Alcohol Abuse Treatment

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are." Chauncey Depew

 

The terminology can be confusing: Alcohol use disorder is also called: alcoholism, alcohol dependence, alcohol dependence, alcoholism, alcohol addiction.

The Mayo Clinic defines alcohol use disorder (which includes a level that's sometimes called alcoholism) is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm.

Bottom line, we are not hung up on semantics, we want to help you take back control of your health.

 

How does one know there's a problem?

The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers “yes” to two or more of the questions found here.

The consequences of untreated abuse or addiction often include other physical and mental health disorders that require medical attention. If left untreated over time, addiction becomes more severe, disabling, and life-threatening.

Treatment is available and it helps!

As disheartening as it may be to recognize that the condition persists in a loved one, friend, or oneself, there is a silver lining this the cloud: prevention efforts and treatment approaches for abuse and addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases. 

Our approach to alcohol use disorders is aligned with the integrative approach to medicine.  It is healing-oriented that considers the whole person, emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between us and our patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies. The centerpiece treatment plan for those with alcohol-related conditions, is Vivitrol, a once-a-month injectable form of extended-release naltrexone. 

 

About Vivitrol. It:

  • is a non-addictive and non-narcotic prescription medication with a low risk of misuse and dependence. 

  • is one of three medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for alcohol use disorder.

  • alters how your brain responds to the alcohol by preventing alcohol-induced endorphins from attaching to their receptors.

  • takes time as it doesn’t instantly reduce cravings for alcohol. Therefore, it’s critical not to miss any Vivitrol shots to gain the full benefits of this medication.  

Please note: Vivitrol is most effective when used in conjunction with other elements of a treatment program. It is our strong recommendation to include counseling, lab studies, nutrition, as well as other alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture. 

Image by Hayley Seibel
Image by Ian Stauffer