An alcoholism treatment option consists of three general steps for treating alcoholism. These three steps are intervention, detoxification and rehabilitation.
The alcoholism treatment option approach has changed today from years ago. Many persons with a drinking problem cannot see or refuse to see that they have a problem with alcohol abuse.
Intervention used to be more confrontational, in other words, problem drinkers would be confronted about their excessive drinking and threatened with consequences if they did not begin treatment.
Today, however, the more effective approach consists of caring and understanding counseling and intervention.
Studies have found that more people begin alcoholism treatment when family members or employers are honest with them and try to help the drinker see that alcohol abuse will adversely affect their health and lives in many ways.
Family or friends may need to help start the process of drinking problem recognition by reading relevant books on the subject to become better informed, by contacting their health care professional or by locating the nearest Alcoholics Anonymous or similar group.
The first step in an alcoholism treatment option is intervention – a structured process where a group of family members, friends or co-workers get together in a caring way to communicate their concerns about a problem drinker’s behavior.
Done correctly, intervention has the objective of moving the person (and those who are part of the problem drinker’s life) out of crisis mode and into addressing the addiction.
Without the problem drinker recognizing and acknowledging that he or she has a drinking problem, there can be no effective and lasting alcoholism treatment.
Here are the three main steps in alcoholism treatment:
• 1. Intervention – this is the initial alcoholism treatment option whereby the drinking problem is recognized and acknowledged by the drinker and perhaps family members or employer as well. Once the alcohol problem is recognized, alcohol consumption is stopped for those persons that are alcohol dependent.
If the person is a problem drinker, moderate drinking may be successful. Many alcoholics at first will not acknowledge that their drinking is out of control, and moderation can often be a successful way to deal with the drinking problem.
If moderation works, the drinking problem is solved. If it doesn’t work, then the person is usually ready to try abstinence.
Because alcoholism affects the people closely related to the alcoholic person, education and treatment for family members through counseling is often necessary.
• 2. Detoxification – this alcoholism treatment option usually takes from 4 to 7 days. The more alcohol a person has been drinking each day, the higher the likelihood the person will develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they stop.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from annoying and uncomfortable to serious and even life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms generally begin within 12 hours of the last alcohol consumption and will be the maximum in two or three days.
The person may need to stay at the hospital for symptoms and medical observation. In a controlled, supervised environment, withdrawal from alcohol can be done safely, and medications can be used as needed to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
Other medical problems that may exist increase the likelihood of developing severe withdrawal symptoms.
For example, blood clotting and liver problems are often found in heavy drinkers, and serious symptoms such as convulsions, fever or delirium tremens (shakes) can develop.
• 3. Rehabilitation – recovery from alcoholism should include support for the problem drinker once the detoxification phase is completed to help maintain alcohol abstinence.
This important recovery support will likely include counseling, nursing and medical care within these kinds of programs. Alcoholism disease education and alcohol effects on the body should be part of any alcoholism treatment option.
Alcoholism treatment option programs can be inpatient or outpatient programs. Medications are sometimes prescribed in alcoholism treatment to help prevent relapses. Naltrexone will reduce the desire for alcohol.
Antabuse is another drug that is used in alcoholism treatment – it functions by producing unpleasant side effects if any alcohol is consumed within fourteen days after the drug is taken. Counseling or support groups are often needed on a long-term basis to help maintain sobriety.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can become life-threatening if not treated. It is never too late to begin the process of intervention, detoxification and rehabilitation to help a problem drinker regain control of their health and their lives.
Alcoholism treatment and alcoholism information treatment books.
Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems — Advice from Those Who Have Succeeded by Anne M. Fletcher.
Although AA has long been the preferred way to go for the treatment of alcoholism, its ideology is not for everyone.
According to Fletcher, some people do not subscribe to the religious tone of AA while others do not accept the concept of powerlessness over alcohol.
And contrary to AA beliefs, many more never hit bottom, instead choosing to reconsider their relationship with drinking.
Additionally, the author points out, with managed care cutting coverage of inpatient treatment, people with problems with alcohol should know about outpatient alternatives to AA.
Fletcher provides a compendium of such approaches, drawing on the voices of former problem drinkers who have resolved their problems with alcohol and been sober for at least five years.
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