. Best of all, Ria uses methods proven by science to be effective, including prescription medications that reduce alcohol cravings.