Alcoholism treatment focuses on treating the chronic, progressive disease of alcohol addiction. Alcoholism arises when a person loses control of his or her drinking and continues to be preoccupied with the substance, even when it starts to cause problems. Alcoholism treatment addresses both the physical and psychological factors that lead to dependence.
The first goal of alcoholism treatment is to prevent or minimize withdrawal symptoms during the detox stage. This immediate action is followed up by treatment in which the psychological factors that contribute to the drinking are addressed. Call Drug Treatment Centers East Brunswick today (732) 455-1314 to find out more about how they can help you search for treatment centers that will meet each of your needs.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 17 million adults aged 18 and older have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Roughly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related complications each year, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The total cost of alcohol abuse in the United States amounts to more than $223 billion annually. Globally, alcohol misuse is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability.
Alcohol Abuse vs Alcohol Addiction
Any time that alcohol use starts to have a negative impact on a person’s life, continued use of the substance is deemed abuse. Examples of negative impacts include financial loss, strained relationships, and health concerns. What separates abuse from alcoholism, however, is psychological dependence. Alcohol abusers are able to stop drinking, while alcoholics feel compelled to drink. Alcohol abusers are capable of stopping on their own; alcoholics require professional intervention and often medical intervention to stop drinking. Simply put, any harmful use of alcohol constitutes abuse, whereas addictive behaviors are necessary to elevate the abuse to alcoholism.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol abuse is signified by strong physical cravings, over-indulgence in alcohol, and a pattern of drinking that is accompanied by failure to meet responsibilities, drinking when it is physically dangerous to do so, recurring alcohol-related legal issues, and continued drinking despite problems that it causes.
Alcoholism is characterized by all of the above criteria, along with physical and psychological dependence. Alcoholics often narrow their drinking to only one brand or type of alcohol, exhibit drink-seeking behavior (preoccupation with getting alcohol), develop a tolerance to the effects of alcohol, and experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking for even short periods of time (hours in many cases). Most importantly, alcoholics are aware that they have a compulsion to drink, even if they don’t admit it to others.
Alcohol detox refers to the process in which alcohol is cleared from the body. Medical intervention is often necessary to prevent uncomfortable and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms from arising. Common symptoms of withdrawal include tremors, irritation, depression, nausea, vomiting, and restlessness. Severe symptoms include hallucinations, seizures, and something referred to delirium tremens (DTs) in which individuals experience severe hallucinations, fever, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and heavy sweating. Common medications used to control withdrawal symptoms include benzodiazepines, blood pressure medications, and carbamazepine.
The residential programs available at treatment centers take place over 6 weeks, during which patients live at the treatment facility. The outpatient programs require frequent meetings, and focus mainly on relapse prevention. A single individual may start in a residential program and then transition to an outpatient program.
Counseling takes place individually, in a group, or with family participation. In fact, it may take all three forms at different points in an alcoholic’s recovery process. Counseling is never used alone, but rather in conjunction with other proven treatment processes. The goals are to identify the root causes of alcohol use, repair relationships, and build healthy coping skills.
Aftercare is also referred to as maintenance care. Individuals continue to work in groups, individually, or with families to maintain abstinence and address relapse before it progresses to dependence. Because relapse is common, consistent aftercare is necessary to ensure long-term abstinence.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, now is the time to call for help. Call Drug Treatment Centers East Brunswick today at (732) 455-1314 and let us help you begin your search for treatment facilities.