Alcoholics suffer from a distinct physical yearning to take alcohol past their capability to manage it, irrespective of every law of common sense. Despite having a vast desire for alcohol, alcoholics often give in to that yearning at the worst probable instances. Alcoholism is generally detrimental to the alcoholics’ personal affiliations, social status, and health and is proliferated by the inadequate reaction and reception by human service agencies.
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Medically, alcoholism believed to be an addictive disease. The American Medical Association (AMA) maintains a dual categorization of alcoholism to comprise physical as well as mental constituents. This research paper discusses what human services must be present to assist alcoholics and overcome the existing barriers.
Barriers to human services
Alcoholics have an obsession to alcohol and have no control of how much they drink, even when it is bringing serious troubles at home, at the workplace, and financially. Sensible consumption of alcohol will not normally lead to any physical or mental harm.
In accordance with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 15 per cent of people in the United States of America can be termed as problem drinkers; between 5 per cent to 10 per cent of male and 3 per cent to 5 per cent of female alcohol consumers may be considered alcohol reliant. A research in the United States estimated that around 30 per cent of Americans state having an alcohol problem at some point in their existence. Over two million elderly American alcoholics are struggling with alcoholism and its allied health and social concerns. This number is anticipated to go beyond five million by the year 2020.
Discovering alcoholism is hard owing to the social stigma connected with the illness that makes alcoholics shun identification and treatment due to the underlying fear of disgrace or social effects from the society. The assessment response to a collection of uniform questioning is a general way of alcoholism diagnosis, which could be employed to spot detrimental alcohol consumption patterns (Cooper, 2012, pp. 173-174).
Generally, problem drinking could be deemed alcoholism if the individual maintains consumption regardless of encountering fitness or social problems brought about by alcohol consumption (Bühler, & Bardeleben, 2008, pp. 468-473). Even though the capability of human services to discover alcoholics continues to be a great barrier, it does not denote the original cause of barriers to handling of the problem. Some of other barriers that obstruct effective human services include the following.
- Myths- emerging informational myths have a wide scope of coverage; for instance, many individuals do not comprehend that alcohol has attributes like any other drug. In this regard, a number of people have the conviction that taking beer is not what causes alcoholism. Instead, they believe that alcoholism is caused by taking whiskey and “strong drinks”. Such myths require extensive clarification by human services to be able to assist alcoholics adequately (Googins, 1984).
- Nihilism regarding therapy- this aspect concerns the beliefs by human service agencies of minimal possibility of effectively treating alcoholics.
- Denial- existing denial by most human service agencies regarding high prevalence of alcoholic problems works against increased response to aid
- Cause versus symptoms- though classified as a disease, the treatment advance of alcoholism treats it like a symptom thus failing to address the actuality of the drugged situation
- Referral to professional human service agencies- this acts to promote the alcoholics in denying their problem
- Fear of confrontation- to provide treatment to alcoholics effectively, confrontation is necessary to triumph over the strong rejection and excuse scheme existing in the disease. The fear by human service workers to confront alcoholics makes the alcoholics to go unchallenged and thus maintain abnormal drinking patterns (Cooper, 2012, pp. 173-174).
Since alcoholism exists not just as a personal problem but a problem of the entire community, human service agencies should make maximum use of informal networks whenever required. Having triumph over the existing barriers demands careful evaluation by agencies as well as initiation of proper measures.
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Human services to help alcoholics
There exists treatment for alcoholism and numerous treatment plans and advances are given by human services to help alcoholics that have chosen to seek for assistance. Alcoholics that are forced into seeking treatment or compelled to quit by situations seldom win in the long-term. The following are some human services given to combat alcoholism (Cooper, 2012, pp. 174-175).
