Alcoholism and Treatment
Similar to other illnesses and diseases, alcoholism can be overcome with quality alcoholism treatment,
increased research attempts, and prevention.
Stated in another way, as critical as alcohol dependency is, fortunately it can be treated. Treatment for
alcoholism frequently includes a mixture of doctor prescribed drugs and counseling to help an individual quit
drinking and become sober.
Under the best of circumstances, moreover, alcoholism and treatment can lead to recovery.
Alcoholism and Treatment: A General Overview
Not unlike other illnesses, alcoholism can be overcome with increased research efforts, prevention, and proper
alcohol addiction treatment.
By providing more people with access to exceptional alcoholic treatment, the costly drain on society and the
physical, psychological, and financial encumbrances that alcoholism places on families can be substantially
To be sure, the research literature reveals compelling data that professional alcoholism treatment approaches
and alcoholism prevention efforts result in significant reductions in cancer, hearth disease, strokes, traffic
fatalities, crime, unwanted pregnancy, HIV, and child abuse.
Additionally, qualified treatment for alcohol dependency 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 threatening as alcohol dependency is, fortunately it can be treated. Treatment for alcohol addiction
habitually combines counseling and practitioner prescribed medications to help an individual abstain from drinking
While most alcoholics need help to recover from their affliction, scientific examination has illustrated that
with support and expert treatment for alcohol dependency, scores of individuals are able to quit drinking and
reclaim their lives.
Exactly What Is Alcoholism?Alcoholism, known as alcohol
addiction and alcohol dependence, is a progressive debilitating disease that is comprised of the following
- Craving: having a strong urge or need to drink.
- Loss of control: an inability to discontinue drinking after the first drink.
- Physical dependence: withdrawal symptoms like nausea, "the shakes," anxiety, headaches, and
perspiration when refraining from alcohol.
- Tolerance: the need to drink increasingly more amounts of alcohol in order to get "high" or to
feel a buzz.
Alcoholism Treatment and Withdrawal Symptoms
A number of atypical techniques exist for treating alcoholism withdrawal. Insomuch as some of these therapies
use medications, numerous, alternatively, do not.
It can be noted with fascination that according to current research findings, the most reliable way to treat
mild withdrawal symptoms is without drugs. Such non-drug detoxification methodologies use broad social support and
screening throughout the entire withdrawal procedure.
Other non-drug detoxification therapies, furthermore, use vitamin therapy (unusually thiamin) and proper
nutrition for treating mild withdrawal symptoms.
Mild to Moderate Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The following illustrates mild to moderate physical withdrawal symptoms that ordinarily occur within 6 to 48
hours after the last alcoholic drink:
- Tremor of the hands.
- Looking pale.
- Pulsating headaches.
- Sweating (especially on the palms of the hands or on the face).
- Enlarged or dilated pupils.
- Loss of appetite.
- Clammy skin.
- Abnormal movements.
- Involuntary movements of the eyelids.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Sleeping difficulties
Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The following is a list of severe symptoms that typically take place within 48 to 96 hours after the last
- Muscle tremors.
- Visual hallucinations.
- Severe autonomic nervous system overactivity.
- Black outs.
- Delirium tremens (DTs).
Traditional Alcoholism Treatment Approaches
There is a diversity of orthodox alcohol treatment approaches that are considered "conventional" therapies.
The following alcohol addiction treatment methodologies and therapies will be reviewed: Outpatient alcoholism
Treatment and Counseling, Detoxification, Behavioral Treatment, Therapeutic Medications, Residential alcohol
addiction Treatment methodologies and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, and Family and Marital Counseling.
Outpatient alcohol addiction Treatment and Counseling. There are considerable counseling
methods that educate alcoholics how to become attentive to the situational and psychological" hot buttons" that
prompt their drinking.
Armed with this information, people can accordingly learn about unique ways in which they can handle
circumstances that do not necessitate the employment of alcohol. Not surprisingly, therapies like these are almost
always offered on an outpatient basis.
Detoxification. Alcohol detoxification is the protocol of letting the body rid itself of
alcohol while managing the withdrawal symptoms in a harmless environment.
Alcohol detox treatment is almost always done under the guidance of a medical doctor and is commonly the first
step employed in an alcoholic treatment program.
Detoxification methodologies, because of the relatively long time frame to complete the process, are almost
always 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
alcohol addiction, each of these three behavioral treatment therapies extensively reduced drinking in patients the
year after treatment.
Whereas all three of these methods were considered "successful," none of them, on the other hand, could be
categorized as "the most efficient" treatment for alcohol addiction.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Alcoholics Anonymous is a mutual support program for recovering
alcoholics Specifically centered on the 12-steps of recovery that are needed in order to stay sober.
Backing and support are provided by the meetings that meet on a regular basis. Is Alcoholics Anonymous the most
effective strategy for the treatment of alcohol dependency?
While Alcoholics Anonymous has proven to be an helpful alcoholism treatment methodology, numerous practitioners
outside of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as more than a few people within Alcoholics Anonymous, believe that
Alcoholics Anonymous works most effectively when incorporated with other types of therapy like psychotherapy and
Motivation Enhancement Therapy (MET). Motivation Enhancement Therapy is a systematic
therapeutic method that is almost the total contrast of Alcoholics Anonymous in that it uses motivational
strategies to activate the client's own change mechanisms. Some of the most important elements of MET are the
- Therapist empathy.
