Alcohol Addiction Counseling
Alcohol addiction counseling gives a patient support to quit the habit, get through the withdrawal process, and help to live a higher quality life without fear of becoming addicted again. Therapy normally includes one-on-one with the individual, family member support as well as individual and family therapy combined. Each patient is unique and has a unique problem; with this in mind, therapy should be customized for the individual. Drug addiction counseling looks at the patient's medical history as well as a withdrawal plan and the treatment program. As a patient is evaluated often, his or her case management plan or program may change to accommodate new findings or problems. Most centers that offer help with substance abuse do so to help patients to become substance free for the rest of their lives.
Alcoholism is a disease that can cause health problems, relationship problems, and even affect a person's ability to hold down a job and function normally. Withdrawal from alcohol should be monitored medically because of the possible problems that can manifest during detoxification. Some of these problems include but are not limited to hallucinations, convulsions, seizures, and heart failure. Once detoxification is complete alcohol addiction counseling will work with a patient to learn new coping skills, learn how to manage anxiety and stress, and learn the importance of never taking another drink. The therapy may include the importance of spiritual healing as well. Christian centers that offer drug rehab will stress the importance of reading God's word, prayer, and fellowship with other Christians.
Medications may be helpful when included in treatment. Some medications cause discomfort when alcohol is ingested; others help to decrease cravings and help with the withdrawal symptoms and help the body to detoxify faster. In addition to medications many drug rehab centers use nutritional therapy to help the patient regain physical and mental health. This nutritional therapy often includes taking multivitamin and mineral supplements as well as teaching the patient how to eat healthy and exercise. One of the most useful nutritional therapies is the use of thiamine. Thiamine helps to improve brain function damaged by substance abuse. Drug addiction counseling seeks to help an individual in all areas of his or her life to experience complete healing. "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases" (Psalm 103:2-3).
The physical reaction caused by drinking starts in the stomach; the substance enters the bloodstream and then affects all of the tissues in the body. The effect will depend upon how much is drunk, in what period of time and the individual's body size and tolerance level. Some people get very violent when they drink. The moderate effects usually include a change in behavior where a person experiences dizziness and is more talkative. When more is drunk then the effects may include nausea, vomiting, sleeping difficulties, and the inability to stand up or walk. When a person drinks a lot then the next day they usually suffer from a hangover where they have a headache, nausea, excessive thirst, and fatigue. Alcohol addiction counseling educates the patient to understand what he or she is putting their body through when they indulge in excessive and frequent drinking.
Excessive and frequent drinking can lead to addiction to the point that if a person does not drink often they experience withdrawal symptoms that are very uncomfortable. Drinking for a long period of time can lead to permanent damage to the brain and the liver. Drug addiction counseling helps the patient to understand about the damage that he or she is doing to the body; how if affects the vital organs and the brain. Some damage is irreversible and will be with a person for the rest of their life. Liver damage can make a person feel sick the stomach, constantly feel tired, causes a person to lose his or her appetite, causes abdominal fluid, and causes a person to feel confused. Alcohol is like poison to the liver and the effects from beer and wine are the same as the effects from whiskey or other hard liquor. Although the liver is said to be a regenerative organ when scar tissue develops then the damage is usually permanent. The amount of damage will depend upon the longevity of the substance abuse.
Brain damage is another complication of substance addiction. Alcohol causes changes in the brain where the person will start having chronic learning and memory problems. The good news is that after a person abstains from drinking for over a year research has shown that their cognitive impairment from brain injury may improve. Though long-term drinking may cause the brain to shrink, abstinence may reverse some of the damage. Alcohol addiction counseling gives the patient hope that abstaining from drinking once their detoxification is completed will possibly help to improve their cognitive abilities. However, the amount of improvement will depend upon the longevity of abstaining from drinking and the extent of the damage.
The damage from addiction can be extremely harmful to children. When an adolescent begins drinking at such a young age harmful effects can happen physically, emotionally, and psychologically. During adolescent a child is still growing; the brain, nervous system, sexual organs, and the liver are changing. Drug addiction counseling for young adults and children emphasize the dangers of using alcohol to both the children and their parents. Counselors understand the importance of finding out what motivated a child to start drinking so that issues can be addressed to bring some resolution to what is bothering him or her. In addition, there may be an underlying psychological disorder that plays a part in the child's addictive behavior that needs treatment as well.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment ProgramThe need for an alcohol addiction treatment program can be very serious for anyone who is dealing with a dependence on this powerful substance. Alcoholic products are available in abundance in today's society. For any one who is addicted to this substance, finding ways to avoid temptation can seem impossible. But the ramifications of neglecting to deal with this serious problem will not only destroy the life of the addict but of family and loved ones as well. While a moderate amount of social drinking may not constitute a serious problem with alcohol, addiction to the drug can be very dangerous and destructive. Some of the signs that someone might be addicted to this drug could include a preoccupation with obtaining the substance. Ignoring loved ones or rearranging priorities around opportunities to drink can also be important indicators. As this illness begins to take its toll, the drinker may loose all ability to control their intake of alcoholic beverages. Those on the outside may not understand the reasons that an individual is addicted to alcohol. Brain chemistry can be strongly impacted by this drug and can, over time, create a need and compulsion to drink. Reaching out for the professional help of an alcohol addiction treatment program can be an importance step toward recovery.
