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Treatment Approaches for Alcohol Addiction
According to a survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, roughly 17 million Americans suffer from alcohol addiction. Even more concerning is that 10 percent of children in the United States live with a parent who is addicted to alcohol. If you are dealing with this problem, your life and that of your family may be impacted without you even knowing it. If you think this is a problem affecting you, it is a good idea to learn more about available treatment options.
To begin, it is a good idea to learn how to recognize signs of alcohol addiction. This brief list of common signs of alcohol abuse can help people determine if there is a problem:
- Spending more at a bar than normal
- Having an intense craving for alcohol that is nearly irresistible
- Being unable to stop drinking even when it causes problems with friends and family
- Spending most mornings dealing with a hangover
- Having a desire to cut down on drinking but being unable to stop
- Requiring more drinks to get less effect than usual
While it may seem sometimes feel like all hope is lost, it is important to remember that there are treatment options available to those suffering from addiction. Following the right steps can help individuals find the road to recovery.
Find an addiction counselor
There are two major options for counseling. The first is to find an addiction counselor who focuses on alcohol-related issues. These professionals can home in on issues specific to alcoholism and provide behavioral therapy to help move toward recovery. Another option is to enter a rehab (rehabilitation) program. A rehab program provides a comfortable environment to detox and an infrastructure of support and counseling to overcome withdrawal.
Join Alcoholics Anonymous
Many recovering addicts affirm the positive effects Alcoholics Anonymous has on their continued recovery. AA is an anonymous support group designed for people dealing with alcohol addiction. These groups are led by recovering alcoholics, so everyone who attends is on the same boat. A support group is a good way for alcoholics to share their difficulties, hear about other’s struggles and learn how they overcame problems with alcoholism.
Get medication prescribed
In conjunction with behavioral treatment through a counselor or rehab program, medication can be a helpful aid for dealing with impulse control and withdrawal.
Antabuse or Disulfiram is a drug that interferes with the body’s ability to break down alcohol. This leads to an increase in the negative effects of consuming alcohol, such as irregular heartbeat, feeling ill and becoming flushed. The increased negative effects become a motivator for avoiding alcohol.
Naltrexone is the converse of Antabuse or Disulfiram. It blocks the positive effects that come from consuming alcohol. By blocking dopamine production and the resultant feelings of euphoria, alcohol abusers are less likely to want to continue drinking.
Campral or Acamprosate deals with the effects patients experience after quitting alcohol. These drugs are designed to reduce feelings of anxiety, unhappiness and sleeplessness that often come with alcohol withdrawal.
If you are dealing with alcohol addiction, know that you are not alone. Millions of people are going through the same struggle. If you are ready to take the first step towards recovery, reach out to a professional today.
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