What Are the Elements of Effective Alcohol Treatment?
According to a multicriteria analysis of the most abused substances in the world, alcohol topped the list as the substance with the greatest negative impact on the individual, family, community, and society as a whole. While having a drink is mostly harmless, for some people it can lead to a life filled with problems and misery as their alcohol abuse becomes uncontrollable. However, alcoholism is a disease that can be beaten through treatment, but what makes for effective alcohol treatment?
In this article, we will explore what is required in the treatment for alcoholism for it to be an effective method of dealing with the disease.
Get an Evaluation
There are several factors that can indicate whether or a not a person has alcohol use disorder – the term used to describe mild, moderate, and severe addictions to alcohol. While in the midst of the problems that alcohol abuse creates, it can be difficult to determine if you really need help or not.
All effective alcohol treatment starts with an evaluation. While not all doctors are trained to recognize an addiction, addiction specialist in rehab centers such as WhiteSands are capable of doing a thorough assessment to determine if treatment for alcoholism is needed, and to begin to formulate the most effective alcohol treatment plan.
Inpatient or Outpatient
Effective alcohol treatment doesn’t just take one form; a part of what makes treatment for substance abuse effective is that it adapts to the needs that a patient has. For example, if the addict wanting treating doesn’t have an adequate support network and has a fairly severe addiction, they would do better in an inpatient program. However, if the addict has enough support at home and has responsibilities that they need to continually take care of, they will be better off attending an outpatient rehab program.
Get a Medical Detox
A medically-assisted detox is important for alcohol addiction recovery. Getting the toxins out of your body and allowing your body to return to its normal function can be a turbulent experience with a high potential for relapse if done alone. Alcohol detox is also one of the few times that withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening and should therefore always be done under professional supervision.
Go to Therapy
A key component of effective treatment for substance abuse is therapy. Detox doesn’t cure addiction; it only serves to help the patient beat a physical dependence. After detox, it’s crucial that behavioral therapy be included in the treatment approach as it helps the person to work through negative behavioral patterns and thinking, and uncover possible mental health issues that can contribute to their risk of addiction. Ultimately, the purpose of therapy is to:
- Alter the behavior that causes the need to drink
- Help to build a solid support system
- Help the person to better cope with stress and triggers to alcohol abuse
- Helps the addict to set goals and gives them the ability to achieve them.
Therapy tends to take on two main formats; individual therapy and group therapy. Each is important in the treatment for addiction.
In some cases of alcohol addiction, it may be deemed necessary to add medications after detox. Medications such as acamprosate and disulfiram can help to keep a person away from alcohol long after they leave rehab because the drugs help to block the usual effects of alcohol on the body and mind. As such, it can be easier to maintain long-term sobriety.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.