Treating Alcoholism at Alcoholic Rehab Facilities
Alcoholism is a disease characterized by physical and psychological dependency to alcohol. Although alcohol addiction is an overwhelming, harmful condition, it is treatable through the proper methods. The following describes methods commonly used to treat both the causes and symptoms of alcoholism.
Detoxification at Alcoholic Rehab Facilities
Most alcohol rehab facilities treat alcoholism in stages. Typically, the first stage of treatment is detoxification. Defined as a process that rids the body of all addictive substances, detox can lead to withdrawal symptoms that often include intense cravings for alcohol, anxiety, depression and mood swings. In cases of severe alcoholism, withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe. For example, long-term alcoholics may experience effects like fever, seizures, hallucinations and violent behavior. For this reason, undergoing detoxification in a medical setting is usually recommended. Due to the care and support from trained professionals, alcohol rehab facilities provide a safe environment for the detox process.
Counseling at Alcoholic Rehab Facilities
Following detoxification, the next stage of treatment usually includes counseling or talk therapy. This type of treatment promotes recovery through approaches like family counseling, goal-setting, self-esteem exercises and the formulation of coping skills. In cases of alcoholism, counseling is essential to sustained sobriety. This is because it addresses risk factors for alcoholism as well as any underlying psychological disturbances that may contribute to substance abuse.Another popular method of treating alcoholism is group therapy.
Like one-on-one counseling, group therapy provides a place where patients can discuss addiction and recovery. However, group therapy provides added benefits like the support of peers, accountability and the sharing of coping strategies.
Medication at Alcoholic Rehab Facilities
Alcoholism sometimes necessitates the use of prescription medications. During detoxification, drugs used to treat withdrawal symptoms include anti-anxiety and anti-seizure medications, antidepressants and sedatives. Post-detoxification, a variety of drugs can be administered to lower the risk of relapse. One of these medications, called Antabuse, causes severe effects if the patient consumes alcohol while also taking the drug. Another drug, naltrexone, blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol. Although Antabuse, naltrexone and similar drugs may not cure alcoholism, they do encourage the patient to abstain from alcohol abuse.
Continued Care After Alcoholic Rehab Facilities
Continued care is also important. Following inpatient treatment, many alcohol rehab facilities offer continued support to recovering patients. Often, this type of continued treatment includes scheduled counseling sessions as well as group meetings.
Many patients also seek support in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA. In AA, recovering alcoholics meet together to discuss addiction and recovery. AA members are encouraged to complete a twelve-step program which includes recognizing addiction, taking steps in maintaining sobriety and making amends for mistakes made prior to recovery.The treatment methods listed here are designed to effectively treat alcoholism. Combined, these approaches significantly reduce the risk of relapse as well as complications associated with alcohol abuse.
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