Alcoholism is now considered a chronic disease. It is not an ailment that can be cured at the present stage of understanding and knowledge. However, it can be stopped (healed) and then it neither negatively affects everyday life nor leads to death – which can happen if it develops.
What is certain now is that without alcohol therapy, addiction leads to tragic consequences and significantly shortens life. On its basis, many physical diseases develop, the most famous of which is cirrhosis.
The importance of alcohol therapy
The specific nature of alcoholism forces the patient to consider it a harmful condition. As in many other diseases – in lung diseases it is necessary to quit smoking, in obesity to go on a diet, etc., its effective treatment provides for the patient’s independent efforts to give up alcohol and take care of a healthy lifestyle. However, it is difficult because alcohol addiction changes the functioning of the addicted person and is related to mechanisms that make it difficult to stay sober.
They show the fact that while in other diseases patients remain aware of the dangers and want to fight them, in alcohol addiction the problems associated with its consumption are usually minimized and underestimated. Therefore, alcohol therapy is a necessary condition to recover from the disease. The best thing you can do for yourself is rehab at an addiction treatment center.
It reveals these mechanisms and provides the support needed to cope with alcohol craving. It is also helped by maintaining abstinence, thanks to which these disease mechanisms lose their strength. At the same time, therapy provides support in dealing with spheres of life that could be destroyed by addiction.
Addiction therapy stages
Due to the disease mechanisms mentioned above, addiction therapy is most often undertaken as a result of the intervention of the relatives of the addicted person. They are the first to notice problems and try to convince them to start treatment. Often these attempts are ineffective, because these mechanisms – of illusions and denials – are so strong that only an extremely uncompromising confrontation with addiction can make the patient realize it.
The actions of relatives can be called the first, basic intervention to induce treatment. It is often undertaken after consultation with specialists who advise on how to confront an addicted person with a problem. On the other hand, the proper addiction therapy begins when the patient comes to a treatment facility. At this point, the stages of alcohol therapy can be distinguished, in which the following convention has been adopted:
- alcohol detox – usually in a 24-hour center, focused on the task, and in some centers supplemented with initial motivational therapy, although it can also be carried out in some addiction treatment clinics ; it is often the first step to withdrawal from alcohol (30% of addicts do not experience withdrawal symptoms and do not need a detox); detox has a medical aspect with psychoeducational effects; it is not a therapy (patients are under the influence of strong drugs);
- basic therapy – usually conducted in an alcohol clinic when the addicted person is not fully aware of the problem and has little knowledge of his own addiction;
- and in-depth therapy – once the patient has the necessary knowledge and awareness of the problem with drinking, as well as accepts it and maintains sobriety; then you go to the treatment of many other problems associated with addiction, including those in relation to primary addiction, possible disorders that over the years had an indirect influence on the development of addiction and still exist.
- At each stage of addiction therapy, the Patient has access to addiction therapy specialists who can find support.
Duration of alcohol therapy
The individual stages of the therapy have their specific duration, although it is not rigid, but arbitrary. Alcohol detoxification in an inpatient facility usually lasts a few days, and a little longer when carried out with initial addiction therapy focused on motivating treatment. However, in most cases, patients do not need a stationary detox, and more than one addiction treatment clinic performs alcohol detox on an outpatient basis.