Finding an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center

Addictions Content Team Info icon
Calendar icon Last Updated: 05/13/2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Once you decide to get help for a drinking problem, finding alcohol treatment centers may seem like a monumental task. The wide range of options available to you can easily get confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming. First off, treatment needs vary from person to person, along with the types of services offered by different programs. It’s important to find an alcohol addiction treatment center that addresses your particular treatment needs. Ultimately, the right addiction treatment center should be able to accommodate your unique treatment needs at a reasonable cost and provide a safe environment.

Here’s how to find the best alcohol addiction treatment for you or your loved one.

Research Program Types

Many alcohol recovery centers offer a range of treatment programs so you can choose a program that best meets your recovery needs. Residential/inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, counseling, sober living, and brief intervention are just some types of programs available. An addiction treatment professional can help you choose the best program based on factors such as your addiction type, the severity of the addiction, whether you suffer any mental health disorders and more.

Decide on Program Length

Alcohol treatment centers can range anywhere between 3 weeks and 12 months or longer, depending on your unique treatment needs. Short-term programs usually last between 3 and 6 weeks, while long-term programs last between 6 and 12 months. Short-term programs usually include alcohol detox and therapy based on a modified twelve-step approach. Long-term programs focus on resocialization of the individual and help you adapt to a healthier lifestyle and improve certain behaviors, so you do not return to alcohol use.

Ask About Mental Health Treatment

People who suffer from co-occurring psychological disorders like depression and schizophrenia will need additional treatment when seeking help for alcohol addiction. Failing to address mental health disorders at the same time can increase the risk of relapse and worsen the severity of the addiction. Look for alcohol recovery centers that offer dual diagnosis therapy and treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Consider the Location

The location of the recovery center should also play an important role in your final decision. If the facility is located far from your home, you may need to pay or arrange for transportation to and from the facility. Choosing a facility far from home will also put distance between you and your support system. On the other hand, recovering from alcohol addiction far from home can facilitate a healthy recovery by separating you from an unstable home environment and negative, influential peers.

Look Into Cost / Financial Options

Alcohol recovery centers accept most health insurance plans and offer unique payment and financing options to help you get treatment. Residential facilities are often more costly than partial hospitalization and outpatient programs on behalf of meals, housing, and 24-hour care.

Ask about accepted forms of payment, sliding scale fees, scholarships, and other financial options that can help you cover treatment costs for the treatment program you choose.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Consult with your health insurance company to learn more about your benefits for addiction treatment, or ask prospective treatment centers if they can perform a free insurance benefits check for you. Most recovery centers accept major health insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act, health plans purchased at are required to include alcohol treatment services. Your health insurance provider may cover some or all costs associated with addiction treatment.

Verify Licensing & Accreditation Credentials

Alcohol addiction is a highly treatable condition and helps between 50 and 60% of addicts experience successful treatment outcomes. As alcohol treatment centers have a long history of research studies and treatment models to draw from, licensing and accreditation requirements help ensure treatment programs follow established protocols. The treatment center you choose should operate legally and be staffed with qualified and caring professionals.

Look Into Community Health Centers

Many community health centers throughout the U.S. offer affordable alcohol treatment for free or at a low cost. The cost of treatment is usually based on a person’s income level and operates on a sliding fee scale. Community health centers are located in nearly every city and many rural areas and are funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. These centers may also provide mental health treatment, dental care, and prenatal care for those in recovery which could benefit from these additional services.

Contact State & Federal Government Sources

State and federal funding sources offer a range of affordable alcohol treatment options. Some of these options include:

  • Vouchers
  • Drug rehabilitation facilities
  • Clinical trials

A federal program called Access to Recovery sponsors a voucher program for individuals who need help paying for alcohol addiction treatment. Drug rehab facilities that receive state and federal funding also offer affordable alcohol treatment options. These facilities operate on slide fee scales and accept Medicaid and Medicare.

Clinical trials use new counseling and medication approaches in the treatment of alcohol addiction. Though the type of treatment offered is experimental, qualified applicants can receive free treatment by participating.

If you need help deciding which alcohol addiction treatment program is best for you, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or a substance abuse treatment counselor. An addiction treatment professional can help you find a program that works best for you.