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.
Almost all alcoholics who have been chronic, heavy drinkers will experience some level of withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop drinking. These symptoms can range from mild shakes and discomfort to life-threatening delirium tremens -- which can include confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, autonomic instability, and death. Long-time, heavy drinkers who decide to quit drinking should seek medical assistance first.
A number of faith-based groups operate drug and alcohol recovery programs. These include the Christian Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers and Harbor Light detox and residential centers, which can be found nationwide, as well as a variety of other rehab centers and organizations dedicated to residential rehabilitation and support based on their specific faith traditions. Some religious organizations offer support organizations for people in rehab, such as the Orthodox Jewish Chabad movement recovery program and its residential treatment center for men in California, or JACS, a Jewish community addiction resource group in New York, along with a number of other Christian support organizations, like Alcoholics Victorious and Christians in Recovery. These groups generally provide free 12-Step support or other counseling, religious motivation, and peer support group programs, but do not provide medical detox, requiring that their clients undergo detox before beginning their programs.
For example, someone with bipolar disorder that suffers from alcoholism would have dual diagnosis (manic depression + alcoholism). In such occasions, two treatment plans are needed with the mental health disorder requiring treatment first. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 45 percent of people with addiction have a co-occurring mental health disorder.

Intake lasts only a couple of hours, but alcohol detox can last anywhere from five to 14 days, depending upon the withdrawal symptoms you experience. Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on your history with alcohol and side effects from withdrawal can include anxiety or depression, tremors, mood swings, irritability, insomnia, lack of appetite, sweating, confusion, fever, seizures and more.
In-patient residential treatment for alcohol abuse is usually quite expensive without proper insurance. Most American programs follow a traditional 28–30 day program length. The length is based solely upon providers' experience. During the 1940's, clients stayed about one week to get over the physical changes, another week to understand the program, and another week or two to become stable.[18] 70% to 80% of American residential alcohol treatment programs provide 12-step support services. These include, but are not limited to AA, NA, CA, Al-Anon[18] One recent study suggests the importance of family participation in residential treatment patient retention, finding "increased program completion rate for those with a family member or significant other involved in a seven-day family program."[19]
Problem drinking soon progresses to physical dependency. At this stage, you have probably developed a tolerance to alcohol and require more of it to feel the same level of enjoyment as before. This increased consumption can cause your body to get used to alcohol. When you are not using it, or the effects begin to wear off, you will experience physical withdrawal symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating, tremors, and nausea.
After physical dependency comes addiction. At this stage, you are drinking because you have a physical and psychological need to do so, and not for pleasure or because you want to. You will crave alcohol and it will be interfering with your ability to enjoy life. It is likely to be having a negative impact on your relationships with others as well as on your health and finances. Even knowing the harm that it is causing will not be able to stop. You will be compelled to drink and will be powerless to resist.
Before entering a rehab facility, patients may have to undergo detox treatment. Detox is the process in which a patient rids his or her body of the addictive substance. From start to finish, this process varies in length, but often takes about a week. As part of a medical detox program, recovering patients will be monitored by doctors and nurses and given medications to manage withdrawal, when appropriate. Once a patient completes detox, he or she is ready for rehab. Drug Addiction : How to Cure a Cocaine Addiction
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)

While a relapse or slip-up is by no means inevitable, you might face some setbacks during recovery. This does not have to mean returning to alcohol use. A lapse should not signify the end of your recovery, provided you act appropriately, in order to avoid a full relapse. You might even find that this small slip is enough to remind you of why you wanted to quit in the first place. Addiction is a disease. We should treat it like one | Michael Botticelli


Checking seven or more boxes from each list indicates that someone you care about is in the later stages of alcoholism. Not only your loved one, but everyone else in your household is at risk of severe harm. Talk with a substance abuse counselor who specializes in intervention about arranging a formal meeting to confront the problem. At this stage, it’s imperative to get your loved one into treatment as soon as possible. Working with an intervention specialist is the most effective way to help you and your family recover your safety, health and sanity.

Oral medications. A drug called disulfiram (Antabuse) may help prevent you from drinking, although it won't cure alcohol use disorder or remove the compulsion to drink. If you drink alcohol, the drug produces a physical reaction that may include flushing, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Naltrexone, a drug that blocks the good feelings alcohol causes, may prevent heavy drinking and reduce the urge to drink. Acamprosate may help you combat alcohol cravings once you stop drinking. Unlike disulfiram, naltrexone and acamprosate don't make you feel sick after taking a drink.
As the brain matures, experiences prune excess neural connections while strengthening those that are used more often. Many scientists think that this process contributes to the steady reduction in gray matter volume seen during adolescence (depicted as the yellow to blue transition in the figure). As environmental forces help determine which connections will wither and which will thrive, the brain circuits that emerge become more efficient. However, this is a process that can cut both ways because not all tasks are desirable. The environment is like an artist who creates a sculpture by chipping away excess marble; and just like bad artists can produce bad art, environments with negative factors (like drugs, malnutrition, bullying, or sleep deprivation) can lead to efficient but potentially harmful circuits that conspire against a person's well-being. Coming KLEAN: Stories of Overcoming Addiction, The Documentary (Rated R)
According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.5 million people (8.5 percent of the U.S. population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit* drug or alcohol use problem in 2014. Only 4.2 million (18.5 percent of those who needed treatment) received any substance use treatment in the same year. Of these, about 2.6 million people received treatment at specialty treatment programs (CBHSQ, 2015).
Assess how you’re experiencing the craving. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a relaxed position. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander through your body. Notice the part of your body where you’re experiencing the craving and what the sensations are like. Tell yourself what it feels like. For example, “My craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.”
This subtype represents only 9 percent of U.S. alcoholics, yet more members of this group seek treatment (almost two-thirds) than any other category. Chronic, severe alcoholics have fought a long battle with this disease, and most are now middle-aged. The majority of people in this group have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders. Many also abuse other drugs, like cocaine or opiates.
Over time, the patient often comes to believe that the drug betters them as a person and feels incapable of contemplating life without it. In short order, however, use of the drug will begin to cause problems for the user and to remove the good things in their life. All of the perceived “good” effects of using the drug will wear away, but the person will still continue to use, often becoming obsessed with the drug and doing anything they have to do to obtain the substance of choice.

Checking seven or more boxes from each list indicates that someone you care about is in the later stages of alcoholism. Not only your loved one, but everyone else in your household is at risk of severe harm. Talk with a substance abuse counselor who specializes in intervention about arranging a formal meeting to confront the problem. At this stage, it’s imperative to get your loved one into treatment as soon as possible. Working with an intervention specialist is the most effective way to help you and your family recover your safety, health and sanity.


Outpatient treatment is the next step down in a continuum of care. It is also a rehabilitation option for individuals whose addiction is less severe and doesn’t require inpatient treatment. Clients in this phase of rehab drug treatment visit the facility regularly, but do not stay overnight. This approach allows the individual to receive drug treatment while maintaining family and job responsibilities. Drug Addict Is Terrified When He Sees the Rehab Car | The Jeremy Kyle Show
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