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Ways to Deal With Alcoholism

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Anuj Khandelwal 92% (151 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Sexologist, Surat  •  8 years experience
Ways to Deal With Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a severe problem, which can make a person's life miserable and also make the society detest him. The aim of treatment for alcoholism is abstinence or staying away from alcohol use. The treatment of alcoholism can only begin when an alcoholic accepts the problem and realizes that he must get rid of the habit for his own good and the good of his loved ones.

There are three main stages in the treatment of alcoholism:

  1. Detoxification: Detoxification is the first step required after a person stops using alcohol. The detox phase may include seizures, hallucinations and delirium tremens. The patient must be kept under proper observation.
  2. Rehabilitation: This step includes proper counseling and medications to provide the person with skills and motivation to remain sober. This can be done by making him an inpatient or outpatient, depending on the condition of the patient.
  3. Maintaining sobriety: This is the most important step where a person's self-will is tested. He needs to stay away from alcohol after getting out of rehabilitation for which he requires support. Meetings conducted by the Alcoholic Anonymous should be attended regularly by a recovering alcoholic.

For people in the early stage of alcoholism, discontinuing alcohol may cause several withdrawal symptoms such as poor sleep and anxiety. For long term alcoholics, severe withdrawal symptoms are experienced, which include shaking of the body, spasms, hallucinations and panic.

Medication: 
Several medicines may be required in the recovery period of an alcoholic.
Anti-anxiety medicines such as benzodiazepines are used for treating withdrawal symptoms like poor sleep. The medicines are usually used in the detoxification period. After this phase, they are discontinued.
For maintaining sobriety and to abstain from alcohol, several medicines are given to recovering alcoholics. A drug known as disulfiram is used after the completion of the detox period. This medicine reacts with alcohol metabolism and causes a person to vomit, become confused, have blurry vision and experience difficulties in breathing after consuming alcohol.

A medicine called naltrexone may be used for reducing alcohol craving. It can be prescribed even when a person drinks. It is given in the form of an injection. Antidepressants are also given to patients to reduce anxiety and depression.

Other ways to deal with alcoholism:
Several other instructions must be strictly followed by a recovering alcoholic to avoid relapse. They are as follows:

  1. People and places related to drinking should be avoided, and a person should make new nonalcoholic friends.
  2. Support groups and AA meeting must be attended regularly for motivation.
  3. Dependence on alcohol should be eliminated by starting different activities and getting involved in things.

Alcoholism is a severe problem, which may lead to death in case of extremities. Alcoholism can ruin a person's life, and proper measures must be taken to eliminate alcoholism.

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