Alcoholism is often considered to be an incurable disease. However, new treatments are being developed and tested. These programs may include psychotherapy, medications and behavioral therapies to help people learn how to drink alcohol responsibly and maintain a healthy lifestyle post-treatment. In this article, we shall look at the various options for the treatment of alcohol addiction. We shall also look at the effectiveness and side effects of these treatments.
1. Psychotherapy and behavioral therapy
Several forms of psychotherapy are effective in treating alcoholism. Some of the most common types of psychotherapy include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – This is a form of therapy that helps patients change their behavior by changing their thinking patterns and beliefs about drinking behavior. CBT focuses on addressing distorted thinking about alcohol use, as well as changing unhealthy patterns to help prevent addictive behaviors from developing in the future.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) – The primary focus of ACT is that the person learns to accept themselves as they are and work on developing a lifestyle that is in line with their goals. Adherence to these new behaviors is reinforced through a behavioral component. The cognitive component of ACT focuses on changing self-defeating thinking patterns so that there are fewer internal concerns about al anon santa rosa ca.
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT) – This form of psychotherapy focuses on helping patients learn how to relate better with others so that they can develop trusting relationships and social support networks during recovery. This can help them break the pattern of isolation from friends and family members, which can contribute to relapse into drinking problems.
Several medications are approved to treat alcoholism. Two drugs that are equally effective in treating alcohol dependency at reducing alcohol cravings are naltrexone and acamprosate. Naltrexone is a partial opioid receptor antagonist that has been used to prevent people from getting addicted to prescription drugs. It also helps people stay away from alcohol. After all these years, there are still no known addictive properties with naltrexone either. It has also been used for the treatment of anorexia nervosa and weight loss in obese patients.
There is a lot of evidence that indicates that serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are effective means to treat alcohol addiction. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most renowned of this type of drug, but newer drugs such as escitalopram and sertraline have also been found to be effective. These drugs help with depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behavior. They have also been used for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and some other mental health conditions.
4. Anti-craving medications
These medications help to control the craving for alcohol. A lot of people will often use compulsive mechanisms to relieve their cravings for alcohol. The most commonly used anti-craving drugs are:
- Lamictal – this drug is used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and seizures, but it has also been found to be effective at fighting addiction. It works by blocking certain receptors within the nervous system, which makes it very effective at treating alcoholism and preventing relapse.
- Aminopyridine – this medication has been studied because it aids in the treatment of depressive disorders as well as alcohol problems. The drug inhibits the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can make people drink less when they have this medication in their systems. It also functions by releasing acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters.
5. Evidence-based treatment (EBT)
There is an emerging form of treatment called evidence-based treatment that utilizes a multidisciplinary approach of different forms of psychotherapy and behavioral therapy to treat alcohol alanon santa rosa ca dependence. It has developed over the last few years because there are many different indications for each method that have emerged over time.