treatment for alcohol addiction

'Alcohol rehab' image

The purpose of alcohol rehabilitation is to facilitate change in the individual from compulsive, chaotic drinking to meaningful sobriety. Some argue that this process takes 2 years and the time can vary considerably from person to person. Holistic alcohol rehabilitation usually involves a bio-psycho-social approach.

Biological: alcohol detoxification may be a necessary stage at the start of the recovery journey. Detoxification involves the prescription of medications which will prevent dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as seizures or Delirium Tremens (DT's). Assessment and treatment of co-morbid or dual diagnosis issues may also be important. Individuals suffering from alcoholism may present with a whole host of psychiatric problems; anxiety, depression, psychosis, OCD, relationship problems, adjustment disorders and anger. Holistic alcohol rehabilitation should address these issues if present.

Psychological: alcohol rehab may also address psychological issues. All rehab for addiction usually involves some form of therapy from the evidenced based therapies of cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational enhancement therapy and twelve step approaches. More recently, mindfulness has demonstrated an evidence base.

Social: alcohol rehab may also focus on the necessary lifestyle changes, family supports and occupational changes to adapt to a sober life. Social skills are often impaired after periods of addiction. Training in social skills can help with these difficulties as can atttendance and active participation in mutual support meetings.

Mutual support meetings for alcohol addiction are widely available throughout Ireland in the form of AA (alcoholics anonymous) meetings. These meetings can provide an enormous support for those in recovery. Secular mutual support meetings (Lifering) are flourishing. Lifering meetings can also provide enormous support in recovery.