What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is generally characterized by strong urges and cravings to drink alcohol, the inability to control alcohol use, and feeling irritable or anxious when not drinking alcohol. Drinking behaviors that cause stress and harm to oneself and others may be classified as alcohol abuse or addiction. California Rehab Campus can help you or a loved one overcome any form of problem drinking, no matter how mild or severe the case.
Alcohol use disorder is characterized by the following signs and behaviors:
- Drinking greater amounts of alcohol or drinking for longer than initially planned
- Having unsuccessful attempts to stop drinking
- Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from drinking
- Feeling strong urges and cravings to drink
- Having problems related to family, work, or school that are being caused by drinking
- Continuing to drink despite knowing alcohol is causing serious problems with family, friends, career, and education
- Continuing to drink despite knowing alcohol is causing health problems, or worsening existing health problems
- Cutting back on enjoyable activities to drink
- Getting into dangerous situations (such as unsafe sex or drunk driving) while drinking or after drinking
- Drinking higher amounts to feel the euphoric effects of alcohol
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after the effects of alcohol wear off (such as shaking, anxiety, nausea, sweating, and restlessness)
If you or a loved one has been exhibiting one or more of the above signs of alcohol addiction, it may be time to seek help at an alcohol and drug rehab center.
What is Evidence-Based Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
Evidence-based and science-backed addiction treatments go through a rigorous testing process and are carefully evaluated for their safety and efficacy for the treatment of substance use disorders. Evidence-based addiction treatments are designed to address certain aspects of substance abuse and reduce its impact and consequences on the individual, their families, and their communities.
Alcohol addiction can be safely and effectively treated with a combination of behavioral therapies and pharmacotherapies (medications). Below are science-based interventions commonly used to treat alcohol addiction:
- Medically supervised alcohol detox, which helps patients safely withdraw from alcohol while experiencing less discomfort and while facing a reduced risk of complications such as seizures
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients change their harmful attitudes and beliefs related to drug and alcohol use
- Contingency management interventions, which reinforce positive behaviors such as abstinence by rewarding patients with various incentives
- 12-step facilitation therapy, which uses 12-step self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous that promote abstinence from alcohol
- Family behavior therapy, which helps patients and their families improve family dynamics and their home environments
- Naltrexone — a medication that reduces alcohol cravings and blocks the rewarding effects of alcohol
- Acamprosate — a medication that reduces long-lasting symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia
- Disulfiram — a medication that causes unpleasant reactions when patients relapse and drink alcohol
- FDA-approved medications for co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety that may be contributing to alcohol addiction