Addiction to alcohol is typically referred to as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. After an individual consumes alcohol, it is absorbed from the small intestine and stomach into his or her bloodstream and is then metabolized in the liver. The liver, however, is only able to metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, which leaves excess alcohol to circulate throughout one’s body via the bloodstream. The amount of alcohol consumed directly relates to its effects on one’s body. The first step an individual overcoming alcohol addiction must take 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.
After an individual has successfully completed detox, there are a variety of subsequent treatment options available. Every person is different and will require a customized treatment plan to afford the most successful outcome. The treatment plan for an individual recovering from alcohol addiction could comprise of a combination of different therapeutic approaches, such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): this 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 principals 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.
Depending on one’s needs 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. To further improve one’s overall health and wellbeing, treatment plans may also include improving one’s daily habits (e.g., practicing mindfulness techniques, exercising regularly, developing healthy sleeping habits, eating nutritiously, etc.). It is important to note that every person is unique and will respond distinctly to various treatment options available.
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 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.