Alcoholism is one problem that can be viewed as a medical or a psychological issue. People become dependent on alcohol for many reasons, and their dependency levels also vary, so treatments for alcoholism may differ from one person to another. The ultimate goal of any treatment is to stop the alcohol dependency, which can be followed by guiding the person to cope with life without alcohol. The must be no prevailing issues that pushed the person to alcoholism, otherwise, that person may end up alcoholic again. Here are a few methods used as a treatment for alcoholism.
Living with an addiction to alcohol makes the person more miserable and lost than one can even imagine. Being swallowed up in addiction means isolation from loved ones, being a slave to your alcohol cravings, and doing things that can leave you feeling utterly devastated and emotionally destroyed. If you wish to reclaim a clean and sober lifestyle, the best recourse you have in this situation is to go into a substance abuse alcohol detox program, because it most definitely works.
Did you ever stop and wonder what caused you to develop an addiction?
Were you going through something difficult? Did you lose someone you love and substance abuse provided you with an out? Do you have low self-esteem and substance abuse makes you feel better? There are many reasons why people turn to alcohol in their life. What many individuals do not realize is that with repeated use and abuse, the situation can quickly spiral out of control and the person will wind up needing an alcohol detox program to get clean and sober again.
Well, the word detoxification seems to be so heavy, clinical, and scary. Is my body full of toxins and now I need to detox it? In fact yes and no. If you have been a heavy drinker for weeks, months, or years then yes you should consider cleaning your body properly first, before moving forward to the in-depth recovery steps. The reason is that if the input of alcohol to your body is suddenly cut, the body might experience so-called alcohol withdrawal symptoms which are not really pleasant and at time they are highly dangerous.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
For those people who have been drinking heavily for years, cutting alcohol potentially leads to alcohol withdrawal syndrome which is the body’s reaction to the lack of alcohol in its system and these symptoms can worsen quickly at times. These symptoms can be from mild anxiety or shaking to severe seizures, DTs (delirium tremens). The rate of death for DT is reported to be 1% to 5%. Anyway, some of these milder symptoms or withdrawals can be sweating, shaky hands, vomiting, insomnia, headache, and overall not physically comfortable at all.
How is a detoxification center different from a traditional alcohol treatment center?
A substance abuse alcohol detox program specializes in treating the physical aspects of alcohol withdrawal. On the other hand, a treatment program exclusively handles the psychological aspects of alcohol addiction and is not equipped to address physical detox. The time a person spends in a detox program is drastically shorter than in a treatment center because once the body is clean from the toxins of alcohol the individual is strongly encouraged and will benefit from long-term, inpatient care and attention.
Detoxification periods should always be accompanied by support sessions from friends, family, and most importantly, trained medical professionals. Some severe detoxification periods can put a person’s life at risk, and they should always take place at a clinic, hospital, or rehab center.
Take extreme caution with any products that propose to help you to detoxify from alcohol on your own. There are many of these products on the market and almost none of these products have been clinically tested to government standards. You should absolutely ensure you talk to a doctor about any detoxification products before you try it.
Alcohol withdrawal treatment and abuse
There are 5 main methods to treat alcohol addiction:
– Detoxification. Alcohol detox is only one part of the treatment of alcoholism. Detoxification from alcohol can be serious and life-threatening. In many cases, alcoholism treatment may begin with the individual going through a detoxification program. The individual must be detoxed and monitored to avoid any serious injury during the initial stages of withdrawing. Some treatment programs have on-ground detox facilities where others may utilize a local hospital or dedicated detox facility.
When detoxing from alcohol, depending on the amount consumed and for how long, you will probably experience withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol detox programs are not all the same. There are different philosophies and beliefs on the proper way to detox someone from alcohol. Some administer drugs to help relieve the detox process while others do not or administer different types of drugs. In this method, alcohol supply is suddenly stopped and is substituted with doses of drugs that have the same effects. This is to neutralize the effect of the abrupt stop of using alcohol. The drugs used are typically benzodiazepines and barbiturates. In some cases, Librium is used in alcohol poisoning treatment. Librium does not relieve the symptoms of withdrawing so much as it prevents seizures and convulsions.
– Group therapy and psychotherapy. The first step in working towards treating alcoholism is recognizing that there is a problem with the dealt with. Going to any of the meetings held by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a step that many individuals make when they decide to change their habits and life. Here, there is a 12-step program aimed at turning around the problems being experienced and working out the issues from the past that hamper many individuals. Here, the recovery programs are overseen by sponsors, doctors, and counselors as well. However, these are voluntary programs that can be quit at any point in time.
These treatments may follow the process of detoxification. In therapy, the patient tries to resolve their psychological issues. The ultimate objective of these therapies is to prevent any relapse by solving any of the patient’s lingering issues and teaching them to prevent future use of alcohol.
