Traditional alcohol treatment programs rely on evidence-based strategies such as psychotherapy, behavioral modification therapy, peer group counseling, nutritional counseling and 12-step programs. Rehabilitation begins with detox, a cleansing process that allows the patient to withdraw safely and comfortably from alcohol. After detox, the patient participates in a structured series of therapies that are designed to help him or her modify destructive behaviors and create a sober life.
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.”
For the typical alcoholic, detox alone is not enough. Their minds have become just as dependent on alcohol as their bodies. And, unfortunately, detox does not address the mind. Complete recovery requires going through a comprehensive therapeutic rehab programme immediately following detox. At the completion of such a programme, body, mind, and spirit have all been treated.
Before taking Antabuse you should give your doctor your entire medical history. You may not be a able to take Antabuse if you have a significant medical history of heart or blood vessel disease, diabetes, an underactive thyroid, brain disorders (e.g., seizures, brain damage), kidney disease, liver disease, a history of severe depression, a history of psychosis, or a history of suicide attempts. Antabuse can alter the metabolism and blood levels of certain drugs, especially tricyclic antidepressants, Dilantin (phenytoin), coumadin, isoniazid, and theophylline.
It is important that you know how to act when triggers or cravings present themselves. If you have a plan in place, it can help to prevent a full-blown relapse. It may be that you will get in touch with your counsellor or sponsor, or perhaps distraction will help. You might find that going for a walk or doing something else to keep you busy can help the cravings subside. Inappropriate Things to Say at a Meeting (Recovery Comedy)
Ask for friends and family to support you in the recovery process; chances are, they’ll be proud of you for taking control of your life again. External support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which originated the 12-step program and now has approximately 2 million members. The 12 steps emphasize the participant’s ability to submit to a “higher power” to ask for help. The higher power doesn’t have to be rooted in religion, though that is the case for many. Others look for a “higher power” within.
Alcohol dependency is not a failure of will or lack of strength of character, as was believed for many years. However, progress in science over the last few decades has shown us that alcoholism is rooted in both biology and behaviour, making it a ‘bio-behavioural disorder’. Biology and behaviour are two sides of the same coin, and alcohol dependency cannot be treated by just focusing on one side alone.
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?