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Process of Treating an Alcohol Dependence


A drug that begins to be consumed by many recreationally, and in social environments, alcohol in excess can affect any individual physically or mentally. Causing damage to interpersonal relationships, it is a problem that can affect all age groups and genders.

Alcohol dependence is a case of serious addiction and, when identified by warning signs, should be seen as a treatable disease. VillaRamadas has specialized professionals for the treatment of alcohol dependence (alcoholism), but here are some tips on the process of treating this dependence.

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What is alcohol dependence?

Alcohol dependence, also known as alcoholism, alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder, is the most serious form of alcohol consumption. There is a strong desire to drink, most of the time uncontrollable and inordinate. Consumptions are exaggerated, causing serious damage to the individual’s health.

Alcohol Dependence
© Thom Masat/Unsplash

An alcohol dependent person cannot function without drinking and this becomes an important factor in their life, if not the most important, leaving everything else in second place. Alcohol becomes the priority and all other activities become secondary, including your family, your job, or other areas of your life.

On the other hand, a person who is becoming dependent on alcohol, to have the same effect as before, needs to drink more and more. The physical symptoms of withdrawal begin to appear when the person does not drink, which makes them increasingly need to drink. However, despite most of the time knowing the harmful consequences that alcohol is having on your health, you cannot stop drinking.

Health problems caused by alcohol dependence

The more a person drinks, the more risk there is of developing various health problems associated with alcohol dependence.

Excessive consumption of alcohol and for a prolonged period of time damages the liver. It is estimated that seven out of 10 people who suffer from alcoholic liver disease (ie when the liver is damaged by excessive alcohol consumption) have an alcohol dependence problem. However, while when we think of someone with alcohol problems, liver problems are the most prominent, these are not the only ones.

© Nicola Barts/Pexels

There are other serious problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption, including high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, mouth cancer, throat cancer, bowel cancer, breast cancer, pancreatitis (severe inflammation of the pancreas), among others.

Mental health and alcohol addiction

In the vast majority of cases, individuals who are alcohol dependent have mental health problems. Anxiety and depression, or even suicidal thoughts, are part of these individuals’ lives. Aggression and anger are also very common.

Excessive alcohol consumption is often related tosymptoms of depression, although the cause and effect is not always easy to understand. However, alcohol is known to affect several neurotransmitters in our brain that are important in mood regulation. Thus, there may be cases where depression can result from excessive consumption of alcohol, so if the person stops drinking the mood can improve considerably.

Dependency effects
© Kat Smith/Pexels

In the same way, many of these people see their lives affected at the family, professional or even other areas of their life. They start to lose control of their lives and it becomes a vicious circle. All these factors can further contribute to depression and anxiety.

How does alcohol affect our brain?

Alcohol acts as a brain function depressant, affecting thoughts, feelings and behavior, and long-term mental health. The feeling of relaxation that is experienced when someone drinks is due to chemical changes that alcohol causes in the brain. When drinking, some people feel more confident and less anxious, as alcohol suppresses the part of the brain that is involved in inhibition.

As more alcohol is ingested, the impact on brain function tends to increase and so do the inherent consequences. Regardless of what mood a person is in at the moment, as you increase your alcohol intake, negative emotions are more likely to arise. Some people can become aggressive, anxious, and even depressed when they drink heavily.

Is alcohol desintoxication a cure and is it enough?

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One of the first steps towards alcoholic recovery is changing habits, transforming maladaptive behaviors into adaptive behaviors. © Jeremy Yap/Unsplash

No. Alcohol desintoxication is a process for recovery, not a cure in itself. After desintoxication (which must always be carried out by specialized professionals), the person can start a treatment process at VillaRamadas. Our treatment is personalized and the therapeutic intervention is structured according to the needs of each of our patients. At VillaRamadas we emphasize the importance of psychological support and behavioral changes to start a life in recovery.

Why not just resort to desintoxication in alcohol addiction?

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to the need for a prior desintoxication © Scott Warman/Unsplash

You may think that the only important aspect in a recovery process is desintoxication and that this is enough, but most of the time it is not!

A desintoxication is the name given to the process of cleaning the body of any substance considered harmful. It is advisable that the desintoxication process is carried out with specialized professionals who can provide support– in these cases, abrupt interruption can affect the person physically and psychologically.

However, desintoxication is not enough in cases of alcohol dependence. Although desintoxication is very important, the psychological part is essential for the individual to continue in recovery. It is not enough to treat the body if the mind is not prepared for this challenge. Desintoxication does not address the deeper issues that underlie alcohol addiction. A treatment program, a structured therapeutic intervention, is essential in order to minimize the risk of relapse.


If you are looking for treatment for alcohol dependence, or if you have someone close to you who needs help, please contact us. At VillaRamadas we have a multidisciplinary team capable of assisting in this recovery process.


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