Alcoholism is a serious condition that affects millions of individuals from all walks of life. The disease is chronic, but alcoholism treatment can help people break the chemical dependency on alcohol and start the process of healing. Without alcoholism treatment, people with an alcohol addiction are likely to suffer health consequences, personal problems and performance issues at work; in many cases, secondary addictions to other substances or behaviors also develop.
Although alcoholism treatment centers may differ in their exact methods, most rehab programs share some basic elements, including detox, individual counseling, group therapy and aftercare. For information on reputable alcoholism treatment programs, call Drug Treatment Centers Enfield at (860) 207-8338.
Everyone’s experience with a drinking addiction is slightly different, and the contributing factors toward alcohol addiction will vary among individuals. A strong force that drives many cases of alcoholism is family history. People with an alcoholic parent or close family member are more likely to end up having unhealthy drinking habits themselves.
Some of these people may begin drinking at a young age and continue to drink larger amounts until a dependency has formed. Environmental factors also lay a foundation for a drinking addiction: People who grow up in families where heavy drinking is common are likely to rely on alcohol for relaxation or self-medication.
In addition to these family-related risk factors, other forces are known to contribute to a drinking addiction. The existence of a co-occurring mental health disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety can lead an individual to self-medicate with alcohol. Similarly, people who have survived physical or sexual trauma may use alcohol to mask their feelings about the abuse.
Long-term alcohol abuse puts an individual at risk for a variety of health problems. Alcohol poisoning is a common effect of binge drinking, and people who binge drink often engage in unsafe sexual activity that can lead to disease or unwanted pregnancy. Alcohol abusers have higher risks for cardiovascular disease, elevated blood pressure and stroke.
Over time, heavy drinking can result in liver disease, and it can increase the likelihood of multiple cancers. In addition to these serious physical consequences, people who have unhealthy drinking habits often have problems in their personal relationships and careers.
The first step in an alcoholic’s path toward recovery is to admit that they have a problem with alcohol. Many people with alcoholism are in denial about their addiction; in these cases, an intervention staged by the individual’s loved ones can open the lines of communication and convince the addicted person to get help.
A person with a drinking addiction should never attempt to quit drinking on their own: The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be debilitating and dangerous, and medical supervision is critical. During a medically supervised detox, a patient’s mental and physical condition is monitored carefully. Medication may be administered to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and curb the cravings for alcohol.
Once withdrawal is complete, psychotherapy and behavior modification can begin. During this phase of treatment, patients begin to understand the nature of addiction and identify the underlying emotional issues that may have contributed to their alcohol abuse. Recovering individuals develop coping techniques to handle the stresses and situations that might tempt them to drink again.
Aftercare is an important element of treatment for a drinking addiction. Recovery is a lifelong commitment, and aftercare services can help individuals face the challenges of staying sober. Support groups and 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous can be a valuable source of encouragement and moral support. These programs also provide an opportunity for participants to make new friendships that don’t involve drinking.
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