Alcohol abuse treatment

Alcohol abuse treatment

Before embarking on any treatment programme the alcoholic needs to want help.  This need must come from within themselves and not through any external pressure such as a partner, financial pressure or ill health.  Once this stage is reached there are various options, usually your first port of call will be your GP, or  you can contact a local center for detox services.

It is possible to stop drinking without the need to go into a Detox cente although in chronic cases this would not be advisable.  All heavy to chronic drinkers will experience some degree of physical withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop drinking.  In some cases these can be very severe and need medical supervision and intervention.  The symptoms can range from mild shakes and discomfort to life-threatening delirium tremens which can also include convulsions.  It is always advisable to seek medical advice and assistance before stopping drinking altogether. 

About 95 percent of alcoholics experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms that are easily treated by a health-care worker on an outpatient basis.  The other five percent experience severe withdrawal symptoms that need to be treated in a hospital or specialist detoxification centre.  Detox treatment includes a total abstinence from alcohol in a specialist environment.  Here you can receive close monitoring of vital signs.  Occasionally  the treatment can also include the use of benzodiazepines such as Valium, Librium, Ativan or Serax. 

Usually detoxification from alcohol takes between three and seven days.  After this period the alcoholic’s dependency on alcohol is psychological in the main rather than chemical or physical.  It is important that after detoxification there is a plan in place to prevent a relapse.  There are numerous detoxification facilities in the UK who offer an initial residential stay followed by outpatient counselling, therapy and support.  The aim of these facilities is to help the alcoholic remain sober and to resist the urge to drink again. 

Remember that a sincere desire to stop drinking is the first step on the road to recovery.

Resources

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External resources

www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Tel: 0800 917 8282

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