Drug therapy and psychotherapy: how to deal with alcoholism


Alcoholism can be tackled with a drug therapy prescribed by a specialist

Equally, psychotherapy is important for the patient suffering from alcohol addiction to be able to identify the causes that led him to develop this condition.The first step, therefore, is to realize that you suffer from alcoholism and, consequently, that you need help and support. In fact, most patients do not recognize the symptoms of alcoholism and do not start an appropriate rehabilitation process (on average it happens to two out of three alcoholics).

The approach to treating alcohol addiction must be multidisciplinary. Furthermore, it is very important to implement various preventive measures to avoid possible relapses, addressing the psychological problems underlying the addiction. Otherwise, in fact, drug therapy and psychotherapy would be in vain.

  • Try the psychological test
  • Psychological therapy

The appropriate psychological rehabilitation process can begin once the acute phase of addiction has been resolved. At this point, it is possible to work on the emotional, affective and cognitive spheres that feed the pathological condition, also making use of forms of group therapy. The latter has proved particularly effective in the treatment of addiction.

Among the most commonly used therapies we can mention:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), literally acceptance and commitment therapy, of a cognitive-behavioral type, which uses mindfulness techniques and is part of the group of so-called third generation psychotherapies
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy adapted to addictions from Dr. Gordon Alan Marlatt,
  • American clinical psychologist
  • motivational interview by Miller and Rollnick
  • “The 12 steps” of Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcohol: risk factors and effects

Home BLOG Blog Alcohol: risk factors and effects. Alcohol addiction disorders: symptoms and consequences on the body, mind and emotion

Some risk factors for the development of alcohol addiction are: social factors (job loss, poor housing conditions, frequent accidents, frequent discussions, single women, repeated work accidents, petty crimes, persistent family problems), family factors (divorce or separation, abuse of spouses or children), occupational factors (workers, bricklayers, cooks, barmen, representatives, sailors, housewives) and psychological factors (anxiety states, pathological jealousy, phobias, depression, bereavement).

Alcohol: risk factors and effectsAccording to the World Health Organization, alcoholism is part of drug addiction and differs from the habit of drinking.

The habit of drinking has the following characteristics:

  • Desire but not need to continue to assume the substance for the desire it produces;
  • Little or no tendency to increase doses;
  • Psychic dependence on the substance in the absence of physical dependence;
  • Harmful effects, if any, only for the individual.

Drug addiction, on the other hand, involves a state of periodic, chronic intoxication, harmful to the individual and society generated by the repeated consumption of alcohol, the characteristics of which are:

  • Invincible desire or need to continue to use alcohol or to obtain it by any means;
  • Tendency to increase the dose (tolerance);
  • Psychic, sometimes physical, dependence on the effects of alcohol with the appearance of withdrawal syndromes upon cessation of intake.

Alcoholic beverages are divided into:

1) fermented alcoholic beverages, obtained from the alcoholic fermentation of fruit or cereals: wine, beer, cider, mead;

2) distilled alcoholic beverages; they have an alcohol content greater than 40% vol. and they are obtained by distillation of fermented fruit musts or different cereals: cognac, grappa, whiskey, rum;

3) liqueur alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of 27-50% vol. and are obtained by adding sugar and water to fruit or herb distillates, by infusion of herbs (fernet), seeds (coffee liqueurs) and by mixing water, alcohol and sugars with essences.

Depending on its strength, alcohol acts with different intensity on the mucous membrane of the mouth, on the esophagus, on the stomach and on the first part of the intestine. From the stomach and intestines, alcohol is absorbed into the blood and quickly passes into all tissues and fluids of the body, especially the brain, where concentrations similar to blood are reached.

This explains the rapidity with which changes in the central nervous system are visible (Furlan, Picci, 1990).


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