Alcohol addiction and abuse are a very large program in the United States. Nearly 88,000 people die from it per year. Some die from drinking alcohol directly while others die from behaviors associated with addiction. Still others die from stopping alcohol use without the treatment and medical supervision suddenly. These are the most common causes of death due to alcohol and do not take into account death due to alcohol related accident or alcohol related injury. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to survive alcohol abuse.
1. You can Enter a 12 Step Program
12 step programs are a classic treatment for alcohol abuse. Developed in the 1930s, 12 step programs and therapies were often useful in generating peer support and giving alcohol addiction treatment a clear path. This path is through the 12 steps. During a 12 step program, you receive help from those in the program and a sponsor who can help you though the most difficult cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Unfortunately, 12 step programs may not be enough if your addiction to alcohol is very severe. In cases of severe alcoholism, it is better to use a different method or use 12 step programs to supplement a more aggressive program
2. You can Use Tapering and Harm Reduction
Tapering off alcohol is a method of gradually reducing the amount of alcohol you are using until you are no longer in danger of severe withdrawal or acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. This when combined with harm reduction strategies can be effective for those who have the willpower to do it. Unfortunately, like 12 step programs, this rarely works when the addiction is severe.
3. You can Seek Treatment from an Outpatient Treatment Center
During outpatient treatment you remain at home and go to the treatment center for counseling sessions and therapy as well as medication management. Although this form of treatment is more effective than 12 step programs and tapering, you may have difficulty with relapse during detoxification and withdrawal.
4. You can Seek Treatment from an Inpatient Treatment Center
Inpatient treatment is often one of the safest treatment methods for alcohol addiction. This treatment involves you staying at an inpatient treatment center 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. They provide food, therapy, medications, and recreation while you are there. Normally, there is a detoxification period and then several weeks of intensive treatment. During this time you are not tempted by alcohol while you find and correct the cause of your addiction.
5. You can Find a Combination Treatment Program
Combination treatment is often your very best route for alcohol abuse treatment. During combination treatment programs you use a combination of the other treatment styles. The most common of these is:
- Inpatient treatment for detoxification and intensive treatment
- A transition to outpatient treatment where you will continue to receive counseling and medication management
- During outpatient treatment you can attend 12 step sessions and other methods
- Then a transition to aftercare where you still attend 12 step programs and infrequent counseling session to prevent relapse
Regardless of which type of treatment that you choose, it is important to seek some help to end your alcohol addiction and get your life back on track before it is too late.