Acamprosate, disulfiram and topiramate (a novel anticonvulsant sulphonated sugar) are also used to treat alcohol addiction. Acamprosate has shown effectiveness for patients with severe dependence, helping them to maintain abstinence for several weeks, even months.[13] Disulfiram (also called Antabuse) produces a very unpleasant reaction when drinking alcohol that includes flushing, nausea and palpitations. It is more effective for patients with high motivation and some addicts use it only for high-risk situations.[14] Patients who wish to continue drinking or may be likely to relapse, should not take disulfiram as it can result in the disulfiram-alcohol reaction mentioned previously, which is very serious and can even be fatal[13]
Patients in drug rehab treatment programs are encouraged to end toxic relationships. Toxic relationships are those that have the propensity to lead to drug abuse. Conversely, patients are encouraged to seek help from other people who can support them on their journey. These supportive relationships could include friends, family members, and even other rehab patients.
The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reported an analysis on disparities within admissions for substance abuse treatment in the Appalachian region, which comprises 13 states and 410 counties in the Eastern part of the U.S. While their findings for most demographic categories were similar to the national findings by NSDUH, they had different results for racial/ethnic groups which varied by sub-regions. Overall, Whites were the demographic with the largest admission rate (83%), while Alaskan Native, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and Asian populations had the lowest admissions (1.8%).[45]
Whether or not you can successfully cut back on your drinking depends on the severity of your drinking problem. If you’re an alcoholic—which, by definition, means you aren’t able to control your drinking—it’s best to try to stop drinking entirely. But if you’re not ready to take that step, or if you don’t have an alcohol abuse problem but want to cut back for personal or health reasons, the following tips can help:
Assessment and evaluation– Treatment typically begins with a complete physical and psychological assessment to establish which method of rehabilitation should be used. This is completed by both physicians and treatment counselors. Medical and mental health records are read. Family and alcohol-use histories are also reviewed. This process helps to chart the best course of action. Oftentimes, follow-up reviews are necessary to update or adjust treatment measures. Every aspect of care is based on a personalized treatment plan.
Upon exiting treatment, a patient may be prescribed a drug like disulfiram, which prevents the body from chemically processing alcohol, causing an unpleasant reaction if the patient relapses or attempts to relapse. Because of disulfiram’s toxicity, it has to be taken under the supervision of a doctor, as unregulated usage can cause strong, even fatal reactions.
Biological factors that can affect a person's risk of addiction include their genes, stage of development, and even gender or ethnicity. Scientists estimate that genes, including the effects environmental factors have on a person's gene expression, called epigenetics, account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person's risk of addiction.27 Also, teens and people with mental disorders are at greater risk of drug use and addiction than others.28
The specific medicines prescribed will vary depending upon your own particular experience of withdrawal and the symptoms you are manifesting, and it may be that certain medications will not be appropriate depending on your substance of abuse or your own personal health history; an experienced medical professional will be able to make those decisions to ensure you go through withdrawal as safely as possible. What happens in rehab?
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