Alcohol consumption is very common in the United States and world-wide. It is a staple in many celebratory settings and can be found in the average household. Nearly 86% of Americans ages 18 and older have reported that at some point in their life-time they have consumed alcohol. More than 55% of which have reported that they have consumed alcohol recently, with more than 6% of those reported suffering from alcohol abuse disorder. In addition to this, over 400,000 people, age 12 to 17, were found to suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD). More than 14 million adults in the US struggle with alcohol addiction. Alcohol use disorders have become one of the most serious public health issues in America.
In this article we will address what treatment for alcohol abuse disorders looks like and how you can receive help for your addiction today.
Alcohol abuse (alcoholism) or alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic illness characterized by compulsive behaviors that leave people incapable of functioning without constant drinking, inability to control their urge to drink, and the lack of control over emotions, acts, and feelings when alcohol is no longer available. In this article, we may use AUD and alcoholism interchangeably.
When diagnosing AUD, there are a few common characteristics that our team will look for during your evaluation. These can include, but are not limited to:
Once a proper diagnosis has been given, the first step is developing the right addiction treatment program for you. Substance use treatment programs are able to give clients the proper care needed for their recovery, no matter how severe the addiction may be. In some cases, treatment can help relieve you of your addiction 1 year after treatment begins. In others, treatment has been able to help people significantly reduce their drinking with reportedly fewer issues. Below we will address how someone is diagnosed with AUD and what treatment options are available for alcohol addiction.
Diagnosing AUD typically helps address and identify pertinent symptoms, habits, and issues that are impacting the daily life of the patient. A diagnosis is only given by a trained professional (physician, psychologist, or a behavioral health specialist) who can help guide the patient toward a sustained recovery. In many cases, the criteria for diagnosing AUD are as follows:
If a person being evaluated meets two or more of the above criteria, it is possible they have AUD.
Treating alcoholism varies depending on the manifestation of the disorder in each person. In some cases short-term intervention may be pursued in order to protect the patient from harm (inpatient hospitalization) or a form of outpatient care involving medication-assisted treatment, individual or group therapy, support groups, and further care may be more effective. The main goal in addiction treatment is to improve the quality of life for each patient in order to reduce the need for substances to cope.
Alcohol addiction treatment will typically involve:
The following options are available at most addiction treatment facilities. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction, know that treatment for your condition is available and have helped many people throughout the nation recover successfully and live addiction free.
Some people may be surprised when they discover there are medications that help treat alcohol abuse. The FDA has approved several medications to be used to treat alcohol dependence. Many of these drugs help reduce the effects of alcohol on the brain and prevent dangerous withdrawal symptoms. All medications used in alcohol use treatment are non-addictive and are either used in inpatient treatment or are administered alongside counseling and therapeutic treatments.
The following medications have been approved by the FDA to treat people with AUD:
Also known as alcohol counseling, behavioral treatments involve working with a health professional to identify and help change the behaviors that lead to heavy drinking. Behavioral treatments share certain features, which can include:
Behavioral treatments and alcohol counseling are therapeutic treatment options for those suffering from AUD. They are organized and performed by health professionals who can help you identify and change dangerous behaviors or habits that may have led to your struggle with drinking. Counseling and behavioral therapies can help you:
Below is a list of the behavioral therapies and counseling programs that are available in alcohol use treatment programs.
Ultimately, understanding your individual need for treatment is more important for your recovery than whatever treatment process may be recommended for you. Effective treatment programs prevent conflict and incorporate empathy, motivational support, and a concentrate on changing your drinking habits in order for you or your loved one to experience a sustained recovery.
After you have completed alcohol dependence rehab, there is still the need for continued support. Oftentimes, treatment programs have support groups and therapy options available even after medical treatment has ended. These programs can provide extended care and mutual support as you continue to seek sobriety.
Freedom Now offers a vast variety of counseling and group therapy options for our patients’ continued care. Our staff is trained and prepared to offer continued support, telehealth options for patients, and other ongoing support groups for those recovering from alcohol addiction.
In many cases, aftercare plans and regular counseling meetings can further encourage you in your recovery and give you further support and encouragement as you meet with likeminded people who desire you to live a life addiction free. These groups are available in our facility as well as part of organizations (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous) all over the nation.
Millions of people throughout the United States and in South Florida have achieved a long-lasting recovery from alcoholism. Regardless of how severe your disorder may be, how many times you have attempted sobriety, or if you have experienced a recent relapse, it is possible to recover. Help is available to you today. Contact us to learn more about our substance abuse treatment and our AUD treatment programs.