Treatment for Chronic Alcoholism
Long-term, high-level abuse of alcohol can be terribly damaging to the cells of the brain. As the abuse continues, the cells become unable to function without a kick of alcohol. When the substance is gone, people may experience life-threatening seizures.
People with chronic alcoholism need medical detox programs, and Mayo Clinic says those typically last 2-7 days; however, 5-7 days is often the most common range. During that time, teams can use medications to keep the medical complications under control, allowing for a smooth transition to sobriety that comes with no serious health problems.
Once detox is complete, people with chronic alcoholism need to enroll in inpatient rehab programs. Typically, these people have many old habits and longstanding patterns that work as relapse triggers, so they cannot live in their homes and communities as they heal. They need the safety and supervision an inpatient program can provide, and they need to stay there until they have the skills that will help them to deal with relapse triggers they encounter in the community.
After inpatient rehab, people with chronic alcoholism may benefit from enrolling in a sober living community. Here, people share living space with other people who are also in recovery, and the group agrees to a set of house rules that prohibit alcohol and other mind-altering substances. Living here is safer and more protected than living at home, and it could be a good choice when alcoholism has been longstanding.
After sober living communities, people with chronic alcoholism may benefit from lifelong participation in a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. That continued participation in care could help people to avoid new triggers and challenges that could spark a return to alcoholism.