Alcoholism (also called alcohol addiction or alcohol dependence) is a life-threatening addiction. In the US alone, about 90,000 alcohol deaths are counted each year. Up to 7 million people – a third of them women – are considered alcoholic. Know that any steps taken to prevent or beat alcoholism should be regarded as well worth it.
Alcoholism cannot be cured
Alcohol addiction is not curable, meaning a person’s dependence on alcohol remains a lifelong battle. The goal of treatment is to stay sober. Alcoholism therapy includes in-patient detoxification, psychotherapeutic weaning treatment, and active help from other alcoholics.
Alcohol dependence exists when three or more of the following rules apply:
- Strong or obsessive desire to drink alcohol
- Problems to limit the consumption of alcohol reliably
- Withdrawal symptoms, if not drunk
- Increased alcohol tolerance
- Neglecting other activities and obligations in order to drink
- Prolonged drinking despite existing health damage from alcohol consumption
- Hiding alcohol or drinking alone
- Drunk driving, or getting your driving license suspended or revoked due to alcohol
- Emotional derailments after alcohol consumption such as increased disputes or physical disputes under drunkenness
- Money problems because of the frequent purchasing of alcohol
In addition to the above, experts say that withdrawing from friends, family members or life partners is another sign of alcoholism. Drinkers like to drink with other people who drink, so if you are shying away from those who don’t drink, there may be a problem. There is a hereditary tendency to alcohol addiction. Lack of awareness of drug abuse and addiction issues in the person’s business and private life is another sign. Alcoholism is favored by traumatic experiences, especially in childhood, such as abuse, violence or separations.
Inpatient detoxification is the best way to beat this disease. Alcohol withdrawal without medical support and medical supervision can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient psychotherapeutic and social therapy can be useful to reveal patterns of life with alcohol and will help professionals discover non-alcoholic behaviors. The method of choice is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy of at least 16 weeks duration in a specialized addiction clinic. In the best case, lifelong visits to self-help groups and – possibly – outpatient psychotherapy is essential.