Millions of Americans struggle with alcohol dependence and abuse. When individuals acknowledge they have a problem, the first thing they wonder about is the most effective treatment for alcohol dependence.
What Is Alcohol Dependence?
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), or alcohol dependence, is characterized by compulsive drinking to the extent that it affects an individual’s physical health and life obligations. If the person is unable to drink, then they experience anxiety and other withdrawal symptoms.
Getting Help For Alcohol Dependence
Professional treatment is often needed for people with AUD. Many people require medically-assisted and supervised detox, as alcohol withdrawals can be fatal. After the detox process, many individuals benefit from a combination of therapy, intensive treatment programs, and medication to help reduce cravings. Structured therapy exploring the nature of addiction and treating any underlying mental health issues can help patients establish a routine and build tools and habits needed for long-term sobriety.
How Medication Assists With Detox
The three most common medications to treat AUD are Disulfiram, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate. Disulfiram is used to ease withdrawal symptoms, while Naltrexone and Acamprosate target different parts of the brain to reduce cravings and change how the individual perceives alcohol.
Effective Alcohol Dependence Treatment Programs
Some people may feel that the idea of never drinking again is so painful or uncomfortable that not drinking isn’t an option. Other people may experience withdrawal symptoms so severe that they would rather continue drinking than stop on their own. Alcohol dependence treatment bridges these gaps, first using medication to safely wean the person physically from alcohol, then moving on to focus on healing the mind and dealing with underlying emotions.
AUD Treatment Therapies
Many people participate in both individual and group therapy sessions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help a person explore why they drink heavily and how to manage their feelings in a healthy way. Group sessions can help create a feeling of community and support and provide accountability for group members working towards the same goal.
Many programs, including the ones offered by Hickory Treatment Centers, also provide family counseling sessions, helping the addict rebuild relationships and find a solid sense of support. People who have a strong support system at home have a lower instance of relapse.
How Successful Is Alcohol Dependence Treatment?
As with any addiction treatment, AUD treatments largely depend on the individual. People who are open to treatment and willing to do the hard work and feel uncomfortable during the process may have a greater success rate than those who haven’t reached a point where they’re willing to change. AUD is a lifelong disorder without an actual cure, which means that individuals may feel cravings and impulses during times of stress or negative life issues.
However, a compassionate and professional team, like the counselors at Hickory Treatment Centers, can help an individual achieve and maintain sobriety. Trained addiction counselors and a relapse support network can help when the struggles become overwhelming.
If you’re worried about your alcohol consumption, you have hope and help. Contact us today for a confidential assessment and to discuss your AUD treatment options at Hickory Treatment Centers. We offer intensive day treatment and outpatient addiction treatment programs for both men and women, plus family counseling and relapse prevention strategies.