If a program doesn’t include these type of approaches, or claims to use “new” strategies, ask to see an independent evaluation of their program outcomes. An evaluation should measure whether the service has had a positive impact (on drug use, dependence or mental health) and what the completion rates are. It can be conducted by independent specialists, or sometimes by the service itself.
Advances in medical research have given addiction specialists new insight into the treatment of alcoholism. However, the Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report states that alcohol abuse remains the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States, despite innovations in behavioral health modification, psychotherapy, and addiction medication. The following studies and statistics reflect the power of this disease:
Two factors have been identified as playing pivotal roles in psychological dependence: the neuropeptide "corticotropin-releasing factor" (CRF) and the gene transcription factor "cAMP response element binding protein" (CREB). The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is one brain structure that has been implicated in the psychological component of drug dependence. In the NAcc, CREB is activated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) immediately after a high and triggers changes in gene expression that affect proteins such as dynorphin; dynorphin peptides reduce dopamine release into the NAcc by temporarily inhibiting the reward pathway. A sustained activation of CREB thus forces a larger dose to be taken to reach the same effect. In addition, it leaves the user feeling generally depressed and dissatisfied, and unable to find pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, often leading to a return to the drug for another dose.
Before starting the treatment process, a person must first recognize their condition and have a desire to quit drinking. Sometimes, an individual may acknowledge they have a drinking problem on their own. Other times, family members or friends may stage an alcohol intervention. This involves loved ones expressing their concerns about the person’s excessive drinking patterns. An intervention also helps to start the discussion about treatment and support options that are available.
Alongside our psychotherapy, we offer more varied alternative therapies that help reinforce the clinical alcohol rehab treatments. This keeps the days spent with us at Searidge Alcohol Rehab both interesting and rewarding. Our program includes mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, yoga, relaxation therapy, creative art therapy, Tai Chi and First Nations Healing Rituals.
Nalmefene, an opiate antagonist that is similar in its chemical structure to naltrexone, is one of the most recent drugs being investigated for the treatment of alcoholism. Like naltrexone (sold as ReVia, Depade, or Vivitrol), nalmefene deprives the person struggling with substance use of the pleasurable feelings associated with drinking. But nalmefene is less toxic to the liver than naltrexone. As of 2013, nalmefene was still undergoing clinical trials through the U.S. National Institutes of Health before receiving FDA approval. From Rehab to a Body Bag | Dying for Treatment: VICE Reports (Full Length)