- Can Alcohol Abuse and Addiction be Treated?
- Do I Need Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
- Types of Treatment
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment: What to Expect?
- How to Chose the Best Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Alcohol Addiction and AbuseAlcohol addiction is extremely common, surpassed only by tobacco addiction in terms of the number of individuals affected and the public health burden caused by high mortality and morbidity rates.
Can Alcohol Abuse and Addiction be Treated?
Alcohol addiction adversely affects physical health. It is a known contributory factor to more than 60 medical disorders. But the damage caused by alcohol addiction is not restricted to physical health; it includes psychological, familial, social, occupational, financial and even legal complications.
Consequently, any approach to treat alcohol addiction needs to be aimed at addressing the multiple domains affected by this condition.
Use of medical treatment is important to tide over the initial phase of withdrawal as well as to address the craving on a long-term basis.
- Motivational interviewing.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Relapse prevention.
- Behavioral interventions such as contingency management.
- Family therapy helps address both the contributory factors as well as consequences of alcohol addiction related to the family.
Also, occupational and vocational rehabilitation help one readjust to the demands of the job and vocation of life.
Finally, special groups such as adolescents, pregnant women, medical personnel or older adults require specific interventions so alcohol addiction treatment outcomes can be improved.
Do I Need Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
It is simple to screen oneself for the presence of alcohol addiction. Consider the following:
- If you are not able to hold yourself back from drinking on the occasions when you should not drink or drink more than what you should have, you have probably lost control of your drinking.
- If you have been neglecting alternate pleasures and responsibilities because of alcohol use, it again is an indicator of a severe pattern of use that may result in an addiction.
- It is likely that you are addicted to alcohol in case you have been spending a great deal of time-consuming alcohol or recovering from its effects.
- Using alcohol excessively despite knowing the harm associated with its use is also an indicator of alcohol addiction.
- If you have developed a tolerance to the amount of alcohol you are consuming, such that you need to increase it in order to experience the same effects is another indicator of a physical dependence on alcohol.
- Also, appearance of an alcohol withdrawal syndrome upon (abstinence) in form of the following also point towards bodily dependence on alcohol:
- Grand mal seizures.
At times, a seemingly minimal amount of alcohol use might be associated with significant complications. You should consider getting help if:
- Your alcohol use pattern has lead to interpersonal conflicts including marital discord and loss of friends.
- Your alcohol use has lead to domestic abuse or neglect.
- Your alcohol use has aggravated or worsened your mental health condition.
Types of Treatment
Different treatment options are available for alcohol addiction that can be utilized depending on one's needs and suitability.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment: What to Expect?
Around half of those diagnosed with alcohol addiction can be expected to suffer from a co-occurring mental disorder at some point in time in their lives.
Alcohol addiction is associated with an increased risk of co-occurring depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. Studies among general population have suggested that around half of those diagnosed with alcohol addiction (alcohol use disorder) can be expected to suffer from a co-occurring mental disorder at some point in time in their lives. This co-occurring mental disorder could be secondary to alcohol addiction or could exist independent of alcohol use.
At other times, alcohol use may be the result of attempted self-medication to relieve mental disorder symptoms.
Integrated treatment is highly recommended for those with co-occurring alcohol addiction and psychiatric disorders whereby both the conditions are addressed simultaneously by the treatment team.
Research has shown that a combination of medical treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy can help reduce depressive symptoms in alcohol dependent patients.
Integrated dual disorder treatment is an evidence based, multi-disciplinary strategy that combines pharmacological, psychological and social interventions and is shown to improve the quality of life indicators and reduce:
- Relapse of alcohol addiction and mental illness.
- Duplication of services.
- Service costs and utilization of high-cost services.
Battling a mental condition and an addiction is very difficult and can result in an unending loop of abuse and treatment if the underlying or accompanying conditions are not addressed. However, evaluating a treatment program for dual diagnosis effectiveness can be burdensome.
But don't worry; if you or someone you love has been struggling with the dual co-morbidity of alcohol addiction and mental disorder, call to speak with a treatment support team member at 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to obtain more information about alcohol recovery options.
How to Chose the Best Alcohol Addiction Treatment
It is worth spending some time while deciding on the best treatment option for your alcohol addiction. Some of the factors that can help make the correct decision include:
- Provision for medically assisted detoxification.
- Availability of adjunct therapy and support for special cases (dual diagnosis, older adults, adolescents, pregnant women etc.).
- Effectiveness of the interventions.
- Aftercare, relapse and continuing care options.
- Success rates.
- Accreditation of the treatment services and center.
- Cost and insurance coverage.