Alcohol Abuse Treatment
Alcohol abuse treatment came out of the early recognition that not all people who drank too much alcohol fit in the simplistic notion that you were either an alcoholic or not. Even the man who was one of the founding fathers of the disease concept of alcoholism, E. M. Jellinek specified that there were probably 5 different types. Even he struggled with the idea that there seemed to be different types of alcoholics. In his 1960 book The Disease Concept of Alcoholism he identified five different types of alcoholism:
- Alpha alcoholism: the earliest stage of the disease, manifesting the purely psychological continual dependence on the effects of alcohol to relieve bodily or emotional pain. This is the "problem drinker", whose drinking creates social and personal problems. While there are significant problems, these people can stop if they really want to; thus, argued Jellinek, they have not lost control, and as a consequence, do not have a "disease".
- Beta alcoholism: These are the heavy drinkers that drink a lot, almost every day. They do not have physical addiction and do not suffer withdrawal symptoms. People in this group do not have a "disease".
- Gamma alcoholism: involving acquired tissue tolerance, physical dependence, and loss of control. This is the AA alcoholic, who is very much out of control, and does, by Jellinek's classification, have a "disease".
- Delta alcoholism: as in Gamma alcoholism, but with inability to abstain, instead of loss of control.
- Epsilon alcoholism: the most advanced stage of the disease, manifesting as dipsomania, or periodic alcoholism.
Since the above category system, there have been numerous attempts to classify alcohol misuse behavior, but with virtually no professional agreement. Currently, the attempts to categorize alcohol abusers are best seen in charts such as the one below characterizing alcohol users along a continuum from No/Low Risk, At Risk, Mild , Moderate and Severe, or abstainers, alcohol users, alcohol abusers to alcohol dependence.
But even here there is little consensus on how to measure who belongs in what category. There is even speculation the term alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence will be eliminated from future versions of the DSM.
Even if this should happen, there is no disagreement that alcohol users differ and that there still remains a need to provide more than one-size-fits-all assistance/help/advice/coaching/counseling/educating/ or treatment.
Why do we seek alcohol abuse treatment?
While there is this long history of attempting to define types of alcohol misusers there has simultaneously been a belief that if we could specify subtypes of alcohol users then we could improve treatment engagement as well as outcome.
While this was the given rational for the money spent on researching this topic, the reality has been that very little real variation in treatment has ever been made available to the general public. Yet one-size-fits-all alcohol treatment has consistently been proven to be ineffective.
Unfortunately, just taking a superficial survey of what is offered on the Internet or talked about on television, or by your Doctor, you would think that treatment professionals all thought along similar lines - the right way to recovery forces you to choose between only two options - either/or.
Why are we afraid to talk to people not at either extreme? What is so crazy about talking about modifying their behavior and not holding off anyone who is not 100 percent abstinent, or had no problems with alcohol at all? Isn't it the way we experience ourselves making behavior modification? Isn't that the way we are told to manage our weight or watch less TV or Internet?
So here on Addiction Treatment Alternatives we are trying to take the concept of varying degrees of severity of problems, lifestyle choices and genetic propensity with alcohol by offering a real spectrum of treatment models, treatment goals, treatment intensities, treatment lengths, and alcohol treatment medications.
This site, Addiction Treatment Alternatives is designed to bring the goal of truly bringing a unique set of services and products to alcohol abusers. That is why we offer alcohol moderation, do it yourself methods, as well as professional (1 on 1 with a world class addiction expert) guided and customized individual services.
Are you an alcohol abuser?
Since there is no agreed-upon criteria for such a category, it makes very little sense to offer you a questionnaire here. Rather, what Addiction Treatment Alternatives brings is perhaps the broadest set of options of research-based services to you from the comfort of your home or office.
Not only are our range of services broad, they can be individually customized to your wants and needs through anonymous consultations with Dr. Kern.