Alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder, is characterized as a chronic condition marked by an individual’s inability to stop drinking alcohol despite the potential or realized physical, social, occupational, mental or emotional consequences. Alcohol addiction is both a physical and mental dependency.
Why is alcohol addictive?
There are certain risk factors that make some more susceptible to more severe alcohol addiction, including family history, drinking at an early age, mental health conditions and a history of trauma. Its chemical makeup, however, is what causes alcohol addiction. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that, over time, can mold how our bodies react and respond to our consumption of alcohol. The body grows a tolerance to the presence of alcohol in its system, such that it can only function effectively when those levels of alcohol are maintained. Alcohol also releases bursts of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for us feeling reward and pleasure.
Just how addictive is alcohol?
In short: alcohol is a highly addictive substance. The National Institutes of Health has found that nearly one-third of Americans – 33 percent or approximately 110 million people – have suffered or will suffer from alcohol addiction at some point in their lives. Only 20 percent of that population is expected to seek treatment.
What are my options for alcohol addiction treatment?
There does not exist a one-size-fits-all alcohol addiction rehab center. Rehab After Work offers myriad treatment approaches for drug and alcohol addiction, tailored specifically to you and your recovery.
As part of the first steps of seeking alcohol addiction help, you will meet with a mental health professional to complete a biopsychosocial clinical evaluation. This evaluation will allow you to share your experience with alcohol addiction and the clinician will ask questions to help them write up a report. The report will then be used to design a treatment plan that you are comfortable with, and that is best suited at the level of care needed to holistically treat the addiction and any treatable underlying factors.
A partial hospitalization program is an intensive approach that provides a high level of support throughout the course of the treatment. It allows participants to partake in group and individual therapeutic activities every day while having the flexibility to live at home and slowly start reintegrating into daily life.
A day in the life of a partial hospitalization program might look something like this:
- 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM: Meet one-on-one with your counselor to do talk therapy, share any progress or setbacks, and define goals for the day
- 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM: Yoga, meditation, art therapy, exercise, or another form of recreational therapy
- 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM: Group therapy, focusing on comorbidities like anxiety and depression, community resources, recovery planning, 12-step meetings, challenges in recovery, relapse prevention techniques, or stages of recovery
- 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM: Lunch
- 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM: Free time – take a walk, socialize with your fellow participants, or read a book
- 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM: Counseling with the program’s dietitian, individually or in a group
- 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM: Process group therapy, an interpersonal exercise in sharing accomplishments and setbacks with peers
- 3:00 PM: Briefly meet with your counselor again individually to review how the day went and what you would like to work on tomorrow
Medication-assisted treatment is a two-step approach. First, the body must be safely detoxed of any alcohol in the system while limiting, reducing or controlling withdrawal symptoms. This can be achieved through the drug naltrexone, which blocks the good feelings produced by alcohol, blunts the feeling of intoxication and eliminates cravings for alcohol. This approach is supplemented by regular counseling, both during and after the detoxing phase, to sustain long-term recovery.
Outpatient treatment as a level of care is a happy medium, with programs allowing for more or less regular support. Options include intensive outpatient programs, which are designed similarly to partial hospitalization programs and can also act as the therapeutic component to medication-assisted treatment, and outpatient group therapy, which allows for those in recovery to share their experiences, offer advice to one another and build a support network of individuals in similar situations.
Our outpatient services are also available in Spanish.
Education-based programs are key for reducing the risk of developing an addiction to alcohol or preventing relapse in individuals who are already in recovery. DUI programs are similarly useful in addressing the legal, social, and emotional consequences of driving under the influence.
Get help today by reaching out at 610-644-6464.