Your level of alcohol dependence and the solution you seek, between reducing th amount you consume (moderation) and quitting completely (abstinence), will determine the method of treatment you will be given.
There is a limited counselling session termed brief intervention, which could be given to you if you have previously injured yourself due to alcohol or are concerned about your drinking habit.
The duration of a brief intervention is of about 5 to 10 minutes and analysis psychological problems emerged with drinking, alcohol support networks appropriate for you, guidance about cutting down on drinks, and dangers that come along with your drinking habit.
You may receive recommendations about maintaining a diary in order to record the number of units of alcohol you consume every week. You may also be advised on how to drink when out with other people such as alternating between the alcohol and water/sodas/juices.
Abstaining from alcohol completely will provide immense benefits to your health. On the other hand, moderation is frequently a more practical aim, or a beginning to achieve abstinence.
If you tried moderation before but didn't succeed then abstinence may also be a good idea.
If you have chosen moderation, you will be asked to attend counselling sessions in order to assess your progress and provide for the treatment and advice if required.
To monitor the health status of your liver, regular blood tests may also be conducted.
In case you have alcohol dependency, it is urged you look for medical guidance to maintain your withdrawal.
Numerous people are prescribed medications during their effort to achieve total abstinence. Cognitive Behavioural therapy or CBT, extra counselling and attending support group meetings can also help you on your path to recovery.
How and where you visit detox will be decisive by how dependent on alcohol you are. Your removal symptoms are not strong if addiction is not severe therefore allowing you to detox at your place with no medication involved will be possible.
You may be able to detoxify at home with the aid of medication to ease/reduce the severity of the withdrawal symptoms if your alcohol consumption is high (20 units or more per day) or you've gone through withdrawal before. One of the medications used in such scenarios is a tranquilizer known as Chlordiazepoxide.
The reasons for going into a hospital or a clinic will be to acquire specialist treatment because the type of withdrawal symptoms you have will be severe. Severe dependency will require expert treatment since the withdrawal symptoms are likely to be severe to.
Your withdrawal side effects will be at their worst for the initial 48 hours. The withdrawal symptoms gradually begin to improve when your body adjusts itself to the absence of alcohol. This procedure normally lasts for around 3 to 7 days from the time you had your last drink.
Furthermore, your sleep will be disordered. You might have troubles going back to sleep because you could wake up many times during the night. You should be prepared to expect these problems for the understanding that your sleep pattern will return to normal within a month.
Drinking a huge volume of fluids (three litres within 24 hours) during the detoxification period is compulsory. To avoid increased anxiety, and doing more damage to your sleeping pattern, you have to desist from drinks like coffee, tea and others that contain caffeine. Better alternatives are drinks such as fruit juices and water.
Although you are not hungry attempt to have regular meals. Your hunger will slowly come back.
If you are on withdrawal symptom drugs, do not drive or handle heavy machines. A drowsy feeling will most likely arise due to the medications. Stick to the instructions on your prescription drugs.
Detox can be a harsh time. Reading a book, listening to music, going for a walk and taking a bath are some things you can do to alleviate the nerve-racking situations. Find out as much as you can about how you can manage your stress.
Constant interaction with a medical expert or nurse is recommended for those undergoing home detoxification. GP practice or a professional NHS service may be at your residence. Additionally, you will be offered the appropriate contact information for other guidance services should you need further assistance.
Withdrawal from alcohol is an essential initial stage to overcoming your alcohol-associated issues. However, withdrawal cannot be considered as an effective treatment by itself. In the long run you will require more therapy and support.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests an amount of medicines to care for alcohol abuse.
These substances are described below.
Acamprosate [brand-name Campral] is commonly used to help prevent a relapse, especially in people who have successively managed to abstain from alcohol. It is usually combined with counselling in order to reduce cravings for alcohol.
Gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) is a chemical in the brain that's influenced by Acamprosate. The urge to drink is believed to have something to do with the presence of GABA.
You may take acamprosate for up to six months starting at the time you first begin the detoxification.
Disulfiram (brand name Antabuse) is recommended for people that has experienced relapse in the past and those seeking for full abstinence but are afraid that they may relapse. This is a deterrent drug that pushes you away from alcohol by causing uncomfortable reactions in your body if you drink alcohol.
Additionally, it is essential to prevent all source of alcohol since they could cause uncomfortable responses.
Solvents, paint thinner and any other substance that produces fumes containing alcohol should also be avoided.
If you've been on disulfiram and stop taking the medication, you'll still experience these negative physical reactions for up to one week afterwards in case you interact with alcohol in any way.
While on disulfiram, you'll be checked by your doctors around every two weeks for the beginning two months and then a month for the following four.
Preventing reversion or decrease in the quantity of alcohol someone consumes can be possible with Naltrexone.
It stops the influence of alcohol by obstructing the opioid receptors of the body. It is often mixed with other medication or therapy.
You must also be informed that some pain pills like codeine and morphne that contain opioids will be rendered impotent by naltrexone if it is among your prescription.
Seek medical attention in case you start feeling ill when taking naltrexone and stop taking the medication.
A naltrexone course may last as long as six months or more.
Blood tests and other medical checks will have to be carried out before any medication is prescribed.
Nalmefene (brand name Selincro) can be used in order to avoid a relapse or limit the quantity of alcohol an individual consumes.
This reduces the urge to drink alcohol, by blocking the brain's opioid receptors.
Nalmefene should just be taken in case you are getting assistance to support you decrease your alcohol consumption and carry on the treatment.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and similar self help groups have been of tremendous help to those suffering dependence on alcohol.
Alcoholics Anonymous believes that abstinence is the only answer and treats alcohol like a lifelong disease that has to be managed.
To help people get over their addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous uses a programme that is composed of 12-steps.
You are required to admit that you are powerless over alcohol and thereby your life has become unmanageable along with confirming that you have acted wrongly and wherever possible making amends with people who you may have harmed.
You can read more about the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and alcohol support below.
Twelve-step facilitation therapy is designed around the AA's programme. Instead of being in a group, you go through the steps on a face to face scheme with an expert.
The therapy can be your favourite treatment choice in case you feel uncomfortable to talk over your issues in a group.
This therapy attempts to treat alcohol addiction by trying to solve the problems that led to the addiction.
You will learn how to stay away from particular prompts and deal successfully with those that are inevitable thanks to your CBT therapist.
Alcohol dependence will not just have an impact upon an individual because it can also affect the entire family.
Relatives can also count on help. Living with an individual who is misusing alcohol can be stressful and therefore, receiving the support that is required can help efficiently.
The family members and friends of alcohol addicts can access assistance and guidance from several specialist alcohol services.
You may need a drink diary in case you're trying to lower or moderate your alcohol intake.
This will help you to assess you drink habits including your current alcohol intake and situations that trigger your drinking and therefore show you a path to reducing your intake.