Alcohol Rehab Treatment

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Not unlike other diseases, alcoholism can be overcome with professional alcohol rehab treatment, increased research efforts, and prevention. More to the point, as devastating as alcohol addiction is, fortunately it can be treated.

Alcohol rehab treatment, as a general rule, includes a combination of doctor-prescribed medications and intensive therapy and counseling to help an individual stop drinking and start on the recovery process.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment: A Basic Overview

As stated above, similar to other illnesses and health concerns, alcohol dependency can be overcome with increased research efforts, prevention, and quality alcohol rehab treatment.

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By providing an increasing number of individuals with access to effective alcohol rehab treatment, the physical, emotional, and costly burdens that alcoholism places on families and the astronomical financial drain on society can be substantially reduced.

To substantiate this bold claim, consider the following: according to the substance abuse literature, research has demonstrated powerful evidence that effective alcohol rehab treatment programs and alcohol dependency prevention endeavors result in major reductions in traffic fatalities, crime, cancer, strokes, child abuse, hearth disease, HIV, and unwanted pregnancy.

Similarly, top-rate alcohol rehab treatment and drug abuse rehabilitation improve a person's health, job performance, and quality of life while at the same time reducing family dysfunction, drug abuse, relationship problems, and involvement with the law.

Non 12-step, alcohol rehab treatment usually involves a combination of counseling and doctor-prescribed drugs to help an alcoholic abstain from drinking.

Even though most individuals who are alcohol dependent need help to recover from their disease, research studies have confirmed that with support and quality, professional alcohol rehab treatment, many individuals are able to quit drinking and restore their lives.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment: What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol addiction and alcohol dependence, is a progressive debilitating disease that includes the following four components:

  • Physical dependence: mild to severe withdrawal symptoms such headaches, perspiration, anxiety, nausea, and "the shakes" when suddenly abstaining from alcohol.

  • Craving: experiencing an overwhelming urge or need to drink.

  • Loss of control: an inability to stop drinking after the first drink.

  • Tolerance: the need to drink more and more amounts of alcohol in order to feel a "buzz" or to get "high."

Alcohol Treatment: Withdrawal Symptoms

Special techniques exist for treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms. While some of these approaches utilize medications, many other therapeutic methods, nevertheless, do not.

Indeed, according to current alcoholism research, the safest way to treat mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms is without medications or drugs.

The first step in the withdrawal process is detoxifying the addict's body by getting rid of the alcohol that has accumulated in the alcoholic's system.

Most non-drug detoxification efforts use extensive screening and social support throughout the entire withdrawal process.

Other non-drug detoxification methods, moreover, utilize proper nutrition and vitamin therapy (especially thiamin) for treating mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Mild to Moderate Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms commonly take place within 6 to 48 hours after the person has consumed his or her last alcoholic beverage:

  • Pulsating headaches.

  • Vomiting.

  • Sleeping difficulties.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Tremor of the hands.

  • Rapid heart rate.

  • Nausea.

  • Looking pale.

  • Sweating (especially on the palms of the hands or on the face).

  • Vomiting.

  • Involuntary movements of the eyelids.

  • Abnormal movements.

  • Enlarged or dilated pupils.

  • Clammy skin.

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following is a list of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms that regularly happen within 48 to 96 hours after the individual has had his or her last drink of alcohol:

  • Black outs.

  • Fever.

  • Seizures.

  • Muscle tremors.

  • Delirium tremens (DTs).

  • Visual hallucinations.

  • Severe autonomic nervous system overactivity.

  • Convulsions.

The Screening Questionnaire

The first step in the alcohol rehab treatment process typically includes a screening questionnaire performed by a healthcare professional.

If the results of this questionnaire identify a drinking problem, the healthcare practitioner will usually question the individual further to better access the severity of person' alcohol abuse.

Based on the results of the questionnaire, the physician may suggest that the person attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or may refer the individual to an alcoholism specialist.

