Alcohol abuse is represented by the constant consumption of large amounts of alcohol. Any individual can be affected by this disorder – no matter their gender, age or ethnicity.
The goal of the treatment of alcohol abuse is abstinence. The main factors that may affect the rehabilitation process are support from the family/community, physical and mental health and personal motivation.
Treatment can begin only when the individual accepts that he/she has a problem and agrees to stop drinking. Even then, without strong social support and motivation, the probability of the treatment being successful is low.
Conventional treatment for alcohol abuse:
- Detoxification of the body
This step is the first – and often the most difficult, and may require the individual to be taken to a specialized facility where he/she can receive specialist medical treatment. The reason for this is that at this stage, the individual starts to experience the effects of withdrawal, which can sometimes be threatening for his/her health. These effects may include but are not limited to seizures, hallucinations or extreme nausea.
Most of the time, detoxification does not stop the craving for alcohol, which may result in depression, anxiety and insomnia. People rehabilitating from long-term alcohol abuse, experience withdrawal symptoms in a more aggressive way and they often require special medication, for example benzodiazepines – a drug that helps individuals to cope with their tendencies of anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Other drugs include disulfiram, which interacts with the metabolism of alcohol, and causes the consumption of alcohol to result in nausea and vomiting; as well as naltrexone, acamprosate, topiramate and gabapentin. All these drugs are used to cut the alcohol craving and to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal.
This step consists of assisting the individual with psychological counseling and therapy. Usually, the individuals receive prescription drugs like the ones above to help them reduce their cravings for alcohol after they finish the first step. Support from the family, community and friends is mandatory during this step because the individual cannot yet consider himself/herself cured and they may go back to drinking at any time.
- Maintenance of sobriety
This step’s success depends on the motivation of the individual. During this step, it is recommended that the individual attends AA (Anonymous Alcoholics) meetings in order to receive the support and understanding that they need. If they manage to remain sober for 12 months, they can be considered cured.
Some people prefer to cure themselves from their addiction. These particular individuals must keep in mind to respect certain guidelines in order to succeed with their treatment. These include advice such as to avoid places that may influence them to drink again; analyze their entourage and make sure that it will not drive them again to drinking; join a self-help group ( such as AA); replace their drinking with positive activities such as volunteering, learning new things, practicing a sport; or spend more time with their family and friends.
Alcohol abuse can be treated in many ways. The individual that wants to end his/her drinking behavior must search the best suitable option for himself/herself and receive permanent support from the family and the community.
US Rehab Network offers over 100 nationwide rehab centers for alcohol abuse, drug abuse and behavioral addiction. These centers have an extremely high success rate and patients are placed in a setting customized to optimal outcome! Call us today at (888) 598-0909.