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HomeHealth CareTreatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help

Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help

This guide was designed for people, as well as their family and friends who are seeking alternatives to deal with alcohol-related issues. It’s intended to be an information source to know the options for treatment available and the factors to take into consideration when deciding between them. Be aware that NIAAA recently unveiled its NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator. This online tool will help you locate the best treatment for you and in your area. It walks you through the steps to find a highly skilled professional treatment service. Learn more at

When Is It Time for Treatment?

Problems with alcohol related to drinking — which result from drinking excessively, in a hurry or frequently–are among the top public health concerns throughout the United States.

A lot of people have trouble controlling their drinking at least once during their lifetime. Over 14 million adults 18 and above suffer from an alcohol-related disorder (AUD), and one in 10 children reside in the home of one parent with an alcohol problem.

Does Treatment Work?

The positive side is that, regardless of how serious the condition may appear many people with AUD benefit from some kind of treatment.

Studies show that approximately one third of people being treated for alcohol-related problems experience no other symptoms one year after. A lot of people significantly reduce their alcohol consumption and have less alcohol-related issues.

Signs of an Alcohol Problem

Alcohol-related disorder (AUD)is a medical condition that is recognized by doctors when alcohol consumption can cause harm or distress. The symptoms can range from mild to severe , and is identified when a patient responds “yes” to two or more of the following questions.

Over the course of the year, did you: https://www.ixande.co.za/

  • Did you have a time when you ended having a drink more, or staying up longer than you had planned?
  • Many times, I’ve have you wanted to reduce or quit drinking or stop drinking, but failed?
  • Did you spend an significant amount of hours drinking? Do you feel sick or suffering from the effects?
  • Have you experienced a an intense craving–a urgent need or desire to drink?
  • Have you noticed that being sick due to drinking frequently caused problems in taking charge of the needs at your house as well as your your family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?http://rehabhelper.co.za
  • Did you continue to drink even though it caused problems within you relatives or your friends?
  • Did you give to or reduced in activities that were significant or interesting for you, or brought you pleasure, in an effort to drink?
  • There have been numerous times when you’ve had to get into situations following or while drinking alcohol that increase your risk of injury(such as driving, swimming, operating machines, walking in danger or having sex that is unsafe)?
  • Did you continue to drink despite the fact that you were feeling anxious or depressed or causing an existing health problem? or after experiencing an mental blackout?
  • Did you have you had to drink more than you did previously in order to achieve the effects you wanted? Did you find that your usual amountof drinks produced an effect that was less as before?
  • Discovered that after you realized that the alcohol effects started diminishing the effects of alcohol were fading away, you experienced withdrawal symptoms like shaking, insomnia or agitation anxiety, depression and nausea. or sweating? or sensed certain things that were not present?

If you experience any of these symptoms your drinking might already be a cause of anxiety. The more you exhibit symptoms and the more urgent is the need to make changes. A medical professional can conduct an evaluation of your symptoms in order to determine whether you are suffering from AUD. For an online assessment of your drinking pattern, go to 

Options for Treatment

When asked about the way in which alcohol issues are addressed, most people think of 12-step programs and 28-day inpatient rehabilitation, but they may be unable to identify alternative options. Actually, there’s many treatment methods that are currently in use, due to major advances in the field over the last 60 years.

In the end, there isn’t a universally applicable solution. What might work for one person could not be the best match for another. Understanding the various possibilities is an essential first step.

Types of Treatment

Behavioral Treatments

Behavioral therapies are designed to altering drinking habits through counseling. They are administered by health professionals and are backed by studies that show they are effective.

Medications

Three drugs are currently licensed by the United States to help people quit or limit their alcohol consumption and to prevent the possibility of relapse. They are prescribed by a primary-care doctor or another health professionals and can be taken on their own or in conjunction with counseling.

Mutual-Support Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step groups provide the support of peers for those who are quitting or reducing their drinking. In conjunction with treatment provided by health experts, mutual-support groups provide a great additional level of assistance.

Due to the anonymity of mutual-support organizations it is hard for researchers to establish their effectiveness rates in comparison to the ones led by health experts.

Starting With a Primary Care Doctor

If you are considering the possibility of treatment, talking with the primary doctor is a crucial initial step. They can be a reliable source for medication and treatment recommendations. A primary care physician may also:

  • Assess a patient’s drinking patterns
  • Create a treatment strategy
  • Assess the overall health
  • Determine if alcohol-related medications might be suitable

Patients are encouraged to speak with their doctor regarding the most effective method of treatment for them.

