Anyone who is struggling with alcoholism should really consider checking into an alcohol center or a drug rehab. This is the best solution in order to get started in recovery for most people. There are alcoholics out there who have managed to stop drinking without first going to alcohol treatment of some sort, but they are very rare. In order to give yourself every advantage in attempting to deal with your alcoholism, it really is best to seek professional help first.
In most cases an alcohol recovery center will be split up into at least 2 portions: detox and residential treatment. The detox portion will come first for you if you have been drinking at all within the last few days. This is a medically supervised area where you can be more closely monitored while your body adjusts to not having any alcohol. This is important because during this part of alcohol withdrawal, people are much more prone to having complications and even seizures, even if the person has never had seizures before in their life. They can still have them due to the effect of their adrenaline spiking during alcohol withdrawal.
Most alcohol rehabs do give medications out to help with these withdrawal symptoms and also to help prevent seizures. There is no shame in accepting these medications because you will not be getting hooked on them. Some treatment centers do use potentially addictive medication for this process, but they taper you off of the medicine such that you will not be craving it. Remember too that alcohol withdrawal can kill you, so it might be wise to do it under medical supervision and follow the advice that they are giving you.
Residential treatment generally follows detox and this may involve groups, therapy, 12 step meetings, counseling, and so on. You will probably watch some videos, participate in group discussions, and interact with your peers in a way that is supportive to your goal of overcoming alcoholism. The idea is that you can make real progress by using a group approach in overcoming addiction. This is based on the simple truth that most people cannot overcome an addiction on their own, and many of them tried to do so over and over again, only to fail. We need help in order to beat alcoholism and that starts by using a peer group in early recovery.
Most treatment centers are 12 step based and that means that they use meetings from Alcoholics Anonymous or a spin off group like Narcotics Anonymous as the backbone of their recovery program. This means that if you attend 10 different alcohol rehabs, approximately 9 of those rehabs will use this same 12 step approach and have 12 meetings every day for the clients to attend. This is not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, it is simply the current state of the industry. If you are dead set against the 12 step model then you had better look hard to find a treatment center that offers an alternative approach. There are places out there that do but you have to search pretty hard to find them.
Ultimately if you want to change your life then you have to take real action and sustain that action over a long period of time. In other words, you need to form new habits. To do this, you need a huge way to kick start the process and for most people that will mean some sort of professional help. Getting that help at rehab makes a lot of sense, especially if you need medical detox from alcohol. Consider going to treatment if you continue to struggle with alcoholism.
Also, if you have been to rehab before and it did not work for you, do NOT write rehab off forever. Most people who finally “get it” have to go to rehab a few times before finding long term sobriety.