The first step in alcohol dependence or addiction treatment is admitting you have a problem; the second is seeking help. Once you’re ready to confront your struggle with alcohol, Daniel Smeester, MD, and the friendly staff at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services can design an alcohol addiction or dependence plan that helps you reach your goal of long-term sobriety. For a personalized treatment plan that works for you, call the experts at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services or schedule an appointment online.
Alcohol addiction and dependence are often used interchangeably, but they’re two very different diseases that the Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services team treats at their clinic:
Alcohol dependence is characterized by a reliance on alcohol to function at certain times or at specific events. For example, someone who’s dependent on alcohol may only agree to go to a social event if there’s alcohol involved. You may also have a drink or alcohol brand of choice that you gravitate toward because it’s familiar and comforting.
If you’re struggling with alcohol dependence, you also likely have a high tolerance for alcohol, so it’s harder for others to notice when you’ve been drinking. Because you’re reliant on alcohol, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you’re sober, including nausea, headaches, chills, and vomiting.
While alcohol dependence is an everyday struggle that you’ve likely worked into your daily routine, alcohol addiction is often less frequent but more harmful. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, you may find yourself binge drinking any type of liquor when the opportunity presents itself. While you probably don’t need alcohol to function at work or school, it’s difficult to stop drinking once you start.
Overall, alcohol addiction is easier to spot than alcohol dependence because your behavior is often more destructive. Alcohol addiction can lead to alcohol poisoning, legal problems, relationship strains, and more.
Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services provides a broad range of alcohol treatment options, such as:
Alcohol detox is the first step in your treatment plan. Fortunately, you don’t have to go “cold turkey” to detox without relapsing. They incorporate medication-assisted treatment (MAT) into many of their detox programs to make the transition easier on your body. MAT can help reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as chills, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.
Vivitrol, or naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension, is a non-addictive injection designed to minimize heavy drinking in alcohol-dependent patients. This powerful medication can help reduce your chances of relapsing after your alcohol detox, which promotes a smoother recovery. If you think you’re a good candidate for Vivitrol, you must detox first, avoid alcohol, and enroll in a counseling program for the treatment to be effective.
Intensive counseling is crucial for both your alcohol detox and recovery. Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services provides both individual counseling and family therapy throughout your alcohol treatment to ensure you have the support you need to overcome your addiction.
It’s hard to know when to ask for help when you’re struggling with alcohol addiction or dependence. If you’re unsure whether you drink too much on a regular basis, ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, call Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services or book an appointment online.