ALCOHOLISM

Alcohol Abuse Counseling in Round Rock, Killeen, Austin, TX

Alcoholism is an illness marked by drinking alcoholic beverages at a level that interferes with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or occupational responsibilities.

Alcoholism is divided into 2 categories: dependence and abuse.

People with alcohol dependence, the most severe alcohol disorder, usually experience tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is a need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or the desired effect. Withdrawal occurs when alcohol is discontinued or intake is decreased. Alcohol dependents spend a great deal of time drinking alcohol, and obtaining it.

Alcohol abusers may have legal problems such as drinking and driving. They may also have problems with binge drinking (drinking 6 or more drinks at one sitting).

People who are dependent on or abuse alcohol continue to drink it despite evidence of physical or psychological problems. Those with dependence have more severe problems and a greater compulsion to drink.

Many people with alcohol problems don't recognize when their drinking gets out of hand. In the past, treatment providers believed that alcoholics should be confronted about denial of their drinking problems, but now research has shown that compassionate and empathetic counseling is more effective.

Three general steps are involved in treating the alcoholic once the disorder has been diagnosed: intervention, detoxification, and rehabilitation. Research finds that the traditional confrontational intervention - where the employer or family members surprise the alcoholic and threaten consequences if treatment is not begun - is NOT effective. Studies find that more people enter treatment if their family members or employers are honest with them about their concerns, and try to help them to see that drinking is preventing them from reaching their goals.

Once the problem has been recognized, total abstinence from alcohol is required for those who are dependent; for those who are problem drinkers, moderation may be successful. Since many alcoholics initially refuse to believe that their drinking is out of control, a trial of moderation can often be an effective way to deal with the problem. If it succeeds, the problem is solved. If not, the person is usually ready to try abstinence. Because alcoholism affects the people closely related to the alcoholic person, treatment for family members through counseling is often necessary.

Detoxification is the first phase of treatment. Withdrawal from alcohol is done in a controlled, supervised setting in which medications relieve symptoms. Detoxification usually takes 4 to 7 days. Examination for other medical problems is necessary. For example, liver and blood clotting problems are common. A balanced diet with vitamin supplements is important. Complications associated with the acute withdrawal of alcohol may occur, such as delirium tremens (DT's), which could be fatal. Depression or other underlying mood disorders should be evaluated and treated. Often, alcohol abuse develops from efforts to self-treat an illness.

Alcohol recovery or rehabilitation programs support the affected person after detoxification to maintain abstinence from alcohol. Counseling, psychological support, nursing, and medical care are usually available within these programs. Education about the disease of alcoholism and its effects is part of the therapy. Programs can be either inpatient, with the patient residing in the facility during the treatment, or outpatient, with the patient attending the program while they live at home.


The information provided in this web site or via links, is for informational purposes only. It does not take the place of, nor is it intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a professional.

Counselors of Texas helps people suffering from: Drug Addiction | Alcoholism

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