You need to be prepared to talk about all the problems that alcohol is causing in your life.
Usually, a list of the symptoms you have suffered is prepared, including those that may seem unrelated to alcohol.
- You should write down all the most important information about your life, including any stressful situations or changes that have occurred recently. Prepare a list of the medications you are taking.
- If possible, it would be ideal to be accompanied by a family member or friend, because sometimes it can be difficult to grasp all the information that is provided during the visit and whoever accompanies you can remember something that you have missed or forgotten.
The visit is usually short, so preparing a list of questions in advance can help you make the most of the time available. List them in descending order of importance, because you probably won’t have time for them all. For alcoholism, the fundamental questions to ask your doctor may be:
Do you think I drink too much or that my symptoms are caused by alcohol abuse or addiction?
- Can alcohol cause other health problems or make those I already have worse?
- In your opinion, is it enough to drink less or should I stop?
- What do you advise me to do now?
- Do I need to do some tests to rule out any physical problems?
- Are there alternatives to the therapeutic approach you recommended?
In addition to the prepared questions, you should have no problems asking others during the visit, if and when something is not clear to you.
Treatments and therapies
Many people with alcoholism are reluctant to seek treatment because they don’t realize they have a problem. The intervention of family and friends is therefore necessary to help some patients understand and accept that they need help.
- If you are worried about your friend or relative, ask an expert for advice on how to deal with the alcohol problem with the patient.
- To help those who have problems with alcohol, there are different types of therapy; depending on the circumstances, it can consist of a brief intervention, a series of psychological consultations without the need for hospitalization in a facility, or hospitalization in a residential facility.
The first step in therapy is to understand if you are addicted to alcohol
If you can maintain control over the intake, the therapy may consist of a reduction in quantities. On the other hand, if you are addicted, simple reduction is not effective, and quitting completely must be the goal of therapy.
Alcoholism therapy can include:
- Detoxification and abstinence: Alcoholism therapy can begin with a detoxification program, which usually lasts from four to seven days. You will probably have to take sedatives to prevent tremor, mental confusion, hallucinations or other withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification usually takes place in dedicated facilities or in a hospital.
- Behavioral therapy and therapeutic project: Patients will be followed by specialists, who will be helped to set goals, to learn techniques to modify behavior, to use self-help manuals, patients will receive consultations and will be constantly followed at a specialized facility .
- Psychological counseling: Both group and individual counseling and therapy help resolve the psychological aspects of alcoholism. Couple or family therapy can also be useful: family help can represent an important aspect of the healing process.