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Alcoholism: Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms

You might feel stuck in place, ashamed of repeated relapses and your inability to stay sober. Because addiction can affect so many aspects of a person’s life, treatment should address the needs of the whole person to be successful. Counselors may select from a menu of services that meet the specific medical, mental, social, occupational, family, and legal needs of their patients to help in their recovery. Relapse rates for drug use are similar to rates for other chronic medical illnesses. If people stop following their medical treatment plan, they are likely to relapse.

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The effects are particularly strong in the brain, where alcohol produces feelings of relaxation and calmness. Chronic alcohol consumption disrupts brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. When you stop drinking or cut way back, the neurotransmitters that were previously suppressed rebound, sending your brain into a hyper-excitable state—the opposite of relaxed and calm. Symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, agitation, irritability, and tremors. In severe cases, withdrawal can lead to rapid heart rate, fever, seizures or delirium tremens (DTs) and potentially death. He has continued to be active in community outreach, helping people who are struggling with their own substance abuse or that of a family member to seek treatment.

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. They’re trained to understand the complex relationship between mental health and substance misuse and how to deliver evidence-based treatment for addiction. Many health care professionals and programs have offered https://g-markets.net/sober-living/facts-about-aging-and-alcohol-national-institute/ telehealth alcohol treatment for years. Now, since the pandemic, more providers are offering phone or video sessions. Medicare and other insurers have expanded coverage of telehealth services as well. If you or a loved one needs help with an alcohol problem, you have several options beyond in-person care.

  • In fact, there are a variety of treatment methods currently available, thanks to significant advances in the field over the past 60 years.
  • Therapy helps alcoholics identify and deal with stress that increase their urges to drink.
  • For more information, you can read this guide to special category data.

Denial and ambivalence can have a very adverse effect in the early days of the recovery process. In some cases, our care teams prescribe medication to treat an underlying mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. In other cases, medication is used to help reduce cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and help prevent relapse. This is sometimes referred to as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and is mostly used to treat addiction to opioids, heroin, prescription pain relievers, and alcohol. Medication is typically used in combination with other treatment approaches, like therapy and self-care. We offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for members with more severe problems with alcohol or drugs.

Alcohol Recovery

You might receive somewhere between 9 and 19 hours of structured services per week. You get to maintain more of your typical daily routine, whether that involves work or school, but you still benefit from regular, structured support. You can also receive quick referrals to psychiatric and medical services as needed. Mutual-support groups can be particularly helpful during this challenging time. These groups can vary widely, so it’s important to try different ones to find a good fit. Alcohol use disorder can cause serious and lasting damage to your liver.

While they share a common struggle, their paths to addiction, underlying causes, and personal triggers could vastly differ. Therefore, providing them with identical treatment plans may lead to limited success. Before delving into the advantages of individualized treatment plans, let’s first understand the essence of addiction counseling.

Relapse Is Part of the Process

AUD may be somewhat different for everyone, and for that reason, a variety of treatment approaches are available to better speak to each person’s individual needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and often, understanding the different options can facilitate the choice. Read on to find out more on each of the different types of treatment for alcoholism and how to get help. Symptoms of alcohol use disorder are based on the behaviors and physical outcomes that occur as a result of alcohol addiction. Alcoholism, referred to as alcohol use disorder, occurs when someone drinks so much that their body eventually becomes dependent on or addicted to alcohol. The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice.

  • Social and environmental factors such as peer pressure and the easy availability of alcohol can play key roles.
  • NIAAA and other organizations are conducting research to identify genes and other factors that can predict how well someone will respond to a particular treatment.
  • Because denial is common, you may feel like you don’t have a problem with drinking.
  • An individualized treatment plan considers these underlying issues, addressing them alongside the addiction to promote holistic healing.

If you think you might have a problem with alcohol, call SAMHSA or talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you cope, make a treatment plan, prescribe medications and refer you to support programs. Residential treatment programs typically include licensed alcohol and drug counselors, social workers, nurses, doctors, and others with expertise and experience in treating alcohol use disorder. Detox from alcohol can be medically assisted for people who may be at risk of severe withdrawal symptoms and for those who need help to complete the process.


Some of these are inpatient or residential programs, where you stay at a treatment center for a while. Others are outpatient programs, where you live at home and go to the center for treatment. Understanding the available treatment options—from behavioral therapies and medications to mutual-support groups—is the first step. The important thing is to remain engaged in whatever method you choose. Evaluate the coverage in your health insurance plan to determine how much of the costs your insurance will cover and how much you will have to pay.

alcoholism treatment

Psychologists who are trained and experienced in treating alcohol problems can be helpful in many ways. Before the drinker seeks assistance, a psychologist can guide the family or others in helping to increase the drinker’s motivation to change. If you drink more alcohol than that, consider cutting back or quitting. Tips for Treating and Living With Essential Tremor Cleveland Clinic It’s a disease of brain function and requires medical and psychological treatments to control it. If you are seeking treatment for yourself, you are taking an important step in your route to recovery. You may wish to ask someone you trust to help you through the process and for support along the way.

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