The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that “ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches.” Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that “alcohol use disorder is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” Individuals that are addicted to alcohol will prioritize satisfying alcohol cravings above all else, regardless of the negative consequences. This can lead to physiological complications, relationship fractures, financial strain, legal problems, and more. There are a variety of treatment options available for individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder.
Every person is different and will respond distinctly to the array of therapeutic modalities used to treat alcoholism. With the help of a qualified mental health professional, the unique mental health needs of each person will be considered and used to develop a customized treatment plan. There are many types of therapeutic methods that may be integrated into an individual’s treatment plan for alcohol addiction, but the five most common types include the following:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): can help correct irrational, inaccurate, and/ or distorted thoughts as well as help an individual develop skills and healthy coping mechanisms for reducing anxiety and stress while remaining sober.
- Expressive arts therapy (e.g., play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, sand therapy, etc.): provides an alternative medium to express, process, and integrate one’s thoughts and feelings surrounding the recovery process.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR): utilizes guided eye movement techniques to help process one’s memories, thoughts, and emotional associations in relation to abusing alcohol.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): is based on the principles of CBT, but places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspects of treatment. Through DBT individuals can learn healthy coping mechanisms and useful techniques for managing stress, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others.
- Motivational interviewing (MI): is a counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior.
Treatment plans can also contain strategies for improving one’s daily habits (e.g., practicing mindfulness techniques, exercising regularly, developing healthy sleeping habits, eating nutritiously, etc.) to further improve one’s overall health and wellbeing.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment-related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.