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What is alcohol treatment? It’s the process that most people experience as they move from admitting that they have a problem with achieving sustained sobriety. It starts with a doctor’s visit or visits to a treatment center. By the end, It may involve counselors, group therapy, medication, inpatient facilities, or outpatient programs.
In the larger guide to helping someone with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), you’ll learn more about environments you’re likely to see, including open meetings and rehab centers. In this guide. the focus will be on the process of recovery from beginning to end.
It all starts with a diagnosis.
Diagnosis: How Is Alcohol Use Disorder Diagnosed?
Any primary physician can diagnose AUD. You can set an appointment with your family physician, or you can also speak to AUD counselors and therapists.
If you choose to go through your family doctor, you just need to set an appointment and explain your situation. Your physician will have a series of questions for you about your experiences with drinking. You will likely be asked how long you have been drinking and how much the amount you consume has changed over time.
Your physician may choose to diagnose you with alcohol use disorder, but it’s possible that there are other underlying conditions. Depending on the age and severity of your condition, your doctor may want to run some additional tests, even a full evaluation. Prolonged excessive drinking can result in damage to the body, so these tests are helpful.
Treatment Plan: How Do I Write a Treatment Plan?
Your treatment plan is your path to getting better. It is often a whole-life plan because it can take that level of reorganization to avoid the temptation to use. Your doctor will help you with the first part of the plan, by helping you decide the right treatment program.
You have a wide variety of different programs to choose from. If you choose to attend rehab, there are options all over the globe. There are also likely a lot of options near you.
You’ll develop the rest of your plan while you’re undergoing treatment.
What Treatment Should I Get?
If your disorder is not yet advanced, you may be directed to an outpatient program or referred to as a counselor. At the early stages, the disorder can be managed with only minor treatments.
There are rarely any physical symptoms at this stage, but some temporary ones may appear. Even people who have only been binge drinking for a couple of weeks may experience chills, shakes and persistent hangover symptoms.
You may be notified of meetings in your area where people work on recovery. If your doctor has directed you to these treatments, the rest of your recovery will be agreements between you and your support groups. You will decide goals and then get support through the process of achieving them.
If your disorder is more advanced, you may be sent from the doctor’s office to detox.
If you have an advanced form of an alcohol use disorder, your doctor will likely refer you to the hospital or treatment center detox.
Detox is a process where you are under constant monitoring while the remainder of the alcohol leaves your system. Medical supervision is necessary when detoxing after prolonged alcohol abuse. Withdrawal from alcohol can easily be fatal without the right medication.
Close medical attention is often only necessary for the first week. After that, you may still experience withdrawal symptoms, but they’ll be easier to manage. You may be able to get prescriptions that can help you manage the remaining withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment: Residential Alcohol Recovery Center
After you successfully complete detox, you could choose to stay in a residential facility for a period of time.
These facilities are called “residential” because they are designed like apartment communities. Each resident has private space, is able to take part in activities and often has access to outdoor spaces.
That is not to say that all treatment centers have the same approach when it comes to providing care. Every program has a different philosophy and facility. Some feel that a minimalist experience is important to healing, while others prefer to provide a spa environment.
In addition, to the perks, residential facilities often retain staff to provide counseling and therapy. In many facilities, patients can see a counselor daily. This personal attention can be an important part of managing moderate to severe cases of the disorder.
Treatment: Sober Living House
Depending on your case and treatment plan, you may move from a facility to a sober living house. These are independent-living arrangements that are designed for people who are recovering from alcohol or drug abuse. They can be an important option for people who need an affordable transition back into real life.
Sober living houses often follow the same firm rules as treatment centers. For the protection of everyone, no drugs or alcohol can be brought onto the premises.
Treatment: Continued Counseling
What is alcohol treatment? At this stage, it’s keeping your new support network alive.
Alcohol disorders cannot be permanently cured by any existing treatment. Sobriety is an ongoing process. Continued counseling is recommended for anyone who has passed through rehab. The issues that led to alcohol abuse in the first place are still going to exist when you leave rehab.
Building a set of close friends, embracing new habits and challenges can take years. Your counselor is your connection to what you learned when you were in treatment. It can be helpful to keep that connection alive until you know you’re on solid ground.