Types of Professionals Involved in Care

A variety of health professionals could assist in the treatment. Here is a list of the providers they have and the types of treatment they can provide.Behavioral TreatmentsAlso called alcohol counseling, treatment for behavioral issues involves working with a healthcare expert to discover and to change the habits that lead to excessive drinking. Behavioral therapies have certain characteristics they can have, including:Learning the techniques needed to reduce or stop the amount of alcohol consumedIn assisting to create a strong social support systemSet goals that are achievableReducing or avoiding triggers that could cause RelapseTypes of Behavioral TreatmentsCognitive-Behavioral Therapy can be conducted one-on-one with a therapist or small groups. This type of therapy focuses on identifying the thoughts and the situations (called “cues”) that cause excessive drinking and dealing with stress, which can cause an relapse. The objective is to alter the thinking processes that lead to alcohol abuse and develop the skills required to deal with daily circumstances that can trigger problematic drinking.Motivational Enhancement Therapy is an interminable period to help build and increase the motivation to alter drinking habits. The treatment focuses on determining the benefits and disadvantages for seeking help, developing an action plan to make changes to one’s drinking habits as well as building confidence and learning the skills to follow through with the program.Marriage and family counselingincorporates spouses and family members into the treatment process and may be a crucial factor in fixing and strengthening family relationships. Research has shown that strong support from the family through family therapy can increase the odds of sustaining the abstinence (stopping drinking) in comparison to patients receiving individual counseling.Short Interventionsare brief, one-on-one or small-group sessions with counseling, which are restricted. The counselor will provide details about the person’s drinking habits and the potential dangers. After receiving the individual’s feedback from the counselor, they works with him or her to establish objectives and suggest ways of making a change.The final decision to seek treatment might be more important than the strategy employed, so long as the method is not confrontational and focuses on emotional support, motivational, and an emphasis on changing drinking behaviors.What FDA-Approved Medications Are Available?Certain drugs have been proven to help individuals stop or limit their alcohol consumption and prevent the risk of relapse.Current MedicationsThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medicines for treating addiction to alcohol, and other medications are under test to determine if they are efficient.Naltrexone can aid in reducing the effects of drinking heavily.Acamprosatemakes it easier to keep abstinence.Disulfiram inhibits breaking down (metabolism) of alcohol in the body, leading to unpleasant side effects like an increase in nausea as well as flushing on the face. The unpleasant effects may help some people to avoid drinking when taking disulfiram.It is vital to understand that not everyone will react to medication however, for a small minority of people they may be a crucial tool for getting over alcohol dependency.Scientists are currently working on developing an expanded list of medications that can be tailored to the individual’s requirements. As more medicines become available, patients might be able try a variety of treatments to see which one they react to the most.“Isn’t taking medications just trading one addiction for another?”It’s not an uncommon problem, but the short response to this is “no.” All medications designed to treat dependence on alcohol are non-addictive. These medications are intended to treat the effects of chronic illness, much as one might use drugs to keep diabetes or asthma under control.Looking Ahead: The Future of TreatmentThere is always progress as researchers search for more effective and innovative solutions for problems with alcohol. Through investigating the root factors that cause AUD within the body and the brain The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is working to pinpoint the most important molecular and cellular structures–known as “targets”–that could be the basis for the development of new medicines.Personalized MedicineIn the ideal scenario, healthcare professionals would be able determine the AUD treatment is the most efficient for each individual. NIAAA along with other organisations are undertaking studies to determine the genetic factors and other variables which can determine the extent to which an individual will respond to a specific treatment. These advancements could improve how treatments are decided in the near future.Current NIAAA Research–Leading to Future BreakthroughsCertain drugs that are already approved for use in other areas have shown promise in treatment of alcohol dependence and problematic drinking.The drug that stops smoking, varenicline (marketed under the brand name Chantix) drastically decreased the consumption of alcohol and craving among those suffering from AUD.Gabapentin is a medicine used to treat pain and epilepsy, has been shown to improve abstinence and decrease excessive drinking. Patients taking the drug also had less alcohol cravings as well as improved sleep and mood.Topiramate, an anti-epileptic drug, was proven to aid in the reduction of alcohol abuse, specifically for those who have a particular genetic make-up that may be a factor in the effectiveness of the treatment.Tips for Selecting TreatmentThe experts in the field of treatment for alcohol give advice on what to think about when choosing an alcohol treatment program.In general, collect all the information you can on the service or the program prior to making a decision about treatment. If there is someone you know with direct experience with the program, it could be beneficial to inquire for their personal experiences.Here are some questions you could ask to help in your decision-making process:What kind of service is the program or service provide?
