Alcohol addiction is one of the widespread problems across the globe. Not only does it become a habit that one cannot check, but also elevates the risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, liver disease, and digestive ailments. It is thus recommended to limit your alcohol intake before you get addicted. However, quitting is easier said than done because addiction to alcohol can be as bad as drug abuse. The first step towards the treatment of alcoholism is accepting that there is a major problem with you.
Simply cutting your intake is not enough; rather you have to make focused efforts to get rid of the habit for good. Counseling, support, self-help groups, and relapse prevention techniques are essential elements of an effective strategy. Additionally, there are some medications that are prescribed to get rid of the habit. Now the question is whether these medications are actually effective and what can be done to increase their efficacy. Let us try and answer these questions and help you learn more about medications as a treatment option.
Treatment options for alcohol addiction
Essentially, alcohol addiction is a serious issue because it is a habit that is hard to give up. The road to overcoming this problem is a long one, which often requires various therapies along with sheer will-power and dedication. Factors such as prior history of alcoholism, support of friends and family, level of personal commitment and the financial situation of the addict can determine the outcome of treatment. The best approach would be to see a specialist who can help you in quitting with the help of a holistic treatment plan. Typically, the therapist will recommend the following options, which may be used singularly or in combination with each other.
● Behavior modifications
Treating alcoholism with medications
When it comes to treating alcoholism with medications, there are several that have been found effective. Not only do they reduce alcohol cravings, but they also cut down the risk of relapse by a considerable extent. Further, they act as detox agents to flush out the effects of alcohol from the body over a period of time. Treatment with medications, therefore, improves your chances of getting rid of the addiction for good. Here are some medications that have shown proven efficacy for treating alcohol addiction:
● Disulfiram: An alcohol-sensitizing drug, Disulfiram lowers the desire to consume alcohol by making the patient sick when they drink. On being combined with alcohol, this medication can cause severe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, flushing, and headaches.
● Naltrexone: This medication restricts the feel-good effect of alcohol, which means that the inclination towards drinking is reduced. The Sinclair Method Alcohol Treatment relies on Naltrexone to help the patient reduce or stop drinking by using a craving-reducing medication.
● Acamprosate: Another medication that enables the patient to combat alcohol cravings is Acamprosate. It acts by restoring the chemical balance in the brain.
While some of these medications are available as oral tablets, others come as injections. A doctor prescribes one on the basis of individual circumstances and the expected level of adherence in the case of specific patients. For instance, injections that are to be taken at regular intervals (such as once a month) are a better option as compared to oral pills, specifically for patients who are likely to forget or are not willing to take pills on a daily basis.
Focus on comprehensive treatment strategy in the long-run
Undoubtedly, medications do form the mainstay of a result-oriented alcohol addiction treatment plan but it is recommended that you take a comprehensive approach with a well-rounded treatment plan in the long run. A holistic strategy combines these medications with other forms of treatment. Some of the options are mentioned below:
· Individual or group counseling is recommended to help addicts combat the issue with greater motivation and resilience. The counseling sessions are handled by experts who have the right kind of experience dealing with alcohol addicts.
· Support from peers helps as well because these people understand what you are going through and can help. Also, support from spouse, family, friends, and colleagues can make all the difference.
· Nutritional and exercise guidance also play a key role as a part of an effective therapeutic plan for dealing with alcoholism. While eating healthy keeps you physically fit, exercise promotes overall health and help you counter stress as well.
· Behavioral modifications are also required to get rid of the habit. Basically, this involves avoiding your triggers and learning to manage them so that you do not succumb to the temptation at any point of time during the treatment.
Adopting these therapeutic approaches along with treatment with medicines can bring considerably better results for long-term recovery from alcohol addiction. If you are looking for a complete recovery program, the best thing to do would be to connect with experienced professionals who can assist you and guide you with a program that assures de-addiction for good.