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Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Table Of Contents

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol use disorder, is a serious problem that often requires professional treatment. Adjustment Family Services offers help for alcohol addiction treatment in Los Angeles, California. There are some practical ways to treat alcohol abuse and addiction, with medical detox programs widely used to enable alcohol discontinuation and rehab programs initiated to address the issues surrounding addiction. From extensive medication treatment through to behavioral therapy and relapse prevention, addiction treatment centers can deal with every aspect of alcoholism.

alcohol-addictionMedical Detox

A medical detox period is often needed to treat alcohol addiction, with medications used to reduce and manage the associated withdrawal syndrome. Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that produces physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms when drinking stops, some of which can be dangerous and even fatal if not treated properly. Common withdrawal symptoms include headaches, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and delirium tremens. Benzodiazepine medications such as Valium and Librium are often used to help reduce the severity of these symptoms before they lead to additional complications.


Alcohol addiction is a physical and psychological disorder, with alcohol use disorder widely recognized as a medical condition. While binge drinking and alcohol abuse cases are often treated through psychotherapy measures alone, physical alcohol addiction is treated through a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. Pharmacotherapy programs administer drugs on a long-term basis to reduce the chances of relapse and improve the chances of recovery, with common medications including benzodiazepines, naltrexone, Antabuse, and Campral. These medications are applied at different stages of the recovery process, with the length and extent of addiction significantly influencing treatment methods.

Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapies are widely used to treat alcohol addiction, with typical treatment models including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), family therapy, and contingency management. These programs attempt to change problematic drinking behavior by addressing the emotional and cognitive precedents of such action. By recognizing the factors underlying alcohol addiction, therapists can help alcoholics to avoid compulsive and impulsive behavioral responses. While addiction treatment drugs are not always required, behavioral therapy and counseling are always recommended.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention programs play an important role in addiction treatment, with various systems used to reduce relapse rates and promote long-term recovery. Relapse is both an outcome and a transgression of the recovery process, with different techniques and methods used at various stages of recovery. Emotional relapse often takes place first, followed by mental relapse and physical relapse. Relapse prevention programs are initiated during rehab and aftercare, with recovering alcoholics taught how to recognize triggers, avoid high-risk situations, and cope with stressful life events when they arise.

12-Step Support Programs

Addiction treatment options in Los Angeles include conventional 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), with these programs designed to promote abstinence and support recovery on a long-term basis. The 12-step approach adheres to the disease model of addiction, with recovering alcoholics needing to admit a lack of control over their addiction before recognizing a higher power and making amends for past mistakes. After someone has been through a treatment program successfully, they also need to help others who are going through a similar situation. From the early days of medical detox through to the later days of rehab and aftercare, there are lots of practical addiction treatment programs for alcoholism.

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

  • Where do I even begin. I first want to thank everyone at AFS they truly go above and beyond for their clients. I’ve gone to several detox and outpatient programs and this is the first one i felt loved and appreciated. The program has helped me in so many ways. Gave me tools to live life on life’s terms. I wouldn’t be where i am today without this program.

    Amanda L

  • Adjustments Family Services changed my life!! Great food, great staff, wonderful place! Awesome to get to know the amazing clients and see that i was not alone in my recovery. I made friends for life in the short time i got to spend there. Not a better facility anywhere in my opinion!!The team of employees, from the Technicians all the way up to the Owner, all have a patient first mentality.

    Leto M

  • Going to treatment at Adjustments was one of the best programs I've participated in, they helped me get my life back. They have amazing staff and over all good-natured people. They focus on all aspects of counseling , case management, meetings, different types of therapy, including trauma, one on one counseling. This is coming from someone who has been traumatized and neglected. They helped me get to the root of the problem. Which most times can feel very uncomfortable but they provide groups that you participate in and communicate to other addicts and hear their life stories. They really are an organization of team working to help heal the conflicted minds of us addicts that we faced everyday. I would highly recommend this treatment program to anyone suffering from substance abuse or mental health.

    Skyy S

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