Dr. B Kapur, Psychiatrist, Columbia Asia, Hospital Bangalore, India talks about the treatment and management of alcoholism. As per Dr. Kapur, not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, as assumed by some of us. There is a difference in social drinking and alcoholism. Only when the alcohol consumption starts impairing an individual’s health, personal and professional life, it is termed as alcoholism.
The successful treatment of alcoholism requires social support and motivation from their loved ones. There is a high chance of the person resorting back to alcoholism in the absence of these. An individual needs to be admitted to a rehabilitation centre for overcoming their chronic urges to drink. Most of the alcoholics fail to stop drinking because of the withdrawal symptoms they experience once the alcohol level in their blood becomes low.
Medical treatment of alcoholism starts with medication and psychotherapy.
Detoxification is the first and most difficult phase of the treatment as the person experiences a range of physical and psychological symptoms. Detoxification is done under a trained and experienced doctor. Detoxification is followed by rehabilitation that is done by counselling and other psychotherapies. The last stage is of maintenance of sobriety, which needs the support of family and friends.
Psychiatry has a very comprehensive approach to treat alcoholism. The treatment for chronic alcohol cannot be done in a home setting; a person needs to be kept in a de-addiction centre or institute. A major requirement for treating alcoholism successfully is that an individual is aware of its side effects and is a willing partner in the treatment”, says Dr. Kapur.
Remember, alcoholism is a curable disorder. All it needs is a timely intervention, love and support of the family to bring an individual back to a normal life.