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Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem that can destroy lives and families. However, there is hope for those who are struggling with alcoholism. One of the most important aspects of treatment is detoxification, which helps to rid the body of the harmful toxins that have built up as a result of drinking. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable process, but it is essential for beginning the journey to recovery. Once detoxification is complete, individuals can begin to participate in therapy and counseling sessions. These sessions help address the underlying reasons that may have contributed to alcoholism. With the right treatment approach, it is possible for people to overcome alcohol addiction and live healthy, happy lives.
Treatment offerings include:
Outpatient detoxification
Behavioral therapy
Individual and group counseling
Peer support
FDA-approved medication, if needed
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What Makes Alcohol Addictive?

While there are many factors that contribute to addiction, alcohol is addictive because it activates the reward center in the brain. When individuals drink alcohol, it increases the production of dopamine, a chemical messenger that helps to regulate pleasure and motivation. This surge of dopamine reinforces drinking behavior, and over time, we begin to need alcohol in order to feel good. Additionally, alcohol affects another neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps to reduce anxiety. However, this temporary relief comes at a cost, as chronic drinking can lead to long-term changes in the brain that make it even harder to quit.

Signs Of Alcohol Addiction

One of the most common signs of alcoholism is a change in drinking habits. Many individuals with an addiction to alcohol drink more often or in greater quantities than before. They may also begin to hide their drinking, or drink in secret. Another common sign is a change in mood or behavior when drinking. An alcoholic may become more aggressive, irritable, or even violent when under the influence.

Other common signs of alcohol addiction include:
  • Blacking out after drinking
  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Impaired thinking
  • Rambling or repetitive statements
  • Difficulty walking or standing up
  • Wanting to stop drinking but not being able to do so
  • Defensiveness about drinking
  • Drinking alcohol to relieve stress
  • Agitated, irritated, or anxious behavior when alcohol is unavailable

Long-Term Effects Of Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction can cause a wide range of long-term problems, affecting every area of an individual's life. One of the most serious consequences is alcohol-related liver disease, which can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and ultimately death.

Alcohol addiction can also cause:
  • Gastritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Poor cognitive functioning
  • Increased risk of dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Alcohol addiction can also have a profound impact on families, leading to financial problems, relationship difficulties, and child neglect or abuse.

Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

Treatment for alcohol addiction begins with detox. Then, treatment typically includes a combination of counseling, support groups, and medication.
  • Detoxification. The goal of detox is to rid the body of alcohol and allow the person to function without it. This can be a difficult process, as withdrawals from alcohol can be severe, including symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and hallucinations. However, medication can help ease the detox process and make it more tolerable.
  • Counseling. Counseling can help individuals to identify the root causes of their addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Support groups. Peer support groups provide social and emotional support, while medication can help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Medication. Medication can help to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. It can also help to treat other mental health conditions that may be contributing to the addiction, such as anxiety or depression.

Alcohol addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, but with the help of professionals, it is possible to overcome this disease and regain control of your life.

Here at ICAN, we offer the following treatment services for alcohol addiction:
  • Outpatient detox
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP), In-person or virtual
  • Outpatient (OP), In-person or virtual
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)