Alcoholism treatment deals with every aspect of alcohol use disorder, from the early stages of intervention and detox through to the later stages of behavioral therapy and relapse prevention. Alcoholism treatment includes medical and psychotherapy programs, with medications often prescribed during detox and behavioral therapies administered during rehabilitation.
If you or anyone you know needs to access alcoholism treatment services, it's important to reach out to a specialized facility as soon as possible. Call Drug Treatment Centers Jacksonville for help finding rehabs at (904) 239-3457.
Alcoholism is known medically as alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence syndrome. The previous psychiatric classifications of abuse and dependence were combined in 2013 to become alcohol use disorder, a broad term used to describe a range of problematic drinking behaviors.
Alcohol use disorder has been associated with a number of physical, psychiatric and social problems, with alcoholism treatment often required to break the bonds of abuse and addiction. Residential and out-patient programs are available across the United States, with some facilities specializing in particular treatment models and others offering a wide range of different services.
Alcoholism is defined medically when two or more of the following symptoms are present:
Alcohol dependence is typically associated with tolerance and the existence of physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation. Alcoholism is widely believed to be a disease, with both genetic and environmental factors causing alcoholism.
Extensive and long-term alcohol consumption has been associated with a wide range of problems, with common adverse physical effects including cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, nutritional deficiencies, peptic ulcers, epilepsy, polyneuropathy, alcoholic dementia, heart disease, and sexual dysfunction. Alcoholism has also been associated with damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, and is known to increase the risks of developing cancer and liver disease.
Alcoholism is associated with a number of psychological problems, including anxiety disorders, depression disorder and impairments to executive functioning. Severe cognitive problems are common with long-term heavy drinkers, with brain damage and organic brain syndrome also possible from extensive abuse.
Alcohol produces a physical withdrawal syndrome when people stop or dramatically reduce alcohol consumption. Depending on the length and extent of abuse, symptoms can range from mild physical disturbances through to life-threatening medical complications.
Like all addictions, alcoholism is a learned condition that actually changes brain neuroplasticity over time. Tolerance and dependence develop over time with repeated exposure, with withdrawal symptoms manifesting due to a hyper-excitable response in the central nervous system as it reacts to lack of alcohol. Typical symptoms include sweating, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, seizures and delirium tremens.
A medical detoxification period is recommended for alcohol withdrawal, with medications prescribed to alleviate symptoms and medical staff on hand at all times to observe and support patients. There are three stages to every comprehensive detox regime: evaluation, stabilization, and consultation.
Physical and mental tests are performed during the first phase, medications are typically administered during the second phase, and patients are guided towards psychotherapeutic recovery programs during the last phase. There are currently four medications approved to treat alcoholism in the United States: disulfiram, two forms of naltrexone, and acamprosate. Benzodiazepines are also widely prescribed during the detox phase of treatment, including Valium and Serax.