Alcoholism can be Put into Remission - Alcohol Rehab Treatment Center
For most adults, moderate alcohol use is probably not harmful. However, about 18 million adult Americans are alcoholics or have alcohol problems. Alcoholism is a disease with four main features:
Alcoholism carries many serious dangers. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers. It can cause damage to the liver, brain, and other organs. Drinking during pregnancy can harm your baby. Alcoholism also increases the risk of death from car crashes, injuries, homicide, and suicide. If you want to stop drinking, there is help. Start by talking to your health care provider. Medicines, counseling, and support groups may help you to stop drinking.
Alcoholism is a Very Treatable Disease
Alcohol abuse is rising. Around 1 out of 6 people in the United States have a drinking problem.
How well a person with alcoholism or alcohol abuse does depends on whether or not they can stop drinking. Alcoholism is a major social, economic, and public health problem. Problem drinking can affect every part of a person's life. If you have an alcohol problem, abstinence can help improve your mental and physical health and possibly, your relationships.
Treatment programs can help you quit. However, drinking again after treatment is common. It is important to have a good support system. Alcoholism is the cyclic presence of tolerance, withdrawal, and excessive alcohol use; the drinker's inability to control such compulsive drinking, despite awareness of its harm to his or her health, indicates that the person might be an alcoholic. Alcoholism is the addiction to or dependency upon drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages. Since the late twentieth century, it has been considered an addictive disorder. It is characterized by compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing.
Alcoholism is when you have signs of physical addiction to alcohol and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities. Alcohol may control your life and relationships. People suffering from alcoholism are often called "alcoholics", and usually suffer significant social stigma, sometimes more for women than for men. A more pejorative, but not slang, term is "drunk" (to be drunk is to be inebriated; depending on context to be a drunk is often to be an alcoholic). There are many slang terms. Terms considered more neutral may be used ("person suffering from alcohol dependency").
Questionnaire-based screening is a method of detecting harmful drinking patterns, including alcoholism. Alcohol detoxification is conducted to withdraw the alcoholic person from drinking alcohol, usually with cross-tolerance drugs, e.g. benzodiazepines to manage withdrawal symptoms. Post-medical care, such as group therapy, or self-help groups, usually is required to maintain alcoholic abstention.
Alcoholism, Alcoholic Alcohol Alcoholism Rehab Treatment Center Facilities
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 140 million alcoholics worldwide.
Like other drug addictions, alcoholism is medically defined as a treatable disease. The term alcoholism is widely used, and was first coined in 1849 by Magnus Huss, but in medicine the term was replaced by "alcohol abuse" and "alcohol dependence" in the 1980s DSM III. (The term alcohol dependence is sometimes used as a synonym for alcoholism, sometimes in a narrower sense.) Similarly in 1979 an expert World Health Organization committee disfavored the use of "alcoholism" as a diagnostic entity, preferring the category of "alcohol dependence syndrome". In the 19th and early 20th centuries, alcohol dependence was called dipsomania before the term "alcoholism" replaced it.
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse can be treated in an Alcoholism Rehab Treatment Center
Such brain chemistry changes maintain the alcoholic's compulsive inability to stop drinking and result in alcohol withdrawal syndrome upon discontinuation of alcohol consumption. Alcohol damages almost every organ in the body, including the brain, because of the cumulative toxic effects of chronic alcohol abuse, the alcoholic risks suffering medical and psychiatric disorders. The biological mechanisms underpinning alcoholism are uncertain, however, risk factors include social environment, stress, mental health, genetic predisposition, age, ethnic group, and sex. Long-term alcohol abuse produces physiological changes in the brain such as tolerance and physical dependence. Completely stopping the use of alcohol is the ideal goal of treatment. This is called abstinence. A strong social network and family support are important in achieving this. Completely stopping and avoiding alcohol is difficult for many people with alcoholism. There will be times when it is difficult. You should aim to avoid drinking for as long as possible. Some people who abuse alcohol may be able to simply reduce the amount they drink. This is called drinking in moderation. If this method does not work, you should try to quit drinking completely. Many people with alcohol problems do not recognize when their drinking gets out of hand. The ideal approach to treatment is to help the person realize how much their alcohol use is harming their life and those around them. Studies find that more people with alcohol problems opt for treatment when their family members or employers are honest with them about their concerns, and try to help them see that drinking is preventing them from reaching their goals. Withdrawal from alcohol is best done in a controlled, supervised setting. Complications from withdrawal can be life threatening. For more information, see: Alcohol withdrawal. Your health care provider should order blood and urine tests to check for health problems that are common in people who abuse alcohol. Alcohol recovery or support programs can help you stop drinking completely.
