The whole point of alcoholism rehabilitation is to create a new way of life that does not require self medicating with alcohol. Seems obvious to most people, but of course some people believe that they might instead learn how to control their drinking, for example. This is not a realistic goal for a true alcoholic and if a person can learn how to control their drinking then they have no business using the label of “alcoholism” when describing themselves. Rehab is for people who are facing a life and death battle with addiction, not for heavy drinkers who think they might have a slight problem. There is a difference.
Now of course it is one thing to simply stop drinking and expect for everything to turn out just fine and dandy. Most alcoholics actually can stop drinking for a period of time, though this is generally short lived unless they take some deliberate action in order to create a new life in recovery for themselves. And what does this act of creation involve? How does one create a new life for themselves?
They do this by taking massive action and establishing new habits. This is a strong technique for early recovery that can propel a struggling alcoholic through the first year of recovery that is so often fraught with relapse. The whole key is to take massive action. Just changing a few things around is not going to cut it. The alcoholic must change everything, as they are so often told in AA meetings.
Speaking of AA meetings, what do they have to do with alcoholic rehabilitation? Depends on who you ask, of course, as some people have learned how to live sober simply by attending AA and never setting foot into a treatment center of any kind. On the other hand, at the other end of the spectrum, you have people who have gone to treatment and may follow up with counseling and outpatient therapy, but never really use AA meetings at all in order to stay sober. It can go both ways.
What is important, therefore, is that the individual do some testing and find out what works for them. It is probably a good idea, in most cases, to start out with AA meetings and see if they are useful for you in early recovery. They are by no means a magic bullet, and many people are led astray by thinking that meeting attendance equals quality recovery. This is not the case, but they can still be used to set a good foundation in early recovery.