Alcohol use is common in the US. We drink during social events and at dinner. We use alcohol to celebrate and perhaps even to commiserate. The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that 86.3 percent of adults drank alcohol at some point, 70 percent drank in the past year, and 55.3 drank in the past month. When alcohol use becomes excessive and results in addiction, it may be time to turn to an intensive alcohol treatment or short term substance abuse treatment program.
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
The same survey found that 14.4 million adults in the US have what is known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a “chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” The NSDUH further found that almost 8 percent of adults with the disorder received treatment. As the NIH emphasizes, recovery is possible regardless of the severity of the alcohol addiction.
Intensive Alcohol Treatment
Alcohol addiction, or AUD, is considered to be a brain disease because alcohol causes changes in the addict’s brain. Treatment is not just a matter of deciding to “give it up.” In fact, trying to detox on your own or going “cold turkey” can be quite dangerous to your health. As some medical authorities have stated, it would be like “trying to cure appendicitis with cheerful thoughts.” Not only does that not work, but it can have catastrophic results. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, you may need intensive alcohol treatment. Typically, this starts with detox, the process of removing alcohol from your system. Detox should be medically supervised by a professional, as you will probably experience a range of serious withdrawal symptoms that must be monitored. Those symptoms can include:
- Rapid heart rate
You may also experience delirium tremens (DTs) that could include symptoms such as:
- High body temperature
With medically supervised detox in an intensive alcohol treatment program, you receive professional support that alleviates these withdrawal symptoms and makes the process more comfortable for you.
Short Term Substance Abuse Treatment
An intensive alcohol treatment program is often part of a short term substance abuse treatment program designed to help you overcome withdrawal symptoms and to set you on a path toward successful recovery. Short term residential programs that provide intensive treatment can help you if you are a heavy alcohol user or if you have been addicted for the last couple of years. Short term substance abuse treatment was originally designed for alcohol addiction but shifted a bit to also include drug addiction during the cocaine epidemic of the mid-1980s. The original residential treatment model consisted of a 3- to 6-week hospital-based inpatient treatment phase followed by extended outpatient therapy and participation in a self-help group as well as a 12-Step program. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) emphasizes, “Following stays in residential treatment programs, it is important for individuals to remain engaged in outpatient treatment programs and/or aftercare programs. These programs help to reduce the risk of relapse once a patient leaves the residential setting.”
Intensive Healing Therapies
In an intensive alcohol treatment program, evidence-based clinical therapies can help you identify and change the behaviors that have led to your heavy drinking and addiction. Behavioral treatments help you:
- Develop the skills needed to stop or reduce drinking
- Build a strong social support system
- Work to set reachable goals
- Cope with or avoid the triggers that might cause relapse.
Recovery from Alcohol Addiction
The good news is, research shows that about a third of the people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms a year later. People addicted to alcohol or experiencing AUD who undergo intensive alcohol treatment or who participate in a short term substance abuse treatment program can be successful in their recovery. Makana Path can help.
Lasting Recovery Is Possible – We’re Proof of It
At Makana Path, we understand the challenges of alcohol addiction. We also understand the effects of detox and withdrawal. We focus on the intersection of detox and intensive healing. Makana Path’s innovative approach treats the underlying causes of self-destructive patterns and paves the way to a sustained, rewarding life of recovery. To learn more about how recovery can change your life, call 1-866-922-0776 today.