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Alcohol dependence

How can you treat alcohol dependence?

What is alcohol dependence?

Alcohol dependence or addiction causes pleasure at the moment, but it affects an individual’s professional and social functioning, and also the health.

Alcohol is a drug in the class of diffuse inhibitors of the central nervous system.

Untempered and prolonged use (abuse) can induce alcohol addiction or dependence, and it is what we call alcoholism.

Alcohol addiction or dependence occurs when the body adapts to a constant level of consumption, which is why it loses its initial effect.

This phenomenon is called „tolerance,” and it leads to the consumption of an increased quantity to achieve the same effect. When the body is deprived of alcohol, withdrawal occurs.

New studies show that about 3 of 10 adults irrationally drink alcohol and are having problems because of this.

Anyone who is not capable of controlling their excessive appetite for alcohol is likely to suffer from alcohol addiction or dependence.
In the growing segment of the population, the first contact with alcohol would be between 10 to 12 years old.

In the US, 65% of the boys and 63% of the girls between the ages of 11 and 13 years consume alcohol, and statistics in New York, made on 10.000 students, showed that 1 of 8 has drinking problems.

In the consumer ranking, Romania ranks in 20th place among 35 countries, so in the second half, but the growth rate (+136%) lists it among the first countries in the world.

According to the World Health Organization, is considered to be excessive alcohol consumption in the following cases:

  • a woman who consumes more than seven alcoholic drinks per week or more than three alcoholic drinks within 2 hours;
  • a man who consumes more than 14 alcoholic beverages per week or more than four alcoholic drinks within 2 hours.

Alcohol abuse includes any consumption of alcohol that endangers your health or safety or may cause other problems.

What are the causes that trigger alcohol dependence?

Genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors can influence how alcohol consumption can affect your body and behavior.

Risk factors in alcohol addiction or dependence

Risk factors regarding alcohol addiction or dependence include:

Constant consumption of drinks over time.

Age. People who start to consume alcohol from an early age and especially by using the “mood to drink” method, have a very high risk of becoming an alcoholic.

Alcohol consumption can begin in adolescence, but alcoholism occurs more often at the age of 20 or 30.

Family history. The risk of alcoholism is higher at people who have a parent or other close relative dependent on alcohol.

Depression and other mental health issues.

Which are the symptoms?

    • unwilling desire to consume alcohol;
    • symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol use interruption (nausea, sweating, anxiety);
    • the need to consume increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve its „pleasants” effects;
    • the presence of physical signs of addiction, such as loss of consciousness in case of excessive alcohol consumption;
    • the tendency to hide the fact that exists an alcohol dependence (either the person in question consumes alcohol secretly or does not admit to drinking in excessive amounts);
    • failure to perform major duties at work, school or home due to repeated alcohol abuse;
    • alcohol consumption in situations when it should not, for example when driving a car.

Alcohol addiction or dependence can include periods of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal crisis.

Alcohol intoxication occurs when blood alcohol levels increase.

The higher the blood alcohol concentration, the more it affects you.

Alcohol intoxication causes behavioral problems and psychic problems, such as inappropriate behavior, being moody, poor judgment.

It can also cause speech disorders, impaired attention, and poor coordination.

The so-called „power outages” can occur when you no longer remember the events. Very high blood alcohol levels can lead to coma or even death.

Withdrawal can occur when a lot of alcohol has been consumed for a long period and then it is stopped or greatly reduced.

It can be triggered in a few hours or 4-5 days by sweating, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, sleep problems, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, restlessness and agitation, anxiety.

Symptoms can be severe enough to affect the ability to function normally at work or in society.

What complications can occur?

Complications in alcohol addiction or dependence

Alcohol addiction or dependence can cause many health problems over time, including:

Liver disorders: liver steatosis, inflammation of the liver (alcoholic hepatitis), and over time, irreversible damage of the liver tissue (cirrhosis).

Digestive problems: gastritis, gastric and esophageal ulcers, pancreatitis.

Cardiac problems: high blood pressure, increased risk of heart volume, can lead to heart failure or stroke.

Diabetes complications: this is dangerous if someone has diabetes and is already taking insulin to lower their blood sugar levels.

Sexual function and menstrual problems. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause erectile dysfunction for men. For women, it may interrupt the menstrual cycle.

Ocular problems: rapid involuntary movements of the eyes (nystagmus), as well as weakness and paralysis of the ocular muscles due to a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine).

