Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorders, is a serious medical condition that often needs professional treatment. There are many ways to treat an alcohol use disorder, from intensive pharmacotherapy routines through to 12-step support groups, family therapy, and ongoing counseling. Access to alcoholism treatment depends greatly on the individual and institution in question, with each case needing to be evaluated carefully before treatment begins. The entire treatment process can be broken down into three separate components, with detox followed by rehab and aftercare. Alcoholism treatment sometimes involves ongoing interventions, with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other recovery programs often attended on an indefinite basis. If you know anyone who could benefit from alcoholism treatment, there is a program in Orangetown to help.
Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcohol Dependence
Before applying treatment, doctors and clinicians need to differentiate between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence cases. While these to conditions are both forms of alcoholism, they often need to be treated in very different ways. Alcohol abuse involves uncontrolled and patterned drinking sessions despite negative consequences, with binge drinking the most obvious example, Alcohol dependence also involves tolerance and the experience of physical-somatic or emotional-motivational withdrawal symptoms when drinking is stopped of reduced. While alcohol dependence often requires medication treatment during detox and rehab, alcohol abuse cases are regularly treated through psychotherapy measures alone. While physical alcohol dependence is generally believed to be more serious that binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse, people who abuse alcohol extensively are much more likely to develop dependence and addiction problems down the road.
Adverse Effects of Alcohol
Excessive alcohol intake has been linked with a wide range of adverse physical and psychological health problems. Alcohol consumption affects every part of the body, with damage done to the liver, heart, and brain among other organs. People who drink excessively have higher rates of epilepsy, dementia, heart disease, peptic ulcers, sexual dysfunction, pancreatitis and a number of other medical conditions. Alcoholism has also been linked to a range of psychiatric complications, including depression disorder, anxiety disorders, and severe cognitive problems. For example, the brain damage caused by alcohol abuse can lead to impairments in social skills, executive functioning, and the ability to perceive facial emotions and understand humor. Excessive alcohol consumption has also been linked to a number of adverse social effects, including domestic violence, assault, child abuse, rape, drunk driving, and public disorder. People who start drinking at a young age are more likely to experience some of these effects, with women and certain racial groups also more susceptible.
Medically assisted detoxification is carried out at the start of the treatment process. While medication treatment is not normally required for alcohol abuse cases, it is generally recommended for anyone who is likely to experience physical withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepine medications such as Librium and Valium are often prescribed in this context, with these drugs helping to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and manage the withdrawal process. This is an important part of treatment for alcoholism, with certain symptoms such as seizures and delirium tremens known to cause additional medical complications if left untreated. Rehabilitation are typically applied after detox has been completed, followed by relapse prevention campaigns and aftercare support systems.
Orangetown Drug Treatment Centers is here to help when you want it. Just call one of our recovery advocates to start your recovery journey.