Neurons communicate with each other by sending messages along axons and dendrites via electrical impulses. The axons turn these impulses into chemical signals, sending neurotransmitters across synapses. The receiving dendrite then converts neurotransmitters back into the right electrical signals, so we understand the message; for example, that bite of pie was delicious, I’ll take another one. These exchanges happen countless times in the brain, and they control mood, behavior, movement, and cognition.
^ Volkow ND, Koob GF, McLellan AT (January 2016). "Neurobiologic Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction". N. Engl. J. Med. 374 (4): 363–371. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480. PMID 26816013. Substance-use disorder: A diagnostic term in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) referring to recurrent use of alcohol or other drugs that causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. Depending on the level of severity, this disorder is classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
Group counseling sessions– These involve meeting with other recovering addicts in the program. They provide opportunity for sharing life experiences and lessons learned.In so doing, a peer support network develops. Erroneous thinking and walls of isolation are exposed and addressed.3Aftercare– When individuals “graduate” from formal alcohol rehab, they return to the outside world. Oftentimes, it isn’t easy to make this switch. Treatment-energized hope may fade away over time. Day-to-day stresses can take their toll.Ongoing support through 12-Step meetings, personal and group therapies, holistic treatments and other supports are vital. They help to maintain what was learned and practiced in formal treatment.4
Even if you have experienced therapy before, for reasons not necessarily associated with addiction, what worked for you then might not be particularly appropriate when it comes to treating addiction specifically; good rehabs will have a range of different therapy models on offer to give you the greatest possible chance of developing the recovery programme that is optimal for you.
In 2001, David Sinclair, Ph.D., a researcher in Finland claimed an 80 percent cure rate for alcohol dependence when anti-alcohol drugs Revia or Vivitrol are prescribed according to his Sinclair Method. Dr. Sinclair's research has been published in the peer-reviewed journals Alcohol and Alcoholism and the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. The Sinclair Method is the standard treatment protocol for alcohol dependence in Finland, the method is also used in the U.K., but the method has yet to catch on in the United States. 
The physician should have AA literature in the office (dates and places of meetings), have the AA phone number available, and know about other treatment services in the community, including referrals for medical consultants or specialists in chemical dependency. No randomized trials of AA have been performed, but a US Veterans Administration study suggested that patients who attended meetings did much better than those who refused to go.
Alcohol addiction can happen to anyone. While not everyone who drinks will become an alcoholic, heavy drinking over a long period of time makes it more likely that a problem will develop. There are many other factors, including genetics and underlying mental disorders, that can contribute to alcoholism. Millions of Americans struggle with an alcohol use disorder of some kind — from binge drinking to addiction.
An average of about three months of residential treatment seems to be effective. The optimal treatment time seems to be similar in non-residential treatment, suggesting a combination of residential and non-residential treatment might be effective over that time. But completing the treatment program and actively participating seem to be more important than treatment setting or length.

As for programme length, residential rehab usually lasts between four and twelve weeks. Many experts believe that shorter programmes do not give patients enough time to recover while longer programmes run the risk of institutionalising patients and making them fearful of returning home. The one exception for longer stays is dual diagnosis. People recovering from a dual diagnosis circumstance may require longer stays.


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Alcohol dependency is not a failure of will or lack of strength of character, as was believed for many years. However, progress in science over the last few decades has shown us that alcoholism is rooted in both biology and behaviour, making it a ‘bio-behavioural disorder’. Biology and behaviour are two sides of the same coin, and alcohol dependency cannot be treated by just focusing on one side alone.
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In
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