Alcoholism Alcoholic Alcoohol Rehab Treatment Centers are All Different
You may be treated in a special recovery center (inpatient), or you may attend a program while you live at home (outpatient). Medications are sometimes prescribed to prevent you from drinking again. Acamprosate is a drug that has been shown to lower relapse rates in those who are alcohol dependent. Disulfiram (Antabuse) produces very unpleasant side effects if you drink even a small amount of alcohol within 2 weeks after taking the drug. Naltraxone (Vivitrol) decreases alcohol cravings. It is available in an injectable form. You cannot take these medications if you are pregnant or have certain medical conditions. The medications are often used with long-term treatment with counseling or support groups. Depression or other mood or anxiety disorders may be noticed after you stop drinking. These should be promptly treated. It is important that the patient has a living situation that supports their need to avoid alcohol. Some programs offer housing options for people with alcoholism or alcohol abuse.
Alcoholism and the Family
A complex mixture of genetic and environmental factors influences the risk of the development of alcoholism. Genes that influence the metabolism of alcohol also influence the risk of alcoholism, and may be indicated by a family history of alcoholism. One paper has found that alcohol use at an early age may influence the expression of genes which increase the risk of alcohol dependence. Individuals who have a genetic disposition to alcoholism are also more likely to begin drinking at an earlier age than average. Also, a younger age of onset of drinking is associated with an increased risk of the development of alcoholism, and about 40 percent of alcoholics will drink excessively by their late adolescence. It is not entirely clear whether this association is causal, and some researchers have been known to disagree with this view. A high testosterone concentration during pregnancy may be a risk factor for later development of alcohol dependence.
For most adults, moderate alcohol use is not harmful. However, nearly 17.6 million adults in the United States are alcoholics or have alcohol problems. Alcoholism is a disease with four main features:
• Craving - a strong need to drink
• Loss of control - not being able to stop drinking once you've begun
• Physical dependence - withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating or shakiness after stopping drinking
• Tolerance - the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to get "high"
Alcoholism carries many serious dangers. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers. It can cause damage to the liver, brain and other organs. It can cause birth defects. It increases the risk of death from car crashes and other injuries as well as the risk of homicide and suicide.
NIH: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
More than 700,000 Americans receive alcoholism treatment on any given day. However, the techniques of alcoholism therapy have traditionally been based on clinical experience and intuition, with little rigorous validation of their effectiveness. Over the past 20 years, modern methods of evaluating medical therapies have been increasingly applied to alcoholism treatment. These methods include the use of control groups for comparison purposes, random assignment of study participants to different treatment groups and, to the greatest extent possible, follow-up of all patients who entered the study. This issue focuses on the results of recent controlled clinical studies on the effectiveness of self-help groups, psychosocial approaches, and medications in achieving and maintaining abstinence. Alcoholism clinicians have access today to a wide range of treatment options for their patients. Some of these treatments, such as 12-step self-help programs, have been around a long time. Others-including brief intervention and various therapies borrowed from other fields, such as motivational enhancement therapy and couples therapy-are relatively new concepts that have been shown to be effective in reducing the risk for alcohol-related problems. The key change that has occurred, of course, is the advent of alcoholism clinical research, which over the past 15 years or so has made significant progress toward rigorous evaluation of both existing therapies and newly developed therapies for use in treating alcohol-related problems. Finally, continued research on alcohol's effects in the brain and on the links between brain and behavior, which has already led to the development of medications to reduce craving, is likely to provide clinicians with a range of highly specific medications that will, when used in conjunction with behavioral therapies, improve the chance for recovery-and the lives-of those who suffer from alcohol abuse and dependence. More than 700,000 Americans receive alcoholism treatment on any given day. However, the techniques of alcoholism therapy have traditionally been based on clinical experience and intuition, with little rigorous validation of their effectiveness. Over the past 20 years, modern methods of evaluating medical therapies have been increasingly applied to alcoholism treatment. These methods include the use of control groups for comparison purposes, random assignment of study participants to different treatment groups and, to the greatest extent possible, follow up of all patients who entered the study. This issue focuses on the results of recent controlled clinical studies on the effectiveness of self-help groups, psychosocial approaches, and medications in achieving and maintaining abstinence.
