The aim of conventional or unconventional drug and alcohol treatment is to ensure that the addict is off his or her substance of abuse permanently. The success of any method is largely dependant on the cooperation and will power of the person. While most conventional methods are based on the traditional twelve step program propagated by the Alcoholics Anonymous, every unconventional drug and alcohol treatment practitioner regards the former as a short term measure. These experts believe that the methods followed by Alcoholics Anonymous are based more on a way of life that the patient has to adhere to, rather than a complete cure.

Whatever the people behind these unconventional drug and alcohol treatment programs have to say, most conventional rehab centers do follow the twelve step method, along with physical and psychological support. These centers are run under medical supervision, and employ certified specialists and personnel. They are usually residential and heal the body, mind, and spirit under treatment. While their methods are well known and documented, those used by unconventional drug and alcohol treatment centers are not. Hence many of them raise alarm bells in the minds of doctors.

Some Better Known
Unconventional Drug and Alcohol Treatment Methods

St. Jude's Retreat claims to be the oldest unconventional drug and alcohol treatment center in the United States. Their authorities believe that alcoholism is not a disease as claimed by conventional medical practitioners. They consider alcohol addiction to be similar to drug addiction a result of the addict's choice. They claim that conventional methods can never succeed in curing addicts, and that their centers achieve high rates of success. St. Jude's Retreat also clarifies that they do not use methods that need to be certified by the authorities.

The Church of Scientology also claims to be able to cure addicts, though their unconventional drug and alcohol treatment method is looked upon in askance by doctors and therapists. The methods used by this group are not disclosed to the public, and experts are skeptical about their claims of success. The followers of this Church have been able to attract some alcoholics and drug addicts into their fold.

Psychiatrists also use some methods for treating alcohol and drug addiction that may be regarded as unconventional. Many of them use hypnosis to create an aversion to drugs or alcohol in their patients. This helps in getting them to stay away from the substance they abuse, sometimes for a long time.