- Providing the client with a diversity of unusual change options.
- Providing feedback on the subject of the individual risks or damage connected to the abuse.
- Helping the client achieve self-efficacy or a sense of optimism.
- Emphasis on taking personal responsibility for constructive change.
- Receiving unmistakable advice to make healthy changes.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). There are more than a few forms of cognitive behavior
therapy. Most of them, all the same, have the following commonalties:
- CBT uses the Socratic Method that is rooted in the asking of questions for insight.
- In CBT, a solid therapeutic relationship is necessary but not the primary focal point for effective
- CBT is structured and directive.
- CBT is a mutually shared attempt 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 clients discover that their
hypotheses are false, they can then change their thoughts and experiences to be more in line with reality.
- 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 to Assistance the client unlearn undesirable reactions and emotions
and replace them with new and more constructive ways of functioning and reacting.
- CBT is centered on stoic philosophy. CBT does not tell clients how they should feel. More accurately, this
kind of therapy focuses on helping patients learn how to think more logically and helpfully.
- CBT dependably has therapeutic sessions that are briefer and fewer in quantity than most other forms of
- CBT methodologies are established on the cognitive model of emotional response. Specifically, if people
change the way they think, they can therefore act and feel better, even if the situation doesn't change.
Therapeutic Medications. In this treatment methodology, the alcoholic takes doctor-prescribed
medications such as disulfiram (Antabuse) or naltrexone (ReViaT) in an attempt to help prevent the individual from
returning to drinking after he or she has ingested alcohol. Stated simply, with this methodology, doctors prescribe
medications (drugs) to treat alcoholism.
For instance, antabuse is a drug given to alcoholics that results in negative effects such as flushing,
vomiting, nausea, or dizziness if alcohol is ingested.
Obviously, antabuse is effectual basically because it is a realistic deterrent. Naltrexone (ReViaT), in
contrast, targets the brain's reward circuits and is successful because it reduces the craving the alcoholic has
Residential Alcohol Treatment methods and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab. If a person needs alcohol
poisoning treatment, if the individual's withdrawal symptoms are harsh, if outpatient approaches or
support-oriented methods like Alcoholics Anonymous are not productive, or if there's a need for alcohol AND drug
abuse treatment, the individual typically has to register into a hospital or a residential alcohol treatment
facility and receive inpatient alcohol rehab treatment.
Programs like these are targeted for alcoholism clients and almost always involve doctor-prescribed drugs to
help the individual get through detoxification and the alcohol withdrawal treatment protocol in a safe manner.
Family and Marital Counseling. Due to the fact that the recovery course of action is so
intimately tied to the support the client receives from his or her family, a number of alcoholism methods include
family therapy and marital counseling as key features in the treatment protocol.
Such therapeutic methodologies, moreover, also provide alcoholics with important community resources, like legal
assistance, parenting courses, financial management programs, childcare courses, and job training.
Alcoholism and Treatment: Unconventional Therapies
Despite the fact that the research findings are not definitive, there is a fairly wide range of unusual
treatment interventions for alcohol abuse and alcoholism that are becoming more available, widely used, and more
Examples include the following therapies that have been proposed as "natural" classes of alcohol abuse
treatment: the holistic and naturalistic methodologies used by Traditional Chinese Medicine, different vitamin and
supplement therapies, and "Drumming out Drugs" (a therapeutic approach that employs the use of drumming by
As promising as these nontraditional methodologies are, more research, however, is needed to establish their
effectiveness and to determine if these varieties of treatment for alcohol addiction offer long-lived success.
Teen Alcoholism and Treatment
Learning about alcohol treatment is unusually significant 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 addiction, they might be able to avoid the detrimental
effects that are interconnected to teenage alcohol abuse and teen alcoholism in the workplace, school, or in
More exposure to relevant information also means that our youth may be able to stay away from adolescent
alcoholism treatment or the teen alcoholism treatment procedure entirely.
Conclusion: Alcoholism and Treatment
Even though a cure for alcohol addiction does not currently exist, multiple drug and alcohol therapeutic
methodologies and alcoholism treatment programs, however, exist that help alcoholics recover from their alcohol
dependency. In brief, there is a lot of alcoholism and treatment information that is available both online and
Some individuals, however, are sure to ask the following question about treating alcoholism: "What is the most
efficient type of alcoholism treatment"? Like any chronic illness, there are varying levels and degrees of success
concerning alcohol dependency treatment.
For instance, some alcoholics, after treatment, refrain from drinking and remain sober. Other alcoholics,
conversely, encounter fairly long periods of sobriety after receiving treatment, and then have a drinking
And still other alcoholics cannot abstain from drinking alcohol for any sustainable period of time, no matter
what manner of treatment they have received.
It is interesting to point out, by the way, that all of these treatment outcomes happen with every known type of
In any event, when discussing alcoholism and treatment, one thing is unmistakable: the longer an individual
refrains from drinking alcohol, the more likely he or she will be able to remain sober and steer clear of the need
for the treatment for alcoholism.