Alcoholism is a disabling addictive disorder. It is characterized by compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol, despite its negative effects on the drinker’s health, relationships, and social functioning. Like other drug addictions, alcoholism is medically defined as a treatable disease. Alcoholism, alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence is one of the most frequently and unsuccessfully treated conditions in our hospitals and rehab clinics today. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant with effects that vary depending on the concentration in the blood. Alcohol dependence also presents the individual with a range of additional problems of all the drugs of abuse. Aside from developing alcohol abuse and/or dependence disorders most alcoholics engage in unsafe drinking practices and are more susceptible to exposure to verbal or physical abuse, and an increased likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors and injury. There are also the risks of developing emotional problems such as depression and anxiety, relationship problems and feeling of worthlessness. Most individuals presenting with alcoholism or alcohol dependence report feeling as though their lives are out of control or severe loneliness.

The Australian Journal of Psychology indicates that the majority of alcohol abuse/dependence problems should be treated in a residential program once the individual has gone through a medical detox. However once the physical symptoms are managed it must be followed up with some form of psychosocial treatment. One of the key ingredients in successful alcoholism treatment is engaging the individual in a residential program emphasizing the importance of relapse prevention and management strategies.

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