Category Archives for "General"

Choosing an Alcoholism Medical Treatment Program

An alcoholism medical treatment is highly recommended for anyone who is attempting to detox from alcohol. Withdrawing from alcohol can be dangerous in some circumstances and doctors recommend that anyone attempting this be under the care of a physician. Involving a doctor in the process gives the patient a better chance of success and a healthy outcome.

Research suggests that in patient medical treatment programs have more success than out patient treatment for alcoholism. In part, this is due to more social support during the withdrawal process. This support is available for the patient at any time of the day or night. With out patient programs help and support is more limited.

The treatment program should be chosen based on the individual and the situation. For some individuals, out patient programs work best because of their circumstances including location, finances, and the low risk of severe symptoms. Other individuals should consider in patient programs, particularly if they have a high risk of severe symptoms or complications.

Alcoholism medical treatments may use psychosocial therapy and support, drug treatments, or other alternative therapies. Patients should discuss the options with their doctor and/or alcohol counselor to find the best options.

Research indicates that psychosocial treatments have only a moderate success rate for treating alcoholics. However, doctors have also been reluctant to use drug treatments for all but the most severe cases of alcoholism and withdrawal symptoms. Research continues and some drugs are showing promise for use in medical treatment for alcoholism.

Drug treatment for alcohol may include sedatives or other drugs if the symptoms are severe or are needed to protect the patient’s health. Doctors also use drugs that affect alcohol’s influence on the body and brain. This helps reduce cravings.

Additionally, antabuse or similar drugs are used to make an individual feel ill if they consume alcohol while taking the drug. This helps keep a person from consuming alcohol and aids the patient in his or her effort for sobriety.

Medical professionals continue to search for medical treatments that can be used to successfully treat alcoholism. Alcoholism medical treatments today range from psychosocial treatments to drug therapies to alternative methods. Research will continue on treatments to find methods that can be used to successfully treat alcoholism. Someday, a cure for the disease may be found.

Alcohol Addiction Recovery Options

Alcohol addiction recovery is different for everyone. Some alcoholics need to go to off-site treatment centers while others can receive on-site treatment. Some alcoholics recover after they’ve gone through recovery once. For others, recovery takes years. No matter what kind of treatment the alcoholic receives or how long it takes them to complete the program, they will always have to resist the urge to drink.

Off-site Addiction Recovery

Off-site addiction recovery is the most commonly used alcohol addiction recovery source. Off-site addiction recovery means that the alcoholic is allowed to live at home and can go to work while they’re going through the recovery process. Though they aren’t technically "allowed" to go to bars, they could go to a bar because they don’t have anyone watching over their shoulder 24 hours a day. This is different in an on-site recovery center.

The most well-known off-site alcohol addiction recovery center is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). AA sets up meetings where alcoholics can go and talk about their addiction. Other recovering alcoholics help counsel the addicts. They also use a 12-step process to move through their recovery. AA teaches alcoholics to take their recovery a day at a time. This is helpful because recovering from an addiction is a very daunting task. Setting daily goals makes the recovery more manageable.

One distinct advantage to off-site alcohol addiction recovery centers is that they force the alcoholic to learn how to avoid alcohol even when they technically have access to it. This can also be a disadvantage because it makes it easier for alcoholics to get drunk.

In-House Recovery Centers

In-house alcohol addiction recovery centers require the alcoholic to spend a period of time in the center. Some of these centers are considered outpatient centers. This means that the alcoholic can go home each evening, but must return for scheduled treatments.

An in-patient recovery center requires the alcoholic to stay at the center until the clinicians decide that they’re ready to try their alcohol-free life at home. Often times alcoholics are brought to these centers after they’ve tried several other programs. Sometimes family members bring the alcoholic to these in-house recovery centers when the alcoholic is drunk. The alcoholic is then put through a detoxification process, which means they are deprived of alcohol for at least seven days. Detoxification is physically painful and can cause the alcoholic to have hallucinations.

