An individual who suffers from both mental illness and alcoholism will need to undergo different treatment. Because alcohol withdrawal symptoms cause a person to experience some psychiatric stress, an alcoholic with mental health issues will find it much more difficult to resist turning to drink. The NIAAA believes the some self-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, are not effective when it comes to treating people with a dual-diagnosis of both alcoholism and mental illness. This is because these groups tend to specifically focus on the actual addiction itself, rather than any underlying psychological problems. Anti-depressants are improving all the time and it is believed that while a self-help group may not be useful for a dual-diagnosis individual by itself, if the individual is on the appropriate medication and receiving the appropriate psychological therapy it can prove to be just as effective as with other alcoholic individuals. Addiction Recovery: 12 Steps and Beyond (TTA Podcast 321)
Acamprosate, disulfiram and topiramate (a novel anticonvulsant sulphonated sugar) are also used to treat alcohol addiction. Acamprosate has shown effectiveness for patients with severe dependence, helping them to maintain abstinence for several weeks, even months.[13] Disulfiram (also called Antabuse) produces a very unpleasant reaction when drinking alcohol that includes flushing, nausea and palpitations. It is more effective for patients with high motivation and some addicts use it only for high-risk situations.[14] Patients who wish to continue drinking or may be likely to relapse, should not take disulfiram as it can result in the disulfiram-alcohol reaction mentioned previously, which is very serious and can even be fatal[13] Guilt, Shame, Depression And The Cycle Of Addiction, Recovery And Relapse - John Flaherty
Focus on one area where you are experiencing the urge. Notice the exact sensations in that area. For example, do you feel hot, cold, tingly, or numb? Are your muscles tense or relaxed? How large an area is involved? Notice the sensations and describe them to yourself. Notice the changes that occur in the sensation. “My mouth feels dry and parched. There is tension in my lips and tongue. I keep swallowing. As I exhale, I can imagine the tingle of using.”

While casual or moderate drinking has some potential advantages – relaxation, heightened enjoyment of stimuli, etc. – problem drinkers are unable to enjoy these advantages without alcohol. In other words, casual or moderate drinkers will be able to find other ways to relax or enjoy themselves even if alcohol is not present, or they make the choice to abstain. But if someone is completely unable to function for pleasurable reasons without alcohol, they cannot conceive of having a good time without getting drunk, or reaching for the bottle is their first response to any kind of trigger (either stressful or pleasurable), then this is a sign that they are abusing alcohol and need help to stop.

The specific medicines prescribed will vary depending upon your own particular experience of withdrawal and the symptoms you are manifesting, and it may be that certain medications will not be appropriate depending on your substance of abuse or your own personal health history; an experienced medical professional will be able to make those decisions to ensure you go through withdrawal as safely as possible. What happens in rehab?
Having made the decision to reach out for help in overcoming addiction, you may feel overwhelmed by the variety of options available to you – and, of course, choosing the right rehab is absolutely crucial. You need a facility that will best suit your particular needs and wants – but how will you know what those are, when you have never been through this process before?
This group of potent pain-relieving substances includes all drugs that are derived from opium, a compound found in the opium poppy. Some of these drugs, like morphine and codeine, are classified as non-synthetic opiates, while others, like heroin, hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone, are produced synthetically in laboratories. Until recently, heroin was considered to be the most addictive of the opiates. Today, however, opiate pain medications have surpassed heroin and cocaine in their popularity as drugs of abuse. According to Harvard University, the number of opiate addicts in the US increased threefold between 1991 and 2001, largely because of the increase in nonmedical use of drugs like hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Harvard estimates that as of 2007, approximately 2 million people in the US were dependent on opiates, a number that continues to increase.

Individual therapy will help you learn to recognize triggers and cope with them. The therapists may also help you to improve your emotional regulation skills in order to better avoid relapse. Group counseling provides you with the opportunity to practice sober social skills, as well as the coping strategies you learned in individual counseling. Family therapy sessions can help to repair broken relationships, improve communication skills, and build conflict resolution skills. Medication, such as methadone or Suboxone, may be used in combination with behavioral therapy to help opioid-addicted individuals remain abstinent. Once your rehab program nears an end, your treatment team will create an aftercare or relapse prevention plan for you consisting of ongoing support. Ongoing support may include individual therapy, group counseling, self-help group meetings (e.g., 12-step, SMART Recovery), alumni programs, or sober living homes.1,2
The Hazelden Betty Ford Center is one of the most successful and well-recognized addiction recovery organizations in the nation. They have many treatment centers from the west to the east coast. Hazelden Betty Ford uses evidence-based treatment, the traditional 12-step program and specialized programs for patients based on mental disorders and even occupation. The center recommends at least 90 days for residential treatment, for the best rates of success. They have a reported 80% rate of recovery. The center has a complete, multidisciplinary treatment team; small group sizes; and a low patient-to-counselor ratio.
Drug rehab treatment centers offer frequent individual counseling to patients. These counseling sessions sometimes even take place on a daily basis. Counselors help patients discover any emotional or psychological factors that may have contributed to their addictions. It is important that these psychological factors are addressed if a patient is to make a full recovery.
That’s why we are here for you. Getting treatment for your alcohol addiction is the first step on your journey to health and recovery, but it’s a big step and not an easy one to make. We understand that. Whatever your questions and concerns are, there is a solution and an answer. Call us for information on alcohol treatment. We can also answer your questions about Dual Diagnosis treatment for those who are suffering from a mental health issue in conjunction with substance abuse.
Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1
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