Alcohol addiction is now recognized and classified as a disease. It is not a lack of will power, education, or a moral shortcoming. An alcoholic is helpless and needs external support to come out of his or her addiction.
The disease of alcoholism (or addiction to any substance) is primary and progressive. That means the problem lies within the alcoholic and it will get worse with time. The alcoholic develops tolerance and needs more and more drinks to achieve the same high.
Alcoholism also affects the family. The family experiences negative emotions and sometimes begins to display the same behaviour patterns as the alcoholic.
Alcoholism is also fatal. Today, the largest number of road accidents, hospital admissions and divorces are alcohol-related. If not treated, the alcoholic is likely to die prematurely.
Alcohol de-addiction is best treated in specialized centres. The first stage is detoxification. When the drinking is suddenly stopped, the alcoholic experiences uncomfortable physical symptoms (known as withdrawal symptoms). During this phase, it is important that his physical condition is monitored and some medication may be required to ease certain physical symptoms such as shaking, lack of sleep or anxiety.
If the alcoholic is discharged after this stage, he is most likely to return to drinking, since alcoholism is highly relapse-prone.
Therefore, it is best that the individual is made to stay in an alcohol de-addiction facility for effective therapy that includes relapse prevention counselling. The duration of stay should be ideally at least 90 days (the ‘gold standard’) and the therapy should include a mix of individual counselling, psycho-education, relationship building, spiritual exposure, physical exercise and healthy diet. A structured lifestyle should be followed to restore balance during alcohol de-addiction.
A good alcohol de-addiction centre also includes family therapy. In order to repair and rebuild healthy relationships, issues in the family also need to be addressed. Psycho-education of the family about the disease of addiction is an important element – its causes, symptoms and recovery – need to be explained. Interventions help in breaking denial and other barriers and rebuild relationships. The family also needs to be explained about relapse and what role they can play in preventing it or dealing with it if it occurs.
Alcohol de-addiction treatment is a complex and at times difficult procedure that includes physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and social aspects. Since the disease is multi-faceted, the treatment for alcoholism needs to be holistic. It is at times painful, but ultimately worth the effort.
If you or your loved one has a problem with alcohol, get in touch with Asia’s leading alcohol de-addiction centre – Hope Trust. The facility is located in Hyderabad, India. The de-addiction centre has over 13 years experience in helping alcoholics and their families reclaim their lives. The therapy team is highly trained and experienced in dealing with alcoholism treatment. The inpatient facility has a comfortable and friend ambience and designed to maximize the impact of therapy. The therapy is backed by competent medical and psychiatric inputs and includes Mindfulness and Yoga.