Treatment of Alcoholism by Jack Smith
In recent times, alcoholism itself is being recognized as the primary issue to be dealt with rather than underlying social, psychological or physiological factors that may have caused it. Earlier, these factors were considered primary and alcoholism was secondary to these problems; thus treatment was also in that order of priority. Specialized residential centers and separate units within hospitals – general or psychiatric – are available to attend to patients suffering from alcoholism. As the nature of alcoholism is coming out in the open and being better understood by more and more people, the social stigma attached to it is reducing. Encouraged by this, alcoholics and their families are more willing to seek help openly and early diagnosis is possible. The earlier the problem is diagnosed and treated, the better have been the results.
Treatment almost always combines psychological counseling and therapy with medication. These detoxification programs often involve prolonged (weeks, or even months) stays at medical institutions. Individual counseling and group therapy techniques enable the patient to abstain from alcohol more comfortably and completely. The medication is used to avoid the severe withdrawal symptoms that patients experience. Complete abstinence is the ideal situation. However, some do support the very controversial suggestion that it is possible for a former alcoholic to go back to ‘safe’ drinking.
Aversion therapies use drugs such as Disulfiram that cause an immediate and severe hangover after alcohol consumption. Naltrexone is a drug that is used to help patients abstain more comfortably.
Nutritional therapy is another approach to treating alcoholism. Many alcoholics have a disorder where there is an unsteady supply of insulin to the blood stream due to the body’s difficulty in processing sugars. This is known as ‘insulin resistance syndrome’. While a specified dietary regimen can treat this disorder successfully, it causes mood-swings and behavioral upsets in alcoholics. It is important, in such cases, not to ignore the metabolic aspects of alcoholism.
A number of support groups have become extremely popular in helping alcoholics deal with their disorder. A mutual help group counseling approach was popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1900’s. It remains the first recourse of many alcoholics seeking help.
Some programs try to help heavy drinkers who are on their way to becoming alcoholics but not there as yet, by encouraging a reduction in the intake of alcohol rather than a complete and abrupt abstinence. Moderation Management is one such program. It is a well researched fact that families, especially children, of alcoholics stand to be very adversely affected by exposure to alcoholism in the family. In fact, even grown up children can be affected. This is referred to as “The Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome”. A group called Al-Anon offers help to such children.
Jack Smith writes about various Alcohol Rehab topics. This article is free to re-print as long as nothing is changed, all links remained intacked, the bio remains in full and the rel="nofollow" tag is not added to any of the links. Thank-you Please Visit Alcoholism
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