Best Alcohol Treatment Centers

How to find the best help for yourself or a loved one

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More than 14 million adults have been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD)—the clinical term for addiction to alcohol—which is a mental disorder that occurs when an individual is unable to stop or control alcohol use, despite consequences to their lives (and their overall health). According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), recovery is possible even in the most severe cases, with treatment that includes behavioral therapy, support groups, and when appropriate, even medication. 

There are varying degrees of AUD—mild, moderate, and severe—meaning that the best course of treatment leading to recovery will vary from person-to-person. While alcohol treatment centers will often use the same principles, including the 12-step program that was first developed in Alcoholics Anonymous, not every treatment center is exactly the same. We researched and compiled the best alcohol treatment centers to make getting the help you need as easy as possible.

Best Alcohol Treatment Centers

Best Overall : Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation


Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Why We Chose It: We selected the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation because it combined two of the oldest addiction treatment facilities to become the largest non-profit provider.

What We Like
  • Largest non-profit treatment center

  • In-network with over 35 insurance companies

What We Don't Like
  • No Medicare or Medicaid coverrage

  • Must talk to admissions team for pricing information

In 2014, Hazelden merged with the Betty Ford Center to become the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. With a combined century of experience, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation does more than offer in-patient and out-patient addiction treatment; it also emphasizes education and research (and includes a graduate school in addiction studies) to bring visibility to the realities of addiction and recovery.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is accredited by The Joint Commission and is a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP). Not only does it provide addiction treatment for all ages, but it also has programs for the caregivers and family of those addicted to alcohol, with a specific one for children. 

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is headquartered out of Center City, Minnesota, with additional locations in California (including in Rancho Mirage where the Betty Ford Foundation originated) Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington, with virtual treatment options also available.

Treatment modalities include in-patient, out-patient, telehealth, detox, and sober living, with additional services available including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and 12-step facilitation. Once an individual completes treatment, programs such as ongoing recovery monitoring are available, including access to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held at Hazelden Betty Ford locations.

Treatment lengths vary based on severity and admissions include an assessment to determine clinical need. Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is in-network with more than 35 insurance providers, including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and United Healthcare, but it does not accept Medicare or Medicaid. To inquire about admissions for any of their programs, call (855) 887-1496

Best Budget : The Salvation Army


The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army

Why We Chose It: The Salvation Army offers rehabilitation services for free, with various options for men, women, and adolescents struggling with alcohol abuse.

What We Like
  • Free

  • Programs for men, women and adolescents

What We Don't Like
  • Treatment options dependent upon location

  • No centralized website for all locations

The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 and now uses their Harbor Light Centers to provide recovery treatment to their community. Thanks to them, men, women, and children have access to free rehabilitation services across the country. 

Harbor Light Center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Treatment options vary based on facility, with in-patient, out-patient, and detox services available. The largest center is located in The Salvation Army Freedom Center in Chicago, Illinois, offering intensive rehabilitation and out-patient services to adult men, adolescent treatment programs for teens ages 13-17, and a 12-step program available to everyone. Other locations can be found in California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.  

In addition to Harbor Light Centers, The Salvation Army also has various adult rehabilitation programs that involve work-therapy. As there is no centralized admissions process, contact must be made with individual Harbor Light Centers to inquire about treatment options at various locations and space in the free rehabilitation programs.

Best In-Patient Center : The Ranch Tennessee


The Ranch Tennessee

The Ranch Tennessee

Why We Chose It: Not only does its in-patient facility consist of cottages nestled in rolling hills, but The Ranch Tennessee's additional amenities include equine and adventure therapy, utilizing the healing power of nature.

What We Like
  • Access virtual recovery meetings once treatment is over

  • Additional therapies utilized including equine and adventure therapy

What We Don't Like
  • No private in-patient accommodations

  • Treatment for adults only

Located in the rolling hills about an hour north of Nashville, The Ranch Tennessee uses its natural surroundings as part of treatment. While The Ranch also has a Pennsylvania location, it is its Tennessee treatment facility that is home to their alcohol addiction program. With out-patient, addiction treatment and a unique 12-step outdoor program available, it is its in-patient services that really stand out, offering unique additions like equine and adventure therapy as a part of treatment. 

Accredited by The Joint Commission, The Ranch Tennessee has treatment options for adults struggling with addiction to drugs, alcohol, and other mental health disorders (such as eating disorders). Length of treatment varies—and thus, so does cost—but in-patient treatment involves living in a group community setting, taking turns preparing meals, and recovering with a group support. Both short-term care (up to 28 days) and long-term care (90 days or more) are available. Once treatment ends, you have access to Rooted, a free service offering virtual recovery meetings every day of the week. 

The Ranch Tennessee works directly with insurance companies, both in- and out-of-network, based on your treatment plan. Admission includes screening to determine the best course of care, and individuals can begin the process by calling (844) 876-7680.

Best Out-Patient Center : Oxford Treatment Center


Oxford Treatment Center

Oxford Treatment Center

Why We Chose It: Oxford Treatment Center's outpatient program is located in a 12,000-square foot facility that provides a central space for holistic healing while recovering at home.

