Alcohol Treatment


Not unlike other diseases, alcoholism can be overcome with excellent treatment, increased research efforts, and prevention. That is to say, as critical as alcoholism is, fortunately it can be treated.

Alcohol + treatment more often than not consists of a mixture of doctor prescribed medications and counseling to help the individual quit drinking.

Alcohol Treatment: An indispensable Summary

Similar to other diseases, alcoholism can be overcome with increased research efforts, prevention, and proper alcohol addiction treatment. In other words, alcohol + professional treatment = possible sobriety.

By providing more people with access to quality alcoholic treatment, the costly drain on society and the physical, psychological, and financial obstacles that alcoholism places on families can be drastically reduced.


In truth, the research literature presents credible evidence that effectual alcohol addiction treatment programs and alcohol addiction prevention attempts result in major reductions in HIV, crime, cancer, traffic fatalities, heart disease, unwanted pregnancy, child abuse, and strokes.

Among other things, competent treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse improves an individual's quality of life, health, and job performance while at the same time minimizing drug use, family dysfunction, and an interchange with the criminal justice system.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism and alcohol dependence, is a progressive debilitating disease that consists of the following four factors:

  • Craving: having a persuasive urge or need to drink.

  • Loss of control: an inability to abstain from drinking after the first drink.

  • Physical dependence: withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, "the shakes," anxiety, headaches, and perspiration when refraining from alcohol.

  • Tolerance: the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to get "high" or to encounter a buzz.

Treatment for alcohol dependency commonly involves a mixture of counseling and alcohol treatment medications to help an individual refrain from drinking alcohol.

While most people who are dependent on alcohol need assistance to recover from their disease, scientific investigations have uncovered strong evidence that with support and expert treatment for alcohol addiction, many individuals are able to discontinue drinking and reinstate their lives.

Alcohol + Treatment: Withdrawal Symptoms

There are more than a few different techniques for treating alcoholism withdrawal. Whereas some of these therapies use medications, many, conversely, do not. Interestingly, according to current research findings, the most harm free way to treat mild withdrawal symptoms is without drugs.

Such non-drug detoxification methods use considerable social support and screening throughout the complete withdrawal process.

Other non-drug detoxification methodologies, moreover, use vitamin therapy (particularly thiamin) and proper nutrition for treating mild withdrawal symptoms.

Mild to Moderate Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following symbolizes mild to moderate physical withdrawal symptoms that frequently transpire within 6 to 48 hours after the last alcoholic drink:

  • Involuntary movements of the eyelids

  • Sweating (particularly on the palms of the hands or on the face)

  • Loss of appetite

  • Tremor of the hands

  • Clammy skin

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Looking pale

  • Abnormal movements

  • Pulsating headaches

  • Enlarged or dilated pupils

  • Vomiting

  • Sleeping difficulties

  • Nausea

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following is a list of severe symptoms that typically take place within 48 to 96 hours after the last alcoholic drink:

  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

  • Seizures

  • Muscle tremors

  • Fever

  • Black outs

  • Severe autonomic nervous system overactivity

  • Convulsions

  • Visual hallucinations

Alcohol + Treatment: Traditional Approaches

There are a number of long-established alcohol treatment options that are considered "typical" therapies.

The following alcoholism treatment approaches and therapies will be discussed: Outpatient alcoholism Treatment and Counseling, Detoxification, Behavioral Treatment, Therapeutic Medications, Residential alcohol dependency Treatment programs and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, and Family and Marital Counseling.

Outpatient alcohol addiction Treatment and Counseling. There are quite a few methods to counseling that train alcoholics how to become attentive to the circumstantial and psychological "hot buttons" that generate their drinking. Outfitted with this information, individuals can consequently learn about unique ways in which they can cope with circumstances that do not necessitate the utilization of alcohol.

Not surprisingly, therapies like these are consistently offered on an outpatient basis.

Detoxification. Alcohol detoxification is the protocol of letting the body rid itself of alcohol while managing the withdrawal symptoms in a safe environment.

Alcohol detoxification treatment is almost always done under the leadership of a medical doctor and is characteristically the first step used in an alcoholic treatment program. Detoxification approaches, because of their relatively long time-frame, are typically part of an inpatient alcohol rehab program.

Behavioral Treatments like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivation Enhancement Therapy, and Alcoholics Anonymous. It is interesting to note that according to a study administered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), each of these three behavioral treatment therapies extensively reduced drinking in patients the year after treatment.

Although all three of these methods were considered "successful," none of them, all the same, could be categorized as "the best" treatment for alcoholism by the NIAAA.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Alcoholics Anonymous is a mutual support program for recovering alcoholics that is rooted in the 12-steps of recovery that are required in order to stay sober. Assistance and support are provided by the meetings that assemble on a regular basis.

Is Alcoholics Anonymous the most efficient line of attack for the treatment of alcohol addiction?

While Alcoholics Anonymous has proven to be an successful alcohol addiction treatment approach, plenty of practitioners outside of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as numerous people within Alcoholics Anonymous, find that Alcoholics Anonymous works preeminently when united with other forms of therapy, such as psychotherapy and medical care.


