This guide is written for individuals, and their family and friends, who are looking for options to address alcohol problems. It is intended as a resource to understand what treatment choices are available and what to consider when selecting among them. Please note: NIAAA recently launched the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator. This online tool helps you find the right treatment for you — and near you. It guides you through a step-by-step process to finding a highly qualified professional treatment provider. Learn more at https://alcoholtreatment.niaaa.nih.gov. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Many successful drug and alcohol rehab programs include members of your family in your treatment program. Research has shown that including family and friends in the educational process significantly improves rehab outcomes. Some programs include family members and friends throughout the entire rehab process, from the initial assessment through continued follow-up aftercare.
Outpatient drug rehab programs are also available, and they can vary in terms of intensity as well as length.5 Some outpatient programs may last from several hours per day to just a few times per week. Outpatient care typically allows patients to remain at home while receiving necessary treatment. This can be beneficial for individuals who are attending school or need to maintain a regular work schedule.6 The disadvantage to nonresidential care is that individuals may typically still face daily struggles that can trigger drug abuse.7
To begin this process and to find these treatment options, a person dealing with drug or alcohol addiction can get in touch with their state or local mental/behavioral health or substance abuse services. These are often part of larger public or community health agency networks within the government. SAMHSA maintains a Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services to make it easier for people to find out whom to contact. The state’s government websites can also provide information on these services and how to apply for them.
The important thing to remember is that relapse doesn’t mean drug treatment failure. Don’t give up. Call your sponsor, talk to your therapist, go to a meeting, or schedule an appointment with your doctor. When you’re sober again and out of danger, look at what triggered the relapse, what went wrong, and what you could have done differently. You can choose to get back on the path to recovery and use the experience to strengthen your commitment.
One of the brain areas still maturing during adolescence is the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain that allows people to assess situations, make sound decisions, and keep emotions and desires under control. The fact that this critical part of a teen's brain is still a work in progress puts them at increased risk for making poor decisions, such as trying drugs or continuing to take them. Introducing drugs during this period of development may cause brain changes that have profound and long-lasting consequences.
Outpatient drug rehab provides patients with a more loosely defined schedule. This form of treatment allows patients to stay with their support system at home and maintain a limited presence at work or school. Both options offer patients a different range of therapeutic options and counseling with the goal of maintained abstinence and long-term recovery.
While a trial period of controlled drinking with careful follow-up might be appropriate for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse, this approach increases a physician's professional liability. Complete abstinence is the only treatment for alcohol dependence. Emphasize that the most common error is underestimating the amount of help that will be needed to stop drinking. The differential diagnosis between alcohol abuse and dependence can be a difficult judgment call. Dr. Gabor Mate Shares Insights on Addiction Treatment
Contemplation represents the first evidence of dynamic behavior. The individual expresses a tentative belief in the possibility that alcohol use might be harmful. The hallmark of this stage is ambivalence and skepticism. Skepticism is not the same as denial but instead allows some degree of personal reflection. The patient is receptive to new information, or just as likely reassured that current behavior is acceptable, in the absence of information. Thus, the clinician should influence the ambivalence characteristic of contemplation in a direction favoring change. This can include pointing out that the patient's actions are not congruent with their goals, giving pamphlets concerning alcohol abuse, and suggesting an abstinence trial.
Focus on one area where you are experiencing the urge. Notice the exact sensations in that area. For example, do you feel hot, cold, tingly, or numb? Are your muscles tense or relaxed? How large an area is involved? Notice the sensations and describe them to yourself. Notice the changes that occur in the sensation. “My mouth feels dry and parched. There is tension in my lips and tongue. I keep swallowing. As I exhale, I can imagine the tingle of using.”
According to the Addiction Center, moving into a sober living home after treatment is often the difference between going back to old habits or continuing on the path of sobriety. Sober living homes are not as rigorous as inpatient facilities. They are often secondary treatments used in conjunction with other programs, as opposed to primary options.
