Alcohol Treatment

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Analogous to other diseases, alcohol dependency can be overcome with competent alcohol treatment, increased research efforts, and prevention.

That is to say, as menacing as alcoholism is, fortunately it can be treated. Alcohol treatment, as a general rule, includes a mixture of alcoholism treatment medications and counseling to help a person stop drinking.

Alcohol Treatment: A Necessary Overview

Similar to other illnesses, alcohol addiction can be overcome with increased research efforts, prevention, and proper alcohol addiction treatment.

By providing more people with access to expert alcoholic treatment, the costly drain on society and the physical, psychological, and financial barriers that alcohol addiction places on families can be considerably diminished.

If truth be told, research studies display strong data that effectual alcohol dependency treatment programs and alcohol addiction prevention efforts lead to irrefutable reductions in cancer, hearth disease, child abuse, strokes, traffic fatalities, crime, unwanted pregnancy, HIV, and child abuse.

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Likewise, qualified treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse improves an individual's quality of life, health, and job performance while at the same time minimizing drug use, family dysfunction, and involvement with the criminal justice system.

As perilous as alcohol addiction is, fortunately it can be treated. Treatment for alcoholism frequently involves a combination of counseling and alcohol treatment medications to help a person refrain from drinking.

Although most people who are dependent on alcohol need help to recover from their disease, research has confirmed that with support and competent alcohol rehab treatment, numerous individuals are able to abstain from drinking and restore their lives.

Alcohol Treatment: What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol addiction and alcohol dependence, is a progressive debilitating disease that involves the following four symptoms:

  • Craving: having a persuasive urge or need to drink.

  • Physical dependence: withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, "the shakes," anxiety, headaches, and perspiration when refraining from alcohol.

  • Tolerance: the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to get "high" or to experience a buzz.

  • Loss of control: an incapacity to stop drinking after the first drink.

Alcohol Treatment: Withdrawal Symptoms

Special techniques exist for treating alcohol dependency withdrawal. Whereas some of these therapies use medications, scores of, alternatives, do not. Fascinatingly, according to current research findings, the safest way to treat mild withdrawal symptoms is without drugs.

Such non-drug detoxification approaches use wide-extending social support and screening all through the whole withdrawal protocol.

Other non-drug detoxification methods, additionally, use vitamin therapy (particularly thiamin) and proper nutrition for treating mild withdrawal symptoms.

Mild to Moderate Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following epitomizes mild to moderate physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms that usually take place within 6 to 48 hours after the last alcoholic drink:

  • Looking pale

  • Involuntary movements of the eyelids

  • Vomiting

  • Clammy skin

  • Enlarged or dilated pupils

  • Nausea

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Pulsating headaches

  • Tremor of the hands

  • Sweating (especially on the palms of the hands or on the face)

  • Loss of appetite

  • Abnormal movements

  • Sleeping difficulties

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following is a list of severe symptoms that typically happen within 48 to 96 hours after the last alcoholic drink:

  • Severe autonomic nervous system over activity

  • Fever

  • Convulsions

  • Black outs

  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

  • Visual hallucinations

  • Seizures

  • Muscle tremors

The Screening Questionnaire

The first step in the treatment process usually entails a screening questionnaire. If the results of this questionnaire identify a drinking problem, the physician may question the patient further to determine the severity of alcohol abuse.

The doctor may try brief intervention and/or suggest Alcoholics Anonymous, or refer the person to an alcohol addiction specialist.

Even if the person with the drinking problem sees a specialist, the family physician, however, will still play a critical holistic role in treatment and prevention, working with the patient and with the family throughout and after treatment.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment: Traditional Methods

There are a variety of orthodox alcohol rehab treatment options that are considered "conventional" therapies. The following alcohol addiction treatment methods and therapies will be discussed: Outpatient alcohol dependency Treatment and Counseling, Detoxification.

Behavioral Treatment, Therapeutic Medications, Residential alcoholism Treatment approaches and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, and Family and Marital Counseling.

Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Counseling. There are more than a few approaches to counseling that teach alcoholics how to become responsive to the situational and emotional "hot buttons" that prompt their drinking.

Armed with this information, individuals can, as a consequence, learn about unique ways in which they can manage situations that do not involve the employment of alcohol. Not surprisingly, therapies like these are usually offered on an outpatient basis.

