The options for treating alcohol misuse will depend on the extent of your consumption and when you are looking forward to either to moderate the consumption or to give it up entirely [abstinence].
This is a short counselling session that can be provided if you've had an accident that has something to do with drinking or if you're not at peace with your own drinking habits.
The duration of the intervention will only be about five or 10 minutes and, which cover a range of topics associated with your pattern of drinking, advice about reducing the quantity of alcohol you drink, alcohol support networks available to you and any emotional issues, which could be leading to the drinking.
So you are aware of how much you're drinking in any given week, it's a good idea to keep a "drinking diary". You may also be advised on how to drink when out with other people such as alternating between the alcohol and water/sodas/juices.
You feel your health will greatly improve if you stop taking alcohol. As an initial step to abstinence, Moderation is an objective that's easier to achieve.
You could receive recommendations about total abstinence if you have previously proven unsuccessful with moderation.
If you have chosen moderation, you will be asked to attend counselling sessions in order to assess your progress and provide for the treatment and advice if required.
In order to monitor your liver you may be required to have regular blood tests.
You should definitely get the opinion of an expert regarding management of withdrawal symptoms in case you have alcohol dependency.
Numerous people are prescribed medications during their effort to achieve total abstinence. You may choose to attend sessions with self-help groups, receive extended counselling, or decide to use a talking therapy such as cognitive-behavioural therapy [CBT].
Your extent of alcohol addiction will specify the means and the venue detoxification can be tried. Your removal symptoms are not strong if addiction is not severe therefore allowing you to detox at your place with no medication involved will be possible.
Home detoxification may also be enough for you if you have a high alcohol consumption level that is above 20 units per day, but only with drugs that can reduce the withdrawal symptoms. Chlordiazepoxide is a sedative typically used for this reason.
In case your alcohol dependency is serious, you might need to experience a hospital or centre to do the detoxification process. The reason behind this is that you will require a specialised therapy as removal symptoms will be severe.
The first 48 hours will be full of the highest degree of withdrawal symptoms. Once your body starts to get used to not having alcohol, these symptoms should slowly ease. From your last glass it lasts from three to about seven days.
You will also find disturbances within your sleeping pattern. You may have trouble falling asleep or you may keep waking up during the night. In about a month your sleeping habits should get back to normal.
During the detox, you should ensure that you drink plenty of fluids [about 3 L a day]. Drinks with caffeine in them can interfere with sleep and make you feel anxious and thus should be avoided as much as possible. You will find various choices available in the form of water, squash or fruit juices, which would be better.
Even if you don't feel hungry, try as much as possible to eat regularly. Your hunger will appear progressively.
If you are under medication to get relief from removal symptoms don't drive or use heavy machinery. A drowsy feeling will most likely arise due to the medications. Follow the instructions you were given by the doctor for the medication.
The duration of the detox can be a stressful time. Try reading, going for walks or listening to music to help cope with the stress. You should make an attempt to educate yourselves on the subject of stress management.
You should visit a medical professional regularly in case you're detoxing at home. GP practice or a professional NHS service may be at your residence. If you require extra support, the contacts of the nearby support group will be offered to you.
Withdrawal from alcohol is essential and is the first step in overcoming your problems, which are alcohol-related. On the other hand, withdrawal isn't an efficient medical care on its own. You will find it necessary to receive further treatment and support, which will be needed to assist you during the long-term.
A variety of medications have been recommended by The National Institute For Health Care Excellence [NICE] for the treatment of alcohol misuse.
Below you'll find more information on these medications.
People that have become sober will not fall back to alcohol thanks to Acamprosate, the commercial name of Campral. It is usually combined with counselling in order to reduce cravings for alcohol.
The amount of a brain chemical called gamma-amino-butyric-acid or GABA is what is affected by this medication. The urge to drink is believed to have something to do with the presence of GABA.
The duration for the use of acamprosate is normally between the times that withdrawal starts till the sixth month, for those the drug is recommended for.
If you've previously relapsed or if there is reason to believe you may relapse while trying to abstain, a doctor may prescribe Disulfiram which is usually available under the brand name Antabuse. You will have unkind physical symptoms if you consume alcohol and that's how Disulfiram works.
Apart from alcoholic drinks, you are advised also to avoid all sources of alcohol because the unpleasant reactions can be induced.
Furthermore, you should attempt preventing elements that smells alcoholic fumes like paint thinners and solvents.
It is crucial to be sober a week after disulfiram is consumed because you will still have unkind symptoms if you get close to alcohol.
While on disulfiram, you'll be checked by your doctors around every two weeks for the beginning two months and then a month for the following four.
Naltrexone may be used to avoid a relapse or restrict the number of alcohol someone consumes.
Naltrexone functions by blocking opioid receptors within the body thereby stopping the effects of alcohol. It is generally combined with other medications or counselling.
Morphine and codeine are prevented from releasing their effects if naltrexone is being used.
In case you don't feel well whilst taking naltrexone, stop taking it right away and look for guidance from your GP or healthcare group.
Naltrexone intake can go up to six months and sometimes more.
Blood tests and other medical checks will have to be carried out before any medication is prescribed.
Nalmefene (brand name Selincro) can be used in order to avoid a relapse or limit the quantity of alcohol an individual consumes.
This reduces the urge to drink alcohol, by blocking the brain's opioid receptors.
Unless you're getting the support you need to drink less and receive treatment, you shouldn't take Nalmefene.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and similar self help groups have been of tremendous help to those suffering dependence on alcohol.
Primary among the beliefs of AA is that alcohol dependence is a long-term progressive illness which just has a single solution in the form of total abstinence.
In order to help you defeat alcohol dependence, they have formulated a 12 step programme.
The steps start with admittance that you have no power over your addiction and admitting that you've wronged others and also require you to try and make amends for your past mistakes.
To know more about support for alcohol addiction, read more on the 12 steps of AA.
This is a programme that is based on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Instead of being in a group, you go through the steps on a face to face scheme with an expert.
If you don't feel comfortable talking about your issues in a group setting, this form of therapy may be a much better alternative.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy where alcohol dependence is treated with a problem solving approach.
Your CBT therapist will guide you how to prevent some triggers and deal efficiently with those that are bound to happen.
Alcohol dependence will not just have an impact upon an individual because it can also affect the entire family.
The relatives should also be offered the necessary support. Living with an individual who is misusing alcohol can be stressful and therefore, receiving the support that is required can help efficiently.
The family members and friends of alcohol addicts can access assistance and guidance from several specialist alcohol services.
You may need a drink diary in case you're trying to lower or moderate your alcohol intake.
This will help you to assess you drink habits including your current alcohol intake and situations that trigger your drinking and therefore show you a path to reducing your intake.