Dear all Last time, we dealt with several questions about alcohol dependence you guys have asked through our survey. Today, we will continue with the Q&A session about alcohol dependence. Most of the questions are about treatment and prevention of alcohol dependence.
Q1. How long does it take to treat alcohol dependence(addiction)?
The first stage of the alcohol dependence treatment process is detoxification, which helps with the withdrawal symptoms. Afterward, to maintain abstinence from drinking, the patient will go through rehabilitation therapy. Therapy involves 2-4 weeks of intense treatment and at least 3-6 months of out-patient treatment. It is important for the family to be aware that therapy requires at least 6 to 12 months.
Q2. Can I drink after treatment has ended?
Alcohol dependence has a high relapse rate. If someone decides to abstain from alcohol, most of them control drinking or refrain from drinking entirely for a few weeks or more. However, if one returns to drinking, alcohol consumption will increase rapidly and cause serious problems.
Q3. Can I overcome alcohol dependence(addiction) completely if I refrain from drinking?
When one abstains from drinking for over a year, we call that state a “consistent state of abstinence from drinking”. Although long-term research about abstinence from drinking is rare, we expect that you can successfully refrain from drinking for a longer period, if you have quit drinking entirely for over a year. Nevertheless, a degree of willingness to avoid drinking and the social system supporting abstinence from drinking vary from person to person. Also, each person has different psychiatric symptoms. Therefore, if you haven’t been drinking for a year or more, it is still possible that you may not completely overcome alcohol dependence(addiction).
Q4. I love drinking, but I do not want to suffer from alcohol dependence. What should I do?
First, it is important for you to check whether you are vulnerable to alcohol dependence(addiction) or not. Many people who drink alcohol occasionally drink up to the amount that they feel addicted to alcohol. However, alcohol dependence(addiction) develops in only a small number of people(less than 20%). If your close relative has alcohol dependence(addiction) and if you have undergone serious problems after drinking, it is known that you have a high possibility of developing alcohol dependence(addiction). Also, if you have a colleague who drinks excessively, if you think too optimistic about the effect of drinking, or if you do not have sufficient ways to deal with your stress, you may develop alcohol dependence easily.
Q5. Some people drink alcohol because they want to escape from the problems they face in reality. Are there any other better ways to try to face those problems?
Above all, you have to find out what specific situations you are trying to escape from by drinking alcohol. After that, you have to find the solutions other than drinking according to the problem. Or if you cannot solve the problem, you have to establish and practice the stress coping method other than drinking. If it is difficult to come up with and practice the method by yourself, you can get aid from institutions.
Q6. Are there any things that children should learn to prevent alcohol dependence(addiction)?
First, it is essential for the parent to avoid drinking since there is a strong connection between the parent’s alcohol dependence(addiction) and their child’s alcohol addiction. Also, parents should form an atmosphere where each family member takes responsibility for the problems that may occur after drinking. Lastly, parents should educate their children that alcohol dependence(addiction) could bring about irreversible physical and mental problems.
Q7. Are there any hospitals or institutions where people who are under alcohol dependence(addiction) can get rehabilitation aid for free?
If there is a Community Addiction Management Center in the region you are living in, you can get help from the center. If not, you can get aid from a Mental Health Welfare Center in your living area. The service from those centers is for free. If you need more intensive treatment, you get help from daytime rehabilitation institutions or accommodation facilities. However, you may have to pay some money for those institutions according to your health insurance type. You can check for the Community Addiction Management Center or Mental Health Welfare Center in your region by each city’s Health and Welfare counseling call.
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