Alcohol Treatment Takes Time and Commitment

Alcohol Treatment Takes Time and CommitmentSubstance abuse issues are a primary concern for many Americans. In a country where alcohol is almost revered in the culture, alcohol abuse and dependency is a prominent social and personal problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, as much as 15% of Americans could be considered problem drinkers. Treatment is available for alcohol abuse and dependency, however accepting it and following through with recovery is often a problem for “problem drinkers”.

Alcohol abuse and dependency are in fact two separate things. Abuse can be defined as using alcohol in ways that interfere with a person’s ability to function successfully in personal, economic and social areas. Therefore, someone who drinks sparingly may still have a problem with alcohol if it interferes with life. Dependency takes place when the human body goes through a withdrawal process when the alcohol is withheld. In alcohol dependency, intervention by professionals like those at the New River Wellness Center Rehab is vital. Physical reactions in alcohol withdrawal are potentially fatal.

Treatment for alcoholism is best conducted in a three step process. The first of these is detoxification, or “detox” where alcohol is withheld. This is best conducted in a residential, medical setting and may last as long as a week. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include tremors, paranoia and hallucinations and as stated before may result in death if untreated, as much as ten percent of the time. This pertains to individually who are strongly dependent. A routine drinker is at risk for these symptoms, no matter what their overall intake of alcohol is on any given occasion. That is why it is important to seek medical help in the first stages of alcohol treatment. Medications are available to treat the symptoms of withdrawal, to include drugs like Xanax. A great deal of care must be employed in their use, however, because they can also be addictive.

The second phase of alcohol treatment is rehabilitation. In rehabilitation, an individual encounters education in better coping skills and other ways to handle themselves in the absence of alcohol. Twelve Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or AA are prominent features of almost all alcohol treatment and rehabilitation scenarios. Cravings for alcohol do not abate once withdrawal has successfully taken place, and as many as sixty percent or more of individuals who go through detoxification return to their alcohol consumption within a year.

The third phase of alcohol treatment is to maintain recovery. In this phase, the transition to a drug-free lifestyle is complete, but the necessary coping skills must continue to be employed to stay away from drinking. In the maintenance phase, AA meetings and other social support is perhaps the primary predictor of success.