ALCOHOL ABUSE

CAUSES – The first thing one must understand is that alcohol abuse is a disease.  Alcohol abuse falls in line with most other mental disorders.  There is no single cause for alcohol dependence and it is not directly passed from one generation to another genetically. It can be stated that it is the result of a complex group of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.

TREATMENT – The best way to treat alcohol abuse is through abstinence.  But if the individual does not have the social support or motivation, they may relapse.  Treatment usually starts when the person can admit that they have an alcohol problem. Through detoxification and recovery, the person can be cured over time.  An individual may be prescribed disulfiram, which interferes with the person’s metabolism.  Or, they may be given naltrexone which reduces the craving for alcohol.  Acupuncture and body work, such as a massage to help the individual to relax are good alternative choices.  Other alternative choices are herbal therapies, hydrotherapy, mind/body medicine, and proper nutrition and diet.

PREVENTION – By limiting the accessibility of alcohol might involve raising the cost of alcohol and restricting when and where alcohol can be consumed. Having a strong support system in place and someone to keep the individual motivated with positive thoughts are other ways to keep someone from abusing alcohol.

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