Alcohol recovery is a difficult process. It often involves an individual having to make drastic changes in their personal and professional life. Change alone is challenging and can cause tremendous emotional and physical stress and turmoil. Recovery from addiction is a massive transition and can be hard to do alone, which plays a major contribution to individuals who don’t get the treatment they need. More recent statistics show that more than 23 million people in the U.S. are living with an addiction, but only about 10% of people seek and receive help for alcohol abuse medication.
Many people are aware of the importance of social and emotional support systems during the recovery process but may be less aware of the importance of physical support such as medication-assisted treatment options. Social support systems often include family and friends, while emotional support can incorporate therapists, sponsors, and community support groups. Although they may be less known, physical support systems are just as important during the recovery process. Physical support for addiction may include diet, exercise, and medications. Understanding ways to help support the body during recovery is critical for safe and effective sobriety. Understanding alcohol addiction and how it takes a toll on the body is the best way to identify what physical support may be needed.
What Are Physical Support Systems?
Physical support systems for recovery include all things that help to support an individual’s body chemistry throughout the recovery process. Rehab can be difficult on the human body. Rehab can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, tremors, nightmares, nervousness, nausea, vomiting, and many other uncomfortable physical experiences. Proper diet, exercise, and medication regimens can make a drastic difference. These are often considered physical support systems as they help to prepare your body for a sober lifestyle.
How do Physical Support Systems Work?
Engaging in exercise, diet, and medication-assisted treatment can help the body heal from problematic drinking and drug use. Supporting the physical needs of your body can increase healthy neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and endorphins.
These chemicals often will be greatly reduced for a period after discontinuing alcohol or other drugs. Using alcohol and drugs often burns out the body’s natural ability to develop these healthy chemicals. Physical support systems can help to reestablish these chemicals in a safe manner.
Alcohol Abuse Medication Treatment
Alcohol abuse medication treatment sometimes can be a beneficial option. This type of treatment is referred to as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). There are several medications available. It is important to discuss your medication options with your physician or a trained medication provider. These individuals can help manage your medication to treat alcoholism safely and effectively. No medications should be self-managed as this can be risky.
Common medications used to help with recovery include:
It’s important to understand that while alcohol abuse medication can aid in recovery, there’s no magic pill for long-term sobriety.
With combination treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dual diagnosis plans, a person is more likely to find and maintain sobriety. Certain medications provide a jumpstart to the long journey ahead but often come with many side effects and issues that may even exacerbate the underlying causes of alcohol abuse. It’s important to speak with a healthcare provider about specific medications and whether or not they are right for you or a loved one.
What Medications Are Used for Alcohol Abuse?
Different medications are used to treat different types of addiction. Methadone is commonly used to help treat methamphetamine use, while naltrexone and disulfiram are commonly used for alcohol abuse. Alcohol treatment Denver centers may work with your physician to determine the right course of action for recovery that incorporates certain medications.
Looking for Alcohol Rehab in Denver? Contact us directly about our programs throughout the state of Colorado that work in conjunction with your healthcare providers administering MAT.
Note that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is used in the early stages of treatment as well as to sustain recovery, or even prevent overdose. However, every person should work toward an all-encompassing program that combines alcohol counseling and behavioral therapies to address alcohol addiction.
Suboxone is often used for both narcotics and alcohol abuse. It can be difficult to know what medications can be the most proper in a treatment. Therefore, a trained medication manager to oversee medication-assisted treatment is so important.
Common alcohol abuse medications and their effects are listed below.
- Naltrexone – Blocks the pleasurable effects of opioid and alcohol use causing an individual’s engagement in an addictive substance to be less enjoyable leading to fewer cravings and urges.
- Suboxone – Commonly used for fentanyl and heroin addiction but can be used for alcohol dependence. Helps reduce cravings but is stronger than naltrexone.
- Disulfiram – Often used for severe alcohol abuse or dependence. This causes an individual to become severely ill if alcohol is consumed. This blocks the ability to metabolize alcohol appropriately leading to discomfort. Considered a form of aversion therapy.
Again, alcohol abuse medications do not provide a cure for alcohol use disorder but are most effective in people who participate in a MAT program. As many wells know, alcohol ruins lives, but with the right approach overcoming the obstacles of addiction is possible.
How Do I Start Medication-Assisted Treatment?
If you are considering physical support systems or medication-assisted treatment options, it is best to consult your physician or a trained medication provider. Engaging in medication-assisted treatment alone is dangerous and illegal. Most medications used to help during the recovery process are controlled substances and need a prescription to obtain. There is a potential for dependence on some medications used for medication-assisted treatment.
To avoid further abuse of medications, proper oversight is necessary. AspenRidge can help discuss and administer medications safely and effectively. Tapering alcohol use is often the safest method of detoxing, but professional guidance is critical, especially in the early stages of recovery.
Do Exercise and Diet Help?
Yes! Exercise and a healthy diet can help increase the necessary neurochemicals in the body throughout the recovery process. Exercise is proven to increase dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Eating healthy foods such as oatmeal, bananas, and even dark chocolate can increase healthy neurochemicals safely. Using all available support systems is highly recommended.
Are Medications A “Magic Pill”?
Medication-assisted treatment can be a good and recommended treatment option for severe alcohol and drug use disorders. Unfortunately, they are not a “magic pill” and not all medications will work for everyone. Using alternative treatment options in tandem with medication treatment can increase the potential for successful recovery. Other treatment methods to use along with medication-assisted treatment include:
- Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous
What Are the Risks of Medication Assisted Treatment?
Engaging in medication-assisted treatment is helpful and beneficial, but this type of treatment is not risk-free. As with any treatment option, there are potential risks. It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with medication treatment before engaging. Discussing the risks and benefits with a trained provider is highly important.
Common risks of medication to treat alcoholism can include the following:
- Severe side effects
- Contraindications with separate medications
Following specific treatment guidelines, safer drugs can be slowly tapered under medical supervision to avoid or alleviate dangerous or serious withdrawal symptoms and to minimize alcohol cravings. If followed directly, MAT methods can aid in a more successful recovery.
How Can AspenRidge Recovery Help?
AspenRidge Recovery Centers in Colorado can help support you in the recovery process in multiple ways. AspenRidge will provide treatment options that meet individual needs, including medication-assisted oversight in collaboration with your healthcare provider. AspenRidge also provides emotional and social support to help support individual needs throughout the treatment process.
If you feel there is an alcohol use disorder present and it is time to seek out further treatment options, there are a variety of resources and treatment methods available at AspenRidge Recovery Centers across the state of Colorado. We are a resource for Colorado Alcohol Rehab and can provide support during a critical time. Contact us directly today at 855-281-5588.
Other Colorado Alcohol Treatment Resources: