April 25, 2008
Alcoholism – What Are The Treatments?
Most experts acknowledge that many factors contribute to alcoholism. This means that treatment must address all these different issues to reduce the chances of a relapse. One common method is to apply supportive therapy after the alcoholic undergoes detoxification to combat both the medical and social aspects of the disease.
Attending self-help groups with a commitment to abstinence is often a success as well. There are also different approaches that recommend a reduction in alcohol intake as opposed to a sudden abstinence to make the process less dramatic.
How Effective Are The Treatments?
Alcoholism treatments have varied degrees of success. The effectiveness of a program is usually measured by two things- the amount of patients who complete the program, and the amount who relapse. A study by Dr. Mark Willenbring, of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism showed that nearly 100% of patients complete treatments. The figures for relapse show that after one year 30% are still sober, 40% have improved their condition, but still drink heavily, and 25% have relapsed. These figures show that there is room for improvement for the treatment of alcohol, and further research into the contributing factors will enable treatment to be more effective.