Detoxification. Alcohol detoxification is the protocol of letting the body rid itself of alcohol while controlling the withdrawal symptoms in a safe environment.

Alcohol detoxification treatment is typically done under the direction of a doctor and is habitually the first step used in an alcoholic treatment program. Detoxification methods are usually part of an inpatient alcohol rehab program.

Behavioral Treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivation Enhancement Therapy, and Alcoholics Anonymous. It is interesting to note that according to a study administered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and alcoholism (NIAAA), each of these three behavioral treatment therapies considerably reduced drinking in clients the year after treatment.

Whereas all three of these approaches were considered "successful" by the NIAAA, none of them, by any means, could be categorized as "the most excellent" treatment for alcohol dependency.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Alcoholics Anonymous is a mutual support program for recovering alcoholics rooted on the 12-steps of recovery that are considered necessary in order to stay sober.

Aid and support are provided by the meetings that convene on a regular basis. Is Alcoholics Anonymous the preeminent line of attack for the treatment of alcohol abuse and alcoholism?

While Alcoholics Anonymous has proven to be an helpful alcohol dependency treatment approach, many practitioners outside of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as several people within Alcoholics Anonymous, find that AA works best when integrated with other modes of therapy, such as psychotherapy and medical care.

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Motivation Enhancement Therapy (MET). MET is a systematic therapeutic method that is almost the total converse of Alcoholics Anonymous in that it uses motivational strategies to activate the client's own change mechanisms. Some of the underlying highlights of MET are the following:

  • Therapist empathy

  • Providing the client with a diversity of unusual change options

  • Providing feedback regarding the individual risks or damage interrelated with the abuse

  • Assisting the client achieve self-efficacy or a sense of optimism

  • Receiving clear advice to make healthy changes

  • Emphasis on taking individual responsibility for constructive change

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). There are more than a few modes of cognitive behavior therapy. Most of them, on the other hand, have the following commonalties:

  • CBT is structured and directive

  • CBT methods are based on the cognitive model of emotional response. That is to say, if we change the way we think, we can act and feel better, even if the situation doesn't change

  • CBT is a mutually shared effort between the therapist and the client

  • CBT theory and techniques rely on the Inductive Method. This method has patients look at their thoughts as hypotheses (or suggested explanations) that can be tested and questioned. If patients discover that their hypotheses are not factual, they can then change their thoughts and experiences to be more in line with reality

  • In CBT, a solid therapeutic relationship is necessary but not the primary focal point for effective therapy

  • CBT uses the Socratic Method To be exact based on the asking of questions for insight

  • Homework is a central feature of CBT

  • CBT is based on an educational model that views most emotions and behavioral reactions as learned responses. Thus, the therapeutic goal in CBT is to help the client unlearn undesirable reactions and emotions and replace them with new and more constructive ways of undergoing and reacting

  • CBT consistently has therapeutic sessions that are briefer and fewer in range than most other modes of therapy

  • CBT is established on stoic philosophy. CBT does not tell patients how they should feel. More accurately, this kind of therapy focuses on Helping patients learn how to think more judiciously and effectually

Therapeutic Medications. A number of substance abuse practitioners and researchers openly claim that chronic alcoholics who cannot maintain their sobriety should receive doctor-prescribed medications to manage and control their withdrawal symptoms.

It is important to note, moreover, that by using therapeutic medications, alcoholics are less likely to experience possible brain damage and/or seizures.

Recent alcohol addiction research has shown that the benzodiazepines are the medications that are most likely to elicit effective results when treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Examples include the longer-acting benzodiazepines such as Valium and Librium and the shorter-acting benzodiazepines such as Serax and Ativan.

When using benzodiazepines, medical doctors have historically used a progressive decrease in dosage during the entire withdrawal process.

In addition, since the shorter-acting benzodiazepines do not stay in the individual's blood system for a disproportionate amount of time and due to the fact that these types of benzodiazepines allow for measurable and observable dose reductions, more than a few alcoholism researchers and doctors have stated that intermediate to short half-life benzodiazepines should be used for treating alcoholism withdrawal symptoms.

