About Alcohol Addiction Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is alcohol addiction?
This is a condition whereby you depend on alcohol because of a strong need and craving to drink. It is also called alcohol dependence or alcoholism. It generally develops after alcohol abuse, which is having dangerous and unhealthy drinking habits such as drinking too much at a time or drinking every day. Alcohol addiction is a chronic diseases and not a lack of willpower or weakness.Symptoms of alcohol dependence include:
How do I treat alcohol addiction?
- You are unable to quit drinking
- You cannot control how much you drink
- You need to drink more alcohol to get the same effect
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking such s swaying, anxiety and shaking
- You have given up other activities so that you can drink
- You have tried unsuccessfully to quit drinking or cut back on the amount you drink
- You continue to drink even though it causes physical problems and harms your relationships
The first and most important step in treating alcohol addiction is accepting that you have a problem. This involves confronting the addiction and accepting that drinking has a negative impact on your life.
Alcohol addiction has no cure and overcoming the addiction is a long process that requires personal dedication and commitment in conjunction with various therapies and treatments. Your doctor will discuss with you available options and ask questions so as to develop an individual treatment plan for you. Factors that will influence your treatment plan will include:
Treatment options include:
- Previous history of alcoholism
- Personal commitment to becoming and staying sober
- Level of support from friends and family
- Financial situation
- Detoxification: Most treatment plans begin with a detoxification program (detox). This is usually aimed at breaking your body’s physical addiction to alcohol. The program is performed at an inpatient center and typically takes a week to complete. The symptoms of withdrawal can be dramatic and medications can be given during this period to prevent confusion, shaking, convulsions and hallucinations.
- Behavior modification: This is aimed at helping the person learn coping mechanisms and skills to avoid alcohol after leaving the treatment center. Your doctor may refer you to other treatment centers or a counselor to help you learn those skills.
- Counseling: Your doctor may refer you to group or one on one counseling. Support groups can be helpful when going through addiction as it helps you connect with people who are going though the same challenges you face. They provide encouragement, help answer some questions and direct you to other support resources.
There are several medications used to treat alcohol addiction. They include:
- Disulfiram: This is an alcohol-sensitizing drug which may lower your craving to drink. The drug makes you sick when you consume alcohol. If combined with alcohol it may cause nausea, vomiting, headaches and flushing.
- Acamprosate: This is a drug that controls alcohol cravings by restoring the balance of certain chemicals in your brain.
- Naltrexone: This is a drug that blocks the feel good effect that alcohol has on your brain. It aims at making you feel less inclined to drink since the feel good effect is missing.
Recovery from alcohol dependence is a lifelong journey. Temptation and relapses are some of the greatest challenges you will face. While some people beat alcohol addiction the first time they try to become sober, others battle the addiction for many years. Alcohol addiction can cause various complications in your life such as:
- Many kinds of cancer
- Heart disease
- Liver cirrhosis
- Erectile dysfunction
Learn more about Alcohol Addiction Treatment