Common behavioral signs of an alcohol problem may include:
Common physical signs of an alcohol problem may include:
According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), roughly one-third of individuals struggling with alcohol abuse also have a mental illness.4 Alcohol abuse is a common form of self-medication that people may try to cope with mental illness. However, if you’re struggling with a mental health problem, alcohol abuse will only make things worse.
In alcohol treatment, it’s essential to look for a possible dual diagnosis of AUD and a mental health problem. It’s necessary to treat both of these problems at the same time. If only one of the problems is treated, issues will likely continue over the long term.
Most alcohol treatment centers offer some form of outpatient treatment. Outpatient alcohol treatment is often useful for people with family or work commitments, which prevents them from doing full-time inpatient treatment.
An intensive outpatient treatment program allows you to remain living at home while you report to a treatment center at designated times. It’s crucial if you choose outpatient alcohol treatment that you have a safe and supportive home environment, as well as the determination to remain committed to a program with less supervision.
Alcohol treatment centers offer therapy as an integral part of the treatment program. Therapy is vital for discovering underlying issues and developing coping mechanisms to help deal with life stresses without using alcohol or other substances.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a common form of talk therapy where you work with a mental health counselor in a structured way. CBT helps you discover and work through underlying issues and develop coping mechanisms to manage addiction and maintain sobriety long term.
Many people have their doubts when they first begin an alcoholism treatment program. It can seem like a daunting process and a problem that’s difficult to overcome. Motivational enhancement therapy can be beneficial to address these feelings in an alcoholism treatment program.5
Motivational enhancement therapy aims to evoke an internally motivated desire for change. Motivational interviewing principles are often utilized in these sessions that help strengthen someone’s recovery plan and help them develop coping strategies for high-risk situations.
Alcohol withdrawal treatment can be a complicated process. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the individual and the severity of the addiction. Alcohol treatment centers aim to do everything they can to make the detox and withdrawal process as comfortable as possible. During alcohol withdrawal treatment, medications may be used to help ease the withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse.
Common medications used in alcohol withdrawal treatment are Disulfiram, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate.
Support groups are often used as part of the treatment process at alcohol treatment centers and as a form of aftercare to maintain sobriety and have a support system outside the treatment center. A typical support group for alcoholism treatment is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
AA is a 12-step program that provides a support system for people who also deal with AUD. This group can provide a supportive structure and a group of people you feel comfortable talking to about cravings and temptations. There are resources available, and nobody has to go through it alone.
The Sinclair Method for treating alcoholism is an evidence-based approach that Dr. John D. Sinclair developed. Unlike other treatment programs that preach complete abstinence from alcohol, the Sinclair method allows you to continue drinking at the beginning of treatment.
Treatment in this program is also combined with the prescription drug Naltrexone. Naltrexone blocks the effects or “buzz” that you would typically get from drinking alcohol. Over time, your brain stops associating alcohol use with feelings of pleasure that would drive you to drink excessively.
The Sinclair Method has been shown to be effective in more than 90 clinical trials around the world. The success rate of this method is 78%. This method is considered the standard treatment for alcohol dependence in several European countries. This approach does go against the more common abstinence-based approach that most treatment centers and specialists currently endorse. However, with these scientific studies’ success, it bodes well for the Sinclair method to become more relevant in the future.
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