Alcohol and substance abuse are chronic conditions of the body characterized by the inability to stop uncontrolled consumption of alcohol and substances (like tobacco, drugs, etc). This occurs due to physical and emotional dependence on these substances. As time passes, one’s tolerance for these items increases. This results in them taking higher doses to achieve the same effect, which puts them in life-threatening situations. Getting rid of addiction can help one enjoy a better and healthier lifestyle.
Here are some signs of alcohol and substance abuse:
Behavioral symptoms are as follows:
- Increased aggression and irritability
- Changes in personality and attitude
- Involvement in crime.
Physical symptoms include:
- Glazed and bloodshot eyes
- Dilated pupil
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Inability to sleep or sleeping way too much
- Shabby and unkept appearance
- Bad body odor
- Poor physical balance and coordination.
- Temporary blackouts and short term memory loss
- Increased irritability and severe mood swings
- Prioritizing drinking over other obligations and responsibilities
- Isolating oneself from friends and family in order to drink or to stay away from their judgment
- Drinking in secrecy
- Feeling hungover on days without alcohol
- Changing the group of people one associates with.
Here are some ways to treat alcohol and substance abuse:
The first step in treatment is to acknowledge the fact that the substance has consumed one’s life and that they need help.
Detoxification is the next step. Here, the show substance is cleared from the body, and withdrawal reactions are limited with the aid of medication.
Following detoxification, counseling and behavioral therapy are done individually or in a group depending on the preference of the patient.
Counseling helps to change one’s view, behavior, and habits. This can help a person stay away from substances in the future.
Long term treatment programs are recommended for severe cases. This includes rehabilitation programs that take care of a person throughout the day. Rehab is divided into short term residential treatment, therapeutic communities, and recovery housing.
Self-help groups can help a person meet other people with the same type of addiction. This helps a person feel less isolated and more motivated to stop.
Medication can be used to prevent withdrawal symptoms and manage complications associated with their addiction.
Detox the body by completely eliminating alcohol from the routine. Keep this up for a week. One may experience withdrawal symptoms like tremors, hallucinations, and seizures, which requires immediate medical care.
Visit a counselor or therapist after detoxing who can help plan strategies to control drinking. They can help a person deal with stress and build a support system.
Certain medicines can help a person by making drinking less enjoyable. These medications include disulfiram (makes one throw up if they drink), acamprosate (to help with the cravings), and naltrexone (blocks intoxication).
Group therapy can help one stay on track and listen to others with similar stories.