Tuesday June 27th 2017

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How to treat alcohol addiction

Alcoholism is treatable

Know someone who needs help with an alcohol problem? Maybe you have an issue with alcohol yourself? You are not alone! When facing a problem with alcohol use, it may seem like the entire world has spiralled out of control. Luckily, alcoholism treatment centers are available and can help you quit drinking and recover.

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Need information and support in finding the right rehab option for you?
Call 1-877-721-4471 TODAY.
Don’t delay another second when help is so close!

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Addiction is a medical condition. As such, it is treated medically. In fact, over 1.3 million people receive treatment for alcohol problems each year.

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In this article we explore the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction and then offer available treatment options and resources that you can use. Finally, we invite you to ask your questions about alcohol problems in the comments section at the end of the page.

Alcohol & the brain

Alcohol stimulates the pleasure reward system in the brain. This experience of pleasure reinforces the drive to drink again and again to avoid discomfort, life’s difficulties, stressful situations, traumatic experiences, or mental health problems. These are only several of the factors that play into alcohol addiction. Factors that contribute to the potential of developing an alcohol use problem can be genetic (up to 50%), environmental, and social.

One thing’s for sure: alcohol addiction is a brain disease that ends up taking control over your life…and the list of real dangers of drinking and alcohol abuse goes on and on. Here are some common signs and symptoms that can suggest there is a problem and it is time to seek professional help:

  1. Changes in behavior that are not typical and cannot be explained.
  2. Getting into trouble regularly at school/work due to alcohol use.
  3. Arguments with friends and family because of your drinking habits.
  4. Failing at your attempts to decrease or quit drinking.
  5. Suffering injuries but don’t know how they happened because of frequent blackouts.
  6. Avoiding social interactions and engagement in once pleasurable activities.
  7. Feeling a strong need (craving) to drink alcohol.
  8. Believing that you need alcohol in order to function better.

Am I an alcoholic?

Although alcohol use problems can be diagnosed only after a detailed interview and assessment with an addiction doctor, there are ways you can self-assess your situation. The GAGE questionnaire is a useful screening tool designed to help you measure the severity of your drinking.  If you are not convinced you have an accurate insight into your drinking habits, you can use these four (4) questions for self-evaluation:

  • Have you ever thought you should Cut down your alcohol use?
  • Have you ever felt Annoyed when people have commented about your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt Guilty or badly about your drinking?
  • Have you ever used alcohol to Ease withdrawal symptoms, or to avoid feeling low after using?

If you scored 1, there is a 75% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
If you scored 2, there is an 85% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
If you scored 3, there is a 99% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
If you scored 4, there is a 100% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.

Treating alcohol addiction

Before you reach out for help to treat alcohol addiction, you should know what to expect from the rehab process. In fact, in the weeks and months after you stop drinking alcohol, you have lots of work to do! There are different approaches to treating alcohol addiction, but the rehab process usually happens in the following stages:

Intake evaluation – Intake consists of an initial meeting with doctors and addiction therapists. They will assess the severity of your alcohol abuse as well as diagnose any co-occurring mental health conditions, run drug tests, physical exams, and interview you. All of the gathered information from this initial assessment play a vital role in creating a treatment program tailored to your needs.

Detoxification from alcohol – It is recommended that you always seek medical help when detoxing from alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal can be a painful and medically serious condition for alcohol users, especially if past drinking has become chronic or excessive. This is why detox from alcohol is best completed under medical supervision. Clinical doctors can prescribe medications to treat symptoms, and pills to stop drinking, such as naltrexone, acamprostate, or disulfiram.

NOTE HERE: It is not advised that you stop drinking alcohol cold turkey. Always seek medical advice before you try to stop drinking.

Alcohol rehabilitation – To treat alcohol addiction, you don’t only need to get alcohol out of your body, but you also need to develop life coping skills. During alcohol rehab, you will learn about the nature of alcoholism and begin to make cognitive behavioral changes in your thought processes. Educational sessions, psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, and a number of accompanying interventions teach you how to stay sober after you get sober. The goal of rehab is to help you determine the causes of your drinking problem and to address them in a healthy and informed way.

Aftercare – The final step in the rehab process is aftercare planning. You will require guidance and continued support to ease the transition back into the “real world” once you are done with initial treatment. In case you attend a program away from home or a smaller program, you should be provided with recommendations to local resources. Aftercare services often include counseling and support group meeting.

The BEST alcohol abuse treatment

There are many different sources of treatment for alcohol addiction. But, there is no ONE best rehab option for all.

To get the best alcohol addiction treatment possible you need a tailor made program. Tailored or customized alcoholism treatment programs are of utmost importance for long-term recovery success. You see, each person has a unique alcohol abuse history, individual past traumatic experiences, personal struggles, and emotional issues that may be the root cause of addiction. A good program needs to answer to these specific needs by adapting to whatever it is you require from treatment.

Where do you get help?

There are plenty of professionals and programs that can help you our on your quest to beat alcohol addiction. Here are just a few ideas to get you started on the recovery road.

Alcohol abuse helplines – Alcohol Helplines exist to give you direction and information about where to look for help about your addiction issues. They primarily exist to provide you with basic resources and recovery options. In fact, you can call a Toll-Free Helpline at 1-877-721-4471 for a completely confidential and anonymous conversation,

Alcohol addiction support groups – Support groups like 12 Step meeting and SMART Recovery offer outside help. These are non-profit groups of people. There are sponsors who have been sober for years, that help newer recovering alcoholics, 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. Many of these require patients to remain within the center throughout the treatment process, and offer 24 hour supervision to make sure a patient is safe. Licensed physicians are on site to prescribe medications, if necessary. In addition, licensed clinical psychologists work with recovering individuals to address their 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 ensure the withdrawal process goes 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, and help guide thought and behavioral changes. This allows patients to get to the root of their drinking problem. Therapy could be within a group, individual, or include the family.

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.

Does alcoholism treatment work?

Yes, alcohol addiction treatment works.

Even if you relapse, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. Alcoholism is often conceptualized as a chronic relapsing disorder. And, although addiction treatment helps you get rid of your need for drinking, there is more to the process of recovery.

In fact, the personal and societal benefits from living a sober life are numerous. In recovery you get to have:

  • A new purpose in life.
  • A stable life at home.
  • A process of healing from the brain and body effects of booze.
  • Better relationships with family and friends.
  • Improved physical and mental health.
  • Professional and educational advancements.

The great benefit of benzodiazepine rehab programs is building a new life that affords you to live alcohol-free…and it all starts when you get the treatment you need to stop drinking.

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 do our best to answer legitimate inquiries personally and 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
Rocha
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:
http://alliesinrecovery.net/about-craft/

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