Alcoholism

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Treatment Options for Alcoholism

Several levels of care are available to treat alcoholism.

Medically managed hospital-based detoxification and rehabilitation programs are used for more severe cases of dependence that occur with medical and psychiatric complications.

Medically monitored detoxification and rehabilitation programs are used for people who are dependent on alcohol and who do not require more closely supervised medical care. The purpose of detoxification is to safely withdraw the alcoholic from alcohol and to help him or her enter a treatment program. The purpose of a rehabilitation program is to help the alcoholic accept the disease, begin to develop skills for sober living, and get enrolled in ongoing treatment and self-help programs.

Most detoxification programs last just a few days. Most medically managed or monitored rehabilitation programs last less than 2 weeks.

Many alcoholics benefit from longer-term rehabilitation programs, day treatment programs, or outpatient programs. These programs involve education, individual and family therapy, addressing problems contributing to or resulting from the alcoholism, and learning skills to manage the alcoholism over time.

These skills include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Learning to identify and manage cravings to drink alcohol
  • Resisting social pressures to engage in substance use
  • Changing health care habits and lifestyle (for example, improving diet and sleep hygiene, and avoiding high-risk people, places, and events)
  • Learning to challenge alcoholic thinking (thoughts such as, I need a drink to fit in, have fun, or deal with stress)
  • Developing a recovery support system and learning how to reach out for help and support from others (for example, from members of self-help programs)
  • Learning to deal with emotions (anger, anxiety, boredom, depression) and stressors without reliance on alcohol
  • Identifying and managing relapse warning signs before alcohol is used
  • Anticipating the possibility of relapse and addressing high-risk relapse factors

More information on Alcoholism

  • Alcoholism Overview
  • Is there a cure for alcoholism?
  • What are the signs of alcoholism?
  • Alcoholism Therapy
  • Alcoholism and Teenagers
    • Alcohol consumption during adolescence may cause permanent damage to the certain key areas of the brain. Read more about alcoholism in teenagers
  • Treatment Options for Alcoholism in Teenagers
  • Tips for Parents regarding Alcohol
    • Discuss the facts of alcohol and read about other tips for parents regarding alcoholism.
 
     
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