Is There A Cure For Alcoholism?
One of the most frequently asked questions here at Step One Recovery is ‘is there a cure for alcoholism?’. It is understandable why so many people, whether that is a user themselves or their loved ones, long for a way out from addiction.
Alcohol addiction is one of the most common yet most damaging substance use disorders. Alcohol is overlooked as addictive, due to its harmless and legal image. Yet unfortunately, alcohol is an addictive drug that taps into the internal reward system, impacts behaviours and fuels co-occurring disorders.
As alcohol changes and suppresses how the body and brain operates, an addiction to the substance is diagnosed as a re-occurring disorder. A re-occurring disorder is a condition or a set of symptoms that cannot be cured but can be treated and managed for the long term.
Whilst disheartening to hear, there isn’t a quick fix or a medication to control the symptoms of alcoholism. Yet there are however treatments, therapies and relapse prevention techniques that can help to motivate and promote long-term sobriety.
Here’s some more insight into the re-occurring nature of alcoholism, along with suitable treatment recommendations here at Step One Recovery.
What is the difference between cure and recovery?
Some health concerns and conditions can be cured through treatment. A cure will suppress the risks of reoccurrence, reduce possible symptoms, and place an individual in recovery without the need for ongoing treatment and focus.
Where ongoing treatment, intervention and management is essential in order to remain healthy and in remission, this will be recognised as recovery. Addiction, mental health issues and further conditions, such as diabetes can be recovered from. Yet their re-occurring nature can induce relapse, requiring future treatment.
For someone who’s suffering from alcoholism, recovery can be aimed for, even for the long-term. Treatment, management, and self-help can promote sobriety, greater wellbeing, and the lifestyle to lead to a fulfilled reality. There is hope beyond an alcoholism diagnosis.
Unfortunately, the current answer to ‘is there a cure for alcoholism?’, is no. Yet there are now many effective treatments and therapies which help to increase the reliability and stability of recovery rates.
Why can’t alcoholism be cured?
Although alcohol can be withdrawn and detached from, a physical and psychological addiction cannot be cured due to the internal changes that it makes. The heavy presence of alcohol in the body can trigger the internal reward system. Alcohol delivers rewarding feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and escape. In the moment it can positively reinforce feel-good chemicals and can place the mind into a false sense of security.
It also disrupts the central nervous system by acting as a depressant. It interrupts connections and messaging across neural pathways, by taking over-emotional responses and taught behaviours.
Whilst some form of balance can be restored through treating alcoholism, some of the adaptations cannot be reverted, making it impossible to block out each craving, association, or behaviour.
Due to the significant changes that can occur through alcoholism, the body and brain can become accustomed to its presence, found to trigger future urges and automatic responses. The slightest personal trigger can alarm the reward system and the basal ganglia structure, automatically fuelling the rebound effect.
There are treatments and therapies in place to understand, manage and regain control over the effects of alcoholism. A happy and healthy life can be aimed for if alcoholism treatment is completed and if sobriety is followed as a sustainable lifestyle choice.
Treatment options for alcoholism
Alcoholism treatment is effective whilst treating the cause and effects of alcohol use disorders. It is also designed to promote new habits, healthier associations, and long-term planning.
Whilst treatment can be completed on an outpatient basis in the UK, residential rehab is the most proactive and results-driven way to recover. Selecting a treatment facility to check into, complete treatment from and experience an all-round recovery journey is found to boost recovery rates.
At Step One Recovery, following the residential approach, addiction treatment options are individually recommended by assessing personal needs and responses to alcohol. Core alcoholism treatment options are arranged, to offer a foundation of recovery.
Additional treatments and therapies are then included to help our clients stop drinking with feasibility in mind. This approach is followed across our treatment centres.
Detoxing is the first step to treating alcoholism. Alcohol detox will be arranged to remove the toxicity of alcohol from the body. A medically assisted detox process will be delivered through our treatment facilities, offering a safe and reliable withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms are expected for each client, due to the addictive nature of alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal can be tough yet can also be fulfilled with professional and medical direction.
Rehabilitation and therapy
To treat and manage the greatest effects of alcohol addiction, rehabilitation will be worked through with a focus on therapy. To treat alcohol use disorders, the mind must be evaluated, supported, and nurtured.
Counselling sessions, therapy sessions with family members, support groups, cognitive behavioural therapy and further talking therapies will be recommended.
Holistic therapies are also incorporated whilst treating alcoholism, to improve acceptance, naturally heal the body and mind, and improve wellbeing and mental health.
Whilst alcoholism cannot be cured, it can be managed with the input of alcohol withdrawal medications. Where applicable, prescriptions are offered to reduce withdrawal symptoms, cause unpleasant feelings through alcohol exposure, and prevent relapse risks.
For example, medications including Disulfiram and Naltrexone can be prescribed to manage the ongoing withdrawal of alcohol.
Addiction recovery is a long-term commitment that will require significant planning. Alongside medical, therapeutic, and holistic treatment options, lifestyle management, wellbeing management and coping techniques will be focused on, plan for sobriety. They will be recommended on a per-client basis.
Treating alcoholism through effective and industry-leading treatments will be the closest result to a cure. Addiction treatments help to detox the body, restore the mind, and prepare both for abstinence.
Aftercare and relapse prevention
To gain some form of control over the re-current nature of alcoholism, aftercare and relapse prevention planning are also included within alcohol rehabilitation programmes.
For someone who is dependent on alcohol, post-rehab life will be very different. Ongoing support is invaluable, along with having some form of direction to follow, manoeuvring around high-risk situations and relapse.
Aftercare services offer a strong support network, access to local support groups, and fellowship whilst working through sobriety. 12-step recovery plans lead the way, offering a step-by-step recovery process that is both motivating yet realistic.
To maintain an alcohol-free life, relapse prevention planning must be focused on and should continuously evolve. Personal plans should include coping strategies, motivations, self-help tips, emergency contacts and further treatment options to make use of in the event of relapse.
Management tools are available to promote long-term sobriety. Making use of such tools can soon become the norm, reducing the need for further treatment and intervention.
Reasonably, most people will hope that yes is the answer to ‘is there a cure for alcoholism?’. Whilst a cure is yet to be discovered, management techniques, self-help and ongoing treatment can help to alleviate the strains of alcoholism.
Managing alcoholism will be possible by making some lifestyle changes, preventing relapse through awareness and structure, and accepting ongoing treatment. An alcohol relapse should also be expected, should be planned for, and should be viewed as a lesson.
Whilst there are ways to stop drinking, a quick fix or detox will not offer the foundation to recover. Alcohol rehabilitation will provide the advice, resources, and motivations to overcome alcoholism.
Reach out here at Step One Recovery to work through alcoholism rehabilitation.