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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Other Treatment Options for Alcoholism?

05/15/2009

Question:

I am desperate to find a treatment center that is science based. I have attended 12-step programs and followed the programs to the "T". I cannot shake the cravings. I desperately need a treatment plan based on science and medicine. I admit I am an alcoholic and hate it. I know its destroying my family and myself and hate it but the 12-step program just isn’t the answer for me. I have blue shield blue cross PPO insurance and Medicare A. My wife works for United Airlines so I can fly anywhere in the world the right program. Can you please help refer me to a treatment program? I also suffer from depression and bipolar has been discussed as a condition but not actually diagnosed. I have spent days researching on the internet and I am not finding what I am looking for. Thank you very much!

Answer:

Treatment programs vary widely in their emphasis on medical vs. psychosocial treatment. In most cases, combining medical treatment with psychosocial treatment (like counseling and 12-steps) gives an individual the best chance at managing alcoholism.

Many physicians and psychiatrists are committed to treating alcoholism in a balanced and integrated way. One group is known as ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) and a searchable list of their members can be found here: www.asam.org/MemberDirectorytest.cfm

Another group is known as AAAP (American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry) and access to referrals can be found here: http://www.aaap.org/patient-referral-program

Finally, there is a national database of mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment that can be found here (I suggest you limit your search to places that treat both mental illness and addiction): http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

It is important to ask the treatment center if they offer disulfiram, naltrexone, acamprosate, naltrexone-injectable, topiramate, and other science-based treatments for alcoholism.

Good luck to you. If you would like to discuss offline, please write back and let me know.

For more information:

Go to the Addiction and Substance Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Christina M Delos Reyes, MD Christina M Delos Reyes, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University