Alcoholism is a disease caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.
Scientifically called alcohol dependence, or also alcohol abuse.
The alcoholic presents problems in living with people, family, at work and even with themselves. Generally the alcoholic finds it difficult to recognize the need for help and feels reluctant to talk about the addiction which increases the prejudice of the disease.
Society reinforces the myth that Alcoholism is a sign of weakness, lack of will and moral. Therefore, addicts may think that asking for help is to admit failure or have a problem that they should be ashamed of.
The first ones to identify and admit that the person has problems with alcohol are family and those living with the alcoholic. It’s them the ones who are also accompanying the loss of quality of life and health over the lifetime of the patient. Therefore, the first step in seeking treatment is in the family. When talking to an expert on the pattern of alcohol use and its consequences, usually without the presence of the alcoholic, it will be understood that this is a disease and explained how they can help the patient to understand the need for treatment.
Recovery works best with the combination of various treatments: general practitioner and psychiatric follow-up, family therapy, support groups, counseling and Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholism is an incurable disease, but it is treatable, it means that even if the alcoholic is sober, they need to continue treatment to prevent relapse and so they must continue to avoid habits, places and people related to alcohol consumption. The support and encouragement of the family is essential to keep the patient motivated.
TREATMENT OF ALCOHOLISM OR ALCOHOL ABUSE
The type of treatment to be determined depends on the severity of alcoholism and on the available resources.
Phase 1 – Detoxification: Total abstinence from alcohol. The first 60 days require constant monitoring by professionals and family because of possible complications that the alcoholic may bring: Delirium Tremens, sensory perception changes, suicide attempts, mental confusion, etc.
The medication is necessary to decrease withdrawal symptoms or to help the patient to keep clean as well as individual, group or family therapy.
At this stage the in-patient hospitalization in protected system is more secure and strengthens the patient to start the next phase of recovery.
Phase 2 – Social Reintegration: Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps to identify situations, thoughts, feelings and behaviors that may lead to the need for drinking. The therapy also helps develop strategies to deal with the lack of alcohol.
Phase 3 – Maintenance: This stage requires patient and family compliance to resume their professional, family and social activities. Support Group therapy to prevent relapse is an alternative for maintenance of the patient’s recovery.
All treatments can be performed in a hospital setting: full-time therapy at The Treatment Center in Piraquara/PR, and Daily Clinical or Outpatient treatments at Cleuza Canan Clinic in Curitiba/PR;
In both places the patient will find a friendly and confidential environment with multidisciplinary team prepared to assist them in understanding, accepting and controlling the disease.
Patients can also set individual appointments, choosing date and time of their preference. On this occasion they will undergo a diagnostic evaluation and receive a treatment proposal.
SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS about ALCOHOLISM:
Yes, it’s defined as a disease by its compulsive pattern of consumption, because every time the person needs to consume more not to suffer the displeasure of the lack of it. When the use is suspended, the addict has withdrawal symptoms and physical, psychological and social consequences. Therefore, This practice is addictive and creates dependency and for this reason is classified as a disease.
You can check it through the CAGE questionnaire below. There are 4 questions, if you answer positively two of them or more, it means you need to see a specialist.
- a) Have you ever thought about quitting drinking?
- b) Have you ever been annoyed when others criticized your drinking habits?
- c) Have you ever felt bad or guilty because of drinking?
- d) Have you ever drank in the morning to calm down or get rid of a hangover?
- Can an alcoholic return drinking socially?
No, because it is a metabolic and incurable disease.
No, because it is a metabolic and incurable disease.
The best way to get information about is starting attending an AA group or seeking professional guidance that will provide you the best way to continue forward.
Only you know how your drinking affects your life. An honest and fearless evaluation of yourself will make you realize your need and make you seek help.
The alcoholic often needs medical and psychological treatment as well.
It starts from having a genetic predisposition and experimental use. If in your family history there are alcoholic uncles, grandparents or parents, you have a big chance to be an alcoholic too. The first symptoms are in question number 2.
Because people see alcoholism as a lack of willpower or character problems, not as a disease.
There’s no medium or severe level for alcoholism. We can find the ones who have just started drinking, the ones who have been drinking for years, the ones who drink only expensive and or imported drinks, and also the ones who drink cheap alcohol, Caipirinhas*, etc. The addict can be male or female. There are different phases, but once it becomes a habit, it also becomes a disease and an addiction. It doesn’t matter the type of alcohol, if you feel the necessity of drinking, you must look for help.
*Caipirinha is a Typical Brazilian drink.
Alcoholism has no cure, we can only interrupt the disease process avoiding drinking. Recovering alcoholics are people who abstain themselves from alcohol completely. Recovering alcoholics can have healthy, happy and productive lives.
No. It is important to know that an alcoholic needs help to stop drinking, and this help must come from professionals trained to treat the disease because besides the fact that the family doesn’t know about the disease, the family is emotionally involved in the problem.
There is at least 10% of the alcohol-dependent population everywhere, no matter the culture or the country.