– Rationing and moderation. This method does not require an individual to withdraw from all use of alcohol fully. Instead, they try to regulate the amount of intake of alcohol and eliminate the dependency by going back to low-risk drinking.
Many of the patients that are admitted to treatment centers are facing issues with their behaviors as well. Self-destructive behaviors are a cause of alcohol dependency and the abuse creates more such habits. To break this vicious cycle, various forms of cognitive therapy are used by doctors and counselors. Patients are taught to modify their approach and relationship with drinking and creating good habits to fill the void left after sobering up. For the most part, treating alcoholism is a process of completing these tasks and finding a new direction.
– Medication. In some cases, a person may need to be administered with medication to help the withdrawal from alcohol use or to respond to the physical needs of the patient after they stop drinking. Baclosen, Acamprosate, and Antabuse are some examples of these medications.
– Nutritional therapy. The use of multivitamins and other supplements may be required for some patients after undergoing the above treatment to counter the effects of the prolonged use of alcohol in the body.
As symptoms can be so severe, alcohol detoxification should always be done under authorized supervision. Professionals have many tools to assist and ease this difficult detoxification process. Some of the most severe symptoms of withdrawal can sometimes be eased by a variety of medications. Certain sedatives, benzodiazenines, and anticonvulsant medications are some of the more common prescriptions used during a detoxification period. These will not alleviate all the symptoms, but they may help prevent seizures and help calm people down enough to get some sleep.
Drug-free methods to assist in detoxification also exist. These methods include using natural supplements to help the body rebound from the depressing effects of alcohol and using acupuncture as a means to help alleviate some physical symptoms. Some natural products with positive effects include vitamin supplements that speed recovery time. Acupuncture has been known to help with tremors, headaches, and nausea. Again, make sure that you only use natural supplements or alternative medication under the supervision of your doctor.
Alcohol addiction treatment in the form of relapse prevention is directed towards patients who have sobered for a small period of time once and are in danger of starting to drink once again. It is targeted at helping them identify situations and behaviors that trigger the need to drink within them and how to modify these issues. Drug treatments are used when the patients are unable to become sober of their own accord and need medical intervention in doing so. Both of these involve counseling, as does therapy for cognitive behavior changes as well.
Preventive measures can be used during treating alcoholism as well. These are targeted towards those who have access to alcohol but are willing to try to control the addiction. Usually, family members and friends are also involved in such forms of treatment as well.
What is kindling? Kindling is a term that specifically refers to a phenomenon someone has when going through alcohol detox. This type of problem leads to increased severity of withdrawal symptoms and it is thought that cross-addiction makes it much worse and more common. Kindling can lead to anxiety, convulsions, and neurotoxicity, and being addicted to drugs can make the issue much worse. For handling these types of severe withdrawal symptoms, the best place an addict can be is in an alcohol detox program.
What are alcohol treatment programs in special centers?
For the many alcoholics and alcohol abusers, hitting rock bottom means having nowhere else to go. At this point, the family members and friends of the individual have what is called an intervention. From there on, most alcoholics choose to go to or are sent to alcohol rehabilitation centers. At these centers, treatment for alcoholism and abuse takes place during a few weeks in 12 steps. Such centers are dedicated to nursing the lives of alcohol addicts back to being healthy and nurtured. They are also seen as half-way houses for those trying to become sober.
Other issues that are addressed at these centers are those of self-therapy, counseling as well as anger management. Much of the reason these centers exist is to provide a safe area for the patients to discuss their issues and problems. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are also employed at the rehab clinics along with the counselors in order to provide psychological support as well. Patients are provided with strict guidelines to follow along with personal support, care, and medication to help them deal with the withdrawal following the steps for treating alcoholism.
There are various programs that are run by the rehab centers. Some of these focus on the outpatients while others are designed for those who are living in the center. There are also halfway-house treatments available for those who have been released from the alcohol treatment centers. Outpatient treatment is given to those who do not have a serious case of addiction just as yet and can benefit from bi-monthly detox sessions and group counseling. Some of these patients also attend their local AA for treating alcoholism.
Inpatient treatment is meant for those who have been diagnosed with a severe level of addiction, to the point where the alcoholism must be treated as a disease. Such patients experience some physical problems along with the alcoholism, which tends to affect their emotional and physical state of being. It can also lead to growing violent tendencies, domestic abuse, sexual dysfunction, and many other issues. In such cases, treating alcoholism mixes various approaches together. Detoxification is combined with medication and counseling for the best results.
How long will it take someone to go through a detox program?
This question is going to depend strictly on the length of time someone has been abusing alcohol, as well as age, gender, and overall physical health. To have the best possible chance at healing and recovery, the person should first go into a detox program and then follow it with enrolling into a drug and alcohol treatment center to address the psychological aspects of addiction recovery.