Alcoholism Treatment Program
Alcoholism is a disease that can sneak up on you. You start drinking at some point in your life, not thinking much of it. You do it during social occasions. You do it because you believe it will help lessen your stress level. But then, without you realizing that it had occurred, you have become dependent on it.
This can happen for a number of reasons, but one of the most common is using alcohol to handle stress but then needing increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect as had previously occurred. This may result in what is essentially a negative snowball effect and a dependence, a craving, for alcohol.
As a result, you may experience issues interacting with family members and friends and suffer from work-related and financial issues that had not existed before as you struggle with your alcoholism.
It is also important to note the changes to the brain that alcoholism causes. These can include a lessened ability to learn and remember things, higher risks of dementia and mental disorders, and disruptive impacts on the brain’s dopamine levels. The last example also plays a role in why people get addicted to positive emotions that result from alcohol use and want to avoid a deficit of that.
What impacts how likely or unlikely an individual is to suffer from alcoholism? A few factors can play roles, including your genetical makeup, being around alcohol and alcoholism while growing up, drinking from an early age – those who started drinking in their early teens are more at risk – and suffering from one or more traumatic experiences, not necessarily having anything to do with alcohol.
How can you treat alcoholism? The best way is through an alcoholism treatment program. We at Garden State Detox understand the challenges that come with overcoming alcoholism in the short term as you go through the detox process and in the big picture as you look to make a move permanent.
Alcoholism treatment programs
What alcoholism treatment program should you select? It depends on the specifics of your situation. Here are some examples.
This international fellowship and its famous Twelve Steps program have helped numerous people around the world recover from alcoholism, both through the following of those steps and from being in a supportive community – i.e., being with others who share in their struggles.
Another option is consulting the services of a licensed therapist to talk through the mental and physical struggles of overcoming alcoholism and to build coping strategies that help you through that and that lead you on the path towards sobriety that is most likely to work for you.
A doctor could prescribe medications that are designed to reduce the effects of being addicted to this substance and, as a result, cause you to be much more likely to move away from alcoholism and towards sobriety, including reducing the chances of any relapses occurring en route to that point in your life.
Treatment at Garden State Detox
An option to consider is taking advantage of inpatient, residential treatment at a facility such as Garden State Detox. This is very highly recommended during the detox process as this period of time can be dangerous in relation to both an individual’s physical health and mental health.
What happens after that point is more flexible and depends on your specific circumstances. Those can result in additional inpatient treatment or an outpatient process that will most likely still be pretty extensive.
What happens to an individual’s brain and body when they are suffering from alcoholism and then stop consuming alcohol?
The most impactful step, which causes much of the distress that is felt during the entire recovery experience, is going through the withdrawal process. The brain and body had adapted to the regular intake of alcohol that they have experienced and are now starting to reverse the process and get back to as close to the states that they were in before.
This is usually not easily done. For example, the high levels of dopamine that the brain had been receiving from alcohol and became accustomed to will have come to an end, and the individual’s state of mind can become quite low as a result of the readjustment. In addition, the chemicals in the body that cause anxiety and stress will be reintroduced in higher numbers at this time, which can be uncomfortable.
The bottom line is that the brain and body are readapting to a new normal during recovery, and the detox portion of that is when things are often at their most challenging. In fact, the physical effects of detox can even be life-threatening, particularly when delirium tremens are experienced; this can result in seizures, nausea, trembling, death, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, and death.
You could go through the detox process at home, but note that doing so can be dangerous for the aforementioned reasons. Make sure to get medical advice before deciding to go this route. If you do receive approval and decide to detox at home, have at least one other person is with you to ensure that you can receive immediate medical attention should that be necessary.
The detox process can last days to more than a month, depending on the severity of the alcoholism.
Inpatient treatment is the most intensive type, involving 24/7 monitoring and on-hand medical assistance to help you through your recovery process. Determining the best way to manage your alcohol addiction, such as through medicine, counseling, and holistic therapies will often be a part of this process. This type of treatment tends to last at least a month, sometimes for several months.
One of the most significant benefits of inpatient treatment is that it provides you with a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience that you can take with you once you leave as you look to incorporate those same things into your day-to-day life and start to make sobriety a permanent change. In addition, here, you will be away from distractions that may otherwise disrupt your recovery process.
Outpatient treatment is more flexible care that allows you to spend a significant percentage of your recovery time at home or elsewhere. While engaging in this type of program, you will most likely be taking advantage of therapy, counseling, and programs that will provide you with the means to recover away from the center. This can be done in person or, in some cases, through teletherapy.
One benefit of outpatient treatment is that it is closer to the experience that you will have once you are completely on your own since you will be taking part in this while sleeping in your own bed at night. Some feel that this type of treatment may be more effective in the long run for that reason.
Some individuals will transition from intensive inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment.
In some cases, individuals will struggle in other ways besides excessive alcohol use, and those circumstances need to be taken into account as well, regardless of whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is utilized.
For example, experiencing alcoholism is sometimes combined with being addicted to other types of drugs. In that case, it is important to consult the services of a treatment center that knows how those substances interact with each other and understands the experience of detoxing from them at or around the same time.
Another example of a situation when integrated treatment may be best occurs when someone is suffering from alcoholism and with their mental health. Those individuals need to also be handled in unique manners as a mental illness can have a tremendous impact on the recovery process.
Regardless of whether your treatment is inpatient or outpatient, you may be prescribed medications to help you through the recovery process. Some of the most commonly prescribed ones for this purpose are acamprosate, naltrexone, and disulfiram. Acamprosate decreases the positive effects of drinking, acamprosate decreases alcohol-related cravings, and disulfiram causes negative side effects of drinking.
The most important thing for you to keep in mind while you are going through our Garden State Detox-led recovery process is that you are preparing yourself for when you are out on your own. You should be visualizing you taking what you are experiencing and learning here and using it once you do not have all of the support that is as easily accessible as it is here.
In some cases, this will involve you not being completely on your own. Examples of this type of aftercare include being a part of a therapeutic community or support group, receiving regular counseling or group therapy, and taking advantage of alternative treatment methods.
Which is considered the most effective treatment for alcoholism?
AA shines. Most of the studies that measured abstinence found AA was significantly better than other interventions or no intervention. In one study, it was found to be 60% more effective. None of the studies found AA to be less effective.