Congenital problems. Alcohol consumption during pregnnancy can cause miscarriage.

It can also cause fetal alcohol syndrome, resulting in the birth of a child who has physical and developmental problems that last for a lifetime.

Bone damage: osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures.

Neurological complications: alcohol abuse can affect the nervous system, causing numbness and pain in the hands and feet, disordered thinking, dementia, and short-term memory loss.

Immune system weakening. Excessive long-term consumption can make your body less resistant do disease, thus increasing the risk of illness, especially with pneumonia.

Increased risk of cancer. Long-term alcohol dependence has been linked to an increased risk for many cancer types, including mouth, neck, liver, colon and breast cancer.

Even moderate consumption can increase the risk of breast cancer.

What does rehab treatment imply?

Rehab usually involves hospitalization and represents a set of medical interventions (medication administration), to control the effects of acute intoxication and to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Other ways to get help include counseling by a psychotherapist, going to a support group, such as Anonymous Alcoholics, or a similar type of self-helping group.

Because denial is familiar, you may not feel like you have a drinking problem. You may not recognize that you drink too much or that the issues in your life are related to alcohol consumption.

Most frequent used therapies

Most frequent used therapies
We combine different psychotherapeutic solutions to map the exact source and the way of how each symptom manifests.

ID Therapy team innovatively combines those types of therapy to provide a shortcut to the solution and to have a diagnose directly into the context.
Dependences treatment can be done by:

Psychiatric treatment

Psychiatric treatment

The combination of psychotherapy and drug therapy is sometimes the ideal solution in addressing conditions such as depression, anxiety,...

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Treat alcohol dependence with Virtual Reality Therapy

Treat alcohol dependence with Virtual Reality Therapy

Anyone who is unable to control their excessive appetite for alcohol may suffer from alcohol addiction or dependence.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The way we interpret or think about a particular situation determines the feeling we have about that situation, which...

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Brief Strategic Therapy

Brief Strategic Therapy

There are personal therapies that last for years and treatments that have conclusive results in a maximum of 10...

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Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Solution Focused Brief Therapy is a collaborative therapy approach with direct patient participation and focuses on the goal.

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Integrative Therapy

Integrative Therapy

A more flexible and sophisticated approach than traditional psychotherapy, a progressive form of psychotherapy, customized ...

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There are many dependencies treatment possibilities, but the best mix between them is based on condition causes. Innovative psychotherapy by Virtual Reality exposure could be one of the best choices that your therapist could choose among all the other options to learn how to manage your cue physiology through Exposure at Virtual Reality.

Virtual Reality Ps

Virtual reality therapy for alcohol dependence

Patients who wish to take control of alcohol use will be assisted by their therapist to develop new coping skills while being exposed to specific relevant virtual alcohol-related cues.

The patient is placed in different virtual environments (bar, restaurant, party, at home) where there are specific temptation-cue indicators to attract him to consume alcohol or nicotine. The patient is helped by the therapist to identify the physical and cognitive symptoms of the craving he is experiencing. He is also helped to develop new cognitive behaviors or strategies to avoid, distract attention from temptation-cue indicators, to speak alone, to change the thinking pattern.

The therapist can place certain alcoholic beverages preferred by the patient within these virtual environments. Also, the virtual bartender offers opportunities for the patient to engage in interactions and strengthen their abstinence or moderation skills.


This therapy, based mainly on prevention, contains 12 sessions with a specially trained psychotherapist.

Thus, through exposure to virtual reality, the person benefits from cognitive learning, reinforcement of new behaviors, suppression of appetite in the presence of tempting-cue indicators related to alcohol or cigarettes, and avoiding relapse and produces a series of positive changes in the brain metabolism.

Talk to our ID Therapy’s specialists

Nadia Gorduza

Psychological trauma, Stress, Couple therapy, Insomnia, Fear of public speaking, Fear of flight, Phobias, Depression, Panic attacks, Anxiety
Medic Psihoterapeut & Fondator ID THERAPY
probleme de cuplu, fobii, anxietate, atacuri de panica
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Raina Saguna

Personality disorder treatment, Eating Disorders, Stress, Insomnia, Smoking dependence, Alcohol dependence, Addiction-treatment, Depression, Panic attacks, Anxiety
Psihoterapeut Integrativ, Psiholog clinician
adictii, anxietate, trauma, depresie, insomnie, stres, tulburari de personalitate
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