After an individual has gone through the detoxification process and has overcome his or her withdrawal symptoms, other doctor-prescribed medications such as naltrexone (ReViaT) or disulfiram (Antabuse) can be administered to help prevent the person from returning to drinking after he or she has experienced a drinking relapse.

Stated differently, when employing this treatment methodology, doctors prescribe medications (drugs) to treat alcohol addiction. For instance, antabuse is a drug given to alcoholics that elicits negative effects such as flushing, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting if alcohol is ingested.

It almost goes without saying that antabuse is highly efficient and productive because it is a strong alcoholic deterrent. Naltrexone (ReViaT), on the other hand, focuses on the brain's reward circuits and is effective because it reduces the craving the alcoholic has for alcohol.

Residential Alcohol Treatment methodologies and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab. If an individual needs alcohol poisoning treatment, if the individual's withdrawal symptoms are excessive, if outpatient methodologies or support-oriented methods such as Alcoholics Anonymous are not helpful, or if there's a need for alcohol AND drug abuse treatment, the person typically has to go into a hospital or a residential alcohol treatment facility and receive inpatient alcohol rehab treatment.

Methodologies like these are targeted for alcohol addiction clients and usually include doctor-prescribed drugs to help the person get through detoxification and the alcohol withdrawal treatment process in a harm free manner.

Family and Marital Counseling. Since the recovery procedure is so intimately tied to the support the client receives from his or her family, a multiplicity of alcohol addiction approaches include family therapy and marital counseling as key facets in the treatment process.

Such therapeutic approaches, what is more, also provide alcoholics with primary community resources, such as financial management courses of instruction, childcare courses, job training, parenting classes, and legal assistance.

Alcohol Treatment: Alternative Therapies

Whereas the research findings are not definitive, there is a number of unusual treatment strategies for alcohol abuse and alcoholism that are becoming more conventional, obtainable, and more researched.

Examples include the following therapies that have been proposed as "natural" kinds of alcohol abuse treatment: various vitamin and supplement therapies, the holistic and naturalistic tactics used by Traditional Chinese Medicine, and "Drumming out Drugs" (a type of therapy that employs the use of drumming by patients).

As promising as these nontraditional methods are, more research, however, is considered necessary to establish their effectiveness and to determine if these types of treatment for alcohol addiction offer lasting success.

Teen Alcoholism

Learning about alcohol treatment is exceptionally crucial concerning teen alcohol dependency.

More to the point, if a teenager or a parent of a teenager can read about and comprehend some of the facts and statistics about teenage alcohol abuse and teen alcohol dependency, they might be able to avoid the destructive end products that are correlated with teenage alcohol abuse and teen alcohol dependency in the workplace, school, or in higher education.

More exposure to relevant information also means that our youth may be able to avoid adolescent alcohol addiction treatment or the teen alcoholism treatment process entirely.

Conclusion: Alcohol Treatment

Although a cure for alcohol dependency does not currently exist, multiple drug and alcohol therapeutic methodologies and alcohol dependency treatment approaches, nonetheless, exist that help alcoholics recover from their alcohol dependency. In a word, there is a lot of alcohol dependency treatment information that is available.

Some people ask the following question about treating alcohol addiction: "What is the most effective type of alcohol treatment"? Like any chronic sickness, there are particular levels and degrees of success concerning alcohol dependency treatment.

For instance, some alcoholics, after alcohol rehab treatment, abstain from drinking and remain sober. Other alcoholics, quite the reverse, experience comparatively long periods of sobriety after receiving treatment, and then have a drinking relapse.

And still other alcoholics cannot refrain from drinking alcohol for any unbroken period of time, no matter what type of treatment they have received. Intriguingly, all of these treatment outcomes happen with every known type of alcoholism treatment.

The bottom line: accepting the fact that help is needed for an alcohol problem may not be easy. But keep in mind that the sooner you get professional treatment, the better are your chances for a successful recovery.

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In any case, in relation to abusive drinking, however, one thing is explicit: the longer an individual abstains from drinking alcohol or always drinks in moderation, the more likely he or she will be able to stay away from alcohol treatment.

Finally, keep in mind, however, that once an individual quits drinking and the alcohol withdrawal symptoms go away, it is important for the individual to join a treatment or sobriety program such as Alcoholics Anonymous to help him or her maintain sobriety.

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