Alcoholism can destroy the life of an alcoholic and devastate the alcoholic's family. But it also has overwhelming consequences for society. Consider these statistics from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence:
*In 1988, alcoholism and problems related to it cost the United States an estimated $85.8 billion
in mortality and reduced productivity;
*Fetal alcohol syndrome, caused by a woman's drinking during pregnancy, afflicts five thousand
infants a year; it costs about $1.4 billion
annually to treat the infants, children and adults
afflicted with FAS;
*More than twenty thousand people die annually in
alcohol related car accidents. (Institute of Medicine, 1989)
Clearly alcoholism harms society in numerous ways and it is in society's best interest to find effective treatments for alcoholics.
The primary goal of all treatments for alcoholism is to get the alcoholic to stop drinking and refrain from abusing alcohol in the future. The paths to this goal are diverse.
Several factors - biological, social and psychological - influence why an individual becomes an alcoholic. So treatments vary, depending upon why the alcoholic drinks and what the physician or
therapist believes is the best method for recovery. Some treatments focus on the physical addiction of alcoholism. Others emphasize the alcoholic's social or psychological cravings.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Rational Recovery are two support groups that help alcoholics recover. Other alcoholics benefit from one-on-one therapy with counselors, who may help patients understand drinking and change their behavior. Finally for some alcoholics, the most effective treatments are those that combine medical treatment with counselling. Such treatments enable the alcoholic to more easily break the physical addiction to alcohol as they evaluate their social and psychological reasons for drinking. Two of these treatments are: Nutritional Therapy and Network Therapy.
'Alan Dalum was 37 years old and...