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Alcoholism Treatment

Alcoholism treatment is the formal treatment of someone who is addicted to alcohol. This treatment can consist of an in-patient stay at a treatment facility, outpatient treatment or a combination of the two. While groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can help people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs, these are self-help groups and aren’t considered alcoholism treatment. They may be recommended as an adjunct to formal treatment if it seems they may be of help, especially during outpatient treatment and after a program ends.
Alcoholism treatment begins with alcohol detox. This is why many people don’t do well when they start an outpatient treatment in the beginning or simply choose to go for counseling to try to overcome alcoholism. Because they’re missing the formal detox program that can help them after they stop drinking, many find it difficult to completely abstain from alcohol.
When a person who has been using alcohol regularly stops drinking, they go through a withdrawal period, where they suffer from psychological and physical symptoms caused by the lack of alcohol in their systems. They’ll experience severe cravings for alcohol, which are mainly psychological, but physically they may suffer from aches, pains, nausea, vomiting and even more severe symptoms. Heavy users can have what’s commonly known as DTs, which is a severe tremor sometimes accompanied by hallucinations or confusion.
Someone who has used alcohol heavily for a long time, or an alcoholic who may not be in very good health, should really go through formal alcoholism treatment so that they can go through the detox period and the withdrawals in a formal, medical setting. Some symptoms can be severe and affect things like blood pressure and respiration, which could actually put some people at risk. Going through withdrawal as a patient in an alcoholism treatment facility lets the staff use medication and techniques like counseling to help ease symptoms and make it easier to get the alcohol out of your system.
Once the detox period is finished, the withdrawal symptoms end. The strong cravings for alcohol typically persist for a long time, however. This is where in-patient alcoholism treatment is useful. Though the detox period is the usually the most difficult and intense part of treatment, someone leaving a facility immediately after going through detox is still very vulnerable to alcohol. Without further treatment to help a person understand their addiction and how to fight it, it’s very easy to jump right back into hold habits and be around friends and family who may also be alcoholics. This makes success much less likely.
The most successful use of outpatient programs during alcoholism treatment comes after detox and after a period of time of one on one therapy and group counseling. The alcoholic needs to understand his addiction better, and to understand why he felt the need to drink in the first place, to be able to stay sober over the long haul. Alcoholism treatment works best when people stay for a while after detox, then continue with outpatient treatment as they adapt to their day to day lives again.

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