Types Of Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Depending on your addiction, your lifestyle, and other factors, one of the following types of alcohol addiction treatment will likely be beneficial to you:
- Inpatient Treatment this method of alcohol addiction treatment takes place in a facility that is similar to a hospital and which houses patients while they receive counseling, support, therapy and medical treatment for their alcohol addiction. Treatment is rather intense during the day, and patients are required to live in the facility for the duration of the alcohol addiction treatment program which typically lasts 30-90 days
- Outpatient Treatment these programs provide counseling, therapy, and support to patients daily, weekly or semi-weekly as needed. Most outpatient treatment programs are for 24 weeks or more and include substance abuse counseling, group counseling and in many cases weekly attendance of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in conjunction with the services provided by the outpatient treatment program.
- Sober Living sober living facilities provide a smooth transition for the recovering alcohol to move from a residential alcohol treatment program on to sober living. Sober living homes typically house other individuals who are in recovery and provide a supportive environment for recovering addicts who are not ready to return to their own home for various reasons.
Evaluating The Costs And Benefits Of Drinking
Make a table like the one below, weighing the costs and benefits of drinking to the costs and benefits of quitting.
|Is drinking worth the cost?|
|Benefits of drinking|
What Is Drug Addiction
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted persons self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” diseasepeople in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
It’s common for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesnt work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patients changing needs.
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How Do I Know If Im Addicted To Alcohol
Addiction is a physical or mental dependence on a substance. The definition of alcohol use disorder is an inability to control ones alcohol use despite negative consequences2. Other common signs of AUD include:
- Lying about how much youre drinking, or hiding alcohol around the house so others wont notice
- Drinking to feel normal or avoid a hangover
- Buying alcohol from different stores so employees dont know how much you are drinking
- Continuing to drink even though you want to stop, or promised others you would stop
- Drinking more or for longer than you initially intended
- Frequently experiencing blackouts or feeling ill from the effects of drinking
- Finding yourself distracted by thoughts about alcohol
- Skipping out on other activities to drink instead
- Finding yourself in dangerous situations due to drinking or intoxication
- Experiencing tremors and other withdrawal symptoms if you dont drink often enough
- Increased tolerance: requiring more and more alcohol to feel the effects
Curious to know if youre really drinking too much? Take our short alcohol use quiz.
Behavioral Therapies For Alcohol Abuse
Inpatient and outpatient treatment both provide various types of behavioral therapies that are commonly used to treat AUDs. These therapies may include individual and group therapy sessions as follows:11
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, which is an evidence-based form of therapy that focuses on helping people identify and change unhelpful, negative thoughts and behaviors that led or contributed to their addiction. In CBT, people learn healthier ways to cope with stress and develop skills theyll need to prevent relapse.
- Motivational enhancement therapy is a short-term therapy designed to help motivate patients to reduce or stop drinking and to encourage them to make positive changes. It helps patients identify the pros and cons of treatment, make a plan to change, increase their confidence, and ] develop the skills theyll need to stick to their recovery-related goals.
- , is a form of talk therapy that incorporates a patients loved ones into their therapy sessions, if appropriate for a patient. Those who suffer from substance use disorders often directly or indirectly impact their closest relationships, so this form of treatment can help repair and rebuild relationships with patients loved ones, while also addressing issues that may have developed as a result of a persons drinking.
- Brief interventions may include short, individual counseling sessions that provide people with personalized feedback on their progress with specific goals.
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Fighting Relapse With Aftercare
Alcohol addiction treatment centers shouldnt just keep clients sober for 30 days. The most successful alcohol treatment centers have a full continuum of care. This allows clients to have support from day one all the way back to their independent lives.
Relapse is always a risk for those who struggle with alcohol addiction. Even after clients have completed rehab programs at alcohol addiction treatment centers, the risk is there. Aftercare is one of the best possible ways to prevent relapse.
Aftercare can start with sober living facilities. Others clients might prefer to live at home but continue with outpatient drug treatment centers in Illinois. Local support groups, alumni connections, and peer support are all incredibly valuable. Through family education and training, family members can also learn how to become part of the aftercare support system for their loved ones.
Do Not Become An Enabler
There are many ways, both subtle and not so subtle, to enable an alcoholic to continue abusing alcohol. This could be providing money to drink, constantly cleaning up the messes the alcoholic makes, or simply becoming an excuse maker for the actions of the alcoholic. Tough love is key here.
Alcoholics by nature can become extremely manipulative if need be to facilitate the continued usage of alcohol. Those around the addict must disqualify themselves as vehicles that can be used to prolong this self-destructive behavior pattern.
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What Medications Are Used To Treat Alcohol Use & Abuse
Some medications can help patients quit drinking, treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse. Patients may also receive different medications while in the care of an addiction treatment professional to help address symptoms of co-occurring disorders if necessary.
