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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Alcohol Dependence: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Alcoholism

Alcohol Dependence

Alternate Names : Alcoholism, Alcohol Addiction, Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Dependence | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment begins with helping the person to recognize the problem. Alcohol dependency is associated with a tendency to deny the severity of the problem. There is an refusal to admit it to others. Once the person has recognized and admitted a problem, treatment begins with sobriety, or no alcohol intake.

Some individuals who are alcohol dependent will need to be medically detoxified. This is done in a healthcare setting. Potential complications are monitored during the detoxification process. Tranquilizers and sedatives are used 4 to 7 days to control the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol recovery programs help people identify situations that trigger the desire to drink. These programs also help people develop coping skills and life management systems, so they can live without alcohol. Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous have been effective in helping thousands of alcoholics remain sober.

Occasionally medications, such as disulfram, that interfere with the metabolism or the effects of alcohol are used as a deterrent.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Disulfram may cause drowsiness, depression, and erectile dysfunction.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

Individuals who complete treatment for alcohol dependence often will continue some form of counseling or self-help group. A person in alcohol recovery will often voluntarily continue to attend self-help groups indefinitely.

How is the condition monitored?

Alcohol dependence is monitored by healthcare providers, counselors, family, and friends. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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Alcohol Dependence: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

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