Alcohol Treatment: Helping a User Help Themselves
There is no simple fix for alcoholics, but fortunately there are a numerous treatment options they can utilize to get safely on the road to recovery. The biggest problem, after admitting that there is indeed a problem, is finding the best way to treat the addiction. Withdrawal can make the already confusing and terrifying ordeal that much worse; most people, who struggle against alcohol abuse and dependency alone with no treatment or support system, find themselves going back to the drink time and again.
Professional assistance with a rehabilitation program is often the most successful means of alcohol abuse treatment. Although some people really can stop on their own, it’s far more common that medications and other treatments provided by a team of dedicated doctors, therapists and counselors offer alcoholics a much more stable ground on which they can build their own road to recovery. Depending on the duration of the addiction, how often and how much you drink, and any other health risks and illnesses you may have, the best treatment plan can be chosen for you.
Medications to Help with Alcohol Withdrawal
Sadly, there is no instant cure for the effects of alcoholism, no pill an alcohol abuser can take to make them magically no longer feel the compulsion to quit drinking. That being said, there are some FDA approved medications that can be used to ease and abate cravings and the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal, even deter the urge to drink completely.
- Campral is a drug that actually works in the brain to help addicts abstain completely; it is also believed to help restore the disruptions in the brain caused by frequent, heavy, long term drinking. It is, however, important to note that Campral may have limited efficacy in addicts who are still actively consuming alcohol, or those who have coinciding addictions in addition to alcohol.
- Naltrexone is another medication taken for the determent of alcohol abuse; previously a once daily oral dose, it has been changed to a monthly injected administration to improve overall efficacy. Naltrexone is considered an effective treatment for actively drinking adults.
- Antabuse is a drug that causes a severe physical reaction in the addict should they consume alcohol while taking the drug; taken over time the reaction and efficiency of the drug increase.
- Nalmefene is a drug that is known to reduce the cravings of recovering alcoholics, and has been proven to greatly reduce the risk of relapse.
Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Users
Medications are by no means the only form of treatment available for persons with alcohol abuse or dependency issues. Behavioral treatments have also found considerable success in individuals who suffer from alcoholism, especially when several behavioral treatments are combined to their maximum effectiveness for the individual. A large part of alcoholism recovery is psychological; the user must literally have the drive and desire to truly put their addiction behind them.
- Self-control training is a means of teaching users how to control their own behavior. This method is more for those individuals who wish to reduce their drinking habits, or those with less severe addiction issues.
- Aversion therapy associates drinking alcohol with unpleasant images and experiences, thus reducing the urge and craving to drink altogether.
- Psychotherapy is a tool by which underlying causes for the destructing drinking habits can be identified, and therefore addressed.
- Motivational and other forms of counseling are means for alcohol abusers to address any concerns or problems they may have while on the road to recovery, and find ways to put those issues to rest.
If you, or someone know you know and love, suffers from alcoholism, alcohol abuse or dependency, please don’t give up. There are so many treatment options available, from medications to doctors to counselors, to get you back on your feet and on your way to recovery.