Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency Treatment

Alcoholism and chemical dependency treatment can help someone who has a problem with both drugs and alcohol get his or her life back on track. Combining drugs and alcohol can be more dangerous than taking just one substance, so getting prompt treatment is essential.

Combined effects of drug and alcohol addiction

"Addiction to either alcohol or drugs raises your risk for becoming addicted to another substance."According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, addiction to either alcohol or drugs raises your risk for becoming addicted to another substance. When drug and alcohol addictions occur together, this raises the risk of health problems. Some of the problems common in addicts who have both a drug and alcohol problem include health issues, mental disorders, and additional side effects from the combined use of two or more substances in addition to the individual side effects that stem from each substance. For example, combining alcohol and benzodiazepines can result in fatal poisoning, an effect not seen with either substance alone.

How multiple addictions develop

Mulitple Addiction

In some cases, multiple addictions develop because the person is involved in a party lifestyle where both drug and alcohol use are prevalent.

In some cases, multiple addictions develop because the person is involved in a party lifestyle where both drug and alcohol use are prevalent. In other cases, the individual becomes addicted to one substance first and later experiments with other substances and adds a new addiction to the mix. Some people who have disorders that involve chronic pain or mental illness may become addicted to multiple substances in an attempt to self medicate. This may occur when the person tries drugs and alcohol on his or her own or as the result of being prescribed potentially addictive medications while also continuing to drink alcohol. In many cases, addiction has a hereditary component, so people with a parent or other family member who has a drug or alcohol problem may be more inclined to develop a similar problem.

Recognizing the need for addiction treatment

"Some people may recognize one addiction, but not acknowledge the other."Before beginning an alcoholism and chemical dependency treatment program, the individual must first recognize and acknowledge the addiction. In some cases, a doctor may recognize the problem and bring it to the person's attention, or concerned family and friends might have to stage an intervention. In other cases, the person may have a dangerous reaction that sends him or her to the hospital before deciding that enough is enough. Some people may recognize one addiction, but not acknowledge the other. In these cases, entering treatment for one addiction may help the individual start to see the other substance abuse problem.

Getting help for alcohol and chemical dependency

Someone seeking alcoholism and chemical dependency treatment may choose between inpatient and outpatient treatment. However, because of the complexity involved in treating multiple addictions at once, inpatient treatment may be the more effective course. The first phase of treatment involves detoxification, which can be done for both substances at once or for one substance at a time. Some drugs, such as opioids, require a weaning period to safely come off the drug, so the detoxification period for these may be longer than for other drugs or for alcohol. Alcohol detoxification typically takes four to seven days. Once detoxification from alcohol is complete and detoxification from other drugs is completed or in progress, treatment turns to teaching the recovering addict how to live without the drugs and alcohol.

Group Alcohol Addiction Counseling

Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Alcoholism and chemical dependency treatment can help someone who has a problem with both drugs and alcohol get his or her life back on track. Combining drugs and alcohol can be more dangerous than taking just one substance, so getting prompt treatment is essential.

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This usually involves a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, and peer group support through programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. Medication to prevent relapses or help with recovery may also be used, depending on the specific chemical substances the patient was addicted to. During treatment, the recovering addict may also need to consume a special diet or take vitamin or mineral supplements to counteract the effects of the drug and alcohol use. If the patient has underlying health problems or a mental illness that may affect recovery, these problems must also be treated at the same time to avoid relapses. Some patients who go through a treatment plan relapse and start using drugs or alcohol again. If this happens, he or she must restart the treatment from the beginning. If you or someone you know needs help recovering from alcohol and drugs, fill out our short contact form or call 1-888-919-3845  for more information about alcoholism and chemical dependency treatment.

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