Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive condition that is recognized by symptoms such as an inability to control drinking, a preoccupation with alcohol, denial that a problem exists, and continuing to use alcohol in the face of mounting difficulties. Alcoholism treatment helps people with alcohol addiction recover from its effects and make the adjustments needed to live a healthy and balanced life that does not revolve around drinking.
If you or your loved one is in need of alcoholism treatment, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Albany at (518) 626-8502.
People with only a mild addiction to alcohol may be able to simply stop or cut down their drinking without help, but if withdrawal symptoms appear, this can be dangerous and alcoholism treatment is necessary. Some of these are so dangerous that they can result in death, and a monitored and medically assisted withdrawal period is the only safe option.
The first stage in alcoholism treatment is medical detox, which may take place in a hospital, dedicated detox facility or rehab center. During this period, alcohol is gradually withdrawn and medications are prescribed to curb cravings and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. These can include tremors, nausea, vomiting, headaches, insomnia and seizures. In many cases, a dual diagnosis is made that identifies any mental health disorders which coexist with the addiction. Common issues include depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, unresolved trauma and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Treatment for these mental health problems begins at the same time as the alcoholism treatment.
After the detox period is over, the recovering alcoholic begins rehabilitation therapies to help them adjust to a new life. Treatments may include psychotherapy regimes such as cognitive behavioral therapy, group and individual counseling, and medications to prevent relapse. One commonly prescribed medicine is Antabuse, which reduces cravings and produces unpleasant symptoms if alcohol is consumed. Art and music therapy, yoga, meditation, and other therapies may also be offered.
Treatments continue in the form of recovery programs such as SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training) or Alcoholics Anonymous, which act as support groups and teach the recovering alcoholic new skills they need to avoid relapse and develop a healthy lifestyle.
Signs of alcoholism include increasing tolerance and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms such as profuse sweating or tremors on stopping or reducing drinking. Addicts may be unable to stop drinking when they start and gulp drinks rather than sip them. They may also use larger glasses than normal to contain their drinks or may drink directly from the bottle. They cannot predict how much or how long they will drink, or what the consequences of their drinking will be, and may deliberately set out to get drunk for its effects. People with alcoholism may hide their drinking from others, drink in secret and keep alcohol in unusual places at home, in their car, and at work.
As alcoholism progresses the amount and frequency of drinking increases and obtaining alcohol becomes more compulsive. Physical signs of addiction start to appear. The person may have no memory of what he or she did or said during periods of drinking, and may lose inhibitions while drunk and participate in unsafe sex or become obsessed with pornography. Hobbies and activities they previously enjoyed are abandoned, and relationships and finances suffer. They may repeatedly try to stop or cut down on drinking, but their attempts meet with failure.
If you think you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol, it is better to ask for help early rather than wait until it progresses. Alcohol Treatment Centers Albany can help you battle your addiction. Call us today at (518) 626-8502.