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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Essay on Treatment of Alcoholism

Essay on Treatment of Alcoholism
            Alcoholism is seen as of the most common psychiatric disorders. Eight to fourteen percent of the population are estimated to be affected by this disorder. This psychiatric disorder is also often accompanied by other substance abuse disorders, antisocial personality disorder and mood and anxiety disorder. Alcoholism as defined by the American Medical Association is “an illness characterized by significant impairment that is directly associated with persistent and excessive use of alcohol. Impairment may involve physiological, psychological or social dysfunction” (Mascott. 2006)
            Despite being associated with a lot of health problems and psychiatric disorders, alcoholism often goes unrecognized in a clinical health care setting but once this issue had been recognized, alcoholism should be best address primarily by abstinence from alcohol, getting assessment and seeking for treatment on the underlying factors that trigger the want for alcohol. According to Gold (2006), the treatment of alcoholism can be briefly seen as having four general phases: (1) getting started through the assessment and evaluation of the symptoms of alcoholism and recognition of the life problems and making treatment choices, (2) detoxification (total abstinence from alcohol), (3) Active treatment through residential treatment, therapeutic communities, medications, 12-step programs, mutual help groups and intensive regular outpatient treatment and lastly, (4) maintaining sobriety and relapse prevention.
            On getting started, the person who is experiencing alcoholism and the other impairments that come with it should openly admit his problem and be entirely willing in seeking for treatment. The alcoholic person should also have a strong desire in finally quitting drinking. The willingness of the person to change his behaviour towards alcohol is the very important part in starting the treatment and also in determining the success of overcoming this disease.  Also, in this stage, it is very important to seek the help of the people who are knowledgeable in various treatments involved and can help them find the best option for them.
The detoxification stage usually takes place around four to seven days in a controlled setting most usually a rehabilitation center where certain medications are used to treat the withdrawal symptoms. Many alcoholics develop very dangerous withdrawal symptom that is why it is very important to manage a person’s detoxification in the hospital or rehabilitation facility. Also in this stage, the doctor evaluates and treats the related physical and psychological problems that usually include liver disease, anxiety and depression.
In active treatment, the help of professionals who have the knowledge regarding the disorder can help a person to better understand how the misuse of alcohol affects their health and their lives. Through their help, people with alcoholism can develop plans to stay sober and undergo on the best treatments for them. Active treatments can be found in rehabilitation programs which usually include education, group counselling and on-going medical care. Support groups are also very important in this stage. The emotional support provided by the families, models and sponsors to alcoholics can serve as a great inspiration to them that can help them be more committed to quitting alcohol. Medications can also be prescribed in decreasing the alcohol cravings.
            Lastly, in maintaining sobriety and relapse prevention, the person who has undergone active treatments is already seen as comfortable in the treatments and help that he is receiving and his will to stay sober is not much of a challenge anymore. People who are trying to maintain being sober often finds it helpful to join participation or support group for alcoholics.
Alcoholism is a life-long disease and it could relapse and even worsen so it is very important for a person suffering from this disease to seek for treatment early on. The problem on alcoholism can be successfully treated with the brief intervention of professionals and physicians. According to Enoch and Goldman (2002), alcoholism can also be treated with a variety of psychosocial methods. They also stated that it is very important to have a detailed assessment of alcoholism of patients in order to come up with better treatment for every case.

Works cited
Enoch, M & Goldman, D. (2006). Problem Drinking and Alcoholism: Diagnosis and Treatment. American Family Physician. 65 (3)441-449.

Gold, M. (2006). Treatment of Alcoholism. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 25, 2013, from

Mascott, C. (2006). An Introduction to Alcoholism. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 25, 2013, from

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