Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. For example, your drug dependency may have developed from a desire to manage pain or to cope with stress, in which case you’ll need to find a healthier way to relieve pain or to handle stressful situations.
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)
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