November 2

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How to Treat Alcohol Addiction


Alcohol addiction is on the rise, especially among the youths; you may not know whether you are addicted unless it becomes severe and affects how you do things and also affects the people around you. You will be less productive at work if your only concern is alcohol.

Alcohol addiction treatment depends on whether you want to stop drinking entirely or minimize your alcohol intake; either way, you need to treat your alcohol addiction.

We will discuss how you can treat alcohol addiction in this article.

Brief Intervention

This is a short counseling session offered to you if you have an addiction. It usually lasts for about 5 to ten minutes and covers the risks of your drinking pattern. You are advised on reducing the amount of alcohol you take, typically done by having a drinking diary.

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You are also advised on social drinking, whereby you alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks any time you are out with friends.

Abstinence vs. moderation

These arealcohol addiction treatments generally done if you are experiencing alcohol-related health problems, drinking more than 14 times a week, and also if you can’t function without alcohol.

Cutting out alcohol is ideal for your health, but it isn’t easy to do it once. Moderating the amount you take is a goal you can achieve then reach the abstinence stage.

If you are pregnant, have liver disease, or have heart disease, abstinence is highly recommended if you were not successful with moderation.

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Withdrawal and Detox Symptoms

You should seek medical advice if you don’t perform without alcohol. The doctor might prescribe some medicine for you to help you achieve abstinence. A self-help group is also recommended for you to receive counseling and therapy.

Detox is carried out depending on your alcohol dependency level. If your case is mild, you should be able to detox at home, but if your alcohol consumption is high, you should also detox at home but with medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms.

Drink a lot of fluids during detox and avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Relieve detox stress by taking a walk and listening to music.

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Medication

Medication is recommended if you are an alcohol dependency person.  National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends medication such as nalmefene, naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprosate to treat alcohol addiction. You might want to look into aa meetings in Phoenix, AZ before you decide if you need treatment or not. Oftentimes the support groups are enough for those who don’t have a full-blown addiction yet.

·         Disulfiram is used to achieve abstinence, but only when you are concerned about a relapse. If you take alcohol, it causes an unpleasant reaction such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and chest pain.

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·         Naltrexone is used to limit the alcohol you take. It blocks receptors and stops the effects of alcohol in your body. A complete medical examination is done before the medication is prescribed.

·         Nalmefene is used to prevent relapse and taken when you are receiving other forms of support.

·         Acamprosate is used to prevent a relapse in people who have succeeded in abstinence.

Therapy

If you are an alcoholic, then you need therapy. Self-help groups such as Alcoholics anonymous are instrumental.

Alcoholics Anonymous believes that alcohol abstinence is the only solution to treating alcohol addiction.

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AA expects you to admit that you are powerless over the alcohol, realize you are wrong, and mend ways to the people you have harmed. You work through stages with a counselor on one to one instead of being in a group.

Drinking Diary

Suppose you are interested in moderating your drinking. In that case, you should consider having a drinking diary, where you record daily the alcoholic drinks you’ve taken, the time you took them, where you were, and the units you take.

A drinking diary enables you to track how much alcohol you take, situations that led you to take the drink, and ways to start cutting down the alcohol intake.

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After tracking down your alcohol intake, you will be able to know how much alcohol you indulge yourself in, and you can explain to an alcohol specialist.

Behavior Modification

If you are dependent on alcohol, you may need to learn specific skills and coping mechanisms that will help you avoid alcoholic drinks when you leave an alcohol treatment center and return to your everyday environment.

A counselor may be recommended to you by your doctor, or you may be enrolled in other treatment programs that will help you learn life skills and coping strategies.

Inpatient or Residential Rehab Services

Inpatient treatment requires the alcohol patients to live and reside in the rehabilitation center 24/7. It consists of short stays, typically 3-6 weeks which an outpatient rehab may follow or not. Depending on your alcohol indulgence level, you may require a more extended stay of about 6-12 months and get structured programs.

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Inpatient rehab services are an ideal alcohol treatment addiction because you are removed from distractions and environments surrounded by people who are drinking and events that can trigger drinking.

Patients also get 24-hour clock care and are monitored and given the necessary support.

Outpatient Rehab Services

Outpatient rehab services are divided into three levels.

·         Partial hospitalization program-in this level, you live at home while attending the treatment for up to 10 hours every day. It is ideal for people unable to commit to inpatient services.

·         Standard outpatient treatment-this will require you to attend treatment sessions once per week or several times.

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·         Intensive outpatient program- in this level, you live at home and attend treatment five days per week for 3 hours per day.

Spiritual Practice

After it is said and done, spiritual practice is ideal for you to treat alcohol addiction. If you involve yourself in spiritual practice, you find it easy to recover from alcohol addiction and other disorders. Gaining spiritual insight is ideal for your recovery journey.

Psychological Treatment of Problems

Alcohol addiction brings along other psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and other health conditions. You may need to treat these disorders first, either through medication or seeing psychotherapy. As discussed above, alcohol addiction treatment requires you to be disciplined and highly determined to achieve your goals and leave a healthy lifestyle.

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