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Alcohol is a psychoactive, central nervous system depressant that works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains “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 addiction, also known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. It is a medical condition that according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is 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, which wreak havoc in all facets of one’s life, including causing physical complications, relationship fractures, financial strain, legal problems, and more. If left untreated, alcoholism can lead to severe short and long-term physical and psychological effects, and in some cases death. 

Treatment

There are a variety of treatment options for an individual struggling with alcoholism. The first step to overcoming alcohol addiction is to undergo detox. Detox is the process that cleanses one’s body of all foreign substances. Due to some of the more severe withdrawal symptoms that commonly present when detoxing from alcohol abuse, it is advised to undergo a medically supervised detox to ensure one’s safety throughout the process. After an individual has successfully completed detox, depending on the needs of the individual, continuing the recovery process by attending a substance abuse or addiction treatment program may be recommended.

Formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs provide customized recovery plans that are developed to incorporate the best possible treatment methods which are specifically geared to address each person’s nuanced needs. A treatment plan could be comprised of different types of therapeutic modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), expressive arts therapy (e.g., play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, sand therapy, etc.), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), and more. To further improve one’s overall health and wellbeing, treatment plans may also include refining one’s daily habits (e.g., practicing mindfulness techniques, exercising regularly, developing healthy sleeping habits, eating nutritiously, etc.). Some may benefit from integrating certain medications into one’s treatment plan. For example, Vivitrol (generically known as naltrexone) is a prescription medicine that was originally approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 to be used for the treatment of alcohol dependence. 

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 welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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