Treatment for Alcohol


Analogous to other diseases, alcoholism can be overcome with top-rate alcohol addiction treatment, increased research attempts, and prevention. That is to say, as menacing as alcoholism is, fortunately it can be treated.

Treatment for alcohol by and large consists of a blending of doctor prescribed medications and counseling to assistance a person quit drinking.

Treatment for Alcohol: An indispensable Summary

Similar to other illnesses, alcohol dependency can be overcome with increased research attempts, prevention, and proper alcohol addiction treatment.

By providing more individuals with access to outstanding alcoholic treatment, the costly load on society and the physical, psychological, and financial drain that alcoholism places on families can be notably diminished.

Indeed, research studies demonstrate persuasive evidence that productive alcohol dependency treatment approaches and alcohol dependency prevention attempts lead to incontrovertible reductions in cancer, hearth disease, child abuse, strokes, traffic fatalities, crime, unwanted pregnancy, HIV, and child abuse.


Additionally, thorough treatment for alcohol addiction and drug abuse improves an individual's quality of life, health, and job performance while at the same time minimizing drug abuse, family dysfunction, and involvement with the criminal justice system.

As threatening as alcohol addiction is, fortunately it can be treated. Treatment for alcohol addiction regularly involves a mixture of counseling and alcohol treatment medications to help a person abstain from drinking alcohol.

Even if most individuals who are alcohol dependent need assistance in order to recover from their illness, scientific examination has illustrated that with support and expert treatment for alcoholism, many individuals are able to discontinue drinking and recapture their lives.

What is alcoholism?

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

  • Craving: having a forceful urge or need to drink.

  • Tolerance: the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to get "high" or to experience a buzz.

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

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

Treatment for Alcohol: Withdrawal Symptoms

A variety of contrasting techniques exist for treating alcoholism withdrawal. Considering that some of these therapies use medications, various approaches, on the other hand, do not. Intriguingly, according to current research findings, the most reliable way to treat mild withdrawal symptoms is without drugs.

Such non-drug Detoxification approaches use extensive social support and screening throughout the complete withdrawal protocol. Other non-drug detoxification remedies, moreover, use vitamin therapy (especially thiamin) and proper nutrition for treating mild withdrawal symptoms.

Mild to Moderate Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following is a list of mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms that typically take place within 48 to 96 hours after the alcoholic's last drink.

  • Looking pale

  • Enlarged or dilated pupils

  • Loss of appetite

  • Abnormal movements

  • Sweating (exceptionally on the palms of the hands or on the face)

  • Involuntary movements of the eyelids

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Clammy skin

  • Vomiting

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Pulsating headaches

  • Tremor of the hands

  • Sleeping difficulties

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following is a list of severe symptoms that typically take place within 48 to 96 hours after the last alcoholic drink:

  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

  • Seizures

  • Black outs

  • Convulsions

  • Muscle tremors

  • Fever

  • Severe autonomic nervous system overactivity

  • Visual hallucinations

Treatment for Alcohol: Traditional Methodologies

There is a variety of well-known alcohol treatment approaches that are considered "typical" therapies.

The following alcoholism treatment approaches and therapies will be outlined: Outpatient alcoholism Treatment and Counseling, Detoxification, Behavioral Treatment, Therapeutic Medications, Residential alcohol addiction Treatment methods and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, and Family and Marital Counseling.

Outpatient alcohol addiction Treatment and Counseling. There are many approaches to counseling that show alcoholics how to become aware of the situational and psychological "hot buttons" that set off their drinking.

Outfitted with this information, individuals can therefore learn about uncommon ways in which they can grapple with circumstances that do not include the use of alcohol. Not surprisingly, therapies such as these are frequently offered on an outpatient basis.

Detoxification. Alcohol detoxification is the process of letting the body rid itself of alcohol while managing the withdrawal symptoms in a harmless environment.

Alcohol detoxification treatment is more often than not done under the management of a medical practitioner and is frequently the first step used in an alcoholic treatment program. Detoxification programs are commonly part of an inpatient alcohol rehab program.

Behavioral Treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivation Enhancement Therapy, and Alcoholics Anonymous. It is interesting to note that according to a study administered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, each of these three behavioral treatment therapies significantly reduced drinking in clients the year after treatment.

Even if all three of these approaches were considered "successful," none of them, however, could be categorized as "the most effective" treatment for alcohol dependency.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Alcoholics Anonymous is a mutual support program for recovering alcoholics specifically built on the 12-steps of recovery that are necessary in order to stay sober.

Help and support are provided by the meetings that congregate on a regular basis. Is Alcoholics Anonymous the preeminent approach for the treatment of alcohol dependency?

While Alcoholics Anonymous has proven to be an helpful alcohol dependency treatment protocol, more than a few practitioners outside of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as scores of people within Alcoholics Anonymous, find that Alcoholics Anonymous works most effectively when incorporated with other classes of therapy, like psychotherapy and medical care.

Motivation Enhancement Therapy (MET): a systematic therapeutic method that is almost the total antithesis of Alcoholics Anonymous in that it uses motivational strategies to activate the client's own change mechanisms. Some of the major characteristics of MET are the following:

  • Providing the client with a range of unorthodox change options

  • Therapist empathy

  • Helping the client achieve self-efficacy or a sense of optimism

  • Emphasis on taking individual responsibility for helpful change

  • Providing feedback with reference to the personal risks or damage associated with the abuse

  • Receiving unmistakable advice to make healthy changes

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). There are several modes of cognitive behavior therapy. Most of them, in spite of this, have the following commonalties:

  • The therapeutic goal in CBT is to help the client unlearn undesirable reactions and emotions and trade them for new and more productive ways of feeling and reacting.

