May 14, 2012
Alcohol Addiction – A Health Problem That Requires Treatment
Alcoholism treatment is crucial to eradicate alcohol addiction. Medics describe alcohol dependency as a disease. A disease could be defined as a mental or physical condition that impedes the standard functions of the body.
Disease may cause deviant behavior, syndromes, distress or discomfort, dysfunction, altered or even the early death of an individual. Going by this definition of disease, alcohol dependency is also a disease that might impede the subject’s control over his habit of addictive drinking. His craving for alcohol becomes as strong as the requirement for food or water.
An alcoholic might continue to drink alcohol in spite of its grave legal, health and family consequences. Excessive consumption of alcohol or its denial may cause distress, deviant behavior and withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol addiction may damage the vital organs and lead the alcoholic to death.
The need to look for alcohol addiction treatment
You may feel guilty about your uncontrollable urge for an alcoholic drink first thing in the morning and need an ever increasing amount of alcohol to stop feeling the effects of its denial. If this is your condition, you need to seek medical assistance for alcoholism treatment.
Screening and diagnosis
The obvious signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction such as loss of memory, dyspepsia, pain and weakness might be initially confused with those of the old age. Physicians prescribe a short screening test with a standard set of questions to confirm the suspected diagnosis.
Withdrawal signs and symptoms
When an alcohol addict is denied his normal quota of alcohol at his fixed hour, he shows numerous withdrawal symptoms like nausea, head aches, pains, discomfort and so forth.
Blood alcohol tests
Blood alcohol tests are generally recommended though they indicate alcohol consumption only at a specific time. These sort of tests are generally conducted in “driving under the influence” accident cases. These tests do not provide answers to the issues arising out of long term consumption of alcohol.
Tests on liver, kidney or reduced testosterone levels in case of men are also suggested to determine the effects of alcohol. Other blood tests are carried out on the size of red blood cells which enlarge due to extended alcoholism. These tests also determine the presence of a factor called carbohydrate deficient transferring which points to heavy drinking.
Treatment for alcohol addiction
The irony with alcoholics is that they don’t acknowledge the existence of health issues as effects of their nefarious addiction. They understand that the initial step in their treatment would start with decrease or stoppage of their loved drink. Plenty of patient counseling is needed on the part of the family and friends to influence the victim to take up treatment.
A number of treatment procedures is necessary based on the circumstances of the addict. It might involve evaluation, an out-patient program or a residential inpatient treatment.
Evaluating the level of dependence
The initial step is to determine the level of the patient’s dependence on alcohol. You might have not entirely lost your control over your wish for alcohol. In such a condition the treatment may begin with counseling and brief intervention. The supply of alcohol might have to be reduce to overcome its side effects.
Intervention by professionals
The treatment might involve alcohol addiction professionals who devise a particular treatment strategy including counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, aversion therapy, identification of distorted thoughts and beliefs that trigger the mental stress, learning to cope with traumatic events, developing mastery over feelings and thoughts, behavioral changes techniques, use of self-help manuals and follow-up care at the treatment facility.
Residential alcohol dependency treatment
If, however, you’ve become dependent upon alcohol, simply reducing the alcohol quantity might not prove effective. You might need to go for residential treatment programs which might include alcohol addiction treatment, abstinence, individual and group therapy, participation in alcohol addiction support groups, educational lectures on alcohol dependency treatment and so on.