Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, affects more than 15 million people in the United States and is responsible for almost 90,000 deaths each year. Alcoholism is an extraordinarily tricky disease to deal with since it involves your mind, body, and spirit, but there are solutions that address each of those areas. Marc H. Epstein, DO, is an addiction specialist who helps patients in Greenwich Village, New York City take back control of their lives. If you want to start your road to recovery from alcoholism, call 347-244-7693 to make an appointment.
Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, has more to do with how you drink alcohol than how much alcohol you drink. Alcoholism starts out innocently enough, enjoying a drink at the end of the day or over dinner with friends. If you begin to increase these opportunities to drink, as well as how much you drink during each sitting, you run the risk of rewiring your brain to begin to expect, and then crave, more alcohol.
Because of this, alcoholism is considered to be a chronic disease of the brain as it creates an obsession that overshadows your life in innumerable ways. This includes your behavior, your relationships, your ability to function, and your physical health.
Every person is different and alcoholism can affect people in various ways. There are common red flags across the board that signal a problem with alcohol, including:
The word obsession pops up frequently in the world of alcoholism because that’s exactly what drinking can become: an obsession that rules your life in many ways.
Dr. Epstein takes a multipronged approach to treating alcoholism that includes:
To help you deal with the cravings after stopping use and to prevent relapse, Dr. Epstein offers Vivitrol®, naltrexone, and baclofen, which block the receptors in your brain. These drugs can also help with withdrawal symptoms, but if you’re a heavy drinker, you should detox under medical care because withdrawal from alcohol can include dangerous seizures.
While medications work well to correct the immediate cravings, they don’t help you offset the behavioral and emotional effects of the disease, which is where therapy comes in. Dr. Epstein offers counseling that works to uncover the underlying cause of the problem, if there is one, and helps you slowly change the ingrained behaviors that come with prolonged alcohol use.
The combination of these two treatments, under the expert guidance of Dr. Epstein, are powerful tools in the struggle against alcoholism.
For discreet, nonjudgmental, and compassionate care for alcoholism, call Marc H. Epstein, DO, at 347-244-7693.