Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol, characterized by being unable to stop drinking even though you want to and despite the problems it’s causing in your life.
Alcoholism treatment is essential for the best chances of successful lifelong recovery, and can take place at a residential alcoholism treatment center. Inpatient alcoholism treatment is best for those who are ambivalent toward sobriety or have a co-occurring mental health illness or a secondary addiction.
Outpatient alcoholism treatment can be successful as well, but the patient must have a strong personal motivation to recover and a solid system of support at home.
Addiction to alcohol is a major concern in the United States, where 17.6 million people suffer from alcohol abuse or addiction, but only around eight percent of adults get help for their dependence problems. A recent study found that about half of U.S. adults have a close family member with an addiction to alcohol, and this drug directly accounts for 88,000 deaths each year, not including the 10,000 annual traffic fatalities involving alcohol.
Alcohol abuse and addiction are not the same thing. Those who abuse this substance may not become dependent on it, although abuse is a major risk factor for a developing physical dependence.
Alcohol abuse is characterized as binge drinking and/or blacking out. Binge drinking means consuming enough alcohol over a two-hour period to raise your blood alcohol level to .08 percent, which equates to about four drinks for women and five for men during that time period. Blacking out is a loss of memory concerning events that took place while under the influence of alcohol. Those who abuse it are able to maintain some control over their drinking.
Addiction, on the other hand, is characterized by an inability to control the frequency with which you drink or the amount you drink. Addiction is a disease that changes the structure and function of the brain and affects behavior. When someone who is addicted to alcohol tries to quit, the brain continues operating as though the substance is still in the body, and this is what causes withdrawal symptoms.
Signs are indicators of alcoholism that others can see, while symptoms are indicators that the person with alcohol addiction will feel. The signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
Professional treatment for alcoholism starts with medical detox, during which alcohol is withheld to remove traces of the substance from the body and break the physical addiction. Medications are administered to alleviate the intense cravings and other unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Because withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol detox are potentially dangerous or even deadly, unsupervised detox is never recommended.
After detox, attention turns to treating the complex psychological issues behind the addiction. Various treatment therapies are employed to help patients address these issues, including cognitive behavioral therapy that helps them learn to replace unhealthy thoughts and behaviors with those that are healthy and productive.
An aftercare plan is set in place after the successful completion of treatment. The aftercare plan is designed to help prevent relapse through ongoing therapy, participation in recovery groups, and other programs that are chosen for the individual based on his or her needs, such as vocational rehab or a stint in a sober living facility to ease the transition back into “real” life.
Call Drug Treatment Centers Lansdale at 215-383-2672 to find out about rehab facilities that fit your needs and for various treatment centers available.