One downside to in-house recovery centers is that they can be very expensive. Many insurance companies will pay for a portion of the treatment. Many will not. Another downside is that when the alcoholic is released, they return to their every day lives. This means they have daily access to alcohol if they want it. Alcoholics in off-site recovery centers learn to resist alcohol every day.

Alcohol addiction recovery is very difficult. One of the most disappointing aspects of it is that it doesn’t mean the alcoholic will get well. Alcohol addiction recovery can give the alcoholic the tools to get better, but it can’t force them to stop drinking.


The Ugliness of an Alcohol Detox Symptom

A single universal alcohol detox symptom doesn’t exist however, there are several different symptoms an alcoholic might encounter.

First, we need to understand what alcohol detox is. Detox is short for detoxification, which means cleansing the body of all harmful substances. In the case of alcohol addiction, this means ridding the body of alcohol.

When a person is physically addicted to alcohol, their body craves it. They need it every single day or they don’t feel like they can function. Coffee drinkers are notorious for saying that they "need their morning coffee" or they just can’t function. If they don’t have it they get tired and irritable, which has a negative impact on the rest of their day. Alcoholics feel the same way, only on a much larger scale.

When an alcoholic is put into detox, they are removed from all sources containing alcohol. This includes mouthwash and hairspray. Both of these substances include some alcohol and a desperate alcoholic might try to drink one or both to feed his or her habit.

Once the alcoholic is placed in detox, their body starts to go through alcohol withdrawal. This is when the alcohol detox symptoms kick in. Mild detox symptoms include profuse sweating, clammy hands and stomach cramps. More intense alcohol detox symptoms include hallucinations and seizures. The withdrawal symptoms subside after the alcoholic’s body gets used to not having alcohol. This usually takes around seven days.

The doctors overseeing an alcoholic’s withdrawal and detox can give the alcoholic medication that will help curb some of the symptoms. However, many doctors opt not to do this especially if the symptoms aren’t too severe. Many doctors feel that it’s important for the alcoholic to get rid of their physical dependence without the aid of another substance. When a person is in detox, they are also deprived of other potentially addictive substances including sleeping pills. The last thing the doctors want is for the alcoholic to trade one addiction for another.

A Temporary Stay

Just because an alcoholic goes to detox doesn’t mean that they’re going to complete an alcoholic treatment program. For many alcoholics the detox program is the first step in an alcoholism recovery program. However, others will leave the hospital or facility once they’ve gone through detox. This is really up to the alcoholic, especially if they’re of age.

College kids sometimes get thrown into a detox center after a hard night of binge drinking. This can happen if someone calls the police because they’re worried that their friend has had a dangerous amount of alcohol. It can also happen if cops are called to a party and notice underage kids that are extremely inebriated. Minors who are taken to detox must get a parent’s permission to leave the facility. These kids may or may not have an alcohol detox symptom or two while sitting in detox.

Finding an Effective Alcoholism Cure

There’s a debate among the medical community and alcohol treatment centers as to whether there is actually an alcoholism cure.

You certainly can’t take a pill and be cured of alcoholism. It’s not like alcoholics can walk to a doctor and get a prescription that will cure them in the week. Alcoholism is not like strep throat. A cure for strep throat attacks the virus and helps the body’s immune system fight the sickness. With alcoholism, you have to fight the person’s desire to drink alcohol.

12-Step Programs

Most experts say that a 12-step program is the most effective alcoholism cure, though it’s better defined as a treatment rather than a cure. Alcoholics are never truly "cured" of their disease. An alcoholic can slip back into the depths of the disease as soon as the pick up a drink. This is a very tricky aspect of alcoholism.

What alcoholics really need is emotional and physiological help to quite drinking. They need to figure out why they drink and what things trigger their drinking. They also need to learn how to remove themselves from situations where they might drink. They need to cope with the issues that have led them to alcohol. A 12-step program creates a supportive atmosphere for alcoholics. These programs are made up of recovering alcoholics who talk to each other and support one another through a 12-step process.