Survey Results - Alcoholism Alcoholic Rehab Treatment Centers
One randomized study of patients entering employee assistance programs compared inpatient treatment combined with AA with referral to AA alone. This study found that inpatient treatment, a combination of professional treatment and AA, will achieve better results for more people than AA alone. Ouimette and colleagues, as part of a non randomized observational study involving 3,000 patients in Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, compared predominantly 12-step programs with predominantly cognitive-behavioral programs as well as with courses of therapy that combined both approaches. In cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), the therapist helps the client learn new skills to cope with problems and to change harmful behavior patterns, such as alcohol abuse. One year after completion of treatment, the three types of programs had produced comparable improvements on measures of alcohol consumption and related problems. However, participants in the 12-step programs achieved more sustained abstinence and higher rates of employment compared with participants in the other two programs. Interpretation of these results is complicated by the nonrandom assignment of patients to the different treatment types.
Alcoholism Treatment Centers
The beneficial effects of AA may be attributable in part to the replacement of the participant's social network of drinking friends with a fellowship of AA members who can provide motivation and support for maintaining abstinence. In addition, AA's approach often results in the development of coping skills, many of which are similar to those taught in more structured psychosocial treatment settings, thereby leading to reductions in alcohol consumption. Evidence indicates that involvement of a nonalcoholic spouse in a treatment program can improve patient participation rates and increase the likelihood that the patient will alter drinking behavior after treatment ends. There are various approaches to marital family therapy. Behavioral-marital therapy (BMT) combines a focus on drinking with efforts to strengthen the marital relationship through shared activities and the teaching of communication and conflict evaluation skills. O'Farrell and colleagues combined couples therapy with the learning and rehearsal of a relapse prevention plan. Among alcoholics with severe marital and drinking problems, the combination approach produced improved marital relations and higher abstinence rates through 30 months of follow up compared with patients undergoing only BMT.
Alcoholism Treatment Centers
Many persons with alcohol-related problems receive counseling from primary care physicians or nursing staff in the context of five or fewer standard office visits. Such treatment, known as brief intervention, generally consists of straightforward information on the negative consequences of alcohol consumption along with practical advice on strategies and community resources to achieve moderation or abstinence. Two controlled trials in the United States and Canada demonstrated that this approach reduced drinking, alcohol-related problems, and patients' use of health care services. Most brief interventions are designed to help those at risk for developing alcohol-related problems to reduce their alcohol consumption. Alcohol-dependent patients are encouraged to enter specialized treatment with the goal of complete abstinence. The brief intervention approach has also been successfully applied outside the primary care setting. Evidence suggests that 25 to 40 percent of trauma patients may be alcohol dependent. Gentilello and colleagues (26) conducted a randomized controlled study among patients in a trauma center who had detectable blood alcohol levels at the time of admission. The researchers found that a single motivational interview at or near the time of discharge reduced drinking levels and re-admission for trauma during 6 months of follow up. Monti and colleagues conducted a similar randomized controlled study among youth ages 18 to 19 admitted to an emergency room with alcohol-related injuries. After 6 months, although all participants had decreased their alcohol consumption, the group receiving brief intervention had a significantly lower incidence of drinking and driving, traffic violations, alcohol-related injuries, and alcohol-related problems.
