Alcoholism treatment programs are widely offered by rehabs and treatment centers, and are often seen as the first port of call for anyone who might have a drink problem or is displaying symptoms of active alcoholism or alcohol abuse.
Whilst rehabs and treatment centers are obviously an option, both residential and types of daycare, there are alternatives, most notably the 12 step fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as various other self-help and support groups that are non-12-step focused.
It is relatively recent in historical terms that alcoholism has been recognised as an illness, and this in large part was due to the pioneering work of doctors around the time that Alcoholics Anonymous was formed.
Alcoholism is an illness has been broadened into a nation that the whole process of addiction is a disease, and this tends to generate more heated debate than the simple notion of alcoholism as an illness.
Many people can recognise that an alcoholic is an ill person or a sick person without fully understanding the nature of what is wrong with them, whereas the notion of a disease is a much more complex one and in many ways much more difficult to sell.
The treatment of alcoholism that exists today largely started with the 12 step program is originated in Alcoholics Anonymous. This was pretty much the first time there was ever a widespread consensus that there was an approach that worked that could help people stop drinking and stay sober.
Once this process had been established for a while, institutions and hospitals helped to pioneer a more focused institutionalised approach, with the growth of rehabs and treatment centers evolving out of the situation.
Alcoholism treatment in a rehab for a treatment center is likely to be based around the idea of a 12 step program, which in turn will be linked to the 12 step fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In truth the programme at a rehab or treatment center is likely to offer is likely to differ significantly from that offered in Alcoholics Anonymous, and the approach in a rehab is likely to be more combatitive and confrontational than would be the case in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Alcoholism treatment that is offered in a rehab or a treatment center should also include an encouragement for people to attend AA meetings, both whilst in rehab and once the individual has left and has resumed their life outside.