Cultural stereotypes of the alcoholic tend to focus on the Skid Row drunk: homeless, impoverished, and unemployed. But current research has replaced this stereotype with more realistic portraits of the most typical subtypes of alcoholics. The results of a national study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence showed that there are five basic types of alcoholics in the United States. The descriptions of these subtypes, all of whom meet the criteria for alcohol dependence, may surprise you:
Alcohol detox– In most cases of long-term alcohol addiction, detox must occur prior to formal treatment. This part of the healing process involves stopping the consumption of alcohol and all other drugs. This gives the body time to cleanse itself of all harmful toxins. Withdrawal symptoms may be an issue (e.g., depression and anxiety, mood swings, sweats, chills and irritability). They all depend upon the specifics of the addiction. Physical and mental health care and support is provided, as needed.1Therapeutic medication– The need for therapeutic medication depends on the individual patient’s needs, experiences and circumstances. If a drug is used, it should be medically-managed by a physician.
Most drugs affect the brain's "reward circuit," causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again. A One Hour Journey Through the 12 Steps with Tommy Rosen
Any drug overdose can be either accidental or intentional. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. Accidental overdoses tend to happen when people take more of a prescription medication than originally intended to achieve certain results, or when they use too much of an illegal drug trying to get a better high. Intentional overdoses are usually a result of someone trying to commit suicide. Regardless of the intent, any loss of life due to an overdose is tragic and any overdose can have severe and lasting repercussions.
Inpatient medical residential treatment involves pharmaceutical therapy and medication management from health care professionals to help clients safely work through recovery. It’s at this time that co-occurring disorders are also diagnosed and evaluated (dual-diagnosis). Inpatient drug rehab centers like The Recovery Village are designed with clients in mind. The Recovery Village offers a variety of wellness programs, therapy options and medical support structures to ensure clients have the tools they need to heal.
Alcohol Health & Research World notes that outpatient alcohol detox programs can be as safe and effective as inpatient detox, as long as the patients have been professionally screened and matched to the right level of care. With outpatient treatment, the average length of stay in rehab is usually shorter, and the cost is generally less. However, for patients at risk of serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or for those with co-occurring medical or psychiatric disorders, inpatient alcohol detox is often more appropriate. Amazing Alcohol Addiction Treatment
How the drug is taken. Smoking a drug or injecting it into a vein increases its addictive potential.33,34 Both smoked and injected drugs enter the brain within seconds, producing a powerful rush of pleasure. However, this intense high can fade within a few minutes. Scientists believe this starkly felt contrast drives some people to repeated drug taking in an attempt to recapture the fleeting pleasurable state.
Substance abuse therapy: Used as a part of many inpatient and outpatient programs, therapy is one of the cornerstones of drug addiction treatment. Individual, group and family therapy help patients and their loved ones understand the nature and causes of addiction. Therapy teaches coping strategies and life skills needed to live a productive, sober life in the community. For individuals with a co-occurring mental illness, intensive psychotherapy can also address psychiatric symptoms and find the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Inside Shalom House, Australia’s ‘strictest’ drug rehabilitation | Australian Story