Alcoholism is one of the most common addictions of the 21st century, with a variety of recovery methods. Treatment typically begins with an initial assessment of the individual’s condition – examining their history with alcohol, along with an assessment of their physiological and psychological needs. Following the assessment, the treatment plan deemed to be most effective for the individual will be designed.
Whichever the treatment method that is opted for, there are three general stages of recovery which span across the extensive range of programmes. These are detoxification, rehabilitation and abstinence.
The initial stages of recovery involve detoxifying the body of remaining alcohol. The discontinuation of alcohol consumption can stimulate a variety of side effects; including but not limited to nausea, sweating, shaking, hallucinations and seizures. These can vary in intensity but will be closely monitored by facility staff. In severe cases, a series of replacement drugs may be employed to reduce the severity of symptoms. Such drugs include Naltrexone, Disulfiram and Acamprostate.
Rehabilitation from Alcohol Addiction
The rehabilitation phase of treatment provides the patient with the tools, knowledge and skills to ensure a full recovery and a return to sobriety. Rehab can come in a variety of forms, including:
- In-patient rehabilitation; regarded as the most effective form of recovery from alcohol addiction as it ensures a full immersion into the recovery process, free from the distractions and obligations of daily life. In-patient rehab centres provide 24/7 care from a highly qualified support team; including experts in the field of addiction recovery.
- Outpatient rehabilitation in which a residential stay is not required. The patient follows a closely monitored treatment plan, designed to provide them with flexibility. The programme includes one to one sessions with a therapist (or other professional) and may include group work if specified.
- Day rehabilitation; a medium between the treatment options above. The recovering patient does not reside in the facility but follows a strict treatment plan whilst working around his/her schedule.
Abstinence from Alcohol
Abstinence is the end goal for alcohol recovery – the last stage of the process. Abstinence involves the continued maintenance of sobriety and requires commitment following the end of rehab. The key to maintaining sobriety is finding a network of support for your on-going recovery. This can come from friends or family, or through external support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Recovery from alcoholism is a daily task. Staying drink free is not easy when others around are drinking, and when life throws up its inevitable challenges. The temptation is always there, perhaps more so than with other substance addictions. It all starts with a determined decision; a conviction that “today I will not have a drink”. The journey begins with now. Now is all you can influence. Don’t worry about tomorrow. You can deal with tomorrow when that comes. Get the help you need and move forward with your life today.