Interesting Alcohol Addiction Treatment Guide from South Africa


Alcoholism or being addicted to alcohol.

The symptoms of alcohol dependency usually occur quickly again if the patient begins to consume alcohol even after several years of abstinence. Most alcohol dependents therefore have a problematic relationship with alcohol for many years, as a want to return to casual alcohol consumption will not be possible and will most likely to require formal treatment.

Often patients suffer from addictive symptoms for more than 10 years before they even begin seeking alcohol addiction treatment.

During the course of the day they have tried to reduce alcohol consumption by different techniques without long-term success (as they had not applied for treatment). Recurrence of alcohol abuse occurs frequently 2-4 months after treatment start. Many patients must experience one or more recurrence before they get a clear understanding that they have a serious alcohol problem.

Psychological complications of alcohol abuse

Prolonged alcohol abuse affects the brain and can lead to memory problems, concentration difficulties and personality changes. Due to poor diet, severe B vitamin deficiency often occurs, which may in turn cause general brain disease and a number of related syndromes associated with brain changes.

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Social complications due to alcohol abuse

Alcoholism can have major social consequences and is very extensive.

It starts with problems at home that lead to separation or divorce. Slowly, you also lose friends. At work, you are fired due to cooperation problems and many sick days and also lose their social circle. Most social ties are broken or destroyed, and you get insulated with their problems and their alcohol dependence.

As an alcoholic, you need help to rebuild his social relations, his normal life and return to the job market.

See treatment for alcohol dependence

In family-oriented alcohol treatment centre, the alcohol dependence related family stresses it has on the relationships can be repaired as the family members learn to address the issues involved with alcohol addiction.

Alcoholism Treatment.

The basic concept in the treatment of alcohol dependency is similar to the management of any other chronic disorders, such as diabetes. Emergency cases include those where alcohol poisoning renders the patient in a medical or rehab facility.

The treatment involves “stabilisation” and then the treatment of “withdrawal symptoms”, and then a significant “psychological shift” and lifestyle adjustment. With the patient is dramatically reducing their daily alcohol intake.

All 3 phases must be addressed professionally for alcohol addiction treatment to be successful.

For example, an unsupervised withdrawals treatment is a could lead to the patient to resumeing his or her alcohol consumption (to lessen the withdrawal) and or without complete “cold turkey” withdrawal of alcohol can lead to life threatening seizures.

It is important to have patients examined for co-morbid conditions often related to alcoholism. Somatic and common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders frequently co-occur in patients.

Mental health illness can complicate the treatment of alcohol addiction and need to be addressed concurrently. It is important to recognize that treatment of the co-morbid state can often not stand alone in the case of addiction. However, if the co-morbid condition is not controlled, the risk of recurrence is significantly greater. The best treatment results are obtained if the therapist cures treatment of both the mental illness and the alcohol addiction as per (National Clinical Guideline: Investigation and Treatment of People with Co-Alcohol and Mental Illness).

The lifestyle adaptation of dependence consists of a course of structured therapy, eg cognitive behavioral therapy. The treatment can take 1-2 years. Some patients are happy to partake in self-help groups, both found in the public treatment and in the form of alcoholics anonymous groups.

For best possible shot at success possible to keeping a patient sober for one year while the patient’s social, physical and mental condition is corrected, the prognosis for recurrence is usually good. To do this requires intensive rehabilitation process to break the cycle and then constant fortification of the treatment using available groups and individual consultation with therapists.

Physical complications of alcohol abuse

In the event of continued alcohol abuse, in the long term there will be damage to many organs of the body, which can lead to serious health complications. Virtually all organs can be damaged (heart, nervous system, hormone system, stomach, liver, etc.) and just a few of the following diseases are mentioned here:

  • Cirrhosis (liver cirrhosis) that can develop into liver cancer
  • Hepatitis (hepatitis)
  • Gastroenteritis (gastritis)
  • Pancreatitis (pancreatitis)

Delirium Tremens

With alcohol abuse, a condition called acute delirium tremens may occur, which is indicated by severe disorientation, anxiety, hallucinations, tremor, and the symptoms described during withdrawal symptoms. This can be a life threatening condition if it is not treated immediately at the hospital as the patient becomes exhausted and may have a seizure.