Alcoholism has been a problem in the world for thousands of years, but there haven’t always been solutions. Fermented grain, fruit juice, and honey have been used to make alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol) for thousands of years. These types of beverages have been consumed since the early Egyptian civilization, and evidence suggests that alcoholic drinks were consumed in China around 7000 B.C.

Fast forward to the 16th century, when alcohol was primarily used for medicinal purposes, and at the beginning of the 18th century, the British parliament passed a law encouraging the use of grain for distilling spirits. During this period, 18 million gallons of alcohol were consumed annually in Britain, which led to widespread alcoholism.

Fast forward to the 16th century, when alcohol was primarily used for medicinal purposes, and at the beginning of the 18th century, the British parliament passed a law encouraging the use of grain for distilling spirits. During this period, 18 million gallons of alcohol were consumed annually in Britain, which led to widespread alcoholism.

The 19th century brought a change in attitude toward alcohol, and the prohibition was implemented in the United States. At midnight on Jan. 17, 1920, the Volstead Act was passed and enforced the ban. In an ironic twist, it wasn’t illegal to drink during the prohibition, and alcohol that individuals saved was theirs to keep and enjoy in the privacy of their home. Drugstores during this period continued to sell alcohol as medicine and were seen as a legal loophole around the Volstead Act, and sacramental wine was still permitted for religious purposes.

During this time, though, thousands began to die from tainted liquor from bootleggers, and it is said that 10,000 people died during this time. The Great Depression helped fuel the calls for repeal. Drinking did decrease during prohibition by as much as 70 percent, but the levels jumped significantly as the laws waned.

Today, alcoholism runs rampant throughout the United States. Nearly 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes. Each year, the country spends an estimated $249 billion as a result of alcohol misuse according to a 2010 report, and alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths.

In a society with a culture so ingrained in alcohol use, the numbers shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Some 86.4 percent of those interviewed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their life, whereas 70.1 percent said they drank in the past year, and another 56 percent drank in the past month.

Binge drinking also registered high as 26.9 percent they binged on alcohol in the past month, while 7.0 percent mentioned heavy alcohol use in the past month. Even for those who don’t abuse alcohol, binge drink, or go months without drinking can find themselves victims to alcohol. It only takes one time to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and cause a wreck that changes your life.

For those who do drink heavily, however, the road to recovery is steep, and one may wonder that if in 2019 if there is a definitive alcohol cure? Unfortunately, addiction is a disease with no cure, but there are proven methods that have helped those reduce and even stop drinking. Below, we will take a look at some of these methods.

How is Alcoholism Diagnosed?

In May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association issued the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and it combined alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence into a single disorder calling alcohol use disorder (AUD) either mild, moderate, or severe. Under the DSM-5, meeting any two of 11 criteria during the same 12-month period would receive a diagnosis of AUD. The severity, mild, moderate, or severe is based on the requirements met. These include:

  • MILD. Two to three symptoms are present.
  • MODERATE. Four to five symptoms are present.
  • SEVERE. Six or more symptoms are present.

Of the 18 million people who met the criteria for alcohol abuse in 2013, only a small subset (1.4 million) sought any type of formal treatment, ranging from one meeting with a counselor to participating in a specialized treatment program. Many experts in addiction treatment believe that people with moderate or severe alcohol-related problems should be offered medication-assisted treatment (MAT) on a routine basis.

Medications for Alcoholism in 2019

Getting physicians and other health care professionals involved in identifying and treating alcohol use disorder is possible, practical, and necessary. Some medications have been proven effective, as well as approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of alcohol dependence. Each situation is unique, and doctors or addiction specialists must take into account the history of the person seeking medicine, as well as their current situation.

  • ACAMPROSATE CALCIUM. This is used for the maintenance of abstinence from alcohol in those who are dependent on the substance and abstinent at the initiation of their treatment.
  • DISULFIRAM. Disulfiram aids selected individuals who want to remain in a state of enforced sobriety so that supportive and psychotherapeutic treatment may be applied to the best advantage.
  • ORAL NALTREXONE (naltrexone hydrochloride tablet) can be used in the treatment of alcohol dependence. If given to a person who has sufficient amounts of alcohol in their system, it can cause adverse reactions.
  • EXTENDED-RELEASE INJECTABLE NALTREXONE. It is indicated for the treatment of alcohol dependence in those who have been able to abstain from alcohol in an outpatient setting.

Clinicians must consider prescribing these medications when treating someone dependent on alcohol, or someone that has stopped drinking but is experiencing problems including cravings or relapses. Individuals with physiological dependence or who experience cravings and have not improved in response to psychosocial approaches, such as formal treatment, are strong candidates for medication-assisted treatment.

In short, there is no definitive alcoholism cure as of yet, but using medications in conjunction with comprehensive treatment approaches, such as counseling and other psychosocial therapies, can help those struggling with alcoholism achieve their goal of long-term sobriety.

Developing a Treatment Plan for Alcoholism

To achieve abstinence, you must set goals for medication-assisted treatment. Without structure, it will be nearly impossible to gain sobriety. Certain conditions warrant complete abinstence, whereas some may be able to benefit from a reduction in their alcohol intake. The client must be educated, and consent to the program and clinicians must evaluate the need for medically managed detoxification.

Since alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be severe, and potentially fatal, it is imperative to assess the need for medically managed withdrawal. Those who need medically supervised detox may need to be referred to addiction specialists or addiction treatment programs. Clients must also address co-occurring disorders that may be fueling their alcoholism, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar type disorders, to develop a suitable treatment plan for addiction.

Tap to GET HELP NOW: (888) 721-5606