All treatment for alcoholism has abstinence as its main purpose, and the prospects for recovery are especially good for those patients who have the benefit of general good health and the support of others, and are also highly motivated to make their treatment work. After being treated for a year, about 50% to 60% abstain from alcohol, and most of them are able to do so permanently.
Authorities tell us that anyone who lacks the proper motivation, has little social support or is dealing with a psychiatric problem will probably relapse eventually, In their case, a reduction in their use of alcohol, significant periods of abstinence, the ability to get along better with others and better health are considered to be signs of their progress.
What you should know about recovery
To begin treatment an alcoholic must face the problem, decide to stop drinking, and realize that this disease can be cured with the right motivation. Treatment consists of the following steps:
Note that there may be an immediate need for detoxification at the start, and this can cause delirium tremens (DTs), withdrawal seizures or hallucinations, all of which are medical emergencies if they occur.
The next stage, rehabilitation, includes both counseling and medication to help recovering alcoholics develop the skills they need to remain sober, and this is done successfully on either and inpatient our outpatient basis.
Maintaining sobriety calls for the patient to be very self-motivated, and support is an essential element here. In many cases, he or she finds a sponsor and attends Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings on a regular basis as part of recovery.
Problems recovering alcoholics face
Their sobriety can be hard to maintain because the craving for alcohol is still present after detoxification. For someone coping with alcoholism at an early stage, this may cause certain withdrawal symptoms such as difficulty sleeping and anxiety. Those recovering from long-term dependence on alcohol may even experience panic attacks, uncontrollable shaking, spasms and hallucinations.
Since people who have DTs have a mortality rate greater than 10%, those who are detoxifying from late-stage alcoholism should always receive professional treatment form an experienced physician. They may also require a short inpatient stay at a detox center or hospital in order to make a full recovery.