Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Alcoholism is a condition where the addict has a compulsion or intense craving for the consumption of alcohol. An effective alcoholism treatment program combines a variety of disciplines, including medicines that reduce the craving to drink. Psychological assistance such as counseling are also used to treat alcoholism. The condition is very complex, and any treatment for it should at the same time address any existing emotional and social issues the addict has.
There are some prescription drugs that are used to treat alcohol addiction. One drug, called naltrexone, helps by reducing alcohol cravings, and another, acamprosate, helps minimize withdrawal symptoms. Still another drug, disulfuram, aids in aversion therapy by producing unpleasant side effects such as vomiting and elevated heart rate when alcohol is consumed. Experts believe that medicines used today to treat alcohol addiction are the most effective when they are used in conjunction with behavior therapy.
A common treatment method is cognitive behavioral therapy, and it is commonly used in alcoholism treatment to help patients see what drives them to drink. Many treatment programs use family therapy to help addicts and relatives address issues that stem from alcoholism. Some patients also see success with support groups such as AA, which hold meetings where people learn new ways to avoid the temptation to drink.
In cases of prolonged alcoholism, therapists may recommend that the patient seek residential treatment. These programs offer an extremely structured treatment that can last from one month to one year. Patients in these programs are usually required to participate in multiple types of therapy, and depending on the program may also have to attend 12-step meetings. Once a residential program is completed most addicts enter an outpatient program. Most of these combine medication and counseling to help the patient continue on the path to sobriety.