In the United States, almost 15 million people aged 12 and older suffer from AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder). Both men and women can become victims of alcoholism.
When the problem occurs, only a small percentage of people are willing to undergo treatment. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), only about 7.2% of people aged 12 and older received any treatment during that year.
Many AUD victims prefer to deal with the problem at home or not deal with it at all. If you think you have AUD or worry about a loved one suffering from it, several treatment options are available.
Determining If You Have AUD
The toughest part about treating AUD is admitting it. Many people refuse to believe that they have an alcohol problem. The longer the problem exists, the harder it is to treat. That’s why it’s imperative to pay attention to the early signs of AUD. They include:
- Inability to limit the amount of alcohol a person consumes.
- The desire to cut down the amount of consumed alcohol and repeated unsuccessful attempts to do so.
- Spending the majority of your free time obtaining alcohol, drinking it, and trying to recover from it.
- Getting regular strong cravings to drink alcohol.
- Inability to fulfill important obligations at work, in school, or for your family due to alcohol consumption.
- Experiencing tolerance (you need to drink more to get the same effect as before).
- Dealing with withdrawal symptoms (nausea, sweating, indigestion, anxiety, etc.).
AUD is self-diagnosable. If you notice any of the symptoms, consider getting professional assistance. The quicker you admit the problem, the easier it is to deal with.
While detox isn’t a treatment per se, it’s an integral part of the overall treatment program for people with AUD. Detox occurs when the person stops using alcohol. The purpose of the process is to remove all alcohol from the person’s system.
Many people choose to detox at home. That’s one of the reasons they usually fail. Detox can be accompanied by severe symptoms like shaking, pain, nausea, hallucinations, and even seizures. That’s why it’s important to go through it in a medical setting. It can be a hospital or a rehabilitation center.
According to experts from Clear Sky Recovery, ibogaine therapy clinic, the key goal of detox is to get rid of alcohol without damaging the person’s body even further. Doctors may prescribe medication to simplify the detox process.
If the problem isn’t severe, it’s possible to detox on an outpatient basis. This process would involve the patient visiting the doctor during the day.
Detox usually takes between 3 to 7 days. After it’s over, the dependency on alcohol turns from being both physical and psychological to solely psychological.
Alcohol Support Groups
When a person is battling AUD, support is vital to success. Alcohol support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are an excellent way to interact with people who are going through the same problems.
Participating in support groups is highly effective. While many people try to avoid these gatherings at first, the majority eventually understands its benefits. Many people continue going to support meetings years after they start battling AUD.
Working with a specialist to battle psychological dependency can be highly useful for people with AUD. A therapist can come up with an individual treatment plan for each patient, making the process easier and more effective.
A counselor offers strong guidance and support on the person’s journey to full recovery. Counseling is usually part of a comprehensive treatment that includes withdrawal management, physical exercises, diet adjustments, meds, and more.
If you are planning to go to a rehab center, you are likely to get access to professional counseling.
AUD treatment must be comprehensive. Going through detox alone will not help. In fact, people who are detoxing on their own often don’t take advantage of other available treatments and go back to using alcohol.
While it may be hard to deal with, AUD is treatable. The first step is admitting the problem. Once you are ready to treat AUD, several options are available.