Some of the medications patients may receive in the care an inpatient or outpatient treatment provider include:8,12
- Naltrexone, which can help reduce the urge to drink and help to curb problem drinking. It blocks the receptors in the brain that make people feel good when they drink, and it may help to reduce cravings.
- Acamprosate, which is designed to decrease cravings and urges to drink alcohol.
- Disulfiram, , which discourages people from drinking. It blocks the metabolism of alcohol in a persons body so that they experience unpleasant symptoms, like nausea, if they decide to drink.
Thats Not The Point Of This Story
The thing is with alcohol is it taste vile, smells disgusting and makes us feel terrible. All this is an undeniable truth and something we learn from a very early age. Yet, despite all that, we still force ourselves to get addicted to alcohol.
When I left high school and went to college I was stunned by how much freedom I got.
Yeah, we were expected to go to lessons but nobody called your mom if you skipped one or ten. I went to a pretty hard-core college with some very streetwise kids. I was a wet behind ears kid with very little experience of real life.
My brother and I had been sent to very expensive, well-respected schools and there was never any trouble or hint of real-life creeping in. It was an idyllic childhood in many ways.
However, perfection caused me several significant problems. Because I had spent my entire childhood in a single-sex school, I had no idea how to talk to girls, never mind ask one out for a date. I also had no concept of rebellion or anarchy.
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Alcohol Effects On The Brain
Alcohol can have short- and long-term and disrupts the brains communication pathways. These can influence mood, behavior and other cognitive functions.
Brain damage may also occur through alcohol-induced nutrition deficiencies, alcohol-induced seizures and liver disease. In pregnant women, alcohol exposure can impact the brains of unborn babies, resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
It is reported that alcohol-induced brain problems can often be corrected with proper treatment. Abstinence from alcohol for months or years can help partially repair some effects of alcohol addiction, including thinking abilities, like memory skills.
Where Does It Come From
Alcohol is produced by fermenting or distilling various fruits, vegetables or grains. Fermented beverages include beer and wine, which have a maximum alcohol content of about 15 per cent. Distilled beverages, often called hard liquor or spirits, such as rum, whisky and vodka, have a higher alcohol content.
Although alcohol comes in different forms, it has the same effect. In the following table, each standard drink contains 13.6 grams of alcohol.
* Note that regular beers have an average alcohol content of five per cent, but some have as much as six or seven per cent, making them stronger than a standard drink. Light beers have an average alcohol content of about four per cent.
** such as sherry, port or vermouth
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What To Do If Someone You Love Is Addicted To Alcohol
If someone you love is drinking more than they should, they may be in denial. Educate yourself on some of the misconceptions surrounding alcohol abuse:
Myth: Alcohol is not physically addictive.
Fact: Alcohol is one of the most physically and psychologically addictive substances available. When used with other drugs, alcohol can lead to overdose and other physical health problems. When used long-term, alcohol can lead to several withdrawal symptoms that are painful and difficult to cope with.
Myth: Alcohol addiction only affects those who lack the willpower to quit drinking.
Fact: Alcohol is a highly addictive substance that can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Even people who are strong-willed and who want to quit drinking may have trouble stopping due to the withdrawal symptoms that are present with alcohol addiction.
Myth: Alcohol addiction only affects those who dont have a good job.
Fact: There are hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from alcohol addiction and still hold onto a good job. Many of these alcoholics are what is known as functioning alcoholics and, although they do function and work, are still addicted to alcohol.
Myth: I drink responsibly, so I am not addicted to alcohol.
Fact: Alcohol addiction is not always the result of being irresponsible, and just because you are responsible, you dont drink and drive, or you dont get in trouble when you drink, does not mean that you cannot still be suffering from an addiction to alcohol.
Teen Drinking Patterns And How They Contribute To Addiction
When it comes to substance abuse, alcohol ranks at the top among teenagers. They use alcohol more often than marijuana or cigarettes. Also, their alcohol use tends to increase as they age. Percentages of teens who use alcohol among girls and boys do not have significant differences. Therefore, your teen girl is not exempt from underage drinking or alcohol addiction.
Teenagers do not have the same pattern of alcohol use as adults. Adolescents dont drink as often, but much of what they consume happens through binge drinking episodes. Repeatedly binge drinking impacts the still-growing teenage brain. Teens who binge drink can experience long-term effects with cognitive impairment, attention, and memory.
The impacts on the brain can also make drinking in teens more likely to become an addiction. Teen drinking that starts before 15 can lead to a significantly greater likelihood of developing alcohol addiction in the future. However, external factors that lead teens to drink can also affect their chances of developing a dependency on alcohol and needing a substance abuse treatment program.
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The Difference Between Addiction And Dependence
The terms addiction and dependence are often confused or used interchangeably. While there is some overlap, its important to understand the major differences between the two.
A dependence is present when users develop a physical tolerance to a substance. They may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the drug altogether. Usually a dependency is resolved by slowly tapering off the use of a particular substance.
