Alcohol Addiction Treatment
In 2019, about 14.5 million people reported having alcohol use disorder. Alcohol addiction is real and all too real for those experiencing it or watching their loved ones go through it, which is why we are going to talk about alcohol addiction treatment options.
Individuals who are addicted to alcohol rely on it as a coping mechanism and struggle to go long periods without it. Usually, alcohol addiction refers to an uncontrollable desire to drink, whether that involves wine, beer, or liquor. In this article, we are going to identify the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction, and we will talk about the top five treatment options available.
Alcohol Addiction Symptoms
Many individuals with alcohol addiction find it difficult to admit they have a problem, and sometimes it can even be difficult to identify or recognize. This is because alcohol is a commonly-accepted activity in various cultures, making it hard to know when overuse is happening.
It’s also important to keep in mind that alcohol addiction can affect anyone in any circumstances, meaning those from all different seasons of life and demographics can experience alcohol addiction.
Some common signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction may include:
- Increased frequency of consumption.
- Increased quantity during consumption.
- Drinking at inappropriate or widely unacceptable times (such as in the mornings or at church).
- Avoiding contact with family or friends.
- Withdrawal from social contacts.
- Increased depression or emotional issues.
- Job issues or job loss.
- High tolerance for alcohol.
If you suspect your loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, approach them in a loving and caring way. Avoid shaming them or antagonizing them, as this may only worsen the problem and cause them to avoid getting the help they need.
If alcohol addiction continues, it can also lead to life-threatening health issues, such as liver disease, diabetes complications, ulcers, decreased immunity and more.
5 Alcohol Addiction Treatments
The good news is that there is treatment available to help you or your loved one overcome alcohol addiction. While it can be a difficult road to recovery and may involve a lifetime commitment to sobriety, it is entirely possible to leave alcohol abuse in the past.
With that in mind, here are common treatments used to address alcohol addiction.
For severe alcohol addiction, the best option may be an inpatient rehab treatment center. This involves a complete intervention and complete removal of alcohol and temptation. Many of these inpatient programs last for 30 days. Meanwhile, others may last upwards of a year, depending on your circumstances.
For rehab, there are also outpatient options. This may work for some individuals with less severe addictions or for those who wish to receive treatment while remaining at home. It may also be beneficial for individuals who have recently exited inpatient rehab treatment.
Overall, rehab offers a way for an individual to deal with the withdrawal that occurs by halting alcohol use. It also provides ways they can deal with the emotional challenges that inevitably come with it.
2. Support Groups
Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most well-known alcohol addiction support groups. These are located in various towns and cities, providing those with alcohol addiction an accessible go-to for support. This model follows a 12-step approach. Yet, it is not the only model available in terms of support groups.
You can also find other sober communities that offer similar support, such as helping you overcome challenges in your daily life.
3. Nutritional Changes
Nutritional changes may help improve the health of the individual. Alcohol takes a heavy toll on the body and one’s overall health, especially the liver.
Nutritional intervention can also guide a person toward improved physical health and consequently, improved mental health. Many mental health issues, such as depression, can sometimes be attributed to hormonal imbalances due to nutritional deficiencies. Thus, getting this part of your life in order can substantially improve it and play a key role in treatment.
Therapy is an undeniably key piece in treatment for alcohol addiction. Usually, there is a significant emotional component involved. A therapist can help you or your loved one find healthy ways to cope with stress and emotional distress, as well as help you learn new skills to navigate tough times in life.
5. Drug Therapy
In some cases, your doctor or therapist may prescribe certain medications to address specific conditions caused by alcohol addiction. For instance, they may prescribe anti-depressants in place of alcohol to help a person cope with depression (which they may have been using alcohol for originally).
Your or your loved one’s treatment will depend on their specific situation. Treatment may include some of the above, all of the above, or a combination of a few of the above. If you know someone struggling with alcohol addiction, encourage them to seek out help and offer emotional support where you can. It’s further important to be cautious of enabling them in any way until they seek out the help they need.