Alcoholism is a serious medical
and social problem. However, a sustained effort along with the support
of family and friends can help to overcome it. Read on to find out how
you can seek treatment for alcohol addiction.
When an individual continues to consume alcohol in spite of it
negatively affecting him, he is termed as an alcoholic. Treatment for alcoholism
can only begin when the individual himself accepts that he has a
problem. In addition, he should want to be cured of his problem. Trying
to stop drinking is difficult but not impossible. Here are some ways to
deal with alcoholism.
In the beginning, you need to determine how serious your alcohol
problem is. For example, note how much alcohol you consume everyday and
how often it affects you physically and mentally. For example, how
often have you missed work because you were drunk or hung over?
Depending on your level of alcohol abuse or dependence, you can choose the appropriate treatment.
Alcohol abuse is a medical problem. A qualified medical practitioner,
preferably one who works at a detoxification facility, can make the
diagnosis. The more you drink, the more alcohol changes your body. If
you have been drinking for a prolonged period, you may find it
difficult to stop without some form of medical treatment. If you
suddenly stop consuming alcohol, your body may experience withdrawal symptoms. These include sweating, shivering, high blood pressure, nausea, headaches, cravings, increased heart rate, seizures, delirium, etc.
Medical treatment for alcoholism mainly involves a detoxification
program. This program focuses on providing a safe environment for the
patient while his body fights against toxins. This way, thewithdrawal symptoms
can be observed and dealt with, without the patient coming to some
harm. Depending on the severity of the problem, these programs may be
residential in nature or consist of regular sessions.
Types of medicines
Along with monitoring withdrawal symptoms, doctors may also prescribe certain drugs as part of the treatment
process. Note that medication is to be taken only if the doctor
prescribes it as part of your treatment. Self-medication is dangerous
as it could cause complications. Aversive drugs are the oldest known
type of medicine. Doctors may prescribe certain tablets that make you
feel ill when you consume any alcohol. This drug only prevents alcohol
consumption. It does not reduce cravings or solve any of thewithdrawal symptoms.
are often prescribed to people after they cease drinking. These drugs
work by blocking the pleasure receptors in the brain, thereby reducing
the craving for alcohol. Like aversive drugs, anti-craving medication
is also taken once a day.
A third type of medicine aims to restore the chemical balance
in the brain. It minimises the emotional and physical discomfort a
person feels while he tries to remain sober. The pills also combat
sleep difficulties. In addition, doctors may prescribe medicines for
other disorders associated with alcoholism such as depression, anxiety,
mood swings, etc.
Role of support groups
Alcoholism requires treatment not only for physical symptoms
but also for emotional ones. An important aspect of recovery is to
ensure that you do not begin abusing alcohol again. To help you deal
with the stress and suffering, there are plenty of support groups
available. The most famous support group in the world is Alcoholics
Anonymous. It has more than 2 million members worldwide.
Alcoholics Anonymous sessions are run by recovering alcoholics
themselves. Sessions are free to attend, and the only requirement to be
a member is a desire to cease drinking. During meetings, members speak
about their experiences under the influence of alcohol and their
efforts to stay sober. The organisation provides empathy and comfort to
its members. It also focuses on members having role models, namely
people who have recovered and remained sober thereafter.
Alcohol abuse cannot be cured immediately and does not have a magic
remedy. It requires sustained efforts by the individual along with
support from family and friends.