Effective alcoholism treatment requires a many-pronged approach. There are varying opinions on what alcoholism actually is and this perspective will colour the treatment that is suggested.
Alcoholism has become a serious problem in countries throughout the world. America alone reports nearly 14 million adult alcoholics in the country.
According to government statistics after smoking, alcoholism kills more people in the UK than any other drug.
Alcohol-related deaths among adults in the U.K. doubled between 1991 and 2006, according to research from the Office of National Statistics (many professionals involved with Alcoholism believe their figures to be conservative to say the least).
The charity Alcohol Concern estimates that over 60 people die every day in the UK from drink-related causes, that’s 22,000 premature deaths a year, scary isn’t it?
For the establishment that treats alcoholism as a disease the treatment will lean heavily on the side of medicinal approaches.
Inpatient treatment may be recommended in the outset for serious cases. In this setting, the first step will be detoxification. What this does is rid the body of all alcohol. Often withdrawal symptoms are experienced such as vomiting, sweating, pain and shaking.
In a medical facility, these will likely be treated with drugs to reduce the severity. Here in lies a big detractor in this method. Some people may come through treatment off the alcohol but addicted to the replacement drug. I’ve seen this often and again it reinforces my belief that conventional treatment needs to be looked again.
Other Alcoholism Treatment Options
Other establishments work on the concept that alcoholism is simply a social choice.
These programs will also require detoxification but may handle it with no drug replacement or only with natural remedies like vitamins and herbs. This can be effective but should still have close medical supervision due to the extreme dangers of alcohol withdrawals. It has been said that alcohol is the worst and potentially most dangerous drug to quit cold turkey.
What type of treatment facility is used is less important than the complete program.
A complete alcoholism treatment program will teach the patient new coping and life skills to aid them in their abstinence from alcohol. There are also issues from childhood that may need to be dealt with in counselling sessions.
As an Alcoholism Recovery Coach I start from the point of overcoming denial, creating desire for a brighter future, guiding the client through whichever method is most suitable for withdrawal (this part MUST be in conjunction with their doctor).
After the client becomes sober then the real exciting stuff can start with healing their past, rebuilding their confidence, installing motivation and exploring a whole range of short, medium and long-term goals
There have been those who recommended reduction as opposed to abstinence. This program still allows the alcoholic to drink but only in moderation. In essence, go from high-risk drinking habits to safer consumption levels. Please beware of this one; every alcoholic wants to find a system that allows him or her to drink again. Think about it – that’s why they’re alcoholic – they have a compulsion to drink!
Most alcoholics found this a very hard program to adhere to and would return to moderate or heavy drinking quite quickly. In a study done by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse in the US, they found that abstinence was the most stable form of remission for an alcoholic.
Whether you look to a holistic approach or medical, alcoholism treatment is essential for all involved.
The cost to the health and family relationships is just too high a price to pay for an addiction. Alcoholism can and is successfully treated both on an inpatient and out patient basis.
Lets not forget you though – if you’re affected by someone else’s drinking then you need help too!
This is why I recommend (and offer) stress reduction techniques and installing coping mechanisms for the supporter, as often I know you can be forgotten.