Motivation Enhancement Therapy (MET). Motivation Enhancement Therapy is a systematic therapeutic tactic that is almost the total contrast of Alcoholics Anonymous in that it uses motivational strategies to activate the client's own change mechanisms. Some of the main qualities of MET are the following:

  • Providing the client with a multiplicity of alternative change options

  • Aiding the client achieve self-efficacy or a sense of optimism

  • Therapist empathy

  • Emphasis on taking personal responsibility for productive change

  • Providing feedback on the subject of the personal risks or damage correlated with the abuse

  • Receiving explicit advice to make healthy changes

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). There are quite a few forms of cognitive behavior therapy. Most of them, in spite of this diversity, have the following commonalties:

  • CBT is centered on an educational model that views most emotions and behavioral reactions as learned responses. Thus, the therapeutic goal in CBT is helping the client unlearn undesirable reactions and emotions and swap them with new and more helpful ways of encountering and reacting.

  • CBT is established on stoic philosophy. CBT does not tell clients how they should experience things or feel. Rather, this type of therapy focuses on helping clients learn how to think more sensibly and effectively.

  • CBT is a mutually shared effort between the therapist and the client.

  • CBT theory and techniques rely on the Inductive Method. This method has clients look at their thoughts as hypotheses (or suggested explanations) that can be tested and questioned. If clients discover that their hypotheses are not factual, they can then change their thoughts and under goings to be more in line with reality.

  • In CBT, a solid therapeutic relationship is necessary but not the primary focal point for effectual therapy.

  • CBT uses the Socratic Method that is built on the asking of questions for insight.

  • Homework is a central feature of CBT.

  • CBT is structured and directive.

  • CBT more often than not has therapeutic sessions that are briefer and fewer in number than most other classes of therapy.

  • CBT methodologies are centered on the cognitive model of emotional response. Specifically, if people change the way they think, they can act and function in a healthier manner, even if the situation doesn't change.

Therapeutic Medications. This treatment methodology focuses squarely on the client taking doctor-prescribed medications such as the benzodiazepines for treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms and disulfiram (Antabuse) or naltrexone (ReViaT) to help prevent the individual from relapsing and returning to drinking alcohol.

For instance, antabuse is a drug given to alcoholics that elicits negative effects such as nausea, flushing, vomiting, and/or dizziness if alcohol is consumed. Not surprisingly, antabuse has been proven to help prevent relapses and is effective basically because it is such a strong disincentive to resume drinking.

Naltrexone (ReViaT), to the contrary, targets the brain's reward centers and is effective because it significantly reduces the craving the alcoholic has for alcohol.

Residential Alcohol Treatment methods and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab. If a person needs alcohol poisoning treatment, if the person's withdrawal symptoms are severe, if outpatient programs or support-oriented methods such as Alcoholics Anonymous are not productive, or if there's a need for alcohol AND drug abuse treatment, the person typically has to register into a hospital or a residential alcohol treatment facility and receive inpatient alcohol rehab treatment.

Methods such as these are targeted for alcoholism inpatients and frequently necessitate doctor-prescribed medications to enable the person to get through detoxification and the alcohol withdrawal treatment process in a harmless manner.

Family and Marital Counseling. Since the recovery course of action is so intimately tied to the support the client receives from his or her family, a large quantity of alcohol addiction approaches utilize family therapy and marital counseling as key attributes in the treatment course of action.

Such therapeutic methods, additionally, also provide alcoholics with fundamental community resources, like financial management programs, legal assistance, childcare courses, parenting classes, and job training.

Alcohol + Treatment: Unconventional Therapies

Although the research findings are not definitive, there is a large quantity of unorthodox treatment tactics for alcohol abuse and alcoholism that are becoming more typical, accessible, and more researched.

Illustrations entail the following therapies that have been proposed as "natural" classes of alcohol abuse treatment: various vitamin and supplement therapies, the holistic and naturalistic methodologies used by Traditional Chinese Medicine, and "Drumming out Drugs" (a form of therapy that employs the use of drumming by clients).

As promising as these unorthodox line of attacks are, more research, nevertheless, is essential to establish their effectiveness and to determine if these forms of treatment for alcohol dependency offer long-standing success.

Teen Alcohol Dependency and Treatment

Learning about alcohol treatment is especially significant concerning teen alcohol dependency.

More explicitly, if a teenager or a parent of a teenager can read about and figure out some of the facts and statistics about teenage alcohol abuse and teen alcohol addiction, they might be able to steer clear of the detrimental outcomes that are related to teenage alcohol abuse and teen alcoholism in the workplace, school, or in higher education.

More exposure to relevant information also means that our youth may be able to avoid adolescent alcohol addiction treatment or the teen alcohol dependency treatment procedure entirely.

Conclusion: Alcohol Treatment

Although a cure for alcohol addiction does not currently exist, plenty of alcohol therapeutic methodologies and alcohol addiction treatment programs, nonetheless, exist that help alcoholics recover from their alcohol dependency.

Stated in a simple manner, there is a lot of alcoholism treatment data that is available, both offline and online. Some people ask the following question on the subject of treating alcoholism: "What is the most efficient type of treatment for alcoholism"? Like any chronic affliction, there are contrasting levels and degrees of success concerning alcoholism treatment.

For example, some alcoholics, after treatment, abstain from drinking and remain sober. Other alcoholics, quite the reverse, live through somewhat long periods of sobriety after receiving treatment, and then have a drinking relapse.

And still other alcoholics cannot refrain from drinking alcohol for any maintainable period of time, no matter what kind of treatment they have received.


It can be noted with interest that all of these treatment outcomes happen with every known type of alcoholism treatment. Whatever the case may be, with reference to alcohol addiction treatment, nevertheless, one thing is clear: the longer a person stays away from drinking alcohol, the more likely he or she will be able to remain sober and steer clear of treatment for alcohol dependency.

On the other hand, if you think that you may have a drinking problem, consider making it a priority to talk with an alcohol abuse and alcoholism professional about getting alcohol treatment as soon as possible.