When a person realizes that they have an alcohol use disorder, the obvious choice is to seek out rehabilitation. But knowing that and being able to maneuver through all of the treatment types and associated choices isn’t easy.
Did you know that roughly 17 million American adults (18 and older) have a problem with alcohol? One in ten children actually live in a home with a parent who has an alcohol use disorder. The problems are widespread and a lot of people are dealing with them.
If all of these people have a problem, why aren’t all of them in treatment? Well, there are a number of answers.
- Some don’t want help
- Others don’t think they can finance it
- Others have too many other responsibilities
But, there is also a group of people overwhelmed by all the decision making a person has to do in order to get themselves into a program that will work for them.
Hopefully, the information that follows will help readers to better understand alcoholism rehabilitation.
Seek A Doctor’s Advice
Before a person gets into all of the approaches to rehab and various activities offered, they should just start with a simple visit to the doctor. The doctor can also refer people to treatment and help them to understand what goes into the process; the doctor can also prescribe medication that may help with withdrawal and continued abstinence. The doctor will:
In addition to a general practitioner, a person can also begin with:
There is no single standard for alcohol rehab. They all tend to have some basics and to develop individual programs around them. One of the basic building blocks of any program is behavioral treatments.
These treatments change drinking behaviors through therapy. Each type of counselling will be led by an expert and the benefits of this method are backed up with research. Data shows that the skills learned during these program remain after the treatment is completed, meaning that they can be called upon to help with continued abstinence.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, behavioral treatments all:
The following are types of behavioral therapy that are popular in treating alcoholism:
There are currently 3 FDA approved medications in the US that are designed to reduce (or stop) drinking and lessen the chance of relapse. They are typically used alongside counselling.
- Naltrexone works to reduce heavy drinking patterns.
- Acamprosate allows people to abstain more easily.
- Disulfiram stops the breakdown of alcohol by the body, leading to unpleasant symptoms like nausea and flushing. This enables people to fight the urge to drink.