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Treatment options for alcohol addiction

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According to the NIAAA, around one-third of persons treated for alcoholism have no more symptoms one year later. Many others have reduced their alcohol use significantly and report fewer alcohol-related problems. 

The first step is to consult with your doctor, who can advise you on the best treatment for you. You must also evaluate your therapeutic environment. “Therapy is provided through both inpatient (residential, at a facility) and outpatient (staying at home throughout treatment) programmes.” Which programme a person selects will be determined by their specific circumstances, such as finances and childcare.

Behavioural therapies

Behavioural treatments for alcohol use disorder, often known as alcohol therapy, try to identify and address the behaviours that lead to heavy drinking, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural treatment will assist you in recognising the sensations and situations (also known as “cues” or “triggers”) that cause you to drink excessively, as well as managing the stress that can lead to relapse. It alters the thinking processes that contribute to drinking and teaches them how to deal with stressors. CBT for alcoholism can be done in a group setting or one-on-one with a therapist.

  • Motivational boosting therapy (MET)

Motivational enhancement therapy is used to establish and strengthen motivation to improve drinking habits in a short amount of time. The therapy focuses on identifying the benefits and drawbacks of seeking treatment, devising a strategy for changing your drinking habits, increasing confidence, and developing the skills needed to keep to the plan.

  • Marriage and family therapy

Family support can assist you in maintaining your abstinence (stopping drinking). Spouses and other family members are included in the treatment process with this sort of therapy.

  • Brief Interventions

Short counselling sessions take place one-on-one or in small groups. The counsellor gives you individualised feedback on your drinking and assists you in setting objectives to modify your drinking habits.


Medication administered by a primary care physician or other health professional aids in the cessation or reduction of drinking and the prevention of relapse. They can be used independently or in conjunction with counselling.

Other medical research is ongoing, which could lead to future advancements in AUD therapy. Topiramate, for example, has been shown in studies to be effective as an anti-epileptic medicine.

Mutual-aid organisations

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step groups offer peer support to help you quit drinking. They are used in conjunction with medical treatment.

Detoxing Is Also An Option

Some persons with AUD grow reliant on alcohol and experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit drinking abruptly. Withdrawal can be both difficult and damaging to your body and psyche. This is where detox comes into play.

What Exactly Is Detox?

Detox is not a treatment in and of itself, but it is the first step toward recovery for people who are addicted to alcohol. Find out why you should start with detox for alcohol recovery. When someone who is addicted to alcohol abruptly ceases drinking, usually within 6-24 hours of their previous drink, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. This can begin while they are still under the influence of alcohol.

Some people experience moderate withdrawal symptoms, while others experience far more severe ones. You could have:

  • Anxiety
  • Delirium tremens (DTs) is a potentially fatal condition that causes restlessness, upset, and confusion, as well as fever, hallucinations, and seizures.
  • Depression
  • When you have hallucinations, you see or hear things that aren’t there.
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Shakiness, particularly in your hands
  • Unstable blood pressure and heart rate fluctuations
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting and nausea

Do you need a detox programme?

If you require alcohol to feel normal in your body, you probably need help. Getting through detox isn’t only a matter of willpower, and quitting “cold turkey” without medical assistance is never advised. Withdrawal might endanger your life in some situations. Even when it isn’t as serious, it is still a significant challenge.

A programme provides you with assistance to help you through the withdrawal process. This frequently includes medication to alleviate symptoms as well as treatment for medical and mental health concerns.

Your symptoms may last a week or more, with the worst occurring within 24-72 hours. When you have a lot of support, you’re more likely to remain with a detox programme.

What Happens During the Detox Process?

An alcohol detox programme will often include the following elements:

  • An intake test will be performed so that the detox team can determine the level of support you will require. You may be given blood tests, asked about your health and drinking history, and subjected to physical and mental health assessments.
  • Detox assistance may involve medication for withdrawal symptoms as well as treatment for any other difficulties that arise. The goal is to assist you in achieving mental and physical stability. During this time, your temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing may be checked on a frequent basis.
  • Assistance in obtaining therapy so that you can learn to break your addiction.

Detox programme types

When considering detox programmes, it is beneficial to consider rehab as well. This is due to the fact that you will also require treatment to overcome your addiction, and some programmes combine the two.

You have two fundamental detox programme options:

  • Inpatient treatment entails spending time in a hospital, detox facility, or rehab centre. You’ll have care available around the clock to assist you.
  • Outpatient treatment, in which you receive some treatment during the day but live at home. This could be as basic as contacting your doctor on a regular basis to obtain medications.

Inpatient care typically provides more services than outpatient treatment. 

Outpatient treatment is a less expensive option for persons experiencing mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal. It works best if you have good physical and mental health, a secure environment, family support, and don’t have a long history of problem drinking.

Rehab programmes can include a variety of services ranging from medical care and counselling to life skills training and relapse prevention.

Inpatient care at a hospital or medical centre is less prevalent than it once was, but these programmes make sense if you have major medical or mental health difficulties.

Residential rehab, in which you live at a centre, often lasts 1-3 months. These are useful if you have a more significant problem and find it difficult to stay sober.

Other types of rehab may be a better choice for you if you are not a danger to yourself or others and can stay sober when you return home.

Partial hospitalisation or day treatment is when you live at home but attend a hospital or clinic for treatment at least 5 days a week. With COVID-19 protections, several programmes now offer telehealth services. It can be used as an alternative to inpatient or residential treatment, or as a step down from one of those options.

Intensive outpatient treatment entails a certain number of lengthier and more in-depth visits than a regular outpatient programme. This can be done after a period of partial hospitalisation, detox, or residential rehab. It may also be used to avoid the requirement for certain services.

To learn more about Alcohol Rehabilitation, Please contact Newday Rehab, they will be happy to help.

About New Day Drug Rehab In Johannesburg

New Day Rehabilitation is one of the most effective rehabilitation centres in Gauteng. They are an inpatient Rehab In Johannesburg which specialises in drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

They provide a safe space for those detoxing from drugs or alcohol and a framework for addicts and alcoholics to begin their journey of recovery. All clients are treated with respect and dignity and treated with confidentiality by their qualified therapists and network of doctors and psychiatrists.

Laundry services and meals

While many of their clients cater for themselves, they do provide laundry services and all meals for those who need them.

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