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Last update : 08/03/2024

Alcohol dependence: Addiction treatment in Turkey

Alcohol dependence is a disorder characterized by a compulsive and uncontrollable need to consume alcohol. People with alcohol dependence may experience withdrawal symptoms when they refuse alcohol. This has serious physical, psychological and social consequences.

Alcohol dependence treatment in Turkey focuses on a comprehensive approach, incorporating medical interventions, therapy, and support systems to address the physical, psychological, and social aspects of this challenging disorder.

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Also, it is the first psychiatric hospital accredited in the world by the prestigious JCI (American Joint Commission International).

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Signs of alcohol dependence

Recognizing the signs of alcohol dependence is critical to initiating timely intervention and treatment. The following indicators are common signs of alcohol dependence:

  • Increased tolerance: The need to consume larger amounts of alcohol to achieve desired effects.
  • Loss of control: Inability to moderate or stop drinking despite negative consequences.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: Unpleasant physical and psychological effects experienced when alcohol is stopped.
  • Neglected responsibilities: Neglecting personal, work, or social obligations because of drinking.
  • Strong desire or craving for alcohol.
  • Increasing and persistent consumption: Drinking more than expected or for longer periods than expected.

If you or someone you know is showing these signs, it's important to seek professional help in Turkey to combat alcohol addiction.

Alcohol abuse: What are the effects?

Excessive and prolonged use of alcohol can lead to several physical and mental health problems.

Physical health problems

Liver damage is one of the most common health problems associated with alcohol abuse. The liver metabolizes alcohol, and prolonged excessive consumption can lead to conditions such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure, or even an increased risk of developing liver cancer

Alcohol abuse also has a significant effect on the cardiovascular system. It can affect blood pressure and contribute to the development of hypertension. This in turn increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiomyopathy.

Alcohol can also irritate the lining of the digestive tract, increasing the risk of developing conditions such as gastritis, ulcers inflammation of the pancreas, and pancreatitis.

Mental Health

Alcohol dependence often coexists with mental disorders and a significant risk of neurological damage. Alcohol affects the brain's neurotransmitters, impairing cognition, memory, and judgment. This can lead to conditions such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which causes memory loss and cognitive difficulties. In addition, alcohol abuse can lead to depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of suicide. 

Excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition characterized by physical, mental, and developmental abnormalities in the unborn child. These children can suffer from stunted growth, facial deformities, cognitive impairment, and behavioral problems throughout their lives.

Social consequences and professional challenges

Alcohol abuse also increases the risk of accidents and injuries. Intoxication interferes with coordination, judgment, and motor skills, making individuals more prone to accidents, falls, and risky behavior.

In addition, alcoholics may experience strained relationships, isolation, financial difficulties, and legal problems.

Alcohol dependence can also lead to reduced productivity, absenteeism, poor performance at work or school, and even job loss or academic failure.

Alcohol addiction treatment in Turkey

The first step in alcohol addiction treatment is recognizing the problem and accepting the need for help. This can be a difficult process for both the person struggling with alcohol abuse and their loved ones. Seeking the help of a medical professional in Turkey, such as a psychiatrist or addiction specialist, is crucial to developing an effective treatment plan. 

Alcohol Detoxification

Detoxification is often the first step in alcohol addiction treatment in Turkey. During this process, the body rids itself of alcohol and experiences withdrawal symptoms

These symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:

  • Cravings
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens, a potentially fatal condition. 

Medical supervision is strongly recommended during detoxification to manage these symptoms and ensure a safe withdrawal process.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approach commonly used in the treatment of alcohol dependence. It aims to modify maladaptive thoughts and behaviors associated with alcohol use and to teach individuals coping mechanisms and relapse prevention strategies. In addition, motivational interviewing helps individuals find personal reasons to stop drinking and develop intrinsic motivation for change. 

Medication for alcoholism

Medication may also be useful in the treatment of alcohol dependence. Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are FDA-approved medications that can help reduce cravings, discourage drinking, and decrease the pleasurable effects of drinking. These medications should be used in conjunction with treatment for optimal results.

Support Groups

Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA),can provide valuable peer support and a sense of community for people in recovery and their loved ones. These groups provide a platform where individuals can share their experiences, learn from each other, and receive ongoing support to maintain long-term sobriety. 

Alcoholism Treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The severity of the addiction and the presence of co-occurring psychiatric or health problems must be considered when developing an individualized treatment plan. Family involvement, education, and strong support are also critical to the recovery process.

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