The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of diverse topics and issues related to alcohol abuse treatment. With such varied of treatment approaches, this work explains basic differences between treatments, how they are conducted and the economical and personals cost- benefits of the most traditional treatments for alcohol abuse in the market. Based onliterature as such as the Project MATCH Research, publications of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and publications of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and other references, the author intend to answer the question: is there a treatment that is more effective than others?
Types of Treatment Programs
According to publicationseries 13 and 45 of the Treatment Improvement Protocol of the Center for Substance Abuse published by SAMHSA, the field of addiction has no uniform criteria to guide proper patient placement. The most known criteria for placement are based on levels of care determined by chemical involvement, intensively of service provided and overall clinical severity. The four levels of care are: IntensiveInpatient (medically managed, have full resources of a general hospital, indicated when there is severe medical and/or psychiatric issues); Residential or Impatient ( 24 hours medically monitored, indicated for moderate medical and psychiatric problems); Intermediate or Intensive Outpatient Program – IOP (patient does not live in the same facility as the one where treatment is received, the programconsists in more than nine regular scheduled therapeutic sessions) and Outpatient (same as IOP but with less than nine sessions). In order to match patients individually to a variety of treatment modalities and levels of care, it is very important to have an accurate assessment for diagnosis, admission and treatment plan to ensure access to quality treatment and conserve healthcare resources.Treatment involves a constellation of ongoing therapeutic services ultimately intended to promote recovery from alcohol abuse. Such services must be distinct from Detoxification, which is a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal. Ambulatory detoxification is a service that can be offered in an office setting, it is less expensive and less disruptive to the client’s life,allowing client to remain in the same environment. Supervised detoxification may prevent life-threatening complications (residential/impatient). For some clients, detoxification represents the first step towards treatment, for others it is only a form of palliative care (Center for Substance Abuse, Series 13 and 45, 2009).
According to Tabacoff and Hoffman (2004)alcohol dependence can be considered a pharmacogenetic disease in which the causing agent (alcohol) interacts with the genetic background of the organism (human) causing the disease; however environmental factors are important part of the development of the disease (Tabacoff and Hoffman, 2004).
This type of treatment is typically delivered in hospital or medical setting and is usually used as thefirst step of treatment to assist detoxification, withdrawal management, symptom reduction and aversion. Depending upon clinical settings and patient circumstances, benzodiazepines are typically given to reduce the potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, for instance Lorazepan (Ativan) or Diazepan (Valium). Once those symptoms are fully stabilized, the most common regimen is the use of gradualtapering dosage of benzodiazepines. Disulfiram or Antabuse serve as Aversive Treatment and Naltrexone and Acamprosate, as Antagonists (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, series 45; Schuckit and Tapert, 2004).
The Evidence Based Treatment programs that have shown the greatest level of effectiveness and also are the most used approaches for alcohol abuse treatment...