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Alcohol Addiction: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a condition that has negatively affected the lives of thousands of people all across the globe. Alcohol is the most commonly abused psychoactive substances in the world and a lot of people get addicted to it. A person is said to be addicted to alcohol if he/she has lost the ability to control the use of alcohol. Alcoholism is a multi-faceted illness that not only affects the individual concerned but also the family and community.

There are different types of alcoholics, namely: young adult subtype, young antisocial subtype, functional subtype, intermediate familial subtype and chronic severe subtype. Some of the signs and symptoms that help to determine whether a person is alcoholic are: if he/she consumes more alcohol than he/she had actually planned to; he/she is having problems fulfilling work and family obligations due to alcohol; if he/she continues to drink alcohol even after knowing the physical and psychological damage caused by it; if he/she spends a lot of time obtaining, using and recovering from alcohol and if/she requires increased quantities of alcohol to fulfill their craving. A person can be characterized as an alcoholic if he/she has intense craving/desire to have alcohol even at the expense of health and life.

The treatment for alcohol addiction involves a few different programs. The programs include group and individual counseling and therapy; educating the patient on the addiction and what its consequences may be; devising strategies to prevent relapse and post-treatment planning. Medications may also be used.

How is the treatment done?

The first step to effectively treat alcohol addiction is to acknowledge the fact that there is a problem. A person suffering from this condition has to should first accept that he/she has a problem and only then can there be effective treatment. It has to be kept in mind that there is no such medication or surgical procedure for treating alcohol addiction. Getting rid of alcohol addiction requires a firm resolve and different treatments or strategies. The treatment plan will depend on factors like prior history of alcohol dependence, personal commitment of the patient, support from the family and friends of patient and also the patient’s financial condition.

The different treatment options include detoxification, behavior modification, medications and counseling. Detoxification is done at a hospital or at an inpatient therapy treatment center. This procedure seeks to break a patient’s physical addiction to alcohol. People are often addicted as much to the act of drinking as they are to the alcohol itself. Such people need to undergo behavior modification therapy so that they do not start drinking when they get back home after detoxification.

An alcoholic will benefit much by being part of a support group. A doctor or therapist is likely to recommend an alcoholic for a one-on-one or group counseling. Being in a support group, a person is able to connect with people who have or are experienced/experiencing similar problems. A recovering alcoholic will require encouragement and other psychological support to find his/her way out of the complicated situation that he/she is in. Therapies and counseling can help an alcoholic in this regard. Medicines like disulfiram, acamprosate and naltrexone help to reduce your cravings for alcohol.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person is eligible for treatment for alcohol addiction if he/she cannot control the use of alcohol or in other words if a person cannot control how much he/she drinks. A person is eligible for treatment when he/she has difficulty in acknowledging that there is a problem, if the person has frequent black outs due to excessive alcohol intake, if the person is unable to stop consuming alcohol and he/she drinks despite warnings from a doctor or before work. Some of the other signs in a person eligible for alcohol are withdrawal symptoms, trouble in relationships, problems at work and being able to drink more than what he/she normally used to.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any person who suffers from alcohol addiction is eligible for treatment. There is no such condition where a person will be ineligible for treatment. Treatment for alcohol addiction mostly comprises of behavior modification and counseling of the concerned person and detoxification. So every person who is addicted to alcohol can avail of these treatments as they do not have any major side effects or risks. However, a person should consult a doctor before taking medications.

Are there any side effects?

Some of the side effects of disulfiram are tiredness, drowsiness, headache, skin rash, impotency, swollen or sore tongue and metallic or garlic-like taste in the mouth. Use of acamprosate to deal with addiction to alcohol may have some serious side-effects like severe anxiety or disorder, negative thinking, changes in mood and behavior, swelling in body and weight gain, increased thirst and less than normal or no urination. Some of the side-effects of using naltrexone are similar to that of disulfiram. The other side-effects are loss of appetite, increase or decrease of energy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

An alcoholic normally will take a lot of time to recover from his/her addiction and hence, treatment for alcohol addiction is usually a life-long process. A person may start drinking again or might undergo extreme mental and psychological stresses and strains after quitting alcohol. So, doctors or therapists normally involve family and friends to care for the patient after the initial treatment. A person who has undergone detoxification and counseling sessions need to lead a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, exercises and meditation can go a long way in helping an alcoholic to overcome the problem.

How long does it take to recover?

