People with alcohol use disorder make up nearly one-quarter of those in publicly funded treatment. Still, only a fraction of the people who need the alcohol rehab Florida has to offer tend to reach out. That is according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
With new research into the causes of alcoholism, more treatment options may soon open up. People who had not considered treatment for any number of reasons could find their way to the help that they need.
Alcohol Use Disorder Has a Number of Effective Treatment Options
According to the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, most people respond to some form of treatment. In fact, most people who seek treatment and come through a program successfully are symptom-free after one year.
Some of the programs and therapies for alcohol disorders, both in residential care and after intensive treatment, include:
- Behavioral treatments: a wide range of therapies, such as setting goals, developing new coping mechanisms, and identifying triggers. Usually guided by a trained professional.
- Medications: Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram work in different ways to help manage cravings and interfere with the metabolism of alcohol. Not every person needs each medication.
- Support groups: widely known and appreciated for helping alcoholics live in recovery through accountability and relapse prevention support.
One of the oldest and most respected groups for alcohol use disorder is Alcoholics Anonymous, more commonly known as AA. It is a faith-centric 12-step program that factors in accountability and forgiveness. For millions of adults, AA offers stability and guidance. SMART Recovery, which is not faith-based, is another group that helps teach life skills for staying sober.
Relapse Can Happen Early Because Withdrawals are Challenging
Withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism are notoriously challenging, even if they are mild. Medically-assisted detox is a safe approach. Only a small number of people have the most serious side-effects, but there is no way to know in advance if you will. When withdrawal symptoms peak, relapse is common.
Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms begin within about six hours. They include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shaky hands
After two days, hallucinations may begin. Seizures are also possible.
A small number of people—about five percent—may also experience delirium tremens or DTs between two to three days after withdrawals begin. WebMD says that of the people who do experience DTs, these symptoms may also appear:
- Heavy sweats
- High blood pressure
- Racing heart
New Research May Open New Doors for Alcohol Treatment
To date, medications for the treatment of alcoholism has focused on symptom management. However, new research has broadened the possibilities. Scientists at the Nencki Institute in Warsaw, Poland have identified a link between the brain enzyme matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9 KO) and the likelihood of developing alcoholism.
Research published in the Journal of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Therapeutics shows that MMP-9 “plays a functional role in alcohol addiction-related behaviors.” In a lab setting, mice that were missing the enzyme showed less motivation to consume alcohol and lower alcohol-seeking tendencies when in active withdrawals.
Relapse during withdrawals is common with nearly every substance abuse disorder. The MMP-9 enzyme so far appears to be an important factor in whether a person goes out of his or her way to find alcohol during this critical stage in recovery.
Current advances in alcohol treatment research mean there is more hope than ever on the horizon. For now, existing programs have already helped millions of people walk away from alcohol to live clean and sober for good.
Florida alcohol rehab offers tested and true therapies for the treatment of alcoholism. Carefully monitored detox helps you come through the most vulnerable time in recovery without succumbing to relapse. It also gives you a network of immediate support in case withdrawal symptoms turn dangerous. Treatment may include a number of personally selected therapies, including counseling sessions, skill building, co-occurring disorder diagnosis, and many others.
If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from alcoholism or any substance abuse disorder, contact us to learn about our programs and admissions today.