The progression of alcoholic detoxification lasts for about three days to a week from where the reliance on alcohol by the alcoholic is mainly mental, instead of chemical or even physical. The aim of detoxification is to avoid a relapse of too much drinking. In the US, human service facilities provide alcohol rehabilitation services with the aim of assisting the alcoholics to know the way to stay sober and oppose the drinking urge (Cooper, 2012, pp. 176-178).
Education forms the basic constituent of every rehabilitation program. It could differ from one facility to another, but normally the procedure is intended at getting the alcoholics to consider their addiction sincerely and sensibly, and alter one’s approach concerning his or her alcohol use. Treatment plans are incorporated in rehabilitation centers to assist in getting alcoholics to adapt a sober way of life.
In helping the alcoholics, human service agents also provide personal counseling that is given by a professional addictions counselor. Counseling sessions are devised to edify alcoholics on the skillfulness that they will require to survive in life without alcohol. In counseling, the alcoholics also are taught on the way to identify conditions in which they are most probable to drink and the way to evade these conditions as much as possible (Cooper, 2012, pp. 179-185). There are many programs offered in counseling that include Employee Assistance Programs (at work places) and Outpatient Counseling Programs (in societies). To guarantee competency of counselors, most states now offer education in addition to credentialing values.
Even if there is so far no “magical pill” for curing alcoholism, there exists different medications given by human service agencies in bid to assist alcoholics stop excessive drinking or completely stop drinking (Kornreich, et al, 2011, pp. 951-959). The existing variety of ways to treat alcoholics may include the following.
- Benzodiazepines- usually recommended to alcoholics for restlessness or anxiety control
- Calcium carbimide -works in a similar manner as disulfiram
- Disulfiram – this medicine stops the removal of acetaldehyde that is produced by the body when processing ethanol. Acetaldehyde causes the hangover indications from alcohol consumption
- Naltrexone- employed to reduce yearnings for alcohol and promote abstinence.
- Rehabilitation- medication as well as counseling is used in rehabilitation centers to assist alcoholics stop alcohol consumption (Thomas, Bacon, Randall, Brady, & See, 2011, pp. 19-28)
Reasonable consumption of alcohol will not usually lead to any physical or mental impairment. Alcoholics are individuals who take part in alcoholism and suffer from a distinct physical longing to take alcohol past their capacity to manage it, irrespective of every decree of common sense. Alcoholism can accordingly be portrayed as a physical force, alongside a psychological passion. Alcoholism is generally harmful to the personal affiliations, social status, and health of alcoholics.
Alcoholics have no control of how much alcohol they drink, even when it is bringing severe troubles financially, at home, and at the place of work (Macfarlane, & Tuffin, 2010, pp. 46-55). There are numerous health and psychological problems associated with alcoholism. There are different barriers to human services that hinder giving assistance to alcoholics. Nevertheless, numerous human services have been designed to help alcoholics to either stop excessive drinking or completely stop taking alcohol. These human services include counseling, rehabilitation, and treatment.
Bühler, K., Bardeleben, H. (2008). Heuristic cluster analysis of alcoholics according to biographic and personality features. Addiction Research & Theory, 16(5), 453-473.
Cooper, L. (2012). Combined Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy with Older Adult Drug and Alcohol Abusers. Health & social work, 37(3), 173-185.
Googins, B. (1984). Avoidance of the alcoholic client. Social Work, 29(2), 161-166.
Kornreich, C., Delle-Vigne, D., Knittel, J., Nerincx, A., Campanella, S., Noel, X., Hanak, C., Verbanck, P., & Ermer, E. (2011). Impaired conditional reasoning in alcoholics: a negative impact on social interactions and risky behaviors? Addiction, 106(5), 951-959.
Macfarlane, A., & Tuffin, K. (2010). Constructing the Drinker in Talk about Alcoholics. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 39(3), 46-55.
Thomas, S., Bacon, A., Randall, P., Brady, K., & See, R. (2011). An acute psychosocial stressor increases drinking in non-treatment-seeking alcoholics. Psychopharmacology, 218(1), 19-28.