The best alcohol treatment facility is the one that can encourage recovering alcoholics to take massive action in their lives. This is because the secret to early recovery is in taking massive action. In fact, the actual method of recovery, the means of staying sober, the strategies involved with relapse prevention–almost all of that stuff is meaningless. The details can be changed an infinite number of ways and different recovery strategies can be rotated in and out of the life of the recovering alcoholic and all that really matters is one thing: how much action they take in early recovery.
What is positive action in early recovery consist of? This can differ a bit depending on the person, but for most people it will involve 12 step recovery. This means daily meetings such as AA or NA meetings, 12 step work, reading recovery literature, working with a sponsor, and working with other people in recovery on a regular basis. These are the types of actions that are so critical in early recovery for those who are pursuing a 12 step program.
Are there other ways to get sober? Sure there are other programs, but they are not really widespread at this point, and the major source of support is going to be with AA and 12 step groups. That particular program is the default solution these days so it makes sense for the newcomer to take advantage of this widespread support. Plus, AA is essentially free. Later on in recovery, an alcoholic can explore other strategies for staying sober, including personal growth projects that do not hinge on 12 step recovery, but in early recovery it makes sense to take advantage of the 12 step program (just my opinion of course).
You will also find that the vast majority of alcohol treatment facilities will introduce clients to the 12 step program, and in fact their main model of recovery will be based on 12 step philosophy (being powerless over alcohol, etc.). There is nothing necessarily wrong with this, so long as the client can be open minded to the idea of the 12 step program being their solution in early recovery. Again, keep in mind that this is a strong path for early recovery, and that it is easy to employ different strategies once you have established some amount of sobriety.
The best alcohol treatment centers go a step further than just 12 step recovery and use an holistic approach to personal growth as their main focus for long term recovery. This is a more powerful approach for long term recovery because it addresses the issue of complacency, which can be a major stumbling block in 12 step recovery.