What Strategies Are Used to Treat Alcoholism? Key Approaches

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    Alcoholism is a huge concern for addiction victims and their loved ones. Seeking help is the right way to go. In seeking help, addiction victims must understand the choices and options available to them. According to Pacific Ridge, addiction treatment is hugely personal, meaning each victim requires a personalized approach to improve their chances of healing and staying sober.

    What Strategies Are Used to Treat Alcoholism? Key Approaches

    Below are some common addiction treatment therapies and strategies that could be deployed independently and in combination.


    Detoxification is the initial step in treating alcoholism. It involves safely withdrawing the victim from alcohol while managing withdrawal symptoms.

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    Detoxification purges the body of the abused substance and creates a clean slate upon which further addiction treatments build. In most cases, detoxification can be medically assisted or supervised. Such approaches leverage medications to reduce the impact of withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, seizures, delirium tremens, fever, and more on the victim. Depending on the medication used, the victim’s urge or appetite for the abused substance may also be repressed using certain medications.

    Detox programs are offered by addiction treatment facilities and trained medical professionals like physicians, therapists, and psychologists, but they are not sufficient for long-term recovery. They should be paired with additional treatments to ensure the right outcomes.

    Counseling and Psychotherapy

    Counseling and psychotherapy are integral components of alcoholism treatment. Trained and experienced clinicians, psychologists, psychotherapists, and other mental health professionals can employ various therapeutic approaches to achieve the desired outcome.

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    Common addiction treatment therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and contingency management. Some therapists also use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a newer therapeutic approach to address and reinvent negative thoughts while focusing on more positive thoughts and healthy habits.

    Overall, behavioral therapies help addiction victims to recognize and change unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior, build coping skills, and address underlying emotional issues that may contribute to alcohol misuse.

    Support Groups

    Support groups have been an integral and dated part of many addiction treatment therapies because they provide victims with a social group that has a similar struggle and goal. 

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    Participation in support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery, can be highly beneficial to alcohol addicts. These groups offer community, encouragement, and understanding as members share their experiences and provide mutual support for maintaining sobriety.

    Support groups can be integrated into residential inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. Recovering addicts will have a chance to share their experiences and struggles while also learning coping mechanisms from other like-minded people. In most instances, such support groups also provide a new chapter in the lives of recovering addicts, giving them the needed social sphere to thrive and reintegrate into society.

    Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

    Medication-Assisted Treatments for alcoholism involve using medications alongside behavioral therapies to treat alcoholism. It is important to note that medications alone, similar to detox, cannot help an addiction victim overcome their problem. It can, however, reduce their urge for the abused substance while also helping them manage withdrawal symptoms better.

    Some of the common FDA-approved medications used in this treatment include disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. These medications help reduce alcohol cravings, discourage relapse, and assist in maintaining sobriety.

    Dual Diagnosis Treatment

    As earlier stated, addiction treatment is a hugely personalized experience, especially when the victim suffers from underlying conditions that have predisposed them to addiction. People with alcohol use disorder, in addition to co-occurring mental health disorders like depression or anxiety, can benefit from this treatment experience.

    A dual diagnosis treatment begins with a holistic diagnosis of the addiction victim to understand the co-occurring mental health problems. The therapist then determines how best to address such problems to create a clear recovery path for the victim.

    Failing to address the co-occurring issues or underlying problems may create a caveat for future relapse.

    Family Therapy

    Family therapy involves the participation of family members in the treatment process. This approach creates a healthy and supportive environment for addiction victims while also helping family members facilitate their recovery process.

    With family therapy, important family members are included in the counseling sessions with the aim of addressing unresolved traumas and issues, improving communication, resolving conflicts, and establishing a supportive environment.

    Recreation, Exercise, and Holistic Therapies

    Holistic treatment therapies focus on a combination of treatments aimed at addressing addiction problems from the ground up. This treatment experience leverages exercises like yoga, meditation, art therapy, and mindfulness practices to keep the mind engaged and energize the body. It also complements counseling and talk therapy, ensuring that addiction victims are equipped on every front to fight the urge to relapse.

    Do check out: Top NBA Free Agents: Which Players Remain Open for Trades and Signings?

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