Minnesota

MinnesotaAlcoholism is among the top listed problems facing developed and developing countries and States – both large and small; no state is immune. Minnesota has its fair share of this problem and as a result, government and private entities have dedicated funds to help curb this problem; through setting age restriction and law enforcement agents for under age drinking, drinking and driving, substance abuse educational facilities as well as treatment centers for substance addiction- alcohol inclusive.

Alcohol

Alcohol is not a prescription drug and as such has no intake instruction in terms of: how much should be taken, when and for how long. This leaves its intake limits solely at the discretion of the particular individual using it.

There is thus a thin line between its use and abuse. However, alcohol abuse can be defined as the extreme intake of the drink, too frequently; in turn one often ends up neglecting other responsibilities they have to attend to.

People take it for leisure for its effects on the brain and CNS. The fact that it numbs one’s physical and brain functioning (slowing the ability of the brain to perceive things as they are) and the fact that is widely affordable not to mention available, makes its abuse more prevalent.

Alcoholism

Prolonged intake of alcohol increases tolerance; making the concerned take higher and higher quantities of the drink. This then develops into physical dependence and then addiction (alcoholism). Alcohol addiction is a perpetual physical and psychological (and even to a degree social as addicts would rather stay where their fellow alcoholics are or at drinking joints) compulsion for alcohol. Absence of alcohol at this stage results in unpleasant reactions in the mind and the body, called withdrawal symptoms.

Alcoholism treatment programs

There are several programs for treating alcohol addiction, and the basic type involves detoxification and counseling.

Detoxification

Detoxification is carried out by stopping further intake (at least of the same high quantities of the drink) and treating the withdrawal symptoms that result from the withdrawal of the alcohol, often with a drug which functions in similar working mechanism as achieved through drinking.

Withdrawal of alcohol, as with of other drugs (which have formed habit), should be gradual, lest abrupt withdrawal of the drug in question produces violent withdrawal symptoms which can potentially harm the addict more than the prolonged intake of the drug would have. Gradual withdrawal of alcohol allows the detox personnel time to adequately monitor the withdrawals and their intensities in that particular alcoholic; hence enabling the detox facilitator to make the right choice in the treatment drug.

Therapy

Therapy lets the substance abuse counselor and the alcoholic themselves learn about the underlying factors which are directly or indirectly to blame for their abuse and addiction and which might (if not addressed) contribute to a relapse (falling back to the drink after the addict has already been adequately treated).

Alternative venues of treatment
People can receive treatment at a treatment center/facility or they can choose to have their treatment at home or any other venue of their choice. The important thing is that they go through the program under supervision. It is dangerous to try to withdraw alone as withdrawal symptoms may overwhelm one and prevent them from being successful, unlike if they were under supervision.