September 29, 2022

Natur family

Health Care

Evaluating Alcoholism Medical Treatment Options

Alcoholism medical treatment for has made great strides in the past few years. Once finally recognized as an actual treatable disease, funding for research and development of new therapies increased. Treatment methods for alcoholism can include medical attention, drug therapy, support groups and psychotherapy.

A visit to a physician is a great first step. Alcoholism often creates auxiliary health problems, such as fatty livers, cirrhosis, weakened immune system, and brain and heart damage. It can cause bone disease, and for women who are pregnant, can result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Effects (irreversible birth defects), or miscarriage.

No doctor or clinic has a “magic wand” that can cure alcoholism or make it go away. But there are many types of treatment that can greatly increase the odds of victory—so long as the alcoholic is truly determined to quit drinking.

The first few weeks are the hardest. And the first year of recovery is critical. Especially in the initial stages of recovery, a complete support package will make a huge difference in the person’s chances of success. Those who are still sober at the one-year mark with no remission in the interim face a much lower risk of subsequent death from alcohol-related issues.

Medical treatment for alcoholism can include medication to help reduce cravings, like naltrexone. It can also include treatments for auxiliary conditions the patient may have. Liver disease and vitamin deficiencies are two very common conditions that plague alcoholics. A physician may prescribe multivitamins or even B-vitamin shots, along with other prescriptions. Of course, care should be taken that one treatment doesn’t negate or offset another.

Not every treatment option works for every patient. While naltrexone (Revia and Depade brand names) is usually effective, some patients have reported little or no benefit. At that point a frank discussion with your doctor is in order. Acamprosate, buspirone, or other serotonin inhibitors may be viable options in these cases.

The biggest hurdle to alcoholism medical treatment, or of any addiction, is taking that first step and seeking help. Once that’s done, a whole universe of treatment options will open up. A good physician who is familiar with treatment for alcoholism will be able to work with the patient to create an individualized plan that should offer a good chance for successful, lifetime sobriety.