Alcohol dependence is a silent problem that may not be readily identified by the victim or those around them. However, the problem often grows into an uncontrollable urge for more bottles or pints of alcohol, pushing the victim to sabotage everything else for their next high. According to information from Pacific Ridge, alcohol dependence has many treatments, and the most effective treatment will depend on the individual and how deep their struggles with the problem are.
In this article, we delve into alcohol dependence, also known as alcohol use disorder, and explain some of the treatment information you should know.
Getting Help With Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder is characterized by the unhealthy and continued craving for alcohol, despite its effect on the consumer’s health, relationships, career, finances, and other aspect of their life.
This problem often starts small and leads to uncontrolled consumption of large quantities of alcohol to achieve a desired high. It can often leave individuals suffering from withdrawal symptoms, especially when they attempt to stop its consumption.
Getting help at this stage is important, especially because of the unhealthy habit’s health, social, financial, and other consequences. In getting help, the victim must realize the problem and want a change. On the other hand, the problem could be identified by family and friends who should try to raise the alarm through professionally moderated interventions.
There are several therapies and treatment options for alcohol use disorder. However, it is important to seek a personalized treatment that focuses on the victim’s struggle and provides a holistic approach to improving their health and wellness.
Getting Help With Medicine-Assisted Detoxification
Detoxification is one of the first and most important steps toward addressing alcohol use disorder. Detox focuses on purging the body of the abused substance while creating a clean slate upon which addiction treatment methods and therapies are built.
In most cases, detoxification for alcohol use disorder may be medication-assisted, especially to minimize the withdrawal symptoms experienced by the victim. With a medicine-assisted detox, the treatment therapist considers the patient and their struggles and administers certain medications within a controlled space to help reduce their withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the common medications that are used for medicine-assisted detox include Disulfiram, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate are designed to help reduce effects like skin flushing and nausea, while Naltrexone and Acamprosate address the craving or urge to consume the abused substance.
Patients will experience fewer struggles when the medication blocks their urge to consume more of the abused substance and reduces the symptoms experienced.
How Do You Choose an Effective Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment?
As earlier stated, there are different alcohol use disorder therapies and treatments. It may be hard to determine what would work best for you without consulting with a professional. However, the most effective treatment will focus on a holistic approach, addressing the negative thoughts and behavioral patterns, encouraging more positive thoughts and habits, as well as addressing underlying conditions that may trigger a relapse in the future.
Some therapies that can help with addressing those concerns include:
Behavioral therapies focus on addressing the thought process and the negative thoughts behind the addiction problem. Such therapies aim to replace negative thoughts and habits with healthy and positive ones, thus equipping the victim with more positive reinforcement to choose sobriety in any condition.
Behavioral therapies are delivered in many forms, chiefly through counseling or talk therapy. It is often delivered by a professional therapist, psychologist, counselor, or other trained healthcare providers. It can also take the form of cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, motivational therapy, or 12-step facilitation.
Medication-assisted therapies are also another consideration for alcohol addiction victims. The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved certain medications to be used in treating alcohol addiction. The most popular among such medications are naltrexone and acamprosate.
Physicians may also prescribe medication like Topiramate and gabapentin, which helps to decrease urges or cravings for the abused substance, thus helping patients to manage their condition and remain sober.
It is important to note that medication treatment for alcohol use disorder can be paired with behavioral therapies for improved outcomes. In fact, the combination has been proven effective in identifying and addressing underlying conditions or co-occurring mental health disorders.
Another approach to alcohol use disorder treatment. This focuses on creating a group of like-minded people with a similar goal of beating alcohol addiction. This treatment therapy is commonly presented as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or family therapy.
This group-led approach helps recovering addicts learn more about the struggles facing others while picking up on healthy strategies to cope with such struggles.