Alcoholism Treatment

Monday, April 18, 2011

Most alcoholics need help to recover from their disease. With support and treatment, many people are able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives. Dr. Edward Hill discusses treatment of alcoholism in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Generally, three steps are involved in treating an alcoholic once the disorder has been diagnosedintervention, detoxification and rehabilitation.

Intervention involves getting the alcoholic to admit there is a problem. They need help.

Detoxification is the first phase of treatment. Alcohol is withdrawn under a controlled, supervised setting. This usually takes four to seven days.

Alcohol recovery or rehabilitation programs support the affected person after detoxification to maintain abstinence from alcohol. Counseling, psychological support, nursing and medical care are usually available within these programs. Programs can be either inpatient or outpatient. Alcoholism affects the entire family and family counseling may be needed.

Medications are sometimes prescribed to prevent relapses. Long-term treatment with counseling or support groups, such as Alcoholics Annonymous or Al-Anon, is often necessary.

Only 15 percent of those with alcohol dependence seek treatment for this disease. Relapse after treatment is common, so it is important to maintain support systems. Treatment programs have varying success rates, but many people have a full recovery.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.