In This Article
In This Article
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 4.4 million adults in the U.S. are addicted to alcohol. This means that approximately 10% of children in the U.S. have a parent with drug and alcohol use disorder. Sadly, only about 7.9 of these people are being treated for their addiction, even though alcohol abuse counseling and therapies can successfully help in managing the symptoms of the disorder.
By definition, alcohol abuse means that a person keeps using alcohol in a harmful way for mood-altering purposes. Alcohol use disorder, formerly called alcoholism, is a mental disorder in which a person keeps abusing this substance despite the numerous ways in which it is harmful to them physically, mentally, financially, and socially.
A person with this disorder is unable to control how much they drink and cannot stop drinking once they start. A person who abuses alcohol spends a lot of time doing activities related to alcohol:
When it comes to alcohol abuse counseling, women are as likely as men to continue with treatment and stay engaged to get better.
Why is alcohol addictive?
Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that affects many different neurotransmitters in the brain, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate, and dopamine.
By stimulating GABA receptors and suppressing glutamate, alcohol produces a feeling of calm and relaxation. Alcohol also spikes dopamine production, just like many pleasurable activities including sex and eating food.
This neurotransmitter causes the euphoric feeling that contributes to repeated consumption. If a person continues drinking alcohol time and again, it causes chemical dependency and tolerance to the effects of alcohol and drug abuse.
This means that such people are unable to get these rewarding feelings without alcohol anymore, but also that they need to consume more and more alcohol to experience the same effects.
Some common reasons why people end up abusing alcohol include:
Whatever be the cause, drug and alcohol abuse counseling can help such people in dealing with the root cause and help get their life back on track.
A combination of alcohol abuse counseling, detoxification and alcohol abuse therapy, along with lots of support from family and friends can help a person recover from alcohol abuse disorder.
Long term alcohol abuse puts a person at risk for numerous mental and physical health consequences. These include:
Studies show that a person with alcohol use disorder also has an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STD) due to unsafe sexual practices.
Long-term alcohol abuse also puts a person at risk for relationship problems such as divorce as well as job loss and failure at school. Financial hardships and legal problems are much more common among those with alcohol use disorder than in the general population.
There are many ways to get treated for alcohol and substance abuse today. Some people prefer to get help individually, while others like the support that a group can offer. People suffering from an advanced alcohol abuse disorder may benefit from enrolling in an in-patient facility especially at the beginning of the treatment for alcohol abuse.
Just like a person may choose between individual or group treatment, he may also choose between various theoretical approaches. Some of the theoretical backgrounds include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT has been shown to be a highly effective way to treat alcohol abuse as a monotherapy and also as part of a combination of different strategies. This approach aims to change the negative beliefs and thoughts that contribute to addictive behaviors.
Although CBT is a short-term therapy, it can be time-consuming because a person has to commit to doing homework in addition to attending alcohol addiction therapy sessions.
Contingency Management (CM). CM method uses rewards to reinforce positive behaviors such as remaining abstinent or coming to alcohol abuse therapy sessions. Frequently these reinforcers are monetary based. CM has been shown to have a very low dropout rate.
12-Step Programs. 12-Step programs have been shown to be highly effective alcohol abuse counseling methods in treating this disorder. They are also an affordable way to treat this disorder since meetings are typically organized by former alcoholics instead of mental health professionals.
This makes it possible for people to attend 12-step meetings daily if they feel a need for it. Meetings are available online and in person. A new member in a group is assigned a "sponsor" who has been in recovery for a fairly long time.
This person agrees to help the new member whenever he or she feels the need to consume alcohol.
Treatment typically starts with a detox program or withdrawal therapy that aims to help a person stop abusing alcohol and help with the withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, excessive sweating, hallucinations, anxiety, and seizures.
It may be dangerous to stop using alcohol suddenly if you have consumed it extensively over a long period of time. That is why most experts don't recommend that a person tries to go "cold turkey" on his own without opting for some alcohol abuse counseling.
Still, taking care of the withdrawal symptoms and cravings is just the first step that one must take to become addiction free. The most important step is to figure out what causes you to get addicted to alcohol in the first place.
Genetic factors play a major role in this, but environmental factors are typically even more important. Regardless of the treatment option that you choose, it should always teach you how to cope with the day-to-day stressors without alcohol.
There are currently three different drugs for alcoholism approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating alcohol dependence:
None of these medications for alcoholics are addictive. They don't cure alcohol use disorder but help manage a chronic disease, just like a high blood pressure medicine might do.
You can opt for an in-patient rehab programs facility or choose out-patient counselors for alcohol addiction.
You can start by either asking for recommendations from friends or if you want to take care of this on your own then search online for "alcohol abuse counseling programs near me”, "alcohol addiction counseling+city name”, "alcohol therapist or CBT therapist for alcohol abuse” or "alcohol abuse counselor online”.
Once you have a few options, you can:
During treatment, drugs for alcohol abuse or addiction may or may not be required, depending on the person’s condition, so their cost can vary.
The cost of help for alcohol abuse can vary depending on the type of center, treatments, and amenities. Insurance can cover the costs, but it depends on the health provider and the insurer.