  • CBT is structured and directive.

  • CBT is a mutually shared effort between the therapist and the client.

  • In CBT, a solid therapeutic relationship is necessary but not the primary focal point for successful therapy.

  • CBT uses the Socratic Method. That is to say that CBT is rooted on the asking of questions for insight.

  • Homework is a central feature of CBT.

  • CBT theory and techniques rely on the Inductive Method. This method has clients look at their thoughts as hypotheses (or suggested explanations) that can be tested and questioned. If clients discover that their hypotheses are off-base, they can then change their thoughts and experiences to be more in line with reality.

  • CBT is rooted on stoic philosophy. CBT does not tell patients how they should feel. More exactly, this style of therapy focuses on helping clients learn how to think more sensibly and successfully.

  • CBT is rooted on an educational model that views most emotions and behavioral reactions as learned responses.

  • CBT consistently has therapeutic sessions that are briefer and fewer in number than most other styles of therapy.

  • CBT methodologies are based on the cognitive model of emotional response. That is, if we change the way we think, we can act and function better, even if the situation doesn't change.

Therapeutic Medications. In this treatment methodology, the alcoholic takes doctor-prescribed medications like disulfiram (Antabuse) or naltrexone (ReViaT) in an attempt to help prevent the individual from returning to drinking after he or she has ingested alcohol.

With this method, doctors prescribe medications (drugs) to treat alcohol addiction.

For example, antabuse is a drug given to alcoholics that elicits negative effects such as vomiting, flushing, nausea, or dizziness if alcohol is consumed.

Obviously, antabuse is successful basically because it is a realistic and powerful deterrent. Naltrexone (ReViaT), on the contrary, targets the brain's reward circuits and is successful because it reduces the craving the alcoholic has for alcohol.

Residential Alcohol Treatment methods and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab. If an individual needs alcohol poisoning treatment, if the person's withdrawal symptoms are harsh, if outpatient programs or support-oriented programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous are not effective, or if there's a need for alcohol AND drug abuse treatment, the individual typically has to enroll into a hospital or a residential alcohol treatment facility and receive inpatient alcohol rehab treatment.

Methods such as these are allocated for alcohol addiction clients and almost always include doctor-prescribed medications to help the person get through detoxification and the alcohol withdrawal treatment procedure in a harm-free manner.

Family and Marital Counseling. Since the recovery protocol is so intimately tied to the support the client receives from his or her family, a range of alcohol addiction methodologies involve family therapy and marital counseling as key aspects in the treatment procedure.

Such therapeutic methods, additionally, provide alcoholics with essential community resources, such as financial management programs, childcare courses, job training, parenting courses of instruction, and legal assistance.

Treatment for Alcohol: Alternative Therapies

While the research findings are not conclusive, there is a large quantity of unorthodox treatment approaches for alcohol abuse and alcoholism that are becoming more conventional, accessible, and more researched.

Examples including the following therapies have been proposed as "natural" modes of alcohol abuse treatment: various vitamin and supplement therapies, the holistic and naturalistic methods used by Traditional Chinese Medicine, and "Drumming out Drugs" (a mode of therapy that employs the use of drumming by patients).

As promising as these alternative methods are, more research, however, is required to establish their effectiveness and to determine if these treatment interventions for alcohol dependency offer enduring success.

Teenage Alcohol Addiction and Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

Learning about alcohol treatment is unusually imperative concerning teen alcohol dependency and adolescent alcohol abuse.

More specifically, if a teenager or a parent of a teenager can read about and conceptualize some of the facts and statistics about teenage alcohol abuse and teen alcoholism, they might be able to steer clear of the malevolent consequences that are correlated with adolescent alcohol abuse and teen alcoholism in the workplace, school, or in college.

More exposure to relevant information and "real life" alcohol abuse and alcoholism examples also means that our youth may be able to avoid adolescent alcohol abuse treatment and/or teen alcohol dependency treatment entirely.

Conclusion: Treatment for Alcohol

Although a cure for alcohol dependency does not currently exist, many drug and alcohol therapeutic approaches and alcoholism treatment methodologies, nonetheless, exist that help alcoholics recover from their alcohol dependency.

To put it briefly, there is a lot of quality alcohol dependency treatment information that is available.

Some people ask the following question concerning treating alcoholism: "What is the most productive type of treatment for alcohol addiction"? Like any chronic disease, there are various levels and degrees of success concerning alcohol dependency treatment.

For instance, some alcoholics, after treatment, refrain from drinking and maintain sobriety. Other alcoholics, quite the reverse, undergo comparatively long periods of sobriety after receiving treatment, and then have a drinking relapse.


And still other alcoholics cannot abstain from drinking alcohol for any prolonged period of time, no matter what type of treatment they have received.

Intriguingly, all of these treatment outcomes happen with every known type of alcoholism treatment. In any case, concerning alcohol addiction treatment, however, one thing is apparent: the longer a person abstains from drinking alcohol, the more likely he or she will be able to remain sober and stay away from treatment for alcohol dependency.

And in the special case of youth, the longer teenagers and pre-teens can avoid the onset of drinking, the more likely they will be able to avoid adolescent alcohol abuse and teenage alcoholism down the road.