In 2019, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that over 85% of people over the age of 18 had consumed alcohol at some point in their life. Drinking alcohol is a large, and normalized, part of social interactions. Whether it is having a beer at a tailgate, champagne at a wedding, or even a glass of wine at a dinner with friends.
Unfortunately, alcohol is also used to cope with negative feelings like stress or sadness.
Alcohol use ranges from casual drinking to alcoholism. When consumed excessively, alcohol poses a danger to the mind and body. Thankfully, for those with alcohol use issues, there are plenty of alcohol treatment options!
Keep reading to learn more!
When to Pursue Alcohol Treatment
Before discussing the options for alcohol treatment, it is important to recognize signs that indicate the need for alcohol treatment.
Often individuals with alcohol use disorders are preoccupied with alcohol. They are unable to stop themselves from using alcohol or control their alcohol consumption, despite the negative effects it might have on their lives or their relationships.
Individuals may distance themselves from friends and family, or associate themselves with others that support their alcohol use. Other signs include behavioral changes, excusing alcohol use, and hiding drinking habits and frequency.
A popular method for alcoholic treatment is therapy. Behavioral therapy is also a popular treatment method for other mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Through therapy, a patient and a mental health professional work together to identify underlying issues that lead to substance use.
For example, individuals may use alcohol to cope with negative emotions.
Once patterns have been identified, a counselor can help their patients practice new strategies or responses as an alternative to alcohol consumption.
There are a couple of medications that are currently used for addiction treatment.
These include benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Most medications are prescribed to help individuals cope with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as muscle aches, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Otherwise, medication is helps reduce alcohol cravings or prevent individuals from experiencing the positive effects of drinking.
Rehabilitation for alcohol use disorders is often a multi-approach program. These programs begin with primary care but commit themselves to address the underlying issues of alcohol use disorders. Addiction treatment centers also prepare their patients to be healthy and high-functioning members of society.
Rehab options include inpatient and outpatient services. Inpatient services are often for more severe alcohol use problems and have the patient stay within a rehab facility. This allows for 24-hour care and leads to higher success rates.
Unfortunately, these are often month-long programs and can be expensive.
Outpatient services can look like partial hospitalization, in which a patient starts in a treatment center but is then allowed to resume normal activities. Once they leave the facility, they are often required to attend some form of treatment each day.
Some of the best rehab programs utilize alcohol use disorder support groups.
Alcoholics Anonymous creates a safe space for recovering alcoholics. Through this organization, individuals with similar issues encourage one another to pursue sobriety. Involvement in AA is entirely voluntary and comes at no cost to the participants.
Safety and Sobriety
Alcohol use disorders are serious and harmful to both the individual and the rest of their community. Thankfully, alcohol treatment is available through therapy, medication, and addiction treatment centers. However, most agree that the most effective form of treatment is a combined approach.
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