These groups bring together people who have the same problems, in our specific case, people who have alcohol problems. Regularly attending self-help group meetings is one of the most common therapies for alcoholism.
- Groups allow anyone with alcohol problems to share their experiences with others, to do something about the problem of helping each other stay sober.
- Self-help groups for alcoholics are part of the offerings of organizations that promote abstinence (eg Alcoholics Anonymous, the Blue Cross) and public addiction counseling centers.
- The groups appear on the telephone list under “AA”, but information on this can also be found in the newspapers or at the Ingrade Consultors.
The family doctor
Another great starting point for detoxing from alcohol is your family doctor. The relationship of trust between doctor and patient should make it easier to talk about their physical and mental addiction. The doctor can make the necessary investigations, address the problem with the alcoholic and explain possible solutions. On the other hand, the family doctor may also decide to refer the patient to a specialized center.
With outpatient treatment we try to solve the problem of alcoholism in everyday life: the alcoholic continues to live in his environment and then regularly follows single or group therapy without giving up all other habits. This treatment is offered by the Ingrado clinics.
In this case, the alcoholic decides to be hospitalized in a specialized facility for a certain period (from a month to a year) in order to physically detoxify and cure his psychic addiction. Generally, this type of treatment is followed by an outpatient treatment of one or two years, in order to avoid relapses.
Most therapies to cure alcoholism involve the family or (if there is) at least the partner. In fact, family members can make a decisive contribution to healing. Tackling the problem of alcoholism together allows everyone involved to shed light on the situation with the help of experts and to make binding decisions together.
- Alcohol consumption is a major public health problem, responsible for 3.8% of all deaths in Europe and 4.6% in terms of years of life lost due to disability.
- According to the recent report by the European project Alcohol Measures for Public Health Research Alliance, in the European Union (EU) one in 7 deaths for men and one in 13 deaths for women is attributable to alcohol consumption.
Alcohol intake is directly or indirectly associated with the risk of developing over 200 diseases and pathological conditions, including numerous types of cancer, and continues to represent one of the main risk factors for human health.
It is also the cause of the new drinking patterns associated with intoxication (binge drinking), one of the main factors of premature mortality among young people up to 24 years of age, due to direct correlations with road accidents.
Despite the increase in the legal minimum age for the sale and administration of alcoholic beverages, in fact, about one million minors under 18 receive and consume alcoholic beverages.
Disregarding the guidelines for a healthy diet that impose zero consumption below the 18-20 years.
In 2012, 53.5% of boys and 41.1% of girls between the ages of 11 and 25 consumed at least one alcoholic beverage during the year; among children the value has remained almost stable over the last three years, thus confirming the reduction recorded compared to the years 2003-2009; among girls there are no significant changes compared to recent years although the value has decreased compared to 2003.
- In 2012, 78.3% of men and 51.8% of women over the age of 11 consumed at least an alcoholic beverage for a total of nearly 35 million individuals (Figure 1). In the face of a downward trend recorded since 2003, over the last year the prevalence of alcoholic beverages consumers has remained almost stable among both men and women (Figure 1).
- Figure 1. Prevalence of consumers of alcoholic beverages by gender (2003, 2007-2012)
- Source: ONA-CNESPS and WHO CC Research on Alcohol elaborations on data from the ISTAT Multipurpose survey on families
Consumers at risk
The alcoholic unit (AU) corresponds to 12 grams of ethanol, an amount approximately contained in a can of beer (330 ml), a glass of wine (125 ml) or a glass of liqueur (40 ml), at the typical strengths of these drinks.
Consumers at risk are men who exceed a daily consumption of 40 g of alcohol contained in any alcoholic beverage (2-3 AU) and women who exceed a daily consumption of 20 g (1-2 AU).
To the aforementioned general indications, others have been added for specific population targets: the elderly and young people 16-18 years, who are recommended not to exceed one AU per day, and adolescents under the age of 16 who are advises refraining from any type of consumption; moreover, everyone is advised to avoid the consumption of large quantities of alcohol in a limited period of time (binge drinking).
The prevalence of at-risk consumers in 2012 was 21.7% of men and 6.4% of women over 11 years of age, for a total of over 7.4 million individuals (5,600,000 men and 1,800. 000 women) who do not comply with the indications of Public Health (Figure 2).