Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol Addiction Treatment and glasses

Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is defined as a chronic and relapsing brain disease. Characteristics include uncontrollable consumption of alcoholic beverages, lack of self-control when it comes to drinking, and a lack of emotional well-being when not drinking.

When considering the options available for alcohol addiction treatment, many people think of traditional 12-step programs, faith-based or abstinence methods, or spending a month in rehab. In the past, these select few approaches were generally the only options available.

Throughout the years, advancements have been made in treatment options, due largely to doctors and scientists working to broaden the understanding not only of how addiction occurs, but why it occurs. Alcohol use disorder affects each person differently, and treatment should be structured with these factors in mind.

Right Path Addiction Centers offer a well-rounded approach in our treatment programs, and we encourage each person to look at all aspects of their addiction.

The Effects of Alcohol Use Disorder

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2018, 14.4 million adults over the age of 18 had alcohol use disorder. Of these, 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related deaths, making alcohol the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

In both the short- and long-term, alcohol use causes physical, psychological, social, and other detrimental side effects. On a positive note, no matter how severe the problems might seem, most people who seek alcohol addiction treatment will benefit from it.

Physical Effects of Alcohol

treatment for alcoholThe Brain

Alcohol can cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it does not have to be digested first, and the effects of alcohol on the brain are felt almost immediately. Temporary side effects include memory and coordination loss. Prolonged use of alcohol has a detrimental impact on the brain, up to and including emotional issues, memory issues, and brain damage.

The Heart

The heart is a vulnerable organ. Alcohol quickly weakens the heart, which impacts the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Early on in alcohol use disorder, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat can develop, leading to severe consequences down the road. These can include heart disease and stroke.

The Liver

The liver is greatly affected by heavy alcohol consumption. While drinking, the liver works to break down the alcohol and remove it from your bloodstream. Too much alcohol at one time leads to inflammation and fatty liver tissue, both of which are precursors to other serious liver diseases.

Psychological Effects of Alcohol

Because the brain is part of the central nervous system, alcohol consumption and psychological issues often go hand-in-hand. These can include alcohol-induced disorders, including depression, bipolar, sleep, psychotic episodes, and more. These can be temporary and occur during intoxication and withdrawal.

Social Effects of Alcohol

Drinking too much can also harm those we love the most. Hangovers lead to time missed at work and workplace incidents, which can put you at risk for losing your job.

Alcohol-related offenses can lead to missed job opportunities, and financial problems can arise when one spends an excessive amount of money on alcohol. Losing friends or partners due to behavior when intoxicated is an issue, and sexual performance is greatly affected when drinking.

The Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

If you suspect that you or a loved one might be falling into a vicious pattern when it comes to alcohol use, alcohol addiction treatment might be worth considering. Although alcohol addiction is self-diagnosable, it may be difficult to know for sure whether treatment is necessary. Knowing the symptoms of alcohol addiction can help guide your decision.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Drinking more than you wanted or intended
  • Cravings or urges to drink
  • Wanting to cut down or stop using alcohol, but not being able to
  • Drinking or recovering from drinking interrupts personal responsibilities and relationships
  • Sacrificing events or activities that you once enjoyed for drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite the troubles it may cause
  • Making decisions that could be harmful or life-threatening while drinking such as driving or going home with a stranger
  • Continuing to drink despite severe emotional downfalls such as increased anxiety and depression
  • Continuing to drink despite blacking out while drinking
  • Developing a tolerance, and needing to drink much more to feel the effects

If you or your loved one has two or more of these symptoms, it may be time to seek professional consultation. Those seeking treatment and recovery should feel supported in the process, and Right Path Addiction Centers will make a recommendation for treatment based on your situation.

Types of Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcoholic Holding A Glass Of Alcohol Next To An Empty Bottle

Many people are familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-step faith-based fellowship program that seeks to help people stay sober. In the last few decades, advancements have been made in understanding the basis of addiction and its etiology, and as a result, new variations of addiction treatment are presenting themselves.

Our centers provide a three-tiered approach with the belief that addiction must be faced holistically, addressing the root causes and all aspects contributing to addiction.

MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment)

MAT is an evidence-based modality of treatment that combines the use of medications (like Suboxone or Methadone) and other forms of therapy to achieve a whole-body approach to treatment. MAT can help to sustain long-term recovery, in addition to relieving the symptoms of withdrawal during detox.

One example of a medication-assisted method of treatment we utilize at our centers for alcohol addiction is the naltrexone implant, a long-term alternative to daily pills. The naltrexone implant blocks the opioid receptors from being activated by the effects of alcohol. Naltrexone implants are shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of relapses.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy, such as counseling, plays an important role in the success of recovery. Our centers recognize that addressing physical and emotional aspects of addiction, as well as factors stemming from childhood, is key in a holistic recovery and long-lasting success.

Working closely with a professional addiction therapist allows you to build a relationship free of judgment and built on trust. This can provide you with guidance, support, and resources throughout your recovery. We offer both individual and group therapies.

Building Support

Healthy support groups and relationships that support your vision for recovery are a key aspect of recovery. Whether it be a 12-step group, rebuilding a broken relationship, or building new relationships, everyone in recovery can benefit from some type of peer support system.

The implementation of healthy interpersonal skills is an important aspect of building support, as relationships can become codependent and draining. We help you to build these skills in a way that promotes your recovery.

The Benefits of Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Seeking help can be difficult amid alcohol use disorder, and sometimes quitting can feel impossible. Despite the numerous adverse effects that alcohol has on people’s lives, many alcohol addicts believe their life is meaningless without alcohol.

This is one of the tricks that alcohol plays on the mind by influencing basic biological makeup. If you are dealing with alcohol addiction, it is essential you know that you are not alone. Seeking treatment is just one small step that can provide numerous benefits.

Medical Attention and Care

When quitting alcohol, the body can go into a state of uncomfortable withdrawal. This is sometimes accompanied by severe and life-threatening symptoms that require constant medical attention. A professional alcohol addiction treatment program provides medical stabilization from withdrawal symptoms and ongoing supervision afterwards.

Safety

During the first week or so of detox, you may require constant supervision by addiction professionals trained in medical and psychiatric emergencies.

Feel Better

If a detox period is necessary, there is an excellent chance you will begin to feel better mentally and physically as soon as this period has passed. The adverse effects of alcohol on the body and mind are serious. Most people don’t know how awful they have felt until they have the chance to remove alcohol from their body.

Relapse Prevention

One of the characteristics of alcohol use disorder as a chronic brain disease is the likeliness of relapse. If the body is in a vulnerable state due to detox or alcohol abuse medications, serious side effects can occur following a relapse. A professional addiction treatment center ensures that a relapse is not possible during this delicate time.

Aftercare

Alcohol addiction treatment programs provide short- and long-term care and support to ensure the longevity of your recovery. For many individuals, aftercare support is one of the most critical steps in their recovery, and ongoing assistance when returning home makes all the difference in treatment success.

Other benefits of seeking alcohol addiction treatment and quitting alcohol include saving money, reducing the risk of serious health complications, reestablishing genuine connections with others, feeling and looking younger, and getting better sleep.

Final Thoughts

If you or a loved one is seeking alcohol addiction treatment due to alcohol use disorder, the first and most important thing to know is that you are not alone. While alcohol is detrimental to families and the individual afflicted, treatment programs today provide promising structure and evidence-based methods for recovery.

We look forward to working with you and helping you achieve your best possible life and self.

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