Alcohol abuse and addiction are complex problems that can be difficult to solve. Various treatment programs are used to address these issues, with a medical detox period often required along with rehabilitation and relapse prevention. Alcohol rehab is an important part of the process, with medication and psychotherapeutic measures initiated to promote abstinence and encourage sustainable recovery. Alcohol rehab is available in a range of configurations, including residential treatment, out-patient treatment, 12-step facilitation, and individual counseling.
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Rehab describes any interventions designed to treat substance abuse and dependence. Alcohol rehab involves specific measures for alcoholism cases, with pharmacotherapy used alongside behavioral therapy and relapse prevention. Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, describes a wide array of problematic drinking behaviors, with different rehab programs used for different case scenarios. For example, people with a physical addiction are more likely to need extensive medication treatment, with alcohol abuse cases often treated through psychotherapy alone.
Rehabilitation typically takes place after detox, with some clients not needing to go through a detox regime. While relapse prevention techniques are sometimes integrated into rehab programs, dedicated relapse prevention systems are also available after the rehab phase has been completed.
Rehab is available on a residential or out-patient basis, with residential alcohol and drug treatment involving a live-in arrangement and out-patient support involving periodic visits to a treatment center. Typical medications applied during alcohol rehab include Valium, Antabuse, Campral, and naltrexone. Typical behavioral therapy models used include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and multidimensional family therapy.
Alcohol abuse is the compulsive consumption of this substance despite negative consequences. Abuse and dependence were combined in 2013 as alcohol use disorder, with this classification used to describe a wide array of problematic drinking patterns. While dependence is typically associated with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome, abuse is not. While people who abuse it may be able to go for long periods of time without drinking, some people are unable to stop once they get started.
Binge drinking is one example of abuse, with other problematic drinking patterns also possible. The heavy and long-term consumption of alcohol has been linked with a number of health problems, including liver failure, heart disease, and impairments in executive functioning. Anxiety disorders and depression disorder may also result from long-term drinking, with social problems also likely.
Alcoholism treatment consists of medication therapy and behavioral therapy, with medications generally used to treat physical alcohol addictions. There are four drugs approved to treat alcohol dependence in America, each of which approaches the problem in a different way. Two forms of naltrexone are administered during detox and rehab, with this drug taken to block opioid receptors and reduce relapse rates. Acamprosate, also known as Campral, is taken to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with protracted withdrawal, including insomnia and anxiety.
Disulfiram, also known as Antabuse, produces a strong negative reaction when alcohol is consumed, and therefore acts as a preventative measure. Benzodiazepines are also widely prescribed to treat alcohol-related anxiety and sleep disorders. Behavioral therapies also play an important role in treatment, with various recovery programs initiated in an attempt to alter maladaptive thinking patterns and change unhealthy behavior.
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