Modern Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options
Alcohol addiction is a common problem that can destroy lives if not resolved. Furthermore, the severity of physical dependence on this substance means that alcohol withdrawal can even be fatal. Fortunately, patients today have a number of options for safe recovery. Inpatient clinics and outpatient programs help alcohol addicts stop drinking and get back on track to a healthy lifestyle. Here is a look at available pathways toward quitting alcohol.
Outpatient Twelve-Step Programs
The Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps program is a proven method for stopping alcohol and staying sober. At regular meetings held at churches or other public locations, members discuss their addiction to alcohol and offer support to each other. Sponsors, who are experienced participants in the 12 steps, are assigned to members for additional support between meetings. The 12 steps are a set of principles that members must recognize about their dependence on alcohol in order to quit for good. Although the 12 steps do involve belief in a higher power, that higher power does not necessarily have to be God.
Detoxification from alcohol is the first step in recovery. With cessation from intense drinking, potentially deadly symptoms can develop, such as seizures and heart attacks. During detox, medical supervision is given to patients so that withdrawal is not dangerous. Medications, which often include sedatives, may be given to prevent convulsions and ease the anxiety that often accompanies quitting drinking. Besides providing medication, medical professionals attending detox commonly offer counseling and other support to ease the transition. In many cases, detox is only the first step of inpatient alcohol rehab programs.
Multiple approaches are often included in programs at alcohol rehab treatment centers. These include:
- one-on-one counseling sessions
- group counseling meetings
- life skills training
- physical exercise
- psychiatric care
Depending on the facility, holistic approaches may also be used, such as:
- nutritional therapy
- nature walks
- music and art therapy
After patients complete the inpatient part of their recovery, they may be offered outpatient support. This often consists of regular visits to counselors to promote continued sobriety.
Alcoholism treatment is crucial for the physical and mental health of people with this addiction. While the best treatment options can vary between patients, detox is often essential at first to prevent the serious side effects of withdrawal. Many patients may prefer a combined approach as well. Through continued effort and sufficient support, recovering alcoholics can learn to live a better life without alcohol.