alcohol abuse and dependence treatment overview

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Everything You Need To Know About Alcohol Addiction Treatment

If you need to know what happens in alcohol addiction treatment, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will provide you with a comprehensive and detailed insight on what to expect in an alcohol addiction treatment center.

Let’s start.

Alcohol addiction treatment uses various medical and therapeutic methods to help alcoholics achieve long term sobriety. Educating the addict about their illness is another important part of the recovery process. Good, quality addiction treatment won’t just focus on alcohol. The best rehabilitation centers will focus on the illness in its entirety. Alcohol addiction treatment is no cure for alcoholism; recovery is a lifelong commitment to remaining clean and sober. What it does do however, is prepare the alcoholic for a return back into society in the right physical and mental shape as well as with all the right tools to make their recovery a success. While it may be possible to quit on your own, we strongly advise you not to. Quitting cold turkey can have serious repercussions on the alcoholic’s health and wellbeing due to the withdrawal symptoms experienced. In some cases, death may even occur. However, if you feel this is the way you want to go, please consult a medical doctor before stopping your alcohol usage. However, if this doesn’t work out for you, then it’s clear that you need help inside an alcohol addiction treatment center. Let’s find out how it begins.

Medical Detoxification

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This is seen as the starting point in most residential alcohol rehabs and effectively prepares the alcoholic for the next stage of treatment.

A medical detoxification, or detox for short, helps remove any residual toxins inside the body left by alcohol and it minimizes any cravings or withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced.
This is usually done prior admission into the alcohol addiction treatment centre, and the length of it will be determined by the alcoholic’s gender, body weight and health. Detox simply removes all of the physical symptoms that are suffered, but it doesn’t deal with psychological, social and behavioral changes that will need to be made.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programs

Choosing the correct alcoholism treatment program plays a important part in the recovery process and the decision on whether which one is most suitable is usually determined by the nature and severity of the addiction suffered.

Inpatient Treatment

This program is often seen as the best form of alcoholism treatment for those addicted to alcohol. Patients will be required to reside inside the clinic for a minimum of 4 weeks (28 days) and may last for anything up to 3 months (90 days) of treatment. However, the actual duration of your stay should be adjusted according to the nature and severity of the alcohol addiction suffered. In treatment, patients will receive various forms of counselling and therapy, which we will discuss shortly. Recovering alcoholics will also be under constant supervision of the qualified medical staff at the alcohol addiction treatment centre, who will be at the patients side 24 hours a day.

For access to inpatient treatment, give us a call and we’ll gladly find a rehab suited to you or your loved one’s individual needs.

Outpatient Treatment

This form of treatment doesn’t require a residential stay inside an alcohol addiction treatment center.

Patients will be given the opportunity to reside at home, do their daily responsibilities and attend regular daily meetings at the alcohol rehab clinic in the evenings, during the week. Recovering alcoholics will receive medical assistance and engage in counselling and therapy, similarly to what’s done in the inpatient treatment program. However, this program isn’t for everyone and there are requirements that have to be met before patients can receive this form of treatment.

Firstly, the patient will have to be able to handle any cravings and withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced. Patients with more severe alcohol addiction symptoms won’t qualify for this treatment program. Random drug tests will also be done to ensure that the alcoholic remains alcohol-free. Secondly, the alcoholic must want to recover. The motivation to beat alcoholism must be there; otherwise this treatment program will be ineffective.

If you are interested in getting into outpatient treatment, call us now and speak to one our qualified addiction counsellors and we’ll find a rehab center to meet your needs.

Counselling & Therapy

There are various forms of counselling and therapy used in these two treatment programs, each having its own benefits to the recovery efforts of the alcoholic.

One-On-One Counselling and Group Therapy

These forms of counselling and therapy give patients the opportunity to speak to an addiction counsellor regarding their problem and also to interact with others in a similar position as themselves.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

This type of therapy helps recovering alcoholics to change the way they think and act. The addiction counsellor will also teach the patient how to avoid drinking alcohol again.

Motivational Interviewing

This therapy program helps recovering alcoholics to forget about any reservations about getting treatment and leaving alcohol behind.

Motivational Enhanced Therapy

This form of therapy helps the addict find the motivation and courage to leave alcohol behind and move towards a sober and alcohol-free lifestyle.

Short Intervention Therapy

This brief form of therapy helps to get responses & recommendations from patients and allows the addiction counsellor to offer advice and set the patient new goals to reach.

Family Counselling

This form of counselling helps patients mend any relationships that were broken with their loved ones during the time of the addiction.

Medication Used In Alcohol Treatment

Medication plays a important role in the treatment of alcohol addiction. Here is a short breakdown of the medicines used:

During the detox phase (used to treat withdrawal symptoms):

Anti-Anxiety Medication – Benzodiazepines such as diazepam.
Anti-Fit Medication – used to treat more sterner withdrawal symptoms.

During the treatment program (helps alcoholics remain alcohol-free):

Disulfiram (Antabuse) – Causes the alcoholic to become ill if they drink alcohol.
Naltrexone – This medicine takes away the enjoyment of drinking.
Acamprosate (Campral) – This medication increases the alcoholic’s chances of staying sober after detox.
Topiramate – This drug is used to diminish any cravings for alcohol.


Once alcohol addiction treatment has been completed, it’s doesn’t end there. The risk of suffering a relapse is at its highest immediately after being discharged from rehab. In fact, the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) state that “approximately 90 percent of alcoholics are likely to experience at least one relapse over the 4-year period following treatment.” It is for this reason that makes aftercare so important in the alcohol recovery process. Attending support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can greatly increase your chances of long term sobriety from alcohol. The AA base their treatment on a program called the 12-steps, which is a guideline of principles set to help your recovery from alcohol addiction. For more information about the 12-steps, click here:

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If you or a loved one is addicted alcohol, we provide access into the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand. Call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors assist in finding the best alcohol treatment for you or your loved one.

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