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Can Alcohol Rehab Cure Alcoholism?
Is there truly a cure for alcoholism?
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Alcohol rehab helps thousands of alcoholics find a solution to their drinking problems every year. People who once relied upon a bottle to stumble through their lives develop a new way of life they once thought was impossible. Treatment gives problem drinkers the tools to face life successfully after living with alcoholism for months, years, or even decades.
But alcoholism is a complex problem that still lacks a cure despite the excessive amounts of research conducted each year. It’s not as simple as attending alcohol rehab and never taking another drink again. There is more to alcoholism, officially referred to as alcohol use disorder (AUD), than most realize.
How can an alcoholic find rehabilitation through rehab but not a cure? Continue reading to learn more about alcoholism, alcohol treatment, and how they come together.
More About Alcohol Rehab and Alcoholism
Cases of alcohol abuse in the United States trace back to the time before the country was even founded. Efforts at treating these cases followed not long afterward. Addiction treatment today looks much different than it did in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, though.
Various methods of treatment continually emerge, such as ever-evolving forms of psychotherapy, animal-assisted therapy, and holistic treatments. The early inebriate asylums were a far cry from the beautiful alcohol rehab facilities that help the alcoholics of today.
Still, despite the nearly three centuries of treatment attempts in America, doctors have not discovered a cure for alcoholism. Addiction and alcoholism rates continue climbing by the year yet there still seems to be no way to fix the core of the problem.
Alcohol Use Disorder
The official clinical diagnosis for alcoholism, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is alcohol use disorder (AUD). Everyday people know it as alcoholism. No matter what you call it, alcohol abuse affects people throughout every walk of life, regardless of age, race, economic status, or homeland.
The DSM-5 outlines 11 criteria that describe the symptoms displayed by those with an AUD:
- Drinking a greater amount or for a longer period of time than intended.
- Wanting to slow down, cut back, or completely stop but not being able to.
- Spending a lot of time either drinking or being sick as a result of drinking.
- Obsessing about drinking (also referred to as alcohol cravings).
- Drinking or being sick from drinking interferes with work, school, or home life responsibilities.
- Still drinking even if it causes problems with family or friends.
- Cutting back or giving up on activities that were once important in order to drink.
- Getting into harmful or dangerous situations as a direct result of drinking.
- Drinking despite resulting physical or mental health problems.
- Needing to drink more to get the desired effect (developing a tolerance).
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking.
Clinicians split the diagnosis of an AUD down by three categories: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild cases experience 2 to 3 of above criteria, moderate cases experience 4 to 5, and severe cases exhibit 6 or more of the symptoms.
Treating Alcoholism with Alcohol Rehab
Again, there is currently no known cure for alcoholism. Although research expands every year, doctors haven’t discovered a cure to the progressive disease of alcoholism and addiction. That doesn’t mean that an alcoholic can’t be treated. They may never be able to drink like a normal person but they have the ability to quit drinking and leave it alone.
Alcohol rehab is the first step towards a life free from feeling the need to drink for millions of problem drinkers every year. There are a few different types of alcohol treatment depending on the severity of their alcoholic problem.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are one result of heavy or long-term alcohol abuse. Once your body becomes used to the quantities of alcohol you drink, you will experience physical and psychological reactions when you quit. Detox safely separates you from alcohol in a medical environment, often with medications that relieve some of your withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient Alcohol Rehab
Inpatient alcohol rehab gives recovering alcoholics a place to separate themselves from their everyday life during early sobriety. Inpatient rehabs are residential and usually take place on a 30-, 60-, or 90-day basis. You attend programming during the day, including individual and group therapy, as well as other treatment methods the facility incorporates.
Intensive Outpatient Program
Intensive outpatient programs, or IOP, give people with full-time commitments the option to attend treatment on a part-time basis. If you work or go to school during the day, there are IOP options that allow you to attend programming in the evenings. Some facilities also use IOP as a follow-up to their inpatient program.
Alcohol Rehab: Is it For You?
It’s pretty easy to decide for yourself whether you have a drinking problem. Most alcoholics know well before attending alcohol rehab that they drank a bit differently than those around them. Look at the criteria above and honestly ask yourself if you show any of those signs. If you notice some of those symptoms in your life, alcohol treatment can help you find freedom from the chains of alcohol abuse.
Do you need help finding a treatment center? Hawaii Island Recovery offers treatment for alcoholism, addiction, and other mental health problems on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii. Call us today at 877-721-3556 to speak with an admissions counselor who can answer any questions you might have.
Take the first step towards your new life and give us a call today.