Over 14 million people aged 18 and over in the United States struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD) or simply alcoholism. In fact, studies show that 1 in 10 children are brought up in a family where one or both parents have a drinking issue. The good news is that there is a treatment for people with AUD. According to research, at least one-third of people who undergo alcohol addiction treatment regain control of their lives and do not show further signs of alcoholism after a period of one year. Most of them do not report any alcohol-related problems one year after treatment. The most important thing before treatment is accepting your alcohol use disorder and seeking professional help before things get out of control.
What is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Alcohol use disorder or alcohol addiction is a compulsive drinking pattern or continuing to consume alcohol even after you notice that drinking is causing problems in your health and life. Alcohol addiction also involves consuming more alcohol to achieve the same effect and then suffering withdrawal symptoms when you decrease or stop alcohol intake.
It may also include drinking alcohol to an extent where you put yourself or other people at risk. An example of this is binge drinking. Binge drinking not only causes health problems but can also lead to other risky behaviors such as careless driving and irresponsible sexual behavior among teenagers and young adults.
If you have a drinking pattern that results in alcohol-related blackouts, such as temporary memory loss while intoxicated, and other problems in the way you function in your daily life, you could be experiencing alcohol use disorder.
The problem can either be mild or severe, but it is very important to seek treatment as early as possible before the condition escalates into a more serious problem for you and your loved ones.
Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol addiction treatment varies depending on your level of addiction and needs. Alcohol rehab centers have a wide range of treatment programs depending on the patient’s needs.
The treatment program can involve individual or group counseling sessions, a brief intervention, a residential inpatient program, or an outpatient program. The treatment of each program or approach is to help the individual completely stop taking alcohol and improve the quality of his or her life.
The most common treatment programs for alcohol use disorder include the following:
Detoxification and Treatment of Withdrawal Symptoms
Detoxification is usually the first step of alcohol addiction treatment. Detoxification is basically a managed withdrawal process under medical supervision.
Symptoms of withdrawal include shaking or tremors, seizures, nausea, vomiting, and hallucination among others. The goal of detoxification is to get rid of the toxins left in the body due to excessive alcohol consumption. Detox can take from 2 days to a week.
Some people choose to tough it out and manage their withdrawal at home in what is usually referred to as “going cold turkey”.
However, depending on the level of addiction or alcohol consumption, it is always recommended to undergo detox at an inpatient treatment center under the supervision of qualified and experienced medical professionals.
The doctors or other healthcare professionals will keep a close eye on you and provide medication and other forms of assistance to help you manage withdrawal with the least discomfort.
Medication is another common treatment for alcohol addiction. There is of course no medicine for curing alcohol addiction, but there are several medications that help in recovery. Some of them make drinking less rewarding or enjoyable while others help in curbing cravings.
Some of the drugs used in medication-assisted alcohol addiction treatment include the following:
- Disulfiram which induces nausea, vomiting, flushing, headache and other undesirable physical effects when you drink alcohol.
- Naltrexone which blocks the rewarding feelings caused by alcohol consumption. It helps in reducing the urge to drink alcohol and prevent heavy drinking.
- Acamprosate is another effective medication used in combating cravings to drink.
- Vivitrol is another injectable form of Naltrexone that is administered by a healthcare professional once a month.
Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Addiction
Behavioral treatments for alcohol addiction help to develop skills to reduce or stop the consumption of alcohol with the help of a professional psychologist or therapist.
Psychological counseling helps you to gain a better understanding of your problem and what you can do to stop it. Seeing a counselor while in recovery will also help you to learn skills and strategies to stay sober in the future.
The psychologist will teach you how to make the behavioral changes needed, deal with stressful situations that make you want to drink, and how to set and reach your goals in life.
You’ll also learn how to build a strong support system. Counseling can be done as a group or individually with a therapist.
There are several types of behavioral treatments including the following:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) involves one-on-one sessions with the therapist or in small groups. CBT helps to identify situations that lead to drinking and how to overcome them.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy helps to build and strengthen the patient’s motivation to change his or her drinking behavior.
- Marital and Family Counseling involves the patient’s spouse and family members. Studies have shown that family support plays a key role in recovery.
The goal of each behavioral treatment is to empower the individual with coping skills and knowledge, provide motivational support, and encourage him or her to change their drinking behavior.
Mutual Support Groups
Alcohol addiction treatment may also involve mutual support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs.
However, the support group approach should ideally be combined with treatment by healthcare professionals for better chances of recovery. Most people use support groups as an added layer of support after leaving an alcohol rehab center.
If you are involved in spiritual practices such as praying, meditation, and yoga, you could also incorporate the practices into your daily routine to help you maintain recovery and stay focused on your recovery goals.
Having a greater understanding of your spiritual side may play a key role in your recovery from alcohol addiction.
Benefits of Alcohol Rehab
Whether you have a mild or serious alcohol addiction disorder, getting into rehab can be of great help. A good alcohol rehab center provides individual and group therapy, detoxification, family therapy, and support groups.
Here are some of the many benefits of seeking alcohol addiction treatment at a residential alcohol rehab center:
- It provides a safe healing environment
- It provides medically supervised detoxification
- It provides individualized treatment programs to suit your unique needs
- Offers physical, spiritual, and emotional support to improve your life
- It empowers you with coping skills and strategies to prevent relapse in the future
- It offers peer support from others going through similar challenges
- It offers continued care after you leave the treatment center
- You learn from their alumni support groups and become motivated when you meet former patients who made it in life without alcohol.
How to Find the Best Alcohol Addiction Treatment
There are several things you need to consider when choosing the best alcohol rehab center for you or your loved one.
Here are a few important factors to consider when looking for the best alcohol addiction treatment center:
- Ask what types of treatment programs they have for alcohol addiction
- Do they provide cookie-cutter solutions or do they have customized treatments tailored to suit each individual’s unique needs?
- Find out what is expected of you and your loved ones
- Find out how the program addresses relapse
- Do they have ongoing support after you leave rehab?
- What is their success rate?
- Find out more about the cost and if they accept health insurance.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
When you have decided it’s time to quit drinking, your best option is to get into a good alcohol rehab center such as the Georgia Addiction Treatment Center. Getting into rehab is usually the first step in your journey toward recovery and a life free of alcohol addiction.
At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, you will benefit from a healing experience designed to help you recover from your addiction and any other underlying conditions.
We have highly trained alcohol use disorder counselors, nurses, doctors, and other experts to ensure everything goes smoothly for you from detox to follow-up support after you leave our rehab. Feel free to visit our website at https://georgiaaddictiontreatmentcenter.com/ to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment services.
Don’t let alcohol-related problems ruin your life. Help is only a phone call away. Call us at 855.952.3546 or contact us via our online form to book an appointment and start your journey to full recovery.