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Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is as old as any known addiction. In fact, alcohol is the leading factor of deaths among people between the ages of 18 and 24. Alcohol abuse can also destroy personal and professional relationships. Moreover, drinking too much alcohol regularly can have an extremely negative impact on your health. The American Psychiatric Association defines alcohol abuse as “a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work.”
Alcoholism Comes at a High Price
Alcohol is the third leading avoidable cause of death in America today. Nearly 90,000 Americans die each year at the hands of alcohol. Which, incidentally, is higher than drug overdose fatalities. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “alcohol misuse cost the American economy over $240 Billion a year.” Moreover, its negative effects are wide-ranging and can result in car accidents, violence, and sexual assaults. Even with this in mind, and the increased consequences by law, alcohol is still more prevalent than other drug on the streets. Although beer, wine or hard liquor are not known for triggering widespread overdose, the long-term consequences of alcoholism are quite often fatal, if not treated.
Health Consequences of Alcohol Abuse
- Brain Damage
- Liver Disease
- Hypertension and Stroke
- Weakened Immune System
- Sexual Problems
Common Signs of Alcoholism
- Inability to Stop or Decrease Drinking
- Frequent Hangovers
- School or Job Neglect
- Relationship Problems
- Legal Issues
- Anxiety When Not Drinking
Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment in West Palm Beach
Outpatient Alcohol Detox: Outpatient alcohol detox for patients whose indications and addiction history are mild to moderate. However, patients who exhibit moderate to severe alcohol addiction symptoms are referred to a local inpatient detox. Patient safety is our primary concern as alcohol withdrawal can be very dangerous should long-term use stop abruptly. However, patients can typically start right away with mild to moderate symptoms. This is the first step in most alcohol treatment programs. During detox, the body must rid itself of alcohol and other toxins through a medically supervised detoxification.
Outpatient Alcohol Treatment: West Palm Beach outpatient programs offer a more independent option for alcohol treatment. Instead of living at an alcohol rehab, clients live at home, go to work or school, and continue with their busy lives. Outpatient addiction treatment offers convenient morning, noon and evening programs. Initially, patients will undergo a six-week program that addresses their behavioral needs.
Medication Assisted Treatment for Alcoholism
Recovery from alcohol addiction can be very challenging. Alcohol is legally and readily available at bars, liquor stores and gas stations. It is everywhere and branded as a slice of Americana and glorified in mass media advertising. Even during the 14-year period of prohibition, Americans continued to drink in spite of the law enforcement. However, it does come at a heavy cost. In particular, alcohol abuse can lead to significant health problems including cirrhosis of the liver and pancreatitis. In addition, alcohol withdrawal can be very dangerous while creating severe symptoms, including delirium tremens and seizures.
The process of alcohol addiction recovery is made profoundly easier and safer in our Palm Beach County medication assisted treatment program. Moreover, medications assist patients that reduce cravings and withdrawal. When used in combination with psychotherapy, MAT has shown to increase success rates dramatically.
MAT Medicines for Alcohol Addiction
Naltrexone is a medication that blocks the effects of intoxication that people experience when drinking alcohol. Over time, this reduced effect can help individuals isolate alcohol from previously pleasurable moods and make it easier to stay sober. This medication is most commonly directed in its tablet form and a monthly injectable(Vivitrol). Naltrexone works best when combined with psychotherapy and other medications. Naltrexone is only be prescribed after the patient has stopped drinking and completed the detoxification.
Like Naltrexone, Acamprosate is ideal for people who have already through the primary stages of detox. Treatment with this medication generally starts on the fifth day of abstinence and reaches its full effectiveness within five to eight days. Acamprosate comes in tablet form and has shown effective in reducing alcohol cravings. Since this medication is broken down in the digestive system, it is advantageous for alcohol patients who have liver problems.