Promising New Medicines for Alcoholism Treatment
Acamprosate showed promise in treating alcoholism in several randomized controlled European trials involving more than 3,000 alcoholic subjects who were also undergoing psychosocial treatment. Analysis of combined results showed that more than twice as many alcoholics receiving Acamprosate remained abstinent up to 1 year compared with subjects receiving psychosocial treatment alone.
Research suggests that some medications may be more effective for certain types of alcoholics. For example, when ondansetron (ZofranÂ®) was combined with psychotherapy, alcoholics who had begun drinking heavily before age 25 (i.e., early-onset alcoholics) decreased their alcohol consumption and increased their number of abstinent days, but later onset alcoholics did not. Sertraline (ZoloftÂ®), in contrast, appears to reduce drinking in late-onset, but not early-onset, alcoholics. However, fluoxetine (ProzacÂ®), a medication related to sertraline, has not been found to be effective in late-onset alcoholism. In conclusion, research supports the concept of using medications as an adjunct to the psychosocial therapy of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. However, additional clinical trials are required to identify those patients most likely to benefit from such an approach, to determine the most appropriate medications for different patient types, to establish optimal dosages, and to develop strategies for enhancing patient compliance with medication regimens.
Definition of Alcoholism - What is alcoholism?
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes the following four symptoms:
Craving --A strong need, or urge, to drink.
Loss of control --Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
Physical dependence --Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
Tolerance --The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get "high."
For clinical and research purposes, formal diagnostic criteria for alcoholism also have been developed. Such criteria are included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, as well as in the International Classification Diseases, published by the World Health Organization.
Signs of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one's health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work. Manifestations of alcohol abuse include the following:
Failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school, or home.
Drinking in dangerous situations, such as drinking while driving or operating machinery.
Legal problems related to alcohol, such as being arrested for drinking while driving or for physically hurting someone while drunk.
Continued drinking despite ongoing relationship problems that are caused or worsened by drinking.
Long-term alcohol abuse can turn into alcohol dependence.
Dependency on alcohol, also known as alcohol addiction and alcoholism4, is a chronic disease. The signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence include
A strong craving for alcohol
Continued use despite repeated physical, psychological, or interpersonal problems.
The inability to limit drinking.
Alcoholism (alcohol dependence) and alcohol abuse are two different forms of problem drinking.
Alcoholism is when you have signs of physical addiction to alcohol and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities. Alcohol may control your life and relationships.
Alcohol abuse is when your drinking leads to problems, but not physical addiction.
There is no known cause of alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Research suggests that certain genes may increase the risk of alcoholism, but which genes and how they work are not known.
Determining if someone is Alcoholic and needs an Alcoholism Treatment Centers
Alcoholism, Alcoholic Rehab Treatment Centers -Quick Quiz
Do you have to drink more than before to get drunk or feel the desired effect?
Have you felt that you should cut down on your drinking?
Have you ever had any blackouts after drinking?
Have you ever missed work or lost a job because of drinking?
Is someone in your family worried about your drinking?
More Alcoholism Questions for going to Treatment Centers
• Continue to drink, even when health, work, or family are being harmed
• Drink alone
• Become violent when drinking
• Become hostile when asked about drinking
• Are not able to control drinking -- being unable to stop or reduce alcohol intake
• Make excuses to drink
• Miss work or school, or have a decrease in performance because of drinking
• Stop taking part in activities because of alcohol
• Need to use alcohol on most days to get through the day
• Neglect to eat or eat poorly
• Do not care about or ignore how they dress or whether they are clean
• Try to hide alcohol use
• Shake in the morning or after periods when they have not a drink
• Memory lapses after heavy drinking
• Needing more and more alcohol to feel "drunk"
• Alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you haven't had a drink for a while
• Alcohol-related illnesses such as alcoholic liver disease.
Other Resources for Drug Rehab Treatment Center Information
To learn more about the different types of alcohol treatment programs you can choose from, follow the link.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
American Medical Association - Alcohol & Drug Abuse
American Society of Addiction Medicine
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration
More NIDA Resources
National Institute on Alcoholism
White House Drug Policy
California Drug Abuse Programs
USA Prescription Drug Help
Family Help - Alanon
Drug Addiction Medline Plus
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