It is essential to know whether the program offers all of the current methods or is based on a single method. It is possible to find out whether the provider or program has a medication program and whether mental health concerns are addressed alongside addiction treatment.Treatment is specific to each individual?
The right treatment for the patient is crucial to the success of the treatment. There is no one treatment that will work for all. It can also be helpful to know if treatment can be modified to meet evolving requirements as they occur.What are the expectations from the patient?
You should be aware of the requirements that will be put in front from you to choose the best treatment that fits your needs.Can treatment success be measured?
In determining how and if the program or service provider evaluates its success, you could be able better evaluate the choices.How will the provider or program handle Relapse?
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Relapse is a common occurrence and you’ll need to know how it can be dealt with. For more information about the relapse process, check out Relapse is a Part Of The Process.When seeking help from a professional it is crucial to feel valued and appreciated and feel confident that the person or group is able to help you. Keep in mind, however that relationships with therapists, doctors and other health professionals may take time to establish.Additional ConsiderationsTreatment Setting–Inpatient or Outpatient?Alongside deciding on the treatment option which is most suitable for you there’s also the need to decide whether your treatment is either inpatient (you will be in the facility) and outpatient (you remain at home while receiving treatment). Inpatient facilities are generally more costly and demanding. Your doctor can assist you assess the advantages and disadvantages of each.Cost can be a consideration when choosing an approach to treatment. Examine the coverage of the health plan you have to figure out the amount of the expenses the insurance covers and how much you’ll be required to pay. Check with different companies to see if they offer sliding scale rates. Some programs might offer lower rates or payment plans to individuals with no health insurance.An Ongoing ProcessThe battle against alcohol dependence is a continuous process that can be accompanied by challenges.The Importance of PersistenceSince AUD is an ongoing relapsing illness and it’s a long-term condition, perseverance is crucial. It is extremely rare for one would seek treatment once , and then do not consume alcohol again. Most often, they need to keep trying to quit or reduce their intake, have repeating episodes, gain knowledge from their mistakes, and continue trying. For many, a consistent contact with a counselor is essential to overcome the problem of drinking.Relapse Is Part of the ProcessThe likelihood of relapse can be seen in those who recover from alcohol-related problems. Alcoholics tend to relapse when they are under stress or when they are exposed to individuals or locations that have a connection to their previous drinking.As some sufferers of asthma or diabetes may experience flare-ups in their condition A relapse back to drinking could be thought of as temporary setbacks to complete recovery, but not as a complete failure. Getting help from a professional can stop regression. Behavior therapy can help gain the skills needed to avoid and conquer factors, like stress, which can result in drinking. Many people benefit from frequent visits to a specialist. They can also help to prevent drinking at times that individuals are at chance of Relapse (e.g. divorce, the death of a loved one).Mental Health Issues and Alcohol Use DisorderDepression and anxiety usually occur in conjunction when you drink heavily. Research has shown that those who suffer from alcohol dependence are three to two times more likely with anxiety or depression during their lifetime. If you are dealing with drinking issues it is important to take care of any accompanying mental and medical issues.Advice For Friends and Family Memberscaring for someone who suffers from alcohol issues can be extremely stressful. It is crucial that while you attempt to aid your loved one, you discover ways to care for yourself too. It can be helpful to seek help from others, including your family, friends or community members, as well as support groups. If you’re beginning to experience the symptoms of anxiety or depression consider getting help from a professional. Be aware that the person you love is the one who has to manage the illness.But, your involvement can have a major impact. Based on the clinical experience Many health professionals consider that the help of family members and friends can be crucial to overcoming drinking problems. However, friends and family members might be uncertain about what they can do to offer the necessary support. The friends and family listed below could be a good place to start.Be aware that changing habits can be difficult requires time and requires a lot of effort. There are usually failures in the process, and take lessons from them, and keep on going. AUD is not any different. Be gentle with your loved ones. The process of overcoming this disorder isn’t simple or fast.Be attentive to your loved ones whenever they are improving or is taking the time to do something. It is often the case that we get too angry or depressed that we overlook even when things are improving. A gesture of appreciation or acknowledgement of the achievement can be a huge help.Professional assistance Your physician. Primary care and mental health professionals are able to provide effective treatment for AUD by combining new medication with short counseling visits. For clinicians to aid, NIAAA has developed a guide for patients who are younger, Alcohol Screening and brief intervention for youth A Practitioner’s Guide. This guide and other resources are available at

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