There are many ways to treat alcohol addiction, from evolution and therapy groups to special institutions. Most alcoholics, because they deny this problem, are skeptical about the treatment, so that is often necessary for the family members and friends to convince them to enter therapy or have discussions about the problem with a specialist. Some of these people will eventually accept that there is a problem with them involving alcohol use.
From the very beginning, it is necessary to determine whether a person has an alcohol addiction or not. If a person still has control of the quantity of alcohol he or she uses, reducing that quantity is often enough. In case of addiction, it is impossible to simply stop, so professional help from a residential addiction treatment program is required.
There are cases in which non-addicted people have side effects when they use alcohol, so the therapy for these cases involves only diminution of this problem by means of counseling or interventions from persons qualified in dealing with alcohol abuse. These specialists will elaborate a strategy including ways to modify the behavior, books that teach these people to help themselves, and advice and treatment institutions.
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Cognitive behavior therapy represents one of the many forms of counseling. The patient and his doctor will discover together the nature of thinking distortion and stress. The patient is taught new methods to deal with traumas, how to become the master of his own thoughts and behavior
An alternative is represented by aversion therapy, which involves a medicine whose side effects are vomiting or nausea, which, in time, are induced by alcohol use.
Programs of Residential Treatment
The US has a large variety of programs for residential treatment for alcohol-related disease, which imply abstinence, therapy for groups and persons, Alcoholics Anonymous, books including educational information, participation of the family and friends, counseling, and therapy of activity.
You should have the following expectations from a residential treatment program:
- Detoxification is the first step, involving almost a week, followed by treatment using sedatives as a part of withdrawal seizures.
- Medication for problems generated by alcohol, such as increased blood pressure and quantity of sugar inside the blood or heart and liver conditions.
- Psychological and psychiatric effects are treated by group therapy conducted by professional staff, involving the support of the family, especially that of the husband or wife, which can accelerate recovery.
- It is important for the patient to agree to give up alcohol in order to receive adequate addiction treatment.
- Medication with drugs, such as Disulfiram, which produces side-effects like flushing, vomiting, and nausea, in order to create repulsion for alcohol, or Acamprosate, or Naltrexone, which reduces the need for alcohol and helps abstinence. The last two don’t produce the side-effects of Disulfiram.
- Permanent support is given by aftercare programs and Anonymous Alcoholics that help both to remain abstinent and to change lifestyles.
As an alternative method, acupuncture proved itself very effective, reducing the need for alcohol and also tumors, fatigue, anxiety, or depression. It is efficient both for the causes and effects of alcoholism.