Alcohol Abuse Treatment – According to recent data, more than 16 million adults have an addiction to alcohol. Alcohol is the 4th leading preventable cause of death in the United States and is responsible for the death of around 88,000 people a year. In fact, more than 40% of all addiction treatment admissions in the U.S. are related to alcohol.
The sad truth, however, is very few people who need treatment actually receive it, and this disparity is not due to a lack of treatment centers. Indeed, alcohol abuse treatment options are more available to the general public than ever before. Unlike just two decades ago, there are now thousands of programs that treat a variety of addictions and specialized treatment facilities that cater to a wide demographic.
No two alcohol abuse treatment centers are identical. Although most programs blend some form of therapeutic and educational modalities and many include a detox program, the way in which they are executed can be very different from one program to the next.
Specialized treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction can be implemented in either an inpatient, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient format. Inpatient treatment lengths vary, but frequently they last between one to three months and may have the potential to continue for a longer duration if necessary. Cost is an important consideration, as inpatient treatment often costs more than outpatient, although it can also provide a higher level of care.
Principles for Effective Alcohol Abuse Treatment
Treatment facilities that tailor programs to patients have the highest rates of success. Each patient has unique needs, and a customized treatment plan should consider these differences.
Treatment must be accessible around-the-clock every day. One of the hardest barriers to overcome is getting the person into rehab, and if treatment is not available at the precise time they resolve to seek help, an opportunity to save someone may be lost.
Effective alcohol addiction treatment programs address a wide variety of problems, including those that are physical, emotional, psychological, and social. People that solicit help for alcoholism tend to have many underlying issues that also need to be addressed. Without attention to all aspects of a person’s life, the chance of long-term success decreases considerably.
Alcohol treatment of any duration has the potential to help a person with their recovery. According to studies, however, patients that continue treatment for longer periods exhibit higher rates of success than those who receive treatment for a brief amount of time. To ensure patients remain in treatment for an ideal amount of time, tools must be used to engage patients and encourage them to participate actively.
Alcohol abuse treatment facilities without sufficient behavioral therapies and counseling services do not adequately provide patients with the skills they need to address the motivation behind their abuse, employ coping mechanisms, and implement problem-solving abilities. These capabilities are critically important when patients leave a rehab center and attempt to re-establish healthy and productive lives.
Many medical addiction treatment centers, such as Harmony Recovery, combine behavioral therapies with medication. Pharmacotherapy may be even more important for those with a drug or alcohol use disorder and a mental health condition. In most cases, the integration of multiple treatments is critical to successful outcomes.
The potential for relapse also exists, especially during the initial rehab period. Alcohol addiction treatment programs supervise their patients closely and allow professionals to identify what is or is not working for a patient. Moreover, these programs may also implement treatment adjustments for each person as necessary.
Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal
Importantly, those who have been drinking excessively for an extended period can experience a dangerous period of acute alcohol withdrawal not long after their last drink. On average, this period can start a few hours after the last drink and can persist for up to one week.
A medically managed detox can be implemented during this time to help a patient get through this uncomfortable, and possible dangerous withdrawal period as safely and comfortably as possible. A person experiencing acute withdrawal might develop a condition known as delirium tremens (DTs) that, if left untreated, can progress into life-threatening seizures.
A reputable alcohol abuse treatment facility will provide medical supervision and may administer a benzodiazepine, barbiturate, or other sedative medication to ensure that such complications do not occur. Additional medications, including anticonvulsants, can also be administered if needed.
Pharmacotherapy for Addiction Treatment
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an approach increasingly incorporated into the management of alcohol abuse as well as other substance use disorders. Certain medications may be prescribed to the patient and then monitored by a physician or other trained addiction professional.
Medications that may be prescribed for alcohol abuse treatment include Acamprosate (Campral), Disulfiram (Antabuse), and Naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol).
Getting Alcohol Abuse Treatment
Harmony Recovery is dedicated to helping clients recover and providing them with the tools, resources, and support they urgently need to achieve abstinence and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and well-being. If you or someone you love has a substance abuse problem, please contact us today to discuss treatment options and begin the journey to recovery!
Related: Is Alcoholism Genetic?