June 30, 2007
Addiction to chemical substances is one of the most difficult diseases to treat because of their chronic and progressive nature. One example of such an addiction is alcoholism, which is a potentially fatal disease characterized by chronic consumption of alcohol. People who are alcoholics cannot stop drinking even if they experience a decline in their health, performance at work and their personal relationships. This is because for alcoholics, the most important pre-occupation is finding the their next drink. Since alcoholism is a medical condition, treating it involves employing medical interventions that are usually done in a rehabilitation center.
Once an alcoholic has gone to a rehabilitation center, the first step in the treatment of his alcoholism would be alcohol detoxification or alcohol detox. Alcohol detox is a period of medically monitored treatment in which an alcoholic is helped and made to overcome his physical dependence on alcohol and is designed to prepare the patient for treatment and rehabilitation. It usually lasts for a period of between three to 14 days depending on the severity of the disease. During this period, patients do a “cold turkey” and totally stop drinking, which often leads them to experience withdrawal symptoms, which include mild headaches, tremors, cold sweat, and severe seizures. To relieve these symptoms, various medications and medical procedures are administered to the patient. Some of the most common medications used are benzodiazepines and anticonvulsant medication.
Next step: Rehabilitation
Once the patient no longer exhibits any withdrawal symptoms, he will now be ready to receive rehabilitation treatment. This treatment may consist of group or individual therapy, nutrition counseling, relapse prevention, medication management, and family therapy, which are all aimed at helping the patent achieve long-term sobriety.
The first step in treating alcoholism is alcohol detox, which is a period in which all the chemicals and substances that caused the addiction are purged from the body of the patient. During this period, patients often experience withdrawal symptoms, which makes the whole process very uncomfortable. However, there are now medications that help the patient overcome these symptoms. Alcohol detox is not pleasurable, but it is a needed “cleansing” process, which help prepare patients receive the rehabilitation that they need.