Alcohol Treatment Centers

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Curious how alcohol treatment centers can help you or a loved one? Find out out more.

Alcohol abuse and addiction negatively impacts thousands of Americans and their families each year. Many alcoholics go to hospital emergency rooms annually for temporary treatment of complications due to drinking alcohol. But the most effective treatment for alcoholics is at alcoholism treatment centers that focus solely on alcohol addiction, or alcohol and drug addiction combined. Alcoholism is prevalent in the U.S. and does not discriminate according to gender, age, race, or socio-economic status. If you are an alcoholic, or the friend of an alcoholic, you will need evidence-based effective treatment that only a good alcoholism treatment center can offer you.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), annual alcohol related deaths in the U.S. averaged about 88,000 people. Of that number, 62,000 were male and 26,000 were female. Alcohol is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Alcoholism adversely affects individuals, families, communities, the workplace and the nation. If you are an alcoholic, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcoholism so that you can receive the help you need before it is too late.

Some of the signs of alcoholism include:

  • Denial is the first offense because it refuses treatment to get well. You must recognize and admit that you have a problem.
  • You are physically dependent on drinking alcohol, and find it difficult to stop or reduce your intake.
  • You have a high tolerance for drinking alcohol
  • You binge drink
  • You lie about your drinking
  • You experience blackouts
  • You drink to relax or to forget about your problems

If you have a drinking problem and want to get the proper help, there are different types of alcohol treatment modalities available at alcohol treatment centers. The medical team at the rehab center will take an assessment of your physical and mental health before they begin to wean you off of the alcohol. Withdrawal from alcohol can cause life-threatening complications and should never be attempted without professional help. Alcohol treatment centers are staffed with addiction and recovery medical experts who are experienced and knowledgeable. When you are ready to receive detox from alcohol, the medical team will keep you monitored while they gradually remove the alcohol from your body. You will be kept stable and safe during the detox process and afterward.

Alcohol withdrawal can be a difficult time for the patient, but with the aid of medications many withdrawal symptoms can be alleviated. Symptoms may appear a few hours after the last drink was taken and may persist for a few weeks. Withdrawal symptoms may include the usual anxiety, fatigue, nightmares and insomnia, but severe alcohol addiction can cause more ruthless symptoms to occur such as:

  • Trembling or shaking
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremons

Alcohol treatment drugs may be used to treat many alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Some of the drugs that may be used are:

  • Ativan is a benzodiazepine drug that calms the brain and central nervous system to reduce anxiety and serious seizures.
  • Diazepam is a sedative medication that is used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal and seizures.
  • Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine drug used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms like mood disorders, anxiety, nausea, and agitation.
  • Benzodiazepines are used to reduce cravings, treat co-occurring mental disorders and prevent seizures.
  • Anti-convulsants can also be used to prevent seizures.

There are many alcohol treatment drugs that the medical team at alcohol treatment centers may use. The primary concern of the physician is to keep the patient as stable as possible and avoid delirium tremons, which can be life threatening. Delirium tremons can cause tremors, confusion, hallucinations, heart problems and fatal injuries from seizures.

Once the patient has successfully completed the detox process he will begin a series of psychological and behavioral therapies to prepare him for a sober life. The recovering alcoholic should remain in the treatment program for at least the minimum ninety days, but it would serve him well to remain longer to acclimate himself to learning and re-adjusting his thoughts and behaviors for his new life of sobriety. Other types of alcohol treatment include aftercare counseling, support group meetings and the love and support of family and friends to help keep the recovered alcoholic on the right path.

 

Resources: 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/alcohol

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/about-niaaa/our-work/advisory-council/directors-reports-council/niaaa-directors-report-institute-6