Alcoholism / Alcohol Dependence Treatment & Counseling

What is alcohol dependence?

Alcohol dependence, which may also be referred to as alcohol use disorder, involves using alcohol excessively, to the point where you have developed a tolerance and craving for it, and experience continued problems in your day-to-day life, including problems with work, relationships, and overall health. Despite the negative effects of excessive alcohol use, those with alcohol use disorder continue to drink and often have trouble when they attempt to stop their alcohol use, including experiencing withdrawals.

Alcohol use disorder can be mild, moderate or severe, based on the number of symptoms you experience. At a severe stage, alcohol use disorder is often referred to as alcoholism.

The Psychiatry Group is currently treating patients with alcohol dependance in Washington state and will soon be providing treatment for patients in other States in the Pacific Northwest.  Reach out today to learn more about our alcohol dependence treatment programs or to schedule a consultation.

What causes alcohol dependence?

Alcohol dependence can occur as a result of excessive drinking that is continued for a period of time and becomes habitual. Factors such as genetics, psychology, and environment may all impact the way alcohol affects you. For example, some people may be predisposed to alcohol dependence due to family history.

Some examples of potential risk factors for developing alcohol use disorder include:

Regular or excessive drinking over time

Excessive (binge) drinking or regular drinking for an extended period of time can lead to alcohol-related problems, including alcohol use disorder.

Age

Starting to drink at an early age, particularly when binge drinking, puts you at a higher risk of developing alcohol use disorder. The disorder can begin at any age, but it occurs most frequently in the 20s and 30s.

Family history

The risk of alcohol dependence and alcohol use disorder is higher if you have a family history of alcohol-related problems. This may be influenced by genetic factors.

Depression and other mental health disorders

Having mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety may make it more likely for you to develop problems with alcohol.

What are the symptoms of alcohol dependence?

Some of the symptoms of alcohol addiction include:

  • Inability to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • Wanting to cut back on drinking
  • Unsuccessful attempts at cutting back or quitting drinking
  • Spending a significant amount of time drinking, obtaining alcohol or recovering from alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink even after negative effects on work and family life

Some of the specific symptoms of alcohol dependence may relate to intoxication or alcohol withdrawal.

Symptoms of Intoxication

Those with alcohol dependence typically exhibit signs of intoxication but often attempt to hide these symptoms from friends or coworkers. Symptoms may include:

  • Impaired focus
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired memory
  • Poor judgement
  • Mood instability
  • Impaired coordination

Those suffering from alcohol use disorder may also experience alcohol poisoning, which may include vomiting, hangovers, blackouts, and even overdose, coma, or death.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

After a person sustains heavy drinking for a long period of time and then attempts to stop, he or she may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations

What does alcohol dependence treatment involve?

A number of different alcohol addiction treatments may be used to help recovering alcoholics and addicts, depending on a patient’s particular needs. The Psychiatry Group offers the following alcohol dependence treatments:

Alcohol Dependence Psychotherapy

Alcohol dependence psychotherapy, also known as alcohol counseling, is a form of psychiatric counseling that is used to help patients repair home and work life, form healthy habits, adopt coping mechanisms, and learn strategies to avoid alcohol abuse and relapse.

Alcohol Dependence Medications

Alcohol dependence medications are sometimes used to help manage alcohol use. While medications generally cannot curb the cravings associated with alcoholism, they may be able to create an adverse effect (e.g. nausea, vomiting, headaches) when a patient consumes alcohol, in order to make drinking less desirable for the patient.

Psychological Evaluations

Psychological evaluations are sometimes used to evaluate potential psychological effects that alcohol use disorder may have had on the patient.

 

If you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from alcohol abuse or dependence, an experienced psychiatrist may be able to help. The Psychiatry Group is known for providing high-quality addiction consultations and alcohol addiction treatment. Call 844-495-HELP(4357) today to schedule a consultation.

Our services are currently available to patients in Washington and soon other States in the Pacific Northwest. Reach out today.