Alcoholism treatment is one of the most common programs in rehabilitation facilities today. Alcoholism is a frequently occuring type of addiction due to its ease of acquisition and low cost compared to nearly any other type of addictive substance. The term generally refers to a compulsive, uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic drinks, leading to a negative effect on the drinker’s social, personal, and professional life. Alcoholism can often be a difficult condition to recognize due to the social stigma surrounding the disease, leading to people with alcoholism to avoid diagnosis and treatment for fear of social consequences. Generally, a drinking issue is considered alcoholism when a person continues to drink in spite of a desire to stop drinking due to social or physical harm caused by the substance.
Treatment for alcoholism centers on two parts: a detoxification period followed by inpatient rehabilitation designed to the patient’s specific needs. Detoxification for alcohol can be a complicated process: alcohol intake is often stopped immediately, and the withdrawal effects are offset by dosages of medications such as benzodiazepines. However, people with alcoholism are prone to other addictions, including benzodiazepines, necessitating adaptation in detox medication when necessary.
After detox is complete, the patient enters rehabilitation for an extended period of time, during which they actively participate in group and behavioral therapies in order to help them remain sober and reduce any psychological effects remaining from the addiction. The treatment program can last anywhere from ninety days to a year, at which point the patient is released; support groups (typically following the 12 Step format of Alcoholics Anonymous) are instituted for them in case help is needed to prevent relapse.