Non Traditional Alternatives to Addiction Treatment

The most common treatment for addiction is a 12 step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous. It is readily available, free of cost, and can be completed without much interruption to daily schedules. The steps are standard which does not allow for a person-centered approach but has worked for millions of people. It does not work; however, for everyone.

An Alternative

People who prefer not to use religion or spirituality can seek a non 12 step addiction treatment program. So, what is non 12 step treatment? There is not one definition that will suffice. In general, it is any program that utilizes a personalized and holistic approach to treating addiction.

That can include a variety of therapies, intense personal or group counseling, the incorporation of scientific data, physical activity and creative challenges. The focus is individual needs, issues, and concerns, as well as building up self-esteem and creating effective coping skills. A non 12 step addiction treatment program also recognizes that mental illness can be the cause or a significant factor of addiction.

Dual Diagnosis

The flexibility of non 12 step treatment programs allows both issues to be addressed at the same time. There are professionals to treat both the mental illness and the addiction for better overall health of the individual. The issues are not separate so should not be treated as such. Professionals can work together in an alternative program to support progress and reinforce overlapping skills. The 12 step approach is rigid and does not provide a solid foundation for dealing with both problems simultaneously.

Possible Barriers

People wishing to participate in an alternative program may have difficulty finding a facility or treatment center close to where they live. That will require travel, being far from loved ones, and an extended period off work. This is not a crucial issue if long-term residential treatment is desired. It would not work as a day or outpatient program.

Cost is another possible barrier. Many insurances will cover some addiction treatment costs up to a certain extent. Check with the insurance company to determine what is covered and what costs would be out of pocket. Those with no health insurance may find participation a financial hardship. Look online for the nearest center and send an email or make a call to discuss scholarships, payment plans, or any financial assistance that is available.

Do Not Hesitate

Regardless of which type of program is chosen, do not hesitate to learn about how to get started. There are local medical facilities that can medically supervise detoxification and counselors who are trained to discuss options and fins openings into treatment programs. Get the alcohol or drugs out of the body first and let professionals help with arrangements from that point onward.


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