(844) 909 2560
Available 24x7, Toll-Free
November 14, 2022

How Do Dr's Treat Patients for Alcohol Addiction in Massachusetts?

Substance abuse is rampant in the United States.

How Do Dr's Treat Patients for Alcohol Addiction in Massachusetts?Millions of Americans struggle with addiction to illegal drugs, alcohol, and prescription drugs. Finding a viable option for alcohol addiction treatment in Massachusetts is the first step to beating substance abuse, but patients and their family members need to understand the process involved. For instance, how do doctors treat patients for substance abuse in alcohol rehab in MA?




The first step will be an official diagnosis of the substance abuse disorder. This usually requires a full physical assessment, as well as an evaluation from a licensed drug and alcohol counselor, or a psychiatrist or psychologist, depending on the program or facility in question. 


In many cases, drug tests will not be administered at this point, as they are not necessary for treating substance abuse. They may play a role in the monitoring portion of the process, though. Note that all diagnoses are made based on information from the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). 


Addiction Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder in Massachusetts


Once a diagnosis has been made, it’s time to create a customized treatment plan. Often, doctors will begin with an established framework and then tailor it to meet the unique needs and goals of the patient. 


Note that there are no one-size-fits-all approaches that work when it comes to treating substance abuse. All treatments must be customized to the specific patient, or they will ultimately fail. Some of the factors that must be considered when creating a treatment plan include the following:


  • The substance in question
  • The amount/duration of use
  • Related medical conditions
  • Related mental health disorders
  • The involvement of family members or friends in treatment


While all alcohol addiction treatments are customized, they tend to share similar outcomes and goals. For instance, all programs for alcohol addiction treatment in Massachusetts have an overriding goal of helping the individual live drug or alcohol-free. However, how they achieve that can differ. 


Some programs will involve family members in the therapy sessions. Others will offer group sessions, while some may focus on individual therapy. Most programs also focus on helping patients understand the nature of their addiction and what will be required to prevent relapsing in the future. 

Alcohol Withdrawal Therapy


In most situations of mild addiction, as well as all moderate and severe addictions, patients will go through withdrawal therapy. This process uses medications like buprenorphine or methadone to combat withdrawals from the primary substance. Alcohol withdrawal therapy will be customized based on the type of drug being taken, as different drugs create dramatically different withdrawal symptoms (stimulants versus depressants, for instance). How Do Dr's Treat Patients for Alcohol Addiction in Massachusetts?


Note that alcohol withdrawal therapy can vary significantly in terms of makeup, format, and duration. For some patients, it might involve a gradual step down in the drug, while others may go “cold turkey” supported by therapy sessions only. 


In many cases, particularly those involving addiction to opioids, patients may have medication therapy. This involves using the same medication as in withdrawal therapy in the ongoing treatment of the substance abuse disorder. However, this will be just one component. Another is behavior therapy.


Behavior Therapy


Behavior therapy is designed to help patients unlearn dangerous behaviors and ways of thinking. It’s a form of psychotherapy and can be done as part of an inpatient or outpatient program for addiction treatment in Massachusetts. Patients will work with a therapist to discuss how to cope with cravings, prevent relapses, deal with family and friends, and address mental health conditions.


Ongoing Alcohol Addiction Treatment


You cannot cure substance abuse disorders. You can beat addiction, though. This will require more than just completing treatment in an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab, though. You will need ongoing support and even treatment from a therapist. 


In almost all cases, those suffering from substance abuse disorders will need to be involved in group therapy moving forward. This provides them with a support group of peers who understand their unique challenges. 


However, many people will continue to see a therapist, either on their own or as part of a group. With that being said, self-help programs are becoming more widely available and may be viable options for those who cannot participate in group therapy for whatever reason.


Moving Forward with Your Life


Doctors treat patients for substance abuse in rehab with a customized approach based on the patient’s unique needs, goals, substance abuse disorder, and co-occurring conditions. There is no single path forward, but it is possible to beat addiction and reclaim your life. 


If you are facing the fallout of drug or alcohol use or know someone who is, working with a reputable program for addiction treatment in Massachusetts is the first step toward moving forward and rebuilding your life. 


[author] [author_image timthumb='on']/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/img-ed-480x572.jpg[/author_image]  [author_info]Reviewed by Ed Lepage, Executive Director

Ed Lepage completed the drug and alcohol certificate program at the University of Massachusetts Boston and has been working in the substance abuse dependency field for the past seven years. He has also worked extensively in peer recovery-based programs offering “real-world experience” to those that suffer from substance use dependency. Full Bio [/author_info] [/author]