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So, What is Alcohol Awareness vs. Alcohol Treatment?
There is a enormous difference between alcohol awareness classes and treatment for alcohol or substance abuse.  Often these two types of programs get confused, particularly when there is a requirement to take a class of this nature.  This entry is aimed at helping better understand these programs and your options.

Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation
Alcohol and Drug rehab is designed to foster a program for helping people learn overcome their physical and psychological addiction to alcohol or drugs.  During the rehabilitation journey, the individual will go through three different stages of treatment: alcohol detoxification, counseling and after care. Each one of the processes is designed to treat a different aspect of addiction.  Components of addiction can include the physical, psychological and social.  Alcohol and Drug rehabilitation can also come in the form of either In-Patient or Out-Patient treatment.  In patient rehabilitation means that the client is living at the facility for a designated period of time, typically 30, 60 or 90 days.  During their stay, patients can expect to go through various stages of growth and development in the healing process of addiction.  In out-patient treatment the client is likely living at home or in a safe environment from alcohol or drugs and attending daily sessions at the treatment center.  The rehabilitation center can advise as to which format is right for any person or situation.

Alcohol Awareness Classes and Drug Education Classes
These are educational programs designed to help educate people about the risks and consequences associated with alcohol or drug use and abuse.  Most often these courses are either required by the court, school, an employer, probation, or taken as a preventative measure simply for personal growth.  Alcohol awareness classes usually come in the form of either a Level 1 (8 hour) class, a Level 2 (16 Hour class) or a Level 3 (24 Hour) class.  These courses can also be offered for those under 21 years of age and are often called Minor in Possession Classes or Minor in Consumption Classes (MIP, MIC).  They are not meant to replace an In/Out patient treatment program nor medical or psychological counseling.  They are simply offered to educate the client on how to better understand the issues surround the use of alcohol or drugs and will offer suggestions on making changes in ones life.

Education is the Key to Change
There is a movement towards the use of best practice.  Educating both adults and youth on the hazards of alcohol and drug use and abuse can create a safer life experience for everyone.  Education opens the doorway to change.  Taking an alcohol awareness class can be that first step to change.