What exactly is included in the 12-step process? The 12-step process starts with step one, which is when the alcoholic admits they have a problem. As the alcoholic moves through the process, they have to make restitution with the people they’ve hurt. They also have to deal with the underlying issues that cause them to drink. There’s no telling how long the 12-step process will take because it’s different for each person. It takes some people longer than others to get through certain steps. Also, sometimes the alcoholic will fall off the wagon and have to start all over again.

Even though the 12-step process is generally recognized as the most effective alcoholism cure, there’s not a 100 percent guarantee that the alcoholic will be cured.

Some Alternative Approaches

Some people believe that orthomolecular medicine can help cure alcoholism. This type of medicine acts to correct molecular imbalances in a person’s body by using vitamins, enzymes, hormones and amino acids. The idea is that these items will restore the body to a state where it will no longer be dependent on alcohol. This type of medicine is also used to treat other disorders.

Other people believe that items such as apples, bitter gourd, grapes and celery will help cure alcoholism. Most experts would agree that eating grapes or bitterroot will not help cure alcoholism. The only true alcoholism cure is if the alcoholic makes an effort to stop drinking.

Behavioral and Physical Signs of Alcoholism

If you think you or someone you love might be an alcoholic, its’ extremely important that you’re able to recognize the signs of alcoholism.

Intangible Signs

The tricky thing about alcoholism is that it can be hard to detect. Many people hide their addiction really well. They go to parties and drink socially with everyone else and then they go home and drink alone. Alcoholism is hard to hide from people who are with you every day. It’s much easier to hide from people who aren’t intimately involved with you.

Though the following signs are not physical signs of alcoholism, they’re behavioral signs that should help you determine if you or someone you know is an alcoholic. These signs include: drinking well after everyone has finished drinking; drinking on a daily basis; consuming large quantities of alcohol and not appearing drunk; switching to other alcohol in hopes that they won’t get drunk as quickly; neglecting responsibilities to drink; receiving a DUI or other drunk driving-related offence and getting annoyed with family members for asking about their drinking habits.

Physical Signs

The physical signs of alcoholism are numerous, though they can take a while to develop. The most visible physical signs of alcoholism are constant slurred speech and unstable walking or other lack of coordination. When a person exhibits these behaviors, it’s easy to tell that they’re drunk. When you see this behavior as well as frequent blackouts, the person may be suffering from alcoholism.

Many physical signs of alcoholism are not so visible. For example, as a person falls deeper and deeper into alcoholism, their heart rate and breathing patterns slow down. This is because alcohol has a negative effect on blood cells and the heart. Alcohol abuse can increase the size of the heart, which makes the heart muscles weaker and the person’s heart rate slow down. Alcoholics also have liver problems and can get liver cancer. The liver processes chemicals and when it has to process too many chemicals, such as alcohol, it enlarges and fills with scar tissue. This restricts the liver’s function and ability to fend off other diseases.

How Does It Happen?

You’re not a bad person if you’re addicted to alcohol. The key is to get help with your addiction. Alcoholics come from all different backgrounds. Many of them get addicted to alcohol because they have addictive personalities and alcohol is easy to obtain and is a socially acceptable drug. Others get addicted to alcohol because they believe it helps them cope with difficult life situations. Many alcoholics are genetically predisposed to alcohol. If any of your blood relatives have been addicted to alcohol, watch yourself. Heredity plays a huge role in alcoholism. The one thing to remember about alcoholism is that no one chooses to be an alcoholic.

If you see any of these signs of alcoholism in yourself, admit to yourself that you have a drinking problem and seek out an alcoholism support group.

Knowing Your Alcoholism Facts

Knowing basic alcoholism facts may help you determine if you or someone you love is an alcoholic.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a very real disease that effects millions of people all over the world. People are considered alcoholics when their excessive drinking habit interferes with their mental, emotional and physical state. Alcoholics crave alcohol like the rest of us crave water. Because they’re so accustomed to drinking, their bodies absolutely crave alcohol and when they don’t have it, their bodies rebel.

