What the Best Alcohol Treatment Centers Have in Common

best alcohol treatment centers

How can you tell if you’re choosing one of the best alcohol treatment centers?

Well, there are a number of things that top of the line programs – the ones that prepare patients for the best results – tend to have in common with each other. Back in 2003, The George Washington University Medical Center released a research report outlining 13 “ingredients” that need to be present to treat alcoholism effectively, and many of them apply directly to the care you’ll receive in a good facility.

“Ingredients” of the Best Alcohol Treatment Centers

Of the 13 characteristics the study listed, eight in particular speak specifically about what the best alcohol treatment centers provide in order to give their patients the best chance at long-term recovery.

One size does not fit all

Programs that have a single, inflexible plan and seek to treat the disease rather than the patient tend not to do as well. Some people do better when pushed; others need to be gently guided. And beyond that, we all have different life experiences and problems, so treatment needs to account for psychological issues (dual diagnosis programs treat physical, emotional, and psychological issues simultaneously), history, family life, and so on.

Close management and involvement

An alcoholic can’t just be told what they need to do to get better in treatment and then released without guidance. The best alcohol treatment centers have programs that manage their patients’ recovery very closely, checking in regularly and enlisting the aid of family and friends when possible.

Positive (and negative) reinforcement

It may sound silly, but the most successful programs incentivize and motivate their patients by offering rewards when they do well and punishments for behaving poorly since many people respond well to praise.


Social coping

Doing well in the isolated environment of the treatment facility is one thing, but how do you resist your urges when you return to the “real world”? The best alcohol treatment centers teach patients how to recognize and cope with stressful social situations where they might feel pressure to drink.

Medicinal help

Part of offering a “whole-patient approach” is recognizing that medication administered with care and in a controlled manner can help to ease recovery and lead to more successful treatment when used in conjunction with therapy and behavior modification techniques.

Length and ongoing assistance

The longer treatment lasts, the more likely patients are to experience a successful recovery. In fact, studies have shown that duration may be the most important factor – more important than the specific facility or whether a patient chooses inpatient or outpatient care. After-care touch points and participation in support groups following treatment also help.


Patients who feel like their counselors actually care about them as human beings and want them to succeed have better rates of recovery than those for consider “treatment” to be a battle and not considering each patient’s individual needs.Source: Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, The George Washington University Medical Center. The Active Ingredients of Effective Alcohol Treatment (PDF). June 2003

Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!

We are a free service

contact us today