What Is The Treatment For Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a disease, and should be treated as such. When dealing with a disease, you cannot take an approach of simply treating the alcohol symptoms when they pop up. You certainly would not expect the patient to will their way through it. Therefore, alcohol addiction needs to be treated systematically and rigorously.
That does not mean that treatment will be exactly the same for each individual. Every case is going to be different to an extent, and good treatment will take all idiosyncrasies into account.
However, treatment for most people suffering from alcohol addiction generally covers the following.
Alcohol addiction is in large part physical. Before starting treatment, it is crucial that the individual receives proper medical assessment to ensure their particular physical needs are addressed.
Treatment needs to begin with detoxification. This refers to the period of time during which the patient recovers from his or her physical dependence. Staying sober having become dependent on alcohol will cause physical issues that most patients cannot deal with alone. Detox makes sure the individual is comfortable, as well as unable to resort to drinking to stop the symptoms.
Once the individual has detoxed from alcohol, a proper assessment and diagnosis can take place. Many addicts have other underlying mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. Dual-diagnosis is common, and without treating both conditions, sobriety is unlikely to last.
The family should also be assessed to explore what the individual’s loved ones need in order to recover from the damage done to them, as well as to ensure they can learn how to bring the person back into their household when treatment is over.
Individual and Group Therapy
Therapy is a necessary part of treatment. It helps the individual deal with the underlying causes of their alcohol addiction. Without addressing these causes, they are likely to relapse when they have access to alcohol again.
Different treatment centers take different approaches to what kind of therapy is offered. The 12 Step Program is the most well-known treatment and works for many. At Seasons, Dr Nancy Irwin offers hypnotherapy, which has proven incredibly successful for many patients. This is in addition to other therapies.
Group therapy is very helpful in treating alcoholism. In group therapy, people suffering from alcohol addiction are able to share their experiences and learn from one another. They can also support each other in their respective recoveries.
Restorative therapies such as acupuncture and massage are also on offer, as holistic treatment is essential for a disease which has both physical and mental aspects.
Towards the end of treatment, a recovering alcoholic should be slowly reintegrated into normal life. They will discuss future outpatient treatment with the center and their individual therapist. They will also discuss strategies with which to counter challenges they will be expected to face.
It is often useful to include the individual’s family in this process, as their living situation will be instrumental in their ability to stay sober.
A community proves very important to many recovering alcoholics. Once they have left treatment, a recovery community provides support, ensuring they are not left to confront any future problems alone. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings are found around the country and the world, but there are also many communities which do not require commitment to the 12 Step program.