An alcoholic can require up to 2 weeks time for complete detoxification. There are different stages in the treatment for alcohol addiction. Even after a person has quit alcohol and successfully completed therapy or counseling, there is still a risk of the person reverting to alcohol. Thus, a person needs to attend individual or group therapies for a long period of time so as to overcome the psychological treatments associated withdrawal. Support from friends and family is essential for the long-term treatment of alcohol addiction.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Detoxification therapy at a private hospital can cost around Rs 50000 for two weeks. Behavioral therapy or counseling sessions can cost something between Rs 500 – Rs 1500 depending on which doctor or therapist is being consulted. 30 tablets of Disulfiram can cost something around Rs 5,500. A month-long supply of Acamprosate will cost Rs 8000 approximately.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Detoxification, behavior therapy and counseling may help a person to fight the menace of alcohol addiction. But it does not guarantee that a person will not fall prey to this condition again. Permanent treatment of alcohol addiction requires a strong resolve on the part of the concerned person and proper counseling. A person may be tempted to consume alcohol when he is undergoing treatment. Thus, alcohol addiction requires a life-long treatment and permanent results are quite elusive.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Meditation helps to calm the mind and maintain focus and so can be extremely useful for patients suffering from psychological problems after quitting alcohol. Yoga can help if alcohol makes someone feel out of control by making a mind-body connection. Yoga helps to enhance the sense of well-being provide relief from stress. People who have alcohol addiction can reduce depression and get a natural sleep cycle with the help of bright-light therapy or phototherapy.

Popular Questions & Answers

My go the gym 1 st has my gym tannier will injected my termin 30 mg and he will told me this is multivitamin then after 2 3 months I will know the real tried but the time I was addicted, around 6 to 7 months misuse the termin drug then I will struggle to quit but now I will decide to quit and recovery than problem facing on like depression insomnia& 10 kg weight lose.

MS - Counselling & Psychotherapy, Master of Arts In Clinical Psychology, Bachelor of Arts - Psychology & English Literature
Psychologist, Coimbatore
Hi lybrate-user! you must have been young at the time you took the injection from your gym trainer, going to gym at such a young age is not necessary, you are from delhi right, it is advisable to consult your family or your family doctor before ta...

Sir tramadol roz lagane ki aadat ho gai hai agar na lagaye to haeadche hone lagta hai aur bhi problems hone lagti hai. Sir please iski aadat kaise khatam hogi bata dijiye.

MBBS, M.D. Psychiatry, MBBB,MD,FIPS,MIASM
Psychiatrist, Jaipur
Hi Lybrate user! as per your history ,you are suffering from tramadol (opioids addiction, this molecule is opioids agonist & banned in india now as per class 2 nd drug but don't worry tramadol addiction also treatable as heroin or smack addiction ...
1 person found this helpful

I have over masturbation side effects I am masturbation since 9 year 2 times day. I have full body weakness, neck pain, back pain, tiredness, all body pains, penis weakness some my local md doctor prescribed me vitcofol 2 cc injection once a day for 10 days and heno pro powder for three times day is this medicine is good for recovery over masturbation side effect please help me.

M.B.B.S, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Ghaziabad
Hi lybrate-user masturbation is a completely healthy, natural and safe practice to seek sexual pleasure by self. It doesn't have any short or long term adverse effects. The symptoms you have are not at all related to masturbation, it's in your bes...

I am going to marry next month. But because of masturbation I feel that I am having penis erectness problem. But some time I smoke. What should I do. Should I take himalayas confido tablet. Please help me.

M.B.B.S, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Ghaziabad
Hi lybrate-user for your kind information, masturbation is a totally natural and safe practice to seek sexual pleasure by self. It does not have any short term or long term complication, rather it is beneficial for sexual health. Most of the world...

I am in depression and a lot of exam stress as I am a medical pg aspirant and a doctor, I am using few medications, bupropion 300 mg, lamotrigine 200 mg, venlafaxine 37. 5 mg, aripiprazole 5 mg, pacitane 2 mg, rabeprazole and ondansetron, these r prescribed drugs by a psychiatrist but I myself take. Few medications since 4 years to help with my studies, stimulants (legal ones) to be specific, modafinil 200 mg, selegiline 5 mg, caffeine 220 mg, and the problem now is I never smoked in my life, although I used to drink one year before, only one year I used to drink, was a social occasional drinker and never had cravings and have been alcohol free since a year, but now although I never smoked before, I feel like smoking to relieve my stress despite taking so many drugs, I am still suffering, feel like crying and lack of motivation to study unless I take stimulants, so smoking cravings without even smoking ever before is my problem, I don't know why?, I was maybe a bit influenced by looking at movies and my friends all around me who smoke whenever they r stressed out, which helps with them actually, maybe I thought smoking a bit might relieve stress and make me motivated a bit so I start studying again, can any psychiatrist can help me with this problem? And explain why I am having cravings ?(note: the bupropion I am using is for depression not for smoking cessation), please help me find a solution, I would take a consult as well if somebody who r addiction specialist who can help me with my problem and explain what I am going thru, thank you.

M.B.B.S, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Ghaziabad
Its probably due to social learning from your intimate environment where you would have seen people taking about/ experiencing stress and smoking simultaneously. Other probable reason is the use of stimulants which usually provokes tolerance with ...
1 person found this helpful

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