What Is the First Line of Treatment for Alcoholism? Exploring Options

What Is the First Line of Treatment for Alcoholism

Alcoholism or alcohol addiction often starts small, from frequent late-night drinks to more frequent evening and even afternoon drinks. Over time, it becomes a menace, rewiring the brain and pushing it to believe it cannot act at 100% capacity without the substance. In addition to this, alcoholism often affects other aspects of the individual’s life. As Pacific Ridge reports, victims often start small and build tolerance over time. Their increasing tolerance level pushes them to consume more quantities of alcohol to experience the desired highness.

However, being an alcoholic doesn’t have to remain forever. Many people realize the trajectory their life is taking and wish to find help. But what does help look like, and what’s the first line of treatment? Find out in this article as we explore addiction treatment for alcoholism and the important things to know.

Alcohol Detoxification

Alcohol detoxification is often the first line of treatment for combating alcohol addiction. This process often involves withdrawing the victim from the abused substance long enough for their body to want it and recalibrate the system.

Detoxification often involves withdrawal symptoms, especially after the body has been starved of the abused substance. Withdrawal symptoms may be exhibited in the form of restlessness, aggression, nausea, fever, illnesses, disorientation, vomiting, and more. It is important to note that the extent of withdrawal symptoms experienced will depend largely on the extent of the addiction.

Alcoholics may experience much heavier symptoms which mark how deeply their brain has been wired to depend on alcohol for survival and as a coping mechanism.

In some cases, alcohol detoxification may involve medical assistance and medication. In such instances, the therapists or clinicians may prescribe certain medications to help addiction victims cope better with the withdrawal symptoms while reducing their predisposition to violent behavior or reactions.

At the end of the detoxification, the addiction victim’s system is expected to have been cleansed of the abused substances, thus creating a clean slate upon which they can seek addiction treatment to prevent relapse.

Signs of Alcohol Problem

Seeking addiction help is an important step towards freeing yourself from addiction. However, addiction victims need to realize the problem before seeking help.

If you’re wondering whether you may be an alcoholic, below are some signs to watch out for.

  • Drinking more volume of alcohol or drinking for longer than you expected or planned
  • Finding yourself helpless as you recurrently decide to cut down on alcohol intake or stop drinking totally?
  • Unable to control your urge for alcohol and find yourself spending more time drinking or being sick over the aftereffects?
  • Substituted activities you once loved for alcohol intake. Your priorities seemed to have changed overnight, and alcohol intake takes the lead.
  • Have been in repeated situations where you were likely to get hurt or harmed due to intoxication or alcohol intake
  • Constantly having too much to drink, although it makes you feel anxious, depressed, or exacerbates additional health issues?
  • Experiencing memory blackouts as part of your alcohol intake experience
  • Experiencing nausea, sweating, depression, vomiting, etc., as withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to quit alcohol.

All these signs are common signs of alcohol addiction and should be taken seriously. You should contact a professional for help and speak to your friends or family about your struggles with alcohol. This can create a stable and supportive environment that urges you to get the right treatment.

Options for Alcohol Treatment

There are many options to choose from when it comes to treating alcohol addiction. Some of the common treatment options that could be singularly deployed or combined for effective outcomes include:

Behavioral Treatment

This treatment focuses on addressing your behavior as well as the driving factors behind them. It pushes you to reinvent your hobbies and thought process, helping you to focus more on the positives while recalibrating the brain against a relapse. This service is offered by a professional therapist or psychologist.


Medication-assisted alcohol treatment is focused on improving your chances of dealing with addiction and its withdrawal symptoms. Medications, in this instance, are often prescribed by professionals, including psychologists and primary care physicians. This approach is often combined with counseling or talk therapy to enhance results.

Mutual-Support Groups

Mutual support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provide a safe haven for recovering alcoholics to share their struggles and derive support from others who are on the same journey. The 12-step process is also another common mutual-support group that provides a community feel to recovering alcoholics, helping them build a community that shares tips and personal experiences, build social circles, and improves chances of reintegrating


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