On the other hand, an addiction occurs when extensive drug or alcohol use has caused a persons brain chemistry to change. Addictions manifest themselves as uncontrollable cravings to use drugs, despite the harm done to oneself or others. The only way to overcome an addiction is through treatment.
How Do Alcohol Use Disorders Affect People
While some research suggests that small amounts of alcohol may have beneficial cardiovascular effects, there is widespread agreement that heavier drinking can lead to health problems.
Short-term effects include memory loss, hangovers, and blackouts. Long-term problems associated with heavy drinking include stomach ailments, heart problems, cancer, brain damage, serious memory loss and liver cirrhosis. Heavy drinkers also markedly increase their chances of dying from automobile accidents, homicide, and suicide. Although men are much more likely than women to develop alcoholism, women’s health suffers more, even at lower levels of consumption.
Drinking problems also have a very negative impact on mental health. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can worsen existing conditions such as depression or induce new problems such as serious memory loss, depression or anxiety.
Alcohol problems don’t just hurt the drinker. Spouses and children of heavy drinkers may face family violence children may suffer physical and sexual abuse and neglect and develop psychological problems. Women who drink during pregnancy run a serious risk of damaging their fetuses. Relatives, friends and strangers can be injured or killed in alcohol-related accidents and assaults.
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How Dependent Are You On Drugs Or Alcohol
Alcohol has been around for thousands of years. It has various denominations throughout the centuries, with one being spiritual meditation.
Alcohol is often enjoyed unwinding after long days of work or whatever may be happening in life.
The issue that Americans currently face with alcohol is that it has an enormous toll on society, not just on societys health but also on personal relationships, lives, jobs, and so much more.
More importantly, how dependent are you on drugs or alcohol?
Drug use raises the risk of fatal overdose, addiction, cirrhosis, kidney disease and cancer.
It also increases the risk of becoming sexually active or physically intimate with someone without protection.
Alcohol also disrupts sleep cycles and increases the risk of obesity.
Some people are very dependent on medicines or alcohol.
This means that they need to consume them to function normally. Others simply need a drink to relax.
Some people are only addicted because the mood-altering substance makes them feel that they are not alone or because it helps them manage anxiety, loneliness, boredom, or sadness.
Stepstogether provides Drug and alcohol addiction treatment which helps people to get control of their dependence on drugs and alcohol.
They often teach the individuals in the course about self-management and treatment for addiction.
How To Recognize The Signs Of Alcohol Abuse
- Risky behaviors while drinking: Alcohol abusers tend to take part in a promiscuous activity, dangerous activity or otherwise improper activities while they are drinking. Most would not partake in such activities if they were not drunk.
- Using alcohol at work, school or while performing important duties at home: Many alcohol abusers will drink while they are at work, school or while they are supposed to be handling important activities at home such as caring for their children or handling other commitments that should not be addressed while under the influence.
- Drinking in dangerous conditions: Alcohol abusers will often drink and drive or drink and perform other dangerous activities such as operating heavy machinery.
- Drinking and fighting with family members or loved ones: Alcohol abusers often drink despite their loved ones request for them not to drink and these actions often result in fighting between one another. Getting drunk despite the known relationship stress that will come is a sign of alcohol abuse.
- Getting in trouble while drunk: Many alcohol abusers will drink and drive which often results in DUIs. Other legal problems that could result from alcohol abuse include charges of disorderly intoxication, disorderly conduct or related legal problems.
- Spending money that was meant for bills on alcohol: Alcohol abusers will often make up excuses as to why they can afford to spend money on alcohol, despite the fact that the money was intended to pay bills.
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Looking Ahead: The Future Of Treatment
Progress continues to be made as researchers seek out new and better treatments for alcohol problems. By studying the underlying causes of AUD in the brain and body, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is working to identify key cellular or molecular structurescalled targetsthat could lead to the development of new medications.
Dual Addictions And Dependences
Alcoholics may also require treatment for other psychotropic drug addictions and drug dependences. The most common dual dependence syndrome with alcohol dependence is benzodiazepine dependence, with studies showing 1020 percent of alcohol-dependent individuals had problems of dependence and/or misuse problems of benzodiazepine drugs such as diazepam or clonazepam. These drugs are, like alcohol, depressants. Benzodiazepines may be used legally, if they are prescribed by doctors for anxiety problems or other mood disorders, or they may be purchased as illegal drugs. Benzodiazepine use increases cravings for alcohol and the volume of alcohol consumed by problem drinkers. Benzodiazepine dependency requires careful reduction in dosage to avoid benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome and other health consequences. Dependence on other sedative-hypnotics such as zolpidem and zopiclone as well as opiates and illegal drugs is common in alcoholics. Alcohol itself is a sedative-hypnotic and is cross-tolerant with other sedative-hypnotics such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines. Dependence upon and withdrawal from sedative-hypnotics can be medically severe and, as with alcohol withdrawal, there is a risk of psychosis or seizures if not properly managed.
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