Alcoholism or dependence on alcohol is an addiction. Alcoholics can’t control the consumption of alcohol even though it affects their health condition and relationships. Dependants on alcohol physically need to drink since their body has adjusted to have a certain quantity every day. Not every person that uses alcohol is alcoholic, but a person who needs at least one drink every day is.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
People trying to quit drinking are faced with withdrawal symptoms, which might be very hard for that person and even fatal, if there is no proper management. They include: sleeping problems, anhedonia (inability to experience pleasurable emotions), anxiety, shaking, seizures, hallucinations, delirium tremens (acute episode of delirium) and sometimes heart failure.
Doctors consider alcoholism as a treatable condition and there are various treatments available for those who want to stop drinking.
AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings are some of the most popular and helpful treatments for people dependent on alcohol. Alcoholics need to be honest to themselves and their surrounding, in order to get some progress. Working with sponsors, usually former alcoholics as well, is proven to be one of the best things in the program, giving the much needed support to quit drinking. Every person can contact the sponsor 24 hours a day, whenever they experience the urge to drink or just need someone to talk to. As the name says, there are 12 steps in this program, including facing the dependence, and mending broken relationships with people around them.
Disulfiram, acamprosate and Naltrexone are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as the drugs that can be used for the treatment of people dependant on alcohol. Disulfiram has been used for many decades, but it doesn’t prevent alcoholic relapses, while acamprosate is considered to do so. Consult your doctor and look into the medication options suitable for your case.
Psychiatrists and some other mental health professionals can help you with the root causes of your drinking problem. They are also able to provide some useful tools for you in order to avoid drinking in stressful situations, but also to help your partner and family cope with the problem.
There are also treatment centers for alcohol abusers, with trained medical professionals to help. Alcoholics usually stay there for a month (and up to three months), and after that, while in recovery, they continue to visit the facility as outpatients and regularly attend meetings.