Conventional Medicine for Alcohol Dependence
Treatment for alcohol dependence can start only when the alcoholic admits that the issue exists and agrees to quit alcohol consumption. He or she must realize that alcohol addiction is curable and must be driven to change. Treatment has three phases:
Detoxing (detox): This could be needed as soon as possible after ceasing alcohol use and can be a medical emergency, considering that detoxing might trigger withdrawal seizures, hallucinations, delirium tremens (DT), and in some cases might induce death.
Rehabilitation: This involves therapy and medications to give the recovering alcoholic the skills required for sustaining sobriety. This step in treatment may be done inpatient or outpatient. Both are equally beneficial.
Maintenance of abstinence: This step's success requires the alcoholic to be self-driven. The key to abstinence is support, which often consists of routine Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) gatherings and getting a sponsor.
For a person in an early phase of alcohol dependence, ceasing alcohol use may result in some withdrawal manifestations, consisting of anxiety and poor sleep. If not addressed professionally, individuals with DTs have a mortality rate of over 10 %, so detoxing from late-stage alcoholism should be pursued under the care of an experienced medical doctor and might mandate a short inpatient stay at a health center or treatment center.
Treatment might include several medicines. Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety drugs used to treat withdrawal symptoms like stress and anxiety and poor sleep and to protect against convulsions and delirium. These are one of the most often used medications during the course of the detoxing phase, at which time they are usually tapered and then stopped. They should be used with care, since they may be addicting.
There are several medications used to help individuals recovering from alcoholism maintain abstinence and sobriety. One pharmaceutical, disulfiram may be used once the detoxing stage is finished and the individual is abstinent. It interferes with alcohol metabolism so that consuming alcohol a small level is going to cause queasiness, retching, blurred vision, confusion, and breathing problems. This pharmaceutical is most suitable for alcoholics that are extremely driven to quit consuming alcohol or whose pharmaceutical use is monitored, since the pharmaceutical does not influence the motivation to drink.
Another medication, naltrexone, minimizes the longing for alcohol. Naltrexone may be supplied even if the individual is still drinking; however, as with all medications used to remedy alcoholism, it is recommended as part of a comprehensive program that teaches patients new coping skills. It is currently available as a long-acting inoculation that can be offered on a monthly basis.
Acamprosate is yet another medication that has been FDA-approved to lower alcohol yearning.
Research suggests that the anti-seizure medicines topiramate and gabapentin might be of value in reducing craving or stress and anxiety throughout rehabilitation from drinking, although neither of these medications is FDA-approved for the treatment of alcoholism.
Anti-anxietymedicationsor Anti-depressants medications may be used to manage any resulting or underlying anxiety or depression, but because those syndromes may disappear with abstinence, the medicines are typically not begun until after detoxification is complete and there has been some period of abstinence.
The goal of rehabilitation is total abstinence because an alcoholic remains susceptible to relapse and potentially becoming dependent anew. Recovery normally follows a Gestalt method, which may include education programs, group therapy, spouse and children participation, and involvement in support groups. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most well known of the support groups, however other approaches have also proved highly effective.
Nutrition and Diet for Alcoholism
Poor health and nutrition goes with heavy drinking and alcohol addiction: Since an ounce of ethyl alcohol (the kind we drink) has over 200 calories but zero nutritional value, ingesting large amounts of alcohol tells the human body that it does not require more nourishment. Problem drinkers are typically lacking in vitamins A, B complex, and C; folic acid; carnitine; selenium, magnesium, and zinc, along with important fatty acids and antioxidants. Restoring such nutrients-- by supplying thiamine (vitamin B-1) and a multivitamin-- can help recovery and are a vital part of all detoxification programs.
At-Home Treatments for Alcoholism
Abstinence is the most important-- and most likely the most hard-- steps to recovery from alcohol addiction. To discover how to live without alcohol, you must:
Avoid people and places that make drinking the norm, and find new, non- drinking friends.
Participate in a support group.
Get the aid of family and friends.
Replace your unfavorable dependence on alcohol with favorable dependencies like a brand-new leisure activity or volunteer service with church or civic groups.
Start exercising. Physical exercise releases chemicals in the brain that offer a "all-natural high." Even a walk following supper can be soothing.
Treatment for alcohol addiction can begin only when the problem drinker acknowledges that the issue exists and agrees to stop consuming alcohol. For a person in an early phase of alcohol dependence, stopping alcohol use may result in some withdrawal symptoms, consisting of stress and anxiety and poor sleep. If not remedied professionally, individuals with DTs have a death rate of over 10 %, so detoxing from late-stage alcohol addiction must be attempted under the care of a skillful doctor and may mandate a brief inpatient stay at a hospital or treatment center.
There are a number of medications used to help individuals in recovery from alcohol dependence sustain sobriety and abstinence. Poor health and nutrition goes with heavy alcohol consumption and alcohol addiction: Since an ounce of alcohol has over 200 calories and yet no nutritional value, ingesting large levels of alcohol informs the body that it does not need more food.