An alcoholic that doesn’t drink for several days will experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms including getting the shakes, sweating profusely, vomiting, having involuntary eye movements and hallucinating. This is because they’re addicted to alcohol and need to have it in their system.

Use the Facts to Make a Determination

The fact about alcoholism is that it can be difficult to know when you’ve moved from social drinking into full blown alcoholism. However, there are some things that characterize an alcoholic. For starters, they crave alcohol. They think about when they’re going to have their first drink while they’re at work and feel that they need a drink when they get home.

Alcoholics also can’t control how much they drink. They never have just one glass of wine or one beer. They drink in excess. They also have a relatively high tolerance because they’re used to drinking large quantities of alcohol. To get their high, they have to drink more and more alcohol.

Several alcohol help groups and physicians actually have written tests you can take to help you determine if you’re an alcoholic. The questions on these tests generally focus on how frequently you drink, how drinking effects your life and how it effects the lives of others. The questions are designed to see how dependent you are on alcohol to get through your day.

A Sad Fact

One of the saddest facts about alcoholism is that it’s a very hard disease to kick. Though it’s not fun to have any kind of disease, many diseases have specific cures or remedies. For example, a diabetic has to take insulin, exercise and watch their sugar intake to stay healthy. However, you can’t tell an alcoholic to take some medicine and then send them on their way.

The only way to cure alcoholism is if the alcoholic recognized they have a problem and decides to do something about it. There are many different support groups designed to help alcoholics get through this process. One of the most well known alcoholism support groups is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). All AA members are alcoholics or recovering alcoholics. They use each other and a 12-step support program to learn how to cope with their lives without drinking. The most discouraging fact about alcoholism is that it’s extremely hard to kick.

Using an Alcoholism Test to Determine if You’re an Alcoholic

Taking an alcoholism test can help a person figure out if they have a drinking problem. Unfortunately, these tests can’t do anything to make an alcoholic change their behavior. This takes a lot of time, effort and heartache.

Facts About Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a disease and alcoholics are addicted to drinking alcohol. It doesn’t matter what kind of alcohol you drink — beer, wine, tequila — if you continually drink to much and you let it negatively effect your life, you may be an alcoholic.

Alcoholism is prevalent all over the world. It threatens marriages, friendships and other important relationships. Alcoholics frequently emotionally (and sometimes physically) abandon the people that care about them so they can spend more time drinking. This kind of abandonment takes a serious toll on personal relationships.

When alcoholics are drunk or recovering from a bender, they can be very violent or moody. If you notice that someone you love is drinking a lot and is having serious mood changes, they may be an alcoholic.

Alcoholics also damage their bodies. They may either loose or gain weight from drinking. Massive quantities of alcohol have a negative effect on a person’s physique. It also takes a toll on a person’s liver. The liver has the unfortunate job of processing alcohol, which is like poison to the liver. It can be damaged from processing too much of this poison.

Taking the Tests

Taking an alcoholism test is not difficult to take. These tests can be taken on-line. All you need to do is Google "alcoholism test" and you’ll find dozens of different Web sites that have suggested alcoholism tests. The sites generally center on the same types of questions. The questions that are designed to determine how great your dependency is on alcohol. They ask questions about how much you drink, how much your drinking effects your life and the lives of others and how you feel about your drinking.

These questions are yes or no questions. When you’re finished taking the test, you can tally your results at the bottom of the page. Usually, if you hit above a certain number of yes answers, you’re considered an alcoholic.

The U.S. National Council on Alcoholism has a very comprehensive alcoholism test. This test includes several questions such as:

"When drinking with others, do you try to have a few extra drinks when they won’t know it?"

"Do you often want to drink more after friends have had enough?"

These tests are fairly accurate because they evaluate drinking behavior, which is what defines an alcoholic. However, they’re not going to be the least bit helpful if you don’t have any interest in getting better. An alcoholism test can tell you if you’re an alcoholic, but you’re the only one who can actually do something about it.