Some alcoholics deny the problem because they do not drink every day. In truth, binge drinking on the weekends followed by several days of sobriety can indicate a serious problem. It is also not necessary to imbibe hard liqueur to be considered an alcoholic. Many individuals believe that if they steer clear of hard liqueur and only indulge in wine or beer, they do not have a problem. But drinking large quantities of wine or beer may also necessitate the need for an alcohol addiction treatment program. Another myth that pertains to alcoholism is the belief that addicts are only those who abuse drugs that are illegal. This is not true. The harmful effects of a dependence on alcoholic products can wreak just as much havoc on the life of the abuser as any other kind of drug abuse.
Overcoming addictions without professional help can be very difficult. An alcohol addiction treatment program can help the addict avoid the painful withdrawal symptoms that occur when an alcoholic suddenly stops drinking. These symptoms can vary from person to person. For some, sweating and a form of shakiness may constitute the worst of the withdrawal experience. However, other recovering addicts may experience a manifestation called delirium tremors or DT's. These addicts may exhibit anxiousness, a confused state of mind, or hallucinations. Professional medical help from an alcohol addiction treatment program may be needed for someone who suffers from such severe withdrawal symptoms. Without treatment, other medical problems may occur.
A professional alcohol addiction treatment program may also prescribe any of a number of medications that can help a patient deal with painful withdrawal symptoms. These medications may include such drugs as acamprosate, naltrexone or disulfiram. Drugs in this category are designed to reduce cravings for alcohol and also to cut back on the drug's ability to intoxicate. Some medications are prescribed to be taken orally while others are administered by injection. There can be side effects that are associated with these drugs. The medications may also not effective for some patients. Additional options are medications that are designed to foster an aversion to alcoholic beverages. Such drugs will cause some very distasteful reactions when mixed with the drug. The recovering addict may experience vomiting and nausea or they may exhibit a flushing sensation along with severe headaches it the patient chooses to drink while on the drug. It is important to only take such medications under the supervision of a physician. Taking too large a dose of these drugs can result in severe health problems. The Bible points believers toward a hope in the mercy of God. "Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee." (Psalm 33:22)
One of the important services that may be provided by an alcohol addiction treatment program can be that of providing educational resources to both the addict and their families. Understanding some of the causes that may have led to the current addiction issues can be very useful. A careful examination of the reasons behind the alcoholic behavior may be necessary. If the patient drinks as a way of dealing with unpleasant emotions such as depression, loneliness or anxiety, this could be an indicator of a serious problem. Is there a family history of alcohol abuse? This could mean that the individual is at a higher risk of becoming an alcoholic. For young people, the peer pressure to drink can be very strong. An understanding of the ravages of alcoholism from an early age can be very important.
Families who believe that a loved one may be in need of help from an alcohol addiction treatment program can consult with professionals for advice. There are a number of signs that loved ones can look for when trying to determine if an individual has a drinking problem. Is the individual drinking too much and on a fairly regular basis? Is drinking a major priority in the individual's life? Are there signs of impaired judgment? Are major personality changes obvious? Is the individual taking more risks that involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages? Once a number of these signs are present, an intervention from professionals in the recovery field may be called for.
Drug treatment for alcoholism is offered at a variety of drug treatment centers that utilize medication as a means to help an alcoholic. The idea of treating alcoholism through the use of drugs is controversial since the drugs used to treat the condition are also addictive. It is important to distinguish between a hard reduction approach and a treatment approach to addiction. The use of methadone for heroin addicts is a good example of harm reduction. Methadone is a highly toxic, addictive substance that is given under medical supervision at drug treatment centers. While this approach apparently substitutes one addiction for another, the idea is that the second addiction is less harmful.
Caution should be taken whenever dealing with an addict. They have proven that they possess addictive personalities, and the last thing they need is to become addicted to another substance. Because of the recent interest in the biochemistry of addiction, there is a new emphasis on drug therapy as a direct drug treatment for alcoholism. The assumption underlying this approach is that addicts are suffering from a biochemical imbalance that causes their addiction. Recent research on the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brains of all types of addicts supports this theory.
Drug treatment centers also use medication as a means of counteracting the effects of the addictive substance--making the person feel ill if taken in conjunction with the substance. The drug Disulfuram (antabuse) is an example of this. The alcoholic becomes very sick if he drinks alcohol while antabuse is present in the system. Although this treatment for alcoholism does not treat the underlying addiction, it certainly does make the addiction physically uncomfortable. It could also prevent the alcohol from taking effect. Drug treatment for alcoholism can be beneficial if the patients are highly motivated to avoid relapse.
Christians considering entering any drug treatment centers should look into one of the many faith-based centers. These facilities allow patients to enlist help and support from God, which is the only place their real strength will come from. God is aware of every person's need for strength to combat all of life's temptations, especially for addicts. Turning to God in prayer during an affliction is very wise, as God is the only one that can truly eliminate the problem. "For he hath not despised not abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard," (Psalm 22:24).