Alcohol Problems and Solutions. Part One
Just under a million Americans receive treatment for alcohol problems on a daily basis.
Once someone with a drinking problem has moved from the alcohol abuse stage to alcohol addiction, rehabilitation solutions have historically focused on clinical experience and instinct, with not much substantial support of their value.
However, in the last two decades, the evaluation of alcohol problems and solutions has radically improved.
Alcohol problems and solutions such as self-help groups, psychosocial approaches, and medications are now being used to good effect and helping patients achieve abstinence and more importantly to maintain happy sobriety.
Self-help groups are extremely popular for those seeking recovery from alcohol or drug abuse problems. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are well known 12 step, self help fellowships that have proven successful for drug addicts and alcoholics to maintain recovery.
Studies have shown that patients entering inpatient alcoholism or drug abuse treatment programs combined with AA and NA generally have better results than those opting for AA and NA alone.
If you or someone you care about has an alcohol problem and you’re searching for a solution please contact one of our treatment advisors about a referral for assessment at one of our quality rehabilitation centres.
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Ouimette and colleagues performed an observational study with 3,000 patients in the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. They compared the 12-step programs with cognitive-behavioral programs, and looked at therapy that mixed both methods in drug and alcohol abuse treatments.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy uses trained addiction counsellors to help alcohol and drug addicted patients learn new coping skills and adapt their destructive patterns of harmful behavior. A year after treatment, all three methods were comparable in their improvements. Those who participated in the 12-step programs, however, reached more prolonged abstinence and we see long term engagement in AA as a part of the solution to alcohol problems.
The advantages of a self-help program could be due to the relationships formed within the group replacing the individual’s social circle. These new relationships are generally supportive and motivational, helping alcoholics and drug addicts to remain sober or clean with each other’s support.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) places the responsibility to change on the alcoholic. The therapist and the patient work together on a way forward to abstinence and alcoholism recovery. They start with the therapist’s feedback on the effects of drinking on the patient’s life; the drinking problems caused, and look at different treatment options. MET is cost-effective and the motivational style of interviewing seems to overcome the alcoholics unwillingness to participate in treatment.
In Part Two of our article on alcohol problems and solutions we cover how couples counselling is an important part of addiction treatment.
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