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Help with Addiction to Alcohol


Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is more than just occasional drinking or drinking too much from time to time. It is a term used to describe someone with both a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. These groups of people find it very difficult to control or let go of their drinking habit, despite being fully aware of its impacts on their profession, social relationships or even their own health.

Those who live or have lived with active alcoholics or anyone struggling with alcohol addiction find that they have been deeply affected by the experience. Many times, the frustration and anxiety can be caused by your own actions and choices.

An intervention is the best approach for alcohol addicts. The idea is to help the person ton realize alcohol as a problem and help to motivate that person to get necessary help, that can lead to drinking cessation.

There are special facilities that offer inpatient treatment for addiction. This center help them tackle their addictions by giving them day-to-day support and consultations


Alcoholism Treatment Options


Alcoholism is a chronic disorder that currently has no cure but can be managed with therapy and supportive care.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what may work for one person may not be a good fit for someone else. Simply understanding the different options can be an important first step.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says the amount of time people need to spend in treatment can vary, depending on the length of the addiction and the circumstances that surround addiction.

Types of treatment include;

Medications: There are currently three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of alcoholism and prevent relapse. They are usually prescribed by a primary care physician or other health professional and may be used alone or in combination with counseling.

  • Antabuse (Disulfiram) inhibits the breakdown (metabolism) of alcohol by the body, causing unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and flushing of the skin. Those unpleasant effects can help some people avoid drinking while taking disulfiram.
  • Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. It is prescribed to reduce and suppress cravings for alcohol. It works by binding to the opioid receptors in the person’s brain (thereby removing any opiate drugs on these receptors) and suppressing cravings.
  • Acamprosate is approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence or alcoholism. It is a standalone treatment for alcohol addiction. It works by restoring and correcting neurochemical balance in the brain caused by long-term or chronic alcohol abuse. Campral is thought to inhibit the release of glutamate as well as activate taurine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, ultimately decreasing the level of excitation the person experiences.


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Behavioral Treatment


Behavioral treatment involves seeking counsel and working with a health professional, with the aim to help identify and change the negative behaviors that lead to alcohol addiction.

Types of behavioral treatment

  • Marital and Family Counselling engages spouses and family members in the treatment therapy and plays a significant role in building and repairing broken family relationships. This has some proven efficacy compared to patients undergoing individual counseling
  • Brief interventions: This is short, one-on-one or small group interactive sessions that are time limited. Here, the counselor works with the client and provides information about the individuals drinking habits and potential risk. The counselor gets a response from the client and acts on it to set realistic goals and provide ideas for helping to make a change.




This is probably the best option for treating alcoholic disorders. Rehab centers contain specialized facilities which offer various levels of care, including detox (in which you stay only during the period during which you’re detoxifying from alcohol), outpatient and residential treatment. Rehab programs address people suffering not only from alcoholism but also with mental issues.

Alcoholics go through withdrawal if they suddenly stop drinking alcohol, after a long period of heavy and frequent drinking. Symptoms include; a headache, sweating, nausea or vomiting, elevated heart or blood pressure and mental confusion.

Some alcoholics may experience a more severe form of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, known as delirium tremens. Delirium tremens occurs in people who drink in excess of alcohol for months or even years.

Delirium tremens symptoms include

  • Seizures,
  • Altered mental status (confusion),
  • Sudden mood changes,
  • Tactile hallucinations (having a sense of itching, burning or numbness that isn’t actually occurring.
  • Visual hallucinations or seeing things that are not real
  • Auditory hallucinations or hearing sounds that do not exist.
  • Fever

The severity of withdrawal symptoms can depend on so many factors, and therefore differs between the two individuals. Such factors include the duration of alcohol abuse, the quantity of alcohol intake, how frequently they drink, history of family addiction, addiction to other substances or polydrug use, and physiological makeup such as weight, gender, and age.


How to Deal with Alcohol and Depression


Alcohol in itself is a depressant. When taken, it inhibits certain receptors in the brain, leading to a depressive effect on the central nervous system. It slows down brain activity and alters the way the neurons relay information back and forth.

Alcohol abuse also affects the levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter linked to the body’s reward system. This pleasure center regulates your energy, mood, and motivation. Dopamine also helps with the body’s sense of attention, motor coordination, cognition, and mood. Alcohol releases dopamine, triggering some of the good feelings addicts crave. As the body begins to build a higher tolerance to alcohol, the brain becomes more dependent on the substance for feel-good neurotransmitters.

Some people take alcohol in an attempt to deal with their depression. While alcohol may temporarily alleviate some of the symptoms of depression, it ultimately serves to worsen depression on a long-term basis. Alcohol abuse brings with it a bevy of negative effects on virtually every aspect of life. This often leads to a damaging cycle of abusing alcohol in an effort to self-medicate symptoms of depression, and the depression worsening due to the continued alcohol abuse. This condition is known as dual diagnosis. Such people need separate treatment plan for their depression and alcohol problem. In either case, the following tips will help those suffering from depression in their recovery from alcoholism as well.

  • Build a solid, social support network. Connect with people who also suffer from depression and are in recovery. For individuals with depression, who tend to withdraw from the public or social gatherings. Start with friends from your support group and build your network from there.
  • Avoid places, friends or activities that trigger your cravings or urges for alcohol or that worsen your depression.

Medications for Depression


The most commonly prescribed medications for depression are called antidepressants. They have proven to be safe and effective when taken as directed by a physician or psychiatrist.

Commonly used drugs include Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (Paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline) and Luvox (fluvoxamine). Side effects of these medications include decreased libido, delayed orgasm, insomnia, headache, agitation, diarrhea or nausea. For most people, these initial side effects resolve within 3 to 4 weeks

Psychotherapy for Alcohol and Depression


There is a wide variety of effective psychotherapy approaches utilized for the treatment of depression. They range from behavioral therapy to interpersonal therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy.



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