However, your participation can make a big difference. Based on clinical experience, many health providers believe that support from friends and family members is important in overcoming alcohol problems. But friends and family may feel unsure about how best to provide the support needed. The groups for family and friends listed below under Resources may be a good starting point. Alcohol withdrawal at its worst .
Before entering a rehab facility, patients may have to undergo detox treatment. Detox is the process in which a patient rids his or her body of the addictive substance. From start to finish, this process varies in length, but often takes about a week. As part of a medical detox program, recovering patients will be monitored by doctors and nurses and given medications to manage withdrawal, when appropriate. Once a patient completes detox, he or she is ready for rehab.
The best way to tell your loved ones that you’re addicted is to be as honest and as open as possible. Be prepared for the possibility that they won’t understand your disease — even today, many people don’t realize that addiction is a chronic condition on the same level as diabetes, cancer, or hypertension. Your loved ones may criticize you; they may even try to persuade you that you don’t have a problem. It’s important to stand firm in your new self-awareness and stay on track with your plan for treatment.
Your doctor. Primary care and mental health practitioners can provide effective alcoholism treatment by combining new medications with brief counseling visits. To aid clinicians, NIAAA has developed two guides: Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much, and for younger patients, Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide. Both are available at www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/clinical-guides-and-manuals
Known as “meth,” “crank,” “ice,” “crystal,” “glass,” and many other street names, methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The effects of meth are similar to the effects of cocaine, but methamphetamine is generally less expensive and easier to obtain. The production of meth in underground labs around the US has become increasingly common, contributing to the rise in addiction. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that in 2011, there were over 13,000 incidents involving the discovery of meth labs, dump sites, or lab equipment in this country.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines depression as a common but serious mood disorder that causes severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think and handle daily activities. These symptoms must be present for at least two weeks in order for an individual to be diagnosed with depression. In many cases, depression and substance abuse occur simultaneously. Sometimes depression precedes substance abuse, and other times, the reverse is true. In addition to facilities that treat substance use and co-occurring disorders, there are various inpatient facilities for mental health alone. As an inpatient for depression, you can receive individualized care at The Recovery Village.
"The most robust finding in the study is that those receiving any medication did much better than those who received no pills at all," says Professor Barbara Mason, Scripps Research Institute, and an author of the study. "This should be a wake-up call. With less than one percent of those seeking help for alcohol dependence receiving a prescription, medication is underutilized. Medication for alcoholism can offer patients an advantage for their recovery, especially in a real-world setting." 9 Signs Of A High Functioning Alcoholic
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a "chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences."7 There is no simple cure for addiction; however, effective treatment can help you become and stay sober.7 You will have to manage your addiction throughout your life, the same way a diabetic has to manage their condition with ongoing efforts like a proper diet and exercise.8
Alcohol is known for lowering inhibitions, but when alcohol is combined with risky activities, such as driving/operating machinery or taking drugs (either prescription or recreational), this may be an indication that alcohol is being taken in at abusive levels. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism warns that mixing alcohol with medication can cause internal bleeding and heart problems, as well as cause liver damage and make the medications toxic to the body.
Important: This is general medical information, and is not tailored to the needs of a specific individual. This material is NOT complete. It does not cover all possible precautions, side effects, or interactions. You should always consult your physician when making decisions about your health. And you should consult your physician before starting or stopping medication.
The methamphetamine binge is followed by a phase called “tweaking,” a state characterized by restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, sleeplessness, and intense cravings. “Tweakers” may experience delusional thinking, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and violent impulses. Severe itching and the urge to harm oneself are common at this point. Methamphetamine withdrawal is complicated by the fact that many heavy users are malnourished, dehydrated, and sleep deprived. Meth-induced psychosis can continue for weeks or months after the addict stops using. In a case study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one methamphetamine addict continued to have auditory hallucinations, fears of persecution, and paranoid delusions for a year after treatment. A rehab jail for heroin addicts