Treatment of alcoholism and rehabilitation

Depending on the situation and possibilities, treatment of alcoholism may take the form of outpatient (inpatient) therapy or in a closed ward. For some, psychotherapy is enough, others should also undergo pharmacological treatment of alcoholism. Treatment of alcoholism and rehabilitation is a series of medical and psychological procedures that allow the patient to return to normal life.

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1. Treatment of alcoholism in a drug addiction clinic

Psychotherapy related to the treatment of alcoholism should be initiated in drug addiction clinics. It is conducted 2-3 times a week in the afternoon. The first, basic stage of psychotherapy lasts 4-6 months. In addiction clinics families of alcoholics, which are co-addicts, are also helped.

2. Treatment of alcoholism in the day hospital

You can also go to the outpatient alcohol rehab in day care units. Classes are held 5 times a week, from 8 to 14. The basic stage of therapy lasts 8 weeks. Not all forms of outpatient treatment are a good solution. Some people are too far from drug addiction counseling centers or find it difficult to abstain, e.g. for social reasons (everyone in the family drinks). They can benefit from treatment in 24-hour wards for 6-8 weeks. 

3. Alcoholism treatment in the withdrawal syndrome treatment unit

On the other hand, patients are admitted to abstinence treatment units immediately because their lives are at risk. Hospitalization takes 7-10 days. After completing the basic stage of therapy, patients are referred for treatment continuation to drug addiction clinics like rehab cape town and to self-help groups of anonymous alcoholics and abstinence clubs.

4. Psychotherapy is the cornerstone of treating alcoholism

Despite the advances in pharmacology, psychotherapy is the most important form of treatment. The task of drug addiction treatment specialists is first of all to make the patient aware of his problem and to motivate him to therapy, which is not easy. Addicts often deny that they are heavy drinking, and even if they admit it, they find many reasons why they cannot change it. They do not want to part with alcohol, which is why it is so important to motivate the patient to abstinence or at least limit drinking. For this purpose, the therapist creates the so-called moral dissonances. They make it clear that the addiction is in opposition to what is the greatest value for the addict (professional position, fatherhood), it destroys dreams and plans. Moral dissonance makes the sick person aware that he drinks against himself, not the whole world. Then the therapist tries to awaken the patient’s readiness for change and advises how to carry it out. From many different ways, he chooses those that are possible for a specific person.

5. Pharmacotherapy in the treatment of alcoholism

Pharmacotherapy is only of great importance in the treatment of the withdrawal syndrome that occurs after alcohol withdrawal. It consists mainly in the administration of rehydration drugs (orally or intravenously), vitamin B1 and benzodiazepines, which reduce the risk of delirium, have anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and hypnotic effects. Benzodiazepines are not used for more than 10 days because they can become addictive.

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