Even if the person is sent to a specialist, nonetheless, the family doctor frequently continues to play a major role in the overall rehab effort and recovery process.

The doctor does this by continuing to work with the patient and by interacting with the patient's family both during and after the alcohol rehab treatment protocol.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment: Traditional Methods

There are many alcohol rehab treatment protocols that are seen as "mainstream" therapeutic approaches.

Among these are the following: Outpatient alcohol dependency Treatment and Counseling, Detoxification, Behavioral Treatment, Therapeutic Medications, Residential alcoholism Treatment approaches and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, and Family and Marital Counseling.

Since the most recent as well as the most promising alcohol rehab treatment approach concerns therapeutic medications, this methodology will be discussed below.

Therapeutic Medications

A number of alcoholism researchers and practitioners assert that chronic alcoholics who cannot sustain their sobriety should receive doctor-administered medications to help manage their withdrawal symptoms.

It is important to emphasise, furthermore, that by using therapeutic medications, alcohol dependent individuals are less likely to experience possible brain damage and/or seizures during the withdrawal process.

Recent substance abuse research has demonstrated that the benzodiazepines are the drugs that are most likely to achieve effective results when treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Examples of these "wonder drugs" include the shorter-acting benzodiazepines such as Serax and Ativan and the longer-acting benzodiazepines such as Valium and Librium.

Historically, when doctors have employed benzodiazepines in the withdrawal process, they have used a progressive reduction in dosage throughout the withdrawal protocol.

Due to the fact that the shorter-acting benzodiazepines do not stay in the person's system for an extended period of time and since these drugs allow for observable and measurable dose reductions, numerous alcohol addiction practitioners as well as researchers have concluded that intermediate to short half-life benzodiazepines should be used when treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms is required.

After an alcoholic has successfully gone through the detoxification process and has conquered his or her withdrawal symptoms, other doctor-prescribed medications such as disulfiram (Antabuse) or naltrexone (ReViaT) can be utilized in an attempt to help prevent the individual from relapse and possibly returning to drinking.

Alcohol Treatment: Alternative Therapies

Although the findings in the research literature are not conclusive, there are many non-traditional alcohol rehab treatment strategies that are becoming more and more conventional and doable as time goes by.

For instance, the following therapies that have been proposed as "natural" kinds of alcohol rehab treatment: the holistic and naturalistic approaches employed by Traditional Chinese Medicine, "Drumming out Drugs" (a type of therapy that employs the use of drumming by patients), and various vitamin and supplement therapies.

As encouraging as these unconventional treatment methods are, more research, however, is needed to determine their effectiveness and to establish whether these types of alcohol rehab treatment offer lasting success.

Conclusion: Alcohol Rehab Treatment

Even though a cure for alcoholism has not been discovered, a number of alcohol rehab treatment methodologies exist that help alcohol dependent individuals effectively recover from their alcohol dependency.

In short, a lot of alcohol rehab treatment information is available, both online and offline.

Since there is so much information about treating alcoholism, more than a few people are bound to ask about the most effective form of alcohol rehab treatment that is currently available.

Like any chronic illness or disease, however, "successful treatment" has proven to come in many different levels and degrees.

For instance, some alcohol dependent individuals, after receiving alcohol rehab treatment, totally stay away from alcohol and remain sober.

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Other alcohol addicted people, to the contrary, experience fairly long periods of sobriety after going through rehabilitation, and then experience a drinking relapse.

And still other individuals cannot stay away from drinking for any sustainable amount of time regardless of the type of alcohol rehab treatment they have undergone.

As an aside, it is interesting to point out that every one of these treatment outcomes takes place with every known type of alcoholism treatment!

After all has been considered, the bottom line regarding alcoholism treatment, therefore, is this: while accepting the fact that professional help is necessary for recovery is not easy, the sooner an alcoholic gets quality alcohol rehab treatment, the better his chances are for a successful recovery.

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