Very simply alcoholism means alcohol addiction. If left untreated alcoholism begins to affect every aspect of your life, eventually wrecking your finances, your health, your relationships and your career. In order to seek help at the right time it is very important to know the symptoms of any disease and alcoholism is no different.
Thus, the symptoms of alcoholism are craving or a strong desire to consume alcohol, losing control or unable to put a stop to drinking, increase in the tolerance level and physical dependence on alcohol or withdrawal symptoms.
Alcoholics often fail to realize the gravity of the problem and therefore refuse to seek treatment. This however could lead to dire consequences like diseases of the liver and kidney and sometimes even causing death. Overcoming alcoholism altogether can prove to be an uphill task but it’s not impossible. Pressure tactics never works for an alcoholic; it’s only their sincere desire to seek help that eventually becomes their first step towards recovery. This article lists a few treatment methods.
Tips to Cure Alcoholism
Acknowledge The Problem
The first step towards curing alcoholism is the realization of the problem. More often than not alcoholics are in a denial mode which acts as a huge obstacle for their cure. Therefore, alcoholics must first learn to acknowledge the problem and then decide whether they really want to quit the habit or not.
Hence, think long and hard and evaluate mainly the negative effects that alcohol has had in every sphere of your life, be it on your finances, on the well being of your mind and body and also its effects on the lives of your family members. Recovery from alcoholism is a gradual process because even after realization dawns you could easily make excuses for not wanting to quit drinking. Therefore, alcoholics must first make it a point to be firm on their decision about quitting.
Detoxification is the very first treatment process used to cure alcoholism. This treatment entails close monitoring of an alcoholic on account of his/her complete abstinence from alcohol. This sudden break from alcohol causes a huge physical impact which is mostly negative for the patient. This is called withdrawal symptoms of an alcoholic and they include insomnia, irritability and mild shivers or tremors. However, in severe cases the symptoms called delirium tremens could even be life threatening like confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, autonomic instability and death.
An alcoholic starts displaying these symptoms within three days of cessation which usually continues for five to seven days. Inpatient care involves constant monitoring and is administered to those alcoholics who display signs of developing severe symptoms. A hospital or a facility that specializes in detoxification is the best for rendering this type of treatment. Outpatient care is recommended for those going through mild to moderate symptoms. Hospitalization is not mandatory in this case but a sober person should be present to assist the patient whenever required.
Counseling And Therapy
Alcoholism is a disease whose roots are mainly psychological. Alcohol dependency stems from a person’s inability to come to terms with the reality. Therefore, it is very important to delve deep into an alcoholic’s mind in order to find the real cause which could actually help in the recovery process. This is where a counselor or a therapist comes into the picture and an alcoholic must never shy away from seeking their assistance.
A professional therapist or a counselor’s work is to deeply evaluate the psychological issues that the patient has had to experience. She/he then recommends things required to be done for countering those issues. Professional help gives an opportunity to an alcoholic to recognize the negative aspects of his/her life, like negative beliefs, habits and behavior and also ways to eliminate them and replace them with new and positive ones. A counselor or therapist may even assist the patient to easily overcome the difficult phase of detoxification.
There is no single formula or for that matter a “magic pill” that can cure alcoholism altogether. However, certain prescription medicines have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration that can prove to be helpful in maintaining the sobriety of an individual. Currently there are some prescription medications that are being highly recommended by doctors mainly due to their alcohol deterrent properties. These medicines include Naltrexone, Acamprosate and Disulfiram, Naltrexone and Acamprosate.
The chemical combination of Naltrexone creates a mental block against the “feel good” effects of alcohol and thus helps to control alcohol craving. Naltrexone is further sub divided into ReVia and Vivitrol. While ReVia is a tablet and must be consumed orally every day, Vivitrol is an injection that should be administered once on a monthly basis. Acamprosate or Campral helps to easily sail through the detoxification process which can be extremely painful and frustrating for an alcoholic. Intake of Disulfiram or Antabuse while consuming alcohol could amount to creating negative consequences like nausea, vomiting and headaches. Thus, it acts as an apt deterrent for alcoholics wanting to attain sobriety.
Join Self-Help Groups
Support groups give an opportunity to be in contact with others who are going through the same problem. Especially institutions like Alcoholics Anonymous offer a 12-step program to recovering alcoholics wherein they find themselves surrounded with people undergoing similar treatments for alcoholism. Recovering alcoholics get an opportunity to openly discuss about their trials and tribulations with those who can easily connect or sympathize with their difficult situation.
The 12-step program helps you to instill those behaviors needed to counter possibilities of a relapse and also ways to check your constant cravings. Take it day by day is what Alcoholics Anonymous says. This is a very practical approach for alcoholics who are in the process of recovering. The moment you feel the urge to drink, take it easy and focus on the fact that you only have to get through the day. No matter how humongous the situation may be you need to somehow downplay it taking it one day at a time.
Getting rid of alcohol addiction is never easy; it is in fact a lifelong battle. However, the process becomes less arduous with the help of correct treatment methods and of course self help.
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