Tuesday April 25th 2017

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How to treat alcohol addiction

Know someone who needs help with an alcohol problem?  Maybe you have an issue with alcohol yourself.  Before you treat alcohol addiction, you should know what to expect. In fact, in the weeks and months after you stop drinking alcohol, you have lots of work to do!

Here, you can compare the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction and then learn how to treat alcoholism.  Finally, we invite you to ask your questions about alcohol problems at the end.

Alcohol addiction treatment: Are you even addicted?

Do you think that you are addicted to alcohol? Do you want to know if a loved one is addicted? Here are the common signs and symptoms that someone close to you is suffering and it is time to find help:

  • changes in behavior that are unexplained
  • getting into trouble regularly at school/work, arguments with friends and family or criminal behavior
  • failed attempts to decrease or quit drinking
  • injuries occur without knowing how they happen because of frequent blackouts
  • shakes, incoherent speech and tremors
  • unexplained mood swings
  • unexplained needs for extra money
  • withdrawn or avoids meeting with friends and family

Treating alcohol addiction

There are different approaches to treating alcohol addiction.  Some of these involve the use of medicines but others include psychological treatment. There are two common stages to treatment: the detoxification stage and then rehabilitation.  Note here that it is not advised that you stop drinking alcohol cold turkey.  Always seek medical advice before you treat alcoholism.

Detoxification from alcohol – During detox, you experience withdrawal symptoms which occur if you are physically dependent on alcohol. Always seek medical help when detoxing from alcohol. Alcohol detox can be a painful and medically serious condition for alcohol addicts, especially if past drinking has become chronic or excessive. Still, many alcoholics feel refreshed and ready to tackle their problem after completing detox. Again, due to the possible severity of withdrawal symptoms, detox from alcohol is best completed under medical supervision.  Doctors can also prescribe you with specialized pills to stop drinking, such as naltrexone, acamprostate, or disulfiram.

Alcohol rehabilitation – To treat alcohol addiction, addicts need to develop life coping skills. During alcohol rehab, alcoholics learn about the nature of alcoholism and begin to make cognitive behavioral changes in thought process. They learn how to say no to alcohol and may go through psychotherapy sessions in group and individual settings. The goal of rehab is for an addict to determine the cause of their addiction and to address this in a healthy and informed way.

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Treatment for alcohol addiction

There are many different sources of treatment for alcohol addiction. Each offer their own benefits and help treat alcohol addiction differently. Experts recommend a combination of pharmaceutical and psychological treatments for alcohol addiction. With a full range of possible treatment modalities, you can get rready to face life sober.

Alcohol addiction support groups – Support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous, offer outside help. These are non-profit groups of people at different stages of a 12 step program. There are sponsors, who have been sober for years, to help newer recovering addicts, who are just a phone call away should an addict believe they are relapsing.

Alcohol addiction treatment centers – Alcohol addiction treatment centers usually offer in-house detox clinics, psychotherapy, and educational sessions about addiction. Many of these require patients to remain within the center throughout the treatment for alcohol addiction. 24 hour supervision monitors behavior patterns to make sure a patient is safe. Licensed physicians are on site to prescribe medications, if necessary. And licensed clinical psychologists work with addicts to start to address reasons for drinking.

Alcohol detox clinics – Detox clinics offer support during the withdrawal stage of alcohol addiction treatment. Medical staff and physicians work with patients to withdraw from alcohol safely and without complications. Detox clinics can also prescribe anti-drinking medications to help prevent relapse.

Clinical psychologist specializing in alcohol addiction treatment – Psychologists invite addicts to talk about their thoughts and feelings during recovery. This allows patients to get to the root of their drinking problem. Therapy could be within a group, individual or with family. Psychologists help guide thought and behavioral changes.

Licensed clinical social workers – Clinical social workers address the mental issues of alcohol addiction. They can help a recovering alcoholic find housing and employment after recovery and aid the transition back into society. Clinical social worker are often found within treatment facilities and hospitals.

Your physician – Alcohol detoxification is a difficult step. Your family doctor or general physician will be able to prescribe medication for alcohol withdrawal to make the process easier. Doctors will also be able to offer advice on treatment options and help.

Trusted religious or spiritual leaders – Talking to religious or spiritual leaders can help to prevent a relapse. It helps to get back into the community and find someone to talk to about your addiction and your thoughts.

How to treat alcohol addiction questions

Do you have any questions about how to treat alcohol addiction? Maybe you have been through various types of treatment and want to offer a personal insight. Please leave your comments below and we will answer all questions as soon as possible.

References Sources: NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment
National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence 

Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “How to treat alcohol addiction
2:14 pm April 18th, 2016

My brother takes liqour and does not listen at all. How to stop him taking liquor?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:22 pm April 20th, 2016

Hi Rocha. I suggest that you look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help:

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