What We Like
  • Offers additional services

  • Holistic and recreational activities available for out-patient care

What We Don't Like
  • No Medicare or Medicaid coverage

  • One out-patient facility serving the entire country

Part of the American Addiction Centers (AAC) treatment facilities, Oxford Treatment Center in Etta, Mississippi, offers in-patient and residential options for care. However, where it really stands out is with its out-patient services, which are hosted in a 12,000-square foot facility with space for group therapy and other holistic wellness, including yoga, art therapy, and more. 

Oxford Treatment Center is accredited by both The Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), along with a partnership with the Mississippi State Department of Health. Standard out-patient care is available that includes meetings with a therapist based on individual needs. Its intensive out-patient therapy is a 10-week program for adults, including mandatory attendance at 12-step meetings and therapists available with flexible hours for those recovering at home amidst work and/or school commitments. 

Once treatment is over, alumni have access to aftercare services to continue recovery with outreach staff and weekly on-campus meetings. Costs vary based on the type of program entered, however, some private insurance is accepted, including Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, with payment plans available should coverage leave additional costs.

Admissions include screening to determine which treatment plan will best meet your needs, and counselors staff is available at (662) 337-7356 to answer any questions about treatment.

Best for Teens : Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC)


Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC)

Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC)

Why We Chose It: We like how the Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center has both in-patient and out-patient options for teens ages 13-17 including access to an academic program, making education a part of recovery.

What We Like
  • Whole family involved in care program

  • Academic program available

What We Don't Like
  • Teen program located only at Houston, Texas, location

  • No Medicare or Medicaid coverage

While the Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC) does have programs for young adults and adults, its program for teens ages 13-17 helps it stand out. Treatment options include a medical detox, 30-day in-patient program, partial-day program, and the intensive out-patient program.

While there are out-patient PaRC programs in Houston, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, Cypress, Pearland and Katy, the Houston location is the only one that offers services for teens. Accredited by The Joint Commission, there is a holistic approach to care. In-patient treatment includes shared rooms, nutritional education and recreational activities including equine therapy, art therapy, access to a music room, and field trips to local museums. Both in-patient and out-patient treatment include access to an on-site high school.

Throughout the program, you can expect teens to learn to use the 12-step system, while taking part in individual, group and family therapy. Once the program is completed, a year of aftercare is offered to keep teens on track for recovery. PaRC accepts over 20 insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross of Texas, and Cigna; Medicare and Medicaid are not accepted. To inquire about immediate admission or find out which program may be best for your teen, call (713) 939-7272.

Best for Adults : Caron Pennsylvania


Caron Pennsylvania

Caron Pennsylvania

Why We Chose It: With separate treatment programs for men, women, and older adults, Caron Pennsylvania provides personalized recovery addressing body, mind, and spirit among peers.

What We Like
  • Stigma-free recovery program offered for healthcare workers

  • Separate men and women’s program for personalized treatment

What We Don't Like
  • No Medicare or Medicaid coverage

  • Gender-specific programming only in Pennsylvania

While many alcohol treatment centers serve adults, Caron Pennsylvania sets itself apart with its signature Grand View Women’s and Grand View Men’s programs. Separate programs allow for more specialized treatment, including time around peers, with a focus on different issues of body, mind, and spirit. Additional core programs do include out-patient options, as well, in both the Men’s and Women’s Centers. 

Other full-service Caron centers are located in Florida, but without gender-specific programming. Caron Pennsylvania is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and has in-network insurance coverage with Aetna, Highmark, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Independence Blue Cross, AmeriHealth, Quest Behavioral Health, and UPMC for a minimum 28-day stay. 

Individuals in the signature programs can expect more traditional treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and 12-step programming, but also have access to brain-mapping, a nutritionist, certified fitness trainers, and holistic therapies such as yoga. 

Once treatment has concluded, the team at Caron Pennsylvania has a network for referrals and an alumni program for additional support. To find out whether signature, core, or out-patient programming is right for you, call (844) 260-1324.

Best for Insured : Recovery Centers of America


Recovery Centers of America

Recovery Centers of America

Why We Chose It: Recovery Centers of America (RCA) aims for accessibility, contracting with most major insurance carriers and working with out-of-network insurance to get individuals care.

What We Like
  • In-network with most major insurance plans

  • Telehealth treatment available

What We Don't Like
  • Must talk to admissions team for pricing information

  • Treatment for adults only

Recovery Centers of America (RCA) makes it its mission to get individuals the treatment they need in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Even if it doesn’t contract with your insurance provider, it works with out-of-network insurance and can recommend the best RCA location to keep any incurred costs as low as possible. Major insurance companies in-network include Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Cigna, and even New Jersey Medicaid. 

Accredited by The Joint Commission, RCA facilities offer detox, in-patient, out-patient, and telehealth treatment options for adults, so care—following a 12-step curriculum—can be tailored to the individual. Treatment times can vary from a few days if medically detoxing to months of intensive outpatient care. Though it varies by location, accommodations include wellness facilities, art therapy, and traditional modalities of care, such as group therapy and medical evaluations. 

