What are my alternatives?

This page summarizes the different programs available for reducing alcohol use.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the 12-Step Program

AA provides self-help advice and discussion group meetings, available every day of the week at local groups around the world. A volunteer organization founded in 1935, AA comprises self-funded independent local groups, run by volunteers following the practice laid down in “The Big Book” written in 1939 that lays out the 12-Step Program. Contributions are limited to $3000 annually. The 12-Step Program leads members to admit they are powerless over alcohol and need help from a “higher power”. They seek guidance and strength through prayer and meditation. The 12-Step Program has been adopted by other organizations notably including many Residential Rehab Centers.

Outcomes data suggest 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. If your local University Hospital has an addiction center you can inquire there to find an addiction specialist; 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 to treat alcohol dependency in people still active at work or school, and patients exiting detox or rehab programs. IOP programs require attendance at the facility four or more hours per day, five days a week, and provide a mixture of educational content and group therapy, with some individual therapy when specifically required.

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

Inpatient Treatment Centers (Rehab)

Rehab treatment is provided at closed residential facilities, typically for a minimum of 28 days, for addicts who have difficulty becoming alcohol-free while living in their community. Rehabs are usually abstinence based 12-step programs and provide all of the services of the IOP in a residential setting.

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

Ria Health

Ria provides medical treatment for alcohol abuse supervised by a physician specializing in alcohol addiction. Treatment is individually adjusted for a patient’s needs, and supported by coaching services and tools for objective measurement (personal breathalyzer) and medication adherence. Individual care plans are based on medications tested in randomized clinical trials wherever possible. Experts recommend a six-month program for behavioral changes to become habitual. Our program includes medical appointments, coaching, blood alcohol tracking and meds reminders delivered through the Ria Health app.