Treatment For Alcoholism
The most important factor in anyone seeking help to recover from alcoholism is the desire to do so. Anyone who is pressured into seeking help or is doing so just to please other people is likely to suffer a relapse or not get the best from the therapy they receive. Once the desire to recover is established within the patient, there are many options that can be taken to gain control over the condition.
The first port of call for anyone should be a discussion with their Doctor or other healthcare professional, who will be able to make an appropriate referral. There are many facilities across the US which offer counselling and inpatient treatment for sufferers, as well as other methods of intervention, such as support groups and self help programs, which mean that patients can remain in their homes and be treated safely.
Withdrawing from any substance depends entirely on how long the patient has been addicted for. In cases of long term abuse, a slow, gradual withdrawal is recommended to minimise the severity of side effects.
It is estimated that once an alcoholic has taken their last drink it can be anything between three to seven days before the body fully detoxifies. During this period, there may be spells in which side effects are felt, these can include:
- Shaking and tremors
- Anxiety and feelings of panic
- Irritability and anger
- Insomnia and restlessness
During these periods, mild sedatives or anti-depressant drugs are sometimes prescribed to help with feelings of discomfort and other side effects which may cause significant distress.
There are also now a range of drugs including Antabuse, Naltrexone and Acamprosate which can help to stop the desire to drink, or which when taken will make the recovering addict sick if they try to imbibe alcohol. These are sometimes prescribed alongside talking therapies and anti anxiety drugs to provide a complete treatment. They are also prescribed in cases where patients have been told they should never drink again, or risk losing their life because of alcoholism.