After treatment, individuals can join the RCA Alumni Association, for extra support during recovery. RCA staff make themselves available 24/7 to help provide individuals with care, and you can reach them any time by calling (844) 429-3795.

Final Verdict

Alcohol treatment will vary from person-to-person; however, no matter the severity or your circumstances, there is a treatment facility that can help. Even if you can’t afford luxury amenities or don’t have insurance, hope is not lost. There are options—in-patient and out-patient—for every age, gender, and walk of life, to make sure recovery is within reach.

Compare Providers

Best Alcohol Treatment Centers
Alcohol Treatment Center Why We Chose It In-Patient or Out-Patient Accepts Insurance
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Best Overall Both Yes
The Salvation Army Best Budget Both No cost
The Ranch Tennessee Best In-Patient Center Both Yes
Oxford Treatment Center Best Out-Patient Center Both Yes
Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC) Best for Teens Both Yes
Caron Pennsylvania Best for Adults Both Yes
Recovery Centers of America Best for Insured Both Yes

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

It may seem like the simple definition of alcohol addiction is drinking too much alcohol; however, it isn’t quite that cut and dry. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is quick to point out that the effects of alcohol vary from person-to-person, but the more excessively you drink, the more susceptible you may be to long-term effects including alcohol use disorder (AUD). Known as alcoholism and alcohol addiction—which are non-clinical terms commonly used in place of AUD—it is actually a mental disorder (the diagnosis of which was updated to its current standards for clinicians in the 5th edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-5)). 

You can be diagnosed with AUD if, within the past year, you have had at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended
  • More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t
  • Spent a lot of time drinking or being sick or getting over other aftereffects
  • Wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else
  • Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family, caused job troubles, or school problems
  • Continued to drink even though it made you feel depressed or anxious, added to another health problem, or had a memory blackout
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink
  • More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)
  • Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want, or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, seizure, or sensed things that were not there

How Do I Know if I Need In-Patient or Out-Patient Treatment?

If you are currently under the care of a medical professional, talking with them before seeking treatment can help determine whether in-patient or out-patient care is the best option. When you contact a treatment center, you can expect to have a clinical assessment, which will also shed light on the best course of action to help you reach your recovery goals. As a rule of thumb, in-patient treatment is often recommended for those with severe AUD or additional mental health disorders that require concurrent treatment, while out-patient treatment is for less severe diagnoses that can be managed at home with visits to a treatment facility. There are exceptions to this, however, and your doctor and counselors can help you choose the best option for you.

Will I Go Through Detox?

You can expect to go through a detox, which involves stopping the use of alcohol (ideally, indefinitely). Detox is the first step to seeking treatment—but should not be mistaken for treatment—and in many cases, will involve symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Whether or not this detox takes place under the supervision of a medical professional is up to your treatment team. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal can be accompanied by severe symptoms, which should be a consideration when choosing supervised or unsupervised detox. 

Do I Need to Travel Out of State to Find a Treatment Center?

It is not a requirement to travel out of state to find an alcohol treatment center. If you choose to complete an out-patient program, you may choose to find a treatment center close to home for easy visitation and monitoring. 

Does Insurance Cover Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

While not guaranteed, many insurance companies offer at least partial coverage for alcohol addiction treatment. With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, all insurance plans through Marketplace health are required to cover substance abuse treatment, and it cannot be considered a pre-existing condition that is exempt from coverage.

Does Medicare Cover Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

If you have Medicare, you can get alcohol addiction treatment covered if your doctor deems it medically necessary, you go to a Medicare-approved facility, and have a clear treatment plan developed by your provider. 

Is There Ongoing Support/Post-Treatment Care Available?

The support you receive after treatment is dependent upon the facility. However, many treatment centers offer support groups for peer support, at times facilitated by a clinician. Perhaps the most well-known support fellowship is Alcoholics Anonymous, which follows a 12-step recovery program. Should you be looking for a local support group, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline can refer you to support in your area, by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

What Accreditations Should I Look for When Selecting a Treatment Center?

The two leading accreditations an alcohol treatment center can have are from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Additionally, you can look for additional certification from your state health department.

Can I Enter My Loved One Into a Treatment Center?

Unless your loved one is an adolescent or teen under the age of 18, usually a loved one must willingly seek help to enter a treatment center. There are some exceptions that require a judge to order a person enter treatment involuntarily, though this varies by state. Some examples include Florida’s Baker Act and California’s 5150 code. 

Methodology

Alcohol treatment centers were chosen based on a variety of factors, including accreditation from top associations, reputation, history, facilities, programming, and contributions to research and education. We wanted to provide treatment centers that would be available to a wide group of individuals, considering the number of locations and types of treatment available. 

Next, we chose categories that would help serve specific groups of individuals to make access to alcohol treatment centers less daunting. It can be incredibly hard to ask for help, so breaking down barriers that may be a factor such as cost or insurance acceptance was a goal. 

Finally, we looked at how well-established each treatment facility was, as well as its aftercare and post-treatment options. Recovery is a life-long process, and making sure support is offered long after initial treatment has ended was an important factor.

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Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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