Alcohol Addiction Treatment/Prevention
In 2010, a total of 25,692 people died of alcohol-induced causes in the U.S.; dependent and non-dependent use. The death rate for alcohol-induced causes for the total population increased from 2.7% from 7.4 in 2009 and 7.6 in 2010. The adjusted death rate for males in 2010 was three times the rate of females, (Murphy, 2010). An estimated 23.5 million age 12 and older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 according to The National Institute on Drug Abuse. Of these, only 2.6 million (11.2%) of those who needed treatment, received it at a specialty faculty. 41.4% of treatment admissions involved drug abuse, heroin and other opiates accounted for the largest percentage of drug related admissions at 20%, followed by marijuana at 17%. 60% of admissions were white, 21% were African-American, and 14% were Latino, (National Institute on Drug Abuse 2011).
Based on this research since the 1970’s, key principles have developed that should form the basis of any effective treatment programs. Counseling is the most common form of drug abuse treatment but no single treatment is appropriate to everyone. Many drug-addicted individuals also have other mental disorders. Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and that alone does little to change long term drug abuse. Also, studies show that treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Lastly, treatment programs should assess patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other diseases as well as provide risk-reduction counseling.
According to the Mayo Clinic, many individuals who suffer from drug addiction do not recognize they have a problem. In this case, the individual should talk to a professional on how to best approach the situation. Depending on the circumstances, treatments may involve a brief intervention, individual or group counseling, an outpatient program, or a residential impatient stay. Treatment for alcohol may begin with detox (2-7 days). The patient may need to take sedating medications to prevent shaking, confusion or hallucinations, or other withdrawal symptoms, (Mayo Clinic). Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol include severe seizures, causing the individual to aspirate food that comes up from their stomach, possibly leading to choking or death. Common symptoms also include difficulty sleeping, and sweating, increased heart rate. The symptoms can cause high blood pressure, delirium, hyperventilation, and hallucinations as previously stated, (Live Science, 2011).
Although alcohol is toxic to the body, it causes changes to a person’s metabolism and central nervous system. According to Dr. Robert Schwartz, the body of an alcoholic has adapted to this new environment, so abstaining from the drug completely can be...