Perhaps you are one who drinks a night cap before bed or have a drink or two to ‘take the edge off.’ But there are others, who may have begun with this, but whose drinking has taken control of their lives and affected their family and friends. These people may become part of an intervention by their loved ones to get them in to treatment.
There are many different types of treatment for alcoholism. While the road to recovery may be difficult, it is not impossible with the support of others in recovery and the help of organizations. One of the most known programs for alcoholism treatment is Alcoholics Anonymous.
Attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous is one way to work on gaining freedom from alcohol addiction. According to their website, “Alcoholics Anonymous is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who meet together to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” The current membership of A.A. is estimated at over two million members in 150 countries.
“One large-scale study sponsored by NIAAA found that each of three commonly used behavioral treatments for alcohol abuse and alcoholism-motivation enhancement therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and 12-step facilitation therapy-significantly reduced drinking in the year following treatment.”
While the ultimate goal of treatment is to totally abstain from alcohol, there are short-term drug treatments available. Naltrexone is one drug that is shown to assist in reducing the amount of alcohol consumed by an alcoholic. According to MedlinePlus Drug Information, Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of narcotics or alcohol. There are side effects to using this medicine including upset stomach, anxiety and muscle or joint pain.
The American Council on Alcoholism provides links to different treatment programs. One program is called Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART). This program has a four-point process which includes 1) Enhancing and maintaining motivation to abstain; 2) coping with urges; 3) problem solving (managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors) and 4) lifestyle balance (balancing momentary and enduring satisfactions).
Another program is the Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) which offers an alternative to the spiritual aspects present in 12-Step programs. According to an interview on their website with the founder Jim Christopher, “Sobriety is our priority, and the sense of urgency of our “sobriety priority” is conveyed via our acronym, SOS. By achieving and maintaining sobriety, we can Save Our Selves and experience individual recovery, i.e. human growth, self-esteem, empowerment, and learning, without mind-altering chemicals or debilitating habits.”
Caron, whose main campus is in Pennsylvania, offers Recovery Care Management as part of their center. “Recovery Care Management is a recovery model that provides focused support, accountability and coordination of services to individuals and families in the achievement of their long-term recovery goals.”For those who wish to use a more holistic approach to alcoholism treatment, there are opportunities available, such as the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program.