Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are not just the problems of the individual, but they are issues for the family. Neglect of ones relationships and denial of a problem are just two of the common symptoms of a problem drinker, and both of these can affect family life. Families need to be ready to address the issue as soon as possible since studies have shown that those who receive treatment for problem drinking sooner rather than later have a better chance of achieving long term sobriety and recovery.
When the drinker also has a history of drug abuse, additional problems can arise. These will be examined and discussed during the initial phase of any treatment program at an alcohol rehab center. Locating an alcohol rehab center is important in treatment. The center should carefully assesses the individual and designs a plan specific to his needs will take such factors into account. Family members should inquire if the alcohol rehab center offers any support groups for them. Many do or they know where to refer family members in order to teach them techniques for how to deal with their loved one's addiction, how to prevent themselves from enabling the drinker, and how they can encourage and support the drinker during his recovery.
Problem drinkers are not the same as alcoholics, but they will need intervention before they become physically addicted to alcohol. An alcohol abuser is at risk for becoming dependent, but his behavior is only a psychological needAfter that happens, they will be an alcoholic, and the treatment methods will change to address the physical dependence as well as the psychological need.
If there is a physical need for alcohol, suddenly stopping can lead to withdrawal symptoms. When the body tolerates alcohol in greater amounts, to stop drinking deprives the body and results in irritability, shaking, hallucinations, delirium tremors (DTs), headaches, nausea, and vomiting. After about a week these subside, but for many to experience these problems will lead them to return to drinking. While the alcohol temporarily alleviates the withdrawal symptoms, it does not get the alcoholic any closer to sobriety. Under medical supervision in an alcohol rehab center, the alcoholic can be more carefully monitored during the withdrawal or detox phase, and if needed, medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms might be given.
One of the most effective treatment regimes in alcohol rehab centers has been naltrexone used in conjuction with combined behavioral intervention as seen in the COMBINE trial. Not only does the medication decrease the cravings, but the psychological has been shown to reteach the patient to learn new coping techniques besides turning to alcohol. Naltrexone cannot be used in those who have problems with opiates since there is a known interaction between the two.
Getting treatment for alcoholism and alcohol abuse will benefit both the family and the drinker, and through an effective alcohol rehab center sobriety is possible to save the alcoholic and his family structure and relationships.