Treatment of alcoholism

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
It's widely accepted that an alcoholic is on the road to recovery only when the existence of a drinking problem is admitted. However, the next few days after an alcoholic admits the problem are generally the most crucial. As alcohol begins to leave the system, the alcoholic may experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary greatly depending on how far the disease has progressed. Symptoms may include anxiety, nausea, hallucinations, seizures, nightmares, memory loss, problems of balance, moodiness, and even delirium tremens (dee-LEER-ee-um TREH-mens), also known as the DTs (D-Ts). Most withdrawal symptoms occur during the first six months of recovery, but dealing with withdrawal is only part of the formula. Even after the physical addiction has been overcome, there often remains a psychological addiction. Many alcoholics choose to cope with the psychological aspects of their addiction by joining support such as Alcoholics Anonymous, where they receive the support of other recovering alcoholics. However, private counseling can also be extremely effective. Therapy generally approaches alcoholism as an incurable disease, because the possibility of relapse lasts a lifetime. Nevertheless, with treatment, many alcoholics are able to recover, and learn to lead a fulfilling life without alcohol. For more